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    ADMIN: Hacked account (null message)
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2014 Mar 6, 08:09 -0800

    Some of you received an email message ostensibly from Lu Abel about three hours ago. This was obviously a case where his account had been compromised. That's not his fault except to the extent that he may have used an obvious password at some point, possibly years ago (automated software can spend all day guessing passwords). Apart from that, the email did not originate from him. It was sent by software which accessed his account and fired off a message to everyone in his address book. A common sign of such messages is that they have trivial subjects like "Hello" or the author's name (as in this case) since these messages are auto-generated.

    I have a few steps in place to prevent this sort of thing. The simplest is that members who have not posted NavList messages within the past few months are set to "moderated" status. This catches many of these abuses since the accounts that are hacked by automated software are often abandoned or inactive email accounts. But of course that can't catch a case like this. Something quite similar happened to GL's email account about a year and a half ago. I've got a few other ideas for future updates.

    Just a few minutes after the hacked message, another NavList member, no doubt sincerely trying to be helpful, made an unfortunate mistake and replied to the hacked message. This is never a good idea, but the really unfortunate aspect of this was that his email software is set to "auto-quote" the message that he is replying to (bad form for NavList messages in any case) so he sent out YET ANOTHER COPY of the original dangerous link. Those of you who received either of these emails should simply delete them (two messages, about 8am EST / 1300 UT). Unfortunately, your email provider may now identify NavList as a dangerous email source since TWO messages were sent containing this dangerous link. You may need to contact your email provider and let them know that you want to continue to receive emails from NavList (and other addresses @fer3.com).

    As soon as I saw this today, I "nulled out" the two messages. Those of you who follow the message boards via the web or by daily email digest (and not by immediate, individual email) will see nothing more than this admin message and two nulled out messages. Nothing to worry about.


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