I’m not 100% sure how well this fits here (it is financial), but I wanted to warn as many people as possible.
Last week on Tuesday morning I was sitting at my desk and suddenly started getting emails. Lots, and lots, and lots of them. 30-40 every minute. They were clearly spam. Many of them had russian or chinese words, but random.
I called one of our IT guys and he confirmed it was just me. And the traffic was putting a strain on our mail server so they disabled my account. By that point I have over 700 emails in my inbox. They were bypassing the spam filter (more on that later). After a different situation that happened a few months ago, I’ve learned that things like this aren’t random.
So I googled “suddenly getting lots of spam”. Turns out, scammers do this to bury legitimate emails from you, most often to hide purchases. I started going through the 700+ emails one by one until I found an email from Amazon.comconfirming my purchase of 5 PC graphics cards (over $1000).
I logged into my Amazon account, but didn’t see an order. Then I checked – sure enough those cheeky bastards had archived the order too. I immediately changed my password and called Amazon..
I still haven’t heard from their security team HOW the breach happened (If they got into my amazon account by password, or did a “one time login” through my email.) The spam made it through our spam filter because the way this spam bomb was conducted, they use bots to go out to “legitimate” websites and sign your email up for subscription etc. So then I’d get an email from a random russian travel site, and our filters let it through.
Either way – we got the order cancelled before it shipped, and my email is back to normal – albeit different passwords.
And I honestly thought about shipping a box of dog crap to that address (probably a vacant house) but I decided against mailing bio-hazardous waste.
Either way – if you see something suspicious – investigate!