Author Topic: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised  (Read 6687 times)

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Offline Jarhead0331

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HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« on: February 27, 2012, 05:04:28 PM »
Yesterday I attempted to use my USAA credit card to make a purchase.  To my surprise, and embarrassment, the card was declined.  I knew this was unusual because I maintain a low debt on the card and have an ample credit line.  I contacted USAA and learned to my dismay that their fraud prevention unit had placed a freeze on the account due to unusual activity.  Sure enough, purchases were attempted trough "itunes" and "rapcity" and the card was clearly compromised.

Thankfully, USAA caught this quickly and the damage is minimal.  I was hoping the security breach was isolated.  I'm beginning to fear it is not.

Today I noticed my hotmail account has been sending spam messages to random people...people not even in my contact list.  Clearly my hotmail account has been hacked, as well.  I immediately changed the password and the security question, however, I do not know if this will stop the use of this account.  I've had this account since 2001 and it is very valuable to me.  The thought of closing it is dreadful and would cause almost catastrophic damage to me.

I'm still hoping this is an isolated breach.  In other words, that both the credit card information and email information were stolen from the same source, ie. Steam, Sony, etc.

Obviously, I will be monitoring all of my accounts very closely.

Are there any other suggestions as far as precautions to take.

I feel so violated by this. I'm so infuriated and there is nothing I can do to strike back.  These criminals are the lowest of the low.   
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 05:10:31 PM »
Sorry to hear that.

I've got a story about this but not much time to tell right now.

My only suggestion is to watch all your electronic accounts and consider changing all the passwords.

There are myriad ways bad guys can steal that data these days. My guess is that you're an attorney hanging around areas where successful men with money sometimes go in public. Chances are somebody found you that way.

Maybe consider one of those insurance things that guard personal data? It's probably not expensive and you won't have to be so paranoid about watching your back all the time.

Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 05:27:49 PM »
Sorry to hear this happened.  It is a shame that people do this but I see it alot at my job.

Anyways a couple things I would look into doing.  If you haven't done so in the past year get your free credit report just to make sure someone does not have more than just your credit card and email info.

Also if you use that email for any other financial mailing (bank, 401K, Paypal etc.) I would contact them to make sure nothing has been done or attempted to be done and see if they can put in place any other security measures for you.

Finally check and see if your bank partners with a fraud prevention service for a reduced price to keep track of stuff like LB suggested.

Good luck with everything.
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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 05:30:19 PM »
Sorry to hear that JH.  Especially about the hotmail account.  I can fully appreciate losing my email address to hackers. 

I belong to Lifelock, but I'm not sure how effective they are.  It could be a sense of false security.

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 05:39:13 PM »
I too am sorry to hear of this.
The mail activity is the key methinks. Sony Et Al wouldn't be able to store your email password unless you used the same
password for Game sites, email and banking. Someone got your email password first and then used it to access your CC info.
Alternatively, you got burned by a keylogging virus that recorded your keystrokes after visiting certain websites such as your
bank/CC company. I'd definitely nuke your 'puter with a number of different AV and malware cleaners such as Malwarebytes.
Also check if any of the people in your address book have been affected before you.

If you havent already, I would use several different passwords with respect to the kind of sites you visit. One for CCs/banking,
one for email, one for shopping sites, and one for forums and the like.
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Offline Martok

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 10:53:12 PM »
Gah, that blows Jarhead.  You have my full sympathies. 



In terms of advice, I can't add much to what's already been said -- aside from one thing:  As you'll recall, my email account was hacked...last year, I think?  (I believe you received a spam message from "me" during that time.)  Anyway, after I changed my password, the problem did not occur again, and I suspect you should similarly be okay (since you've now changed your password as well). 

However, you might also want to consider changing your password every so often on a regular basis.  I realize that's something of a pain, but I've read in a couple different places that it can really help in preventing your account from being hacked (again).  I've since been pretty diligent in doing this, changing my account password every 90 days or so (in fact, I'm actually past-due to change it again), and I've had no issues since that time. 

Granted, that's only my own personal anecdote, and you should definitely feel free to take my advice with a large grain of salt or two, but it does seem to help. 


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Offline Steelgrave

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 11:08:15 PM »
Ditto. I had this happen a few weeks ago. I discovered that my computer (which had steadily been running slower) was sending out tons of junk emails. After I changed my email password, it seemed to stop. At the same time I scanned my computer only to learn I had picked up 13 (!) trojans (and no, I do not mean the kind that come in a box). I ended up disconnecting my computer from the internet and running virus protection programs repeatedly for about a full day. Again, near the same time I had one of my cards get locked because of questionable (and fraudulent) activity. I suspect they were all related, but for the life of me, I'm not sure which porn site I visited that did the damage.

But thank God for USAA. They tend to be on top of things. Glad you didn't lose your shirt over this, JH.

The scum who do things like this? Slather honey on them and tie them over anthills, all while playing Kenny G in the background. Cruel, I know.....I mean, to make the ants listen to Kenny G.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 11:10:24 PM by Steelgrave »

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 04:41:52 AM »
Well, I ran a full anti-virus scan last night with both kaspersky and malwarebytes and no threats were discovered.  I suspect if the breach occurred from malware on a computer, it was from my work computer, which is always suspect.  I do try to avoid conducting personal business on that machine, but sometimes it is impossible.  I think I'll download and run malwarebytes on that machine today.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.
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Offline Centurion40

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 10:36:13 AM »
That sucks.  Good luck getting everything set right.
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Offline MIGMaster

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 12:36:56 PM »
Be careful you don't have some moron ant your workplace who has some money issues, etc....  and they have been stealing your info. Some IT guys have amazing access to stuff...........

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 01:54:37 PM »
Be careful you don't have some moron ant your workplace who has some money issues, etc....  and they have been stealing your info. Some IT guys have amazing access to stuff...........

I don't think anyone who knows me and that I have personal physical access to would EVER pull something like that.
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 01:58:46 PM »
Be careful you don't have some moron ant your workplace who has some money issues, etc....  and they have been stealing your info. Some IT guys have amazing access to stuff...........

I don't think anyone who knows me and that I have personal physical access to would EVER pull something like that.

Highly doubtful.

Far more likely is you were in some public-ish area where fat wallets are known to congregate. There are scanners that can read CC data, there are cameras that can be placed to monitor touch pads. And there is the old fashioned virus that can be opened on the unsuspecting. I doubt it is anyone at work. You can never be too careful, but you are in NYC after all. If it's going to happen, it's probably going to happen there.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 01:59:51 PM »
It occurs to me that you might have been checking your email at a Starbucks or something and someone had a camera hidden behind you in a hat or whatever. Seriously, there is no telling.

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 05:43:05 PM »
So are companies like Lifelock worthwhile, or a waste of time?

Offline LongBlade

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Re: HELP! Confidential Information Compromised
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 05:48:39 PM »
So are companies like Lifelock worthwhile, or a waste of time?

Never used one. I suspect it can't hurt to try.