An old email scam reinvented, your password in the subject line.

Sep 25, 2018

We have been receiving a lot of emails and calls as of late with concern that you have been compromised. It begins with you receiving an email that starts off with your password in the subject line. From there, you are shocked to see your password in the subject line so you engage the email and begin to read. It claims most often that they have caught you looking at a site you shouldn’t of been or to have dug through your computer and recorded you through your webcam doing inappropriate things and then moves on to something that sounds something like they are going to expose you to the world but if you pay up, they won’t.

The most common concern is how did they get your password? Short answer is a breach somewhere, sometime. Between the Yahoo!, eBay, Sony Playstation, Equifax, and countless other breaches that we know about, which doesn’t even remotely account for the ones we don’t know about, you were compromised at one point. It is almost certain you have been compromised at least once if not even more times. In fact, According to the Krebs on Security blog, several recipients of this particular blackmail campaign observed that the password included in the message was old, some by about a decade, and not currently in use. For those who haven’t changed their passwords in years, the ruse could appear more realistic, and the hustle itself may become fine-tuned as the perpetrators weave in fresher bits of stolen user data.

Ultimately, it is a scam from a compromise that happened at one point, somewhere and far from in your control. Best practices is to change your passwords frequently, keep them complex, and enable two factor authentication when possible. Keeping the same password for extended periods of time only opens you up to compromises when these large companies get breached. And like with Yahoo!, it was years before they ever announced they were even compromised.

As always, The Nerds are here to save you. If you need Computer repair, IT Support, IT Services or Managed IT Services in Austin or in San Antonio, Call 877-250-8575 or you can book online by going to and click the “Book Now” button in the upper right hand corner.


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