Latest Breach - The National Lottery

30 November 2016Posted by Linda

National Lottery logo

Today the National Lottery has admitted that the suspicious activity they saw on Monday 28th November 2016, may have been a data breach resulting in partial customer information being obtained by cybercriminals.

Their Homepage is showing a banner called "Important player notice" but it is not really obvious.

They do however have a full statement - click here

The full extent of the problem may not be known at this time but.....

If you normally get your tickets online or by direct debit - then I recommend you go to the website and change your password.

and check out the guidelines below for more information

.....or .....

Call me on 0771 721 7773 for help

What should I do if I think my account has been hacked?

30 November 2016Posted by Linda


If you are concerned you should always visit the website directly (never click on a link in an article or advert). Usually you already have a Favourite (or Bookmark) set up in your computer.

Login as normal and then go to the account settings and change your password. using the following guidelines

  • Never use the same password as other websites.
  • Never use a password similar to the old one, eg by using the same password and adding 1 to the end or beginning.
  • Make the password as long as possible as this makes it harder to guess.
  • Use Numbers and Capitals in the name and symbols too if the website lets you.

However it is also unlikely that you personally have been hacked, most "hacking" attempts are made on large companies that hold lots of data about lots of people (this gives the hackers the best return on their attempt). The hackers then sell the information to others or if they have bank infomation they set up payments (effectively stealing your money).

Most "hacking" that you personally see is really a social engineering issue, where you are tricked into giving bank information to someone, or a fake website.

What should I do if I get an email saying my account has been hacked?

30 November 2016Posted by Linda


This usually means someone else got hacked!

You should always be suspicious of emails saying your account may have been hacked, especially when the affected website is in the news because the people who hacked the website may know your email address.

They may be emailing you because they did not get enough information from the hacked website. If they can fool you into clicking a link to a fake website which then asks you to login then they can get more information especially if they specifically ask you to change your billing details.

This is why you should never click on a link in an email.

Usually when something like this happens there will be a huge increase in spam related to the news.

What happens if I get a phone call saying my account has been hacked?

30 November 2016Posted by Linda


Almost certainly you will never get a legitimate phonecall telling you that you have been hacked.

Especially not if it is from Windows (not a real company), Microsoft (who never call anyone), BT (who also do not call you unless you have made a prior contact), or BT Openreach.

Your Bank will never call you about your computer but might notify you that there is a problem with your account. - They will never ask you to confirm account details and if you are concerned, you can always use another phone to call your bank to confirm.

If you receive one of these calls they are usually from someone with an indian accent, and an unlikely english sounding name.They will start by trying to frighten you into giving them remote access to your computer so that they can show you the problem. This way they have access to everything on your computer and can prevent you from using it until you pay them a significant amount of money, then they have your bank and credit card info too.

See the link below for more information about these calls

My computer has a popup saying I have 100's of trojans

30 November 2016Posted by Linda


This usually means an advert on someone's Website got hacked!

The page that opens is specially designed to panic you and will be almost impossible to close, and can mean your computer now has a trojan.

Even if you are running your computer with no security programs, your computer would be extremely unlikely to have more than one at a time. If you do have security then it is also only ever going to find one thing at a time. These popups usually have a phone number to call to get help (your real security program would sort them out with any extra help), these will often take you to company who actually may try to help but will charge well over the normal rate to do so.

If you can use another computer to google the telephone number - most likely you will then find out it is a scam.

The best way to deal with these is to power off your computer by turning off at the wall (not usually recommended - I know), do not "shut down". Yhen call your normal local computer repair company to ensure that all traces of the malware are gone.

A friend told me they received a spam email from me.

30 November 2016Posted by Linda


This can mean your email account got hacked, that your computer has a trojan (or other malware), or that someone you know has one of these problems. But it may not mean this at all.

You can only fix the problem if your account has actually been "hacked" or if your computer has malware.

You can confirm that your account has been used to send the email checking the properties of the email sent to your friend (too many different ways to describe here) and compare it to one that you know was sent by you.

If your account is being used to send the emails - you can login to your account online and change your password. Setting up 2 step verification is also a good idea to prevent this happening in the future.

It is also worth using an email service that notifies you if someone tries to login from a new location or computer.

In the case of malware call your normal local computer repairer for help, the fact that you have not had a message telling you about the malware suggests your security is not working correctly.

Three Mobile - hacked

19 November 2016Posted by Linda


Three mobile has confirmed that their Mobile Upgrade Database has been "breached". They think the information would have allowed the "hackers" to obtain new handsets.

The information obtained is related to contract dates and customer information not financial. However some of the personal information could be used to allow "hackers" to attack other sites where customers use the same passwords or information. (this is why it is important that you use a different password for every website).

Three were criticised for not notifying customers quick enoug