What Can I Do With A Hijacked Email Account? Part 1

Let’s say I just hijacked your email account.  What can I do with it?

First thing, a hijacker would not announce his or her presence in your account.  Staying undetected is important so you do not change your password.  Depending on what the attacker is doing with your email account, there is a significant probability that you would not know your account was compromised for several days, weeks, or even years!

In order to take control of your email account, an attacker would need your user ID and password.  Typically, this is achieved through the use of a phishing email designed to look like it came from your email service provider.  See the examples and landing page below.  Or the attacker may purchase a list of email user names an passwords on the Dark Web.

And an example of a Gmail account phishing email.

Here is an example of an email account hijack phishing email that I received and the landing page. The sender email address has been spoofed using a near misspelling  – support@1ond1.com instead of support@1and1.com.

Notice the web address in the address bar – fashion-vogue.org not 1and1.com. This is an important clue that this page is a fake.



According to the 2016 Internet Crime Report  that was recently released by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), email account compromise is the number 1 cyber crime by dollar losses to victims.  The amount lost was over $360 million.  So just what kind of malicious uses could a comprised email account provide?  We will have the answers to that question on Wednesday.


About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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