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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.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.Share