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Old 05-26-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Gmail phishing attack

I awoke yesterday morning to find bogus e-mail appeals to two of my addresses, ostensibly from my best friend, asking me to wire $2,500 to her in England. Obviously bogus.

So I called her, and she had a full house for the holiday weekend — both daughters with kids in tow — and they were trying to disinfect my friend’s iMac and, they hoped, find out what happened. They all use iMacs, but are not computer techies.

They went through her files and found the probable cause: an e-mail from Google asking for her gmail passwords, etc. She said she knows better than to respond to such things, but for some reason she did it anyway. (She is mortified.)

Now I am putting together a list of things she should do. Does this sound reasonable?

Back up any important files (not OS or apps, however). Sidney says she should first boot from the OS install disk, and then copy her files, so that if there is something on her drive, it will not be able to travel with the backup.

Reformat the iMac internal drive. Then set up two users, one of which has limited permissions (cannot authorize writes to the OS, for example), and use the limited user for most things. (Nothing to do with the phishing event, but as good practice.)

Get an external drive and set it up with TimeMachine.

Cancel the gmail address. Tighten her settings in Facebook. Be careful with her new e-mail address.

Sid said she should turn off Java, and use NoScript to allow it for specified sites. Not sure whether that will seem like overkill to her, but it should help.

Anything else?

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