Every day it seems that I receive emails from clients with AT&T where their email has been hacked. I get a hyperlink to a web site and usually no subject in the subject line. Usually the email goes out to everyone in their web based contact list. Upon opening their email to survey the damage, all contacts have been deleted along with most of their emails. The very first thing you need to do is CHANGE YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD. Additionally, AT&T might make it very difficult for you to send out emails for 48 hours after you do as they might block your outgoing emails.
Make your email password unique to every other password. That way if someone hacks another system, they can’t use their newly gotten gifts to try to break into your email. Of course, this will cause an issue on your iphone/ipad/droid/ etc so be prepared. I don’t know if AT&T themselves got hacked, but based on the number of people who have gotten infected that might have been the case. Or, a guess, but JAVA might have something to with the hack. Java is a programming language that usually runs inside of a web browser to enable stuff that a web browser natively can’t do. The system is owned by Oracle through their Sun Microsystems acquisition. Nowadays, Java applets are few, so Java doesn’t have the same necessary install that it used to. The latest version is Version 7 Update 13. It seems that if you are on Version 6, it won’t update you to Version 7 automatically, so you need to click here: www.java.com/getjava and download the latest version.
A worse version of an email hack is the “Help I am stuck in.. send me money… “ which requires a lot more work than just changing your password. There, the bad guys have redirected all incoming emails to go to their accounts and it looks like your account. Call me immediately if this happens to you.