Under Cyber Attack: Subscribed to Thousands of E-mail Lists

A few days ago I thought I was being pranked when a bunch of random subscription notices started showing up. Then it became a flood of messages, at least 10 every minute. I immediately turned to Google and discovered I was experiencing a Denial of Service Attack (DoS).

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From what I can gather, when it’s targeted at an individual (and not a big business) it is usually an attempt to commit credit card or bank fraud. They flood your inbox with tons of messages so you miss the important ones from your compromised accounts.

You can see from the pic above, the names are random and some of them appear to be what I guess is Russian. This is just a fraction of what’s coming in both to my in-box and spam folder. And these are all being sent to an e-mail address that I keep private and only use for my credit cards and important accounts. It’s not published anywhere and not associated with my blog or any websites.

So far, this is what I’ve done:

  1. Changed all my credit card and bank log-in and passwords
  2. Changed the e-mail associated with the accounts
  3. Activated text alerts for every purchase
  4. Checked all accounts every few hours
  5. Continuously checked and cleared e-mails throughout the day

It’s been three days and the messages have slowed down to maybe a hundred every hour. I haven’t detected any fraud on any accounts so far, but I’m staying on high alert. I almost wish something would show up so I at least know which account to freeze! Trying not to let the anxiety get to me, but knowing some awful person or organization is targeting me with intent to do something bad is just a little nerve-wracking.

I’ll add an update to this post when it’s over or when I find out the purpose of this incredibly annoying onslaught. Anyone else experience this? Curious to know how long it lasted or how other people dealt with it.

Update 11/11/19 It’s been a few weeks and one e-mail is pretty much normal now and the other is down to maybe 100 extra a day. I am now checking and clearing things out twice a day instead every hour. I never did discover any fraud on any accounts, so possibly I changed all my info in time.

The good news about all this is that it made me update everything, get organized and delete old accounts I don’t need. I even found money in an old college savings account I forgot about! So while I did not enjoy the e-mail attack, it ended up benefiting me in the end.

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