Monday, September 03, 2007

Trojan Horses and Identity Theft

I woke up this morning to a nightmare. Someone in England hacked into my personal eBay data and changed it to reflect a completely fraudulent identity with an English mailing address. That person than proceeded to send out at least 25 emails to individuals in the U.K. who are trying to sell Sony laptop computers on the site. He offered them more than they are asking for the laptops and wanted them mailed to him as soon as possible.

He also managed to set two Trojan horses on my hard drive which compromised my PayPal information and apparently hopes to transfer payment for the laptops from my checking account via my PayPal account. I managed to contact PayPal and have had them temporarily stop all payments coming from their end but, since this is a bank holiday, my checking account is still hanging out there until start of business tomorrow.

I've now spent almost five hours running virus check software to locate and remove the viruses, talking on the phone to PayPal and dealing with eBay to get my account changed back to my own identity and history. The scary thing is that I still don't know if I've managed to plug all the leaks.

Needless to say, I'm mentally frazzled and this may be the only post I make today. I'm curious to know if others of you have had this kind of problem and how badly it turned out for you. If I could get my hands on the worm who did this, I would strangle him without even the smallest of guilty feelings...seriously.

Additional Comment added September 4:

This is a copy of the email that was sent out to those in the U.K. who are selling the Sony laptops that this thief is interested in acquiring.
Dear eBay Member,

I hereby wish to notify you of my immediate interest to buy of your item listed on the ebay.Actually,i know that a lot of buyer may have the same interest to purchase this item,however,i shall be very grateful if you can give the highest concern.This transaction will be International shipping and the payment shall be via paypal. I 'm offering you £850 GBP.if you agree with the conditions send your paypal email address so that i will credit the funds into paypal account on time.For further negotiation as per the deal mail to this box........ Help me to end the auction.Looking forward to read from you.Mind you i wish to have more deal with you after this.

It appears that the laptops were to be sent outside the U.K., and from the way that the email is phrased, I don't believe that English is the first language of the people responsible for this fraud.
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