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April 7, 2013
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How to Avoid the REAL Hackers

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 7, 2013, 9:24 AM
Please consider :+fav:ing and commenting on this article so it can reach more people.

Here's a message about a "hacker" that has been appearing in my inbox lately. I've added paragraph breaks so that it's easier to read, but I have edited nothing else.

SIGNAL BOOST: HEY, PLEASE READ THIS- ITS SERIOUSLY IMPORTANT THE FATE OF YOUR INTERNET-LIFE IS AT STAKE!!!!!! APPARENTLY THERE IS A HACKER ON DEVIANTART, CALLED 'LIFE OWNER'..... TELL EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS HIM THEN YOU WILL GET HIM ON YOUR LIST. HE WILL FIGURE OUT YOUR ID COMPUTER ADDRESS, SO COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE EVEN IF YOU DON'T CARE FOR THEM AND FAST BECAUSE IF HE HACKS THEIR EMAIL HE HACKS YOUR MAIL TOO (I think what it means by that is that he could assume the identity of your friends, and FOOL you into opening the letter since you think it's your friend that's sending it )!!...

Anyone using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on. This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet.

You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled 'Mail Server Report' If you open either file, a message will appear on your screen saying: 'It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.' Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, And the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon.

AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the anti virus software's are not capable of destroying it . The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself 'life owner'.. PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS TO ALL Remember, always be careful of messages you receive in email-don't open them unless you're 100% POSITIVE they're safe. If you have even the SLIGHTEST doubt, DON'T open it-DELETE it, it's the smart thing to do!


Looks scary? Yes. Looks believable? No.

Here are the indications of a hoax:

~It's full of grammar mistakes, all caps, and unnecessary exclamation points (common in chain mail that uses scare tactics, such as the "I'm the ghost of an insane child who will murder you if you don't send this to 15 people" variant).

~It refers to a real "Mail Server Report" email virus that circulated ages ago. That virus used technology that security programs can now detect and destroy without very much trouble.

~I once received a warning like this in my email inbox with about the same phrasing... about six years ago. Somehow I doubt this "life owner" is still doing the same thing. And hardly anyone uses AOL anymore! According to a study last month, it isn't in the top 10 email providers, leaving it with 1% of the market or less. Clearly this message is not recent.

~It talks about an email that you will receive, although apparently this person is hacking on deviantART. Hmm. Clearly the writer didn't take the time to reread the message. Or, you know, (s)he just changed one word to make it seem closer to us.

~"IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS HIM THEN YOU WILL GET HIM ON YOUR LIST"
How exactly can somebody gain access to your account by simply appearing on your friend's friends/contact list? Unless "life owner" hacks your friend's account and your friend has your password in an email, (s)he can't gain automatic access to your account.

~Apparently Microsoft, Norton, and AOL have all acknowledged this. Where are the links to confirmation? I'm not believing this without proof from a reputable source, and a search yielded no credible proof.



It's easy to fall prey to scare tactics such as these. However, before you send these messages to your friends, remember to reread them and look for red flags. Does the description sound improbable or inconsistent? Does it claim to have support from well-known sources without actually proving it? Are credible sources posting warnings too? Is the message full of all caps, spelling errors, and misplaced commas?

Remember, just as there are trolls who enjoy angering others, there are people who enjoy scaring others. But as long as you pay close attention to what you read and use logic, you can weed out the fake warnings and not let those people win.

If you're still concerned about your friends, don't simply copy and paste a frightening message. Instead, try sending them some info about hackers and web safety. (You can send them this journal if you'd like.) Besides, variants of this warning have been circulating since 2002, so it's quite likely that they've seen something like this before.


How to Be Less Vulnerable to Hackers and Viruses




Email and Messaging


~Never give anyone your passwords. This includes your friends. If they accidentally download a virus or are hacked, any information on their computer or hacked account could be compromised.

~Whenever you log into a website, check to make sure that you're logging into the right website. If your bank sends an email with a link to log in, never click the link. On a different tab, go to the real website and log in there, no matter what the email says. People can create fake log in pages to get your password.

~Delete chain emails from your friends or weird emails from strangers. While it's unlikely that hackers are behind them, it's safer to avoid them, and sometimes people who start these are trying to collect a bunch of email addresses to sell to spammers. You don't want to pass on things like that.


Software, Network, and Extensions


~Protect your computer by getting good antivirus software, and have it scan regularly. Here are PC World's latest antivirus software rankings. Antivirus programs cannot detect everything, but they certainly help.

~Secure your wireless network. Many people use insecure networks, allowing others to jump onto the network and see what you're doing. Here's a step-by-step tutorial from WikiHow and another resource from OnGuardOnline.gov.

~Download Adblock Plus, an extension that blocks all irritating and intrusive ads. (Google it and a link to download the version for your browser will appear right away.) It blocks potentially malicious advertisements and... pretty much all ads, too, which is really nice.

~NotScripts for Google Chrome and NoScript for Firefox allow scripts to run on only the sites on which you enable them, which helps keep sites from downloading viruses onto your computer. I recommend that you download Chrome or Firefox (they're free) if you use Internet Explorer, as Internet Explorer isn't as secure.

~Java often has security holes, so uninstall it if you don't really need it.

Browsing


~Avoid visiting unfamiliar sites or clicking on ads or links from unknown sources. They may have viruses. Google Chrome and some other browsers may block or warn you about potentially dangerous content, but again, they aren't perfect and it's better to play it safe.

~If a popup from an unknown source claims that your computer has a virus, don't believe it, especially if it warns of dire consequences unless you download its "virus protection program."

~Never download an executable file (.exe) unless you completely trust the source.

~To be extra cautious (especially for financial things), try logging in with an onscreen keyboard to prevent potential keyloggers from finding your passwords.
For Windows, it can be accessed through the following path:
Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard
(Thanks to Yamaha160 for suggesting this!)

~If you can afford it, set aside one computer to use for financial transactions and nothing else. How can it get a virus if you only use it for three very secure websites?

Thanks to my technologically savvy brother fenhydra for suggesting a few of these tips.



Hover Over for Life News
The Magic of Love | Writer's Guides | Sorry for inactivity | TheUselessGroup is looking for new admins


Add a Comment:
 
:iconphoenix-galaxy1010:
Phoenix-Galaxy1010 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  New member Hobbyist Artist
Thank you for this, what about for Mobil phones like the touchscreen ones? I Hurd they can get viruses too idk how true that is though.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015   General Artist
For mobile phones, it's good to follow the same general guidelines. :aww:
Reply
:iconphoenix-galaxy1010:
Phoenix-Galaxy1010 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  New member Hobbyist Artist
That's true, sometimes I accidentally hit adds though it drives me crazy. :p
Reply
:icontechie8:
Techie8 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Oh god. This is probably one of the least descriptive chain mails ever, and it's full of holes and events that cannot possibly happen. Also, I hate chain mail. My cousin is always forwarding me chainmail, and I keep telling her to stop, but she always falls for it. It really irritates me how stupid and generic they all are (forward this two 10 frends and youll get GOOD LUCK!!!!) and yet people still fall for them. Oh well, people will never learn.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015   General Artist
Yeah, it's too bad that people don't know better. Hmm, Yes 

Feel free to show her this article; maybe it'll encourage her to start using a more critical eye towards these things.
Reply
:iconpuplip:
Puplip Featured By Owner Edited Nov 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Hackers are EVERYWHERE and i swear...every month on this website i see this warning about some kind of hacker and a statement of "Post this journal on your page" or whatever. I do remember that supposive hacker who would 'end your life'. God, that was frightning for a bit.
And yeah... good point on putting up the fact that you should be careful on what you click, ESPECIALLY ON ADS. Thanks for the article :) It really helps
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2014   General Artist
I'm glad I could help! :hug:

I think that sometimes people underestimate the power of the digital world, and how much it influences our lives. While turning off the computer may physically separate us from it, the ideas, relationships, and power structures remain. Losing all one's files and/or social networking could be catastrophic, so it's nothing to laugh at.

Thank goodness that true hacking incidents like this are incredibly rare. :aww:
Reply
:iconbigmaleforfan:
BigMaleforFan Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014
you wanna know something scarier ? the fact that you're online means your ISP is hacking into your accounts .
Reply
:icongirlg1243:
GirlG1243 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Really? If I was ever a hacker (which will never happen 'cause that is mean) I would at least make it sound BELIEVABLE.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014   General Artist
Indeed. :aww: I have no idea what they were aiming for with their diction. Maybe they were attempting to sound like the average 13-year-old? Whatever it is, it didn't work.
Reply
:icongirlg1243:
GirlG1243 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Yup.
Reply
:iconmizlilpitbull100:
MizLilPitbull100 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
TY for the news
Reply
:iconstar3catcher:
star3catcher Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
"It's too late, your life is no longer beautiful."

Oh give me a break.
Reply
:iconannaelsa9:
annaelsa9 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you for all of this information
Reply
:iconkitsunescythe:
kitsunescythe Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is excellent information. Thank you for posting this.
Reply
:iconnaruhinaluvrx:
NaruhinaluvrX Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
thank you for this
Reply
:iconsamie-seville:
Samie-Seville Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
This is a really good guide, and very helpful too.
Reply
:iconwishelf:
WishElf Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Student General Artist
It says this was posted last year. Is this person still hacking? Is this still going on? Thank you for all the information though
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014   General Artist
You might want to reread the journal; I think you missed an important point. :)
Reply
:iconwishelf:
WishElf Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh okay I will..... :)
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014   General Artist
Hopefully it'll ease your mind. :aww:
Reply
:iconwishelf:
WishElf Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Yes thank u so much! !!!
Reply
:iconmonstarzgirl:
MonstarzGirl Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
Glad that I read this.
:)
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014   General Artist
I'm glad I could help! :D
Reply
:iconmonstarzgirl:
MonstarzGirl Featured By Owner Edited Jul 8, 2014
I appreciate the help, but I'm a bit worried though.
I see some of the journals having codes added to block hackers.
Do the codes help or not?


Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014   General Artist
I've never seen those codes before. :hmm: Do you have a link to show me?
Reply
:iconmonstarzgirl:
MonstarzGirl Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
daisyrocks123.deviantart.com/j…
Some journals show these so-called "codes" to block the so-called hackers, but I dunno if these codes are for real or that they're ways to allow the hacker in.
:shrug:
Reply
:iconmonstarzgirl:
MonstarzGirl Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
:)
Reply
:iconask-spice-kasaneteto:
Ask-Spice-KasaneTeto Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for putting this up, there's a hacker on deviantART currently and this will help me on not to be hacked c:
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014   General Artist
Have you heard any news about it? Confused Emote 
Reply
:iconcameronwink:
Cameronwink Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for putting this up. Now I don't have to deal with those bullshit hacker hoaxes.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014   General Artist
You're welcome. :D
Reply
:iconcamilia-chan:
Camilia-Chan Featured By Owner Edited Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a really great guide to avoid the real hackers, but I am getting fed up with seeing so many journals about the hacker messages that turn out to be total hoaxes. It's so repetitive. :facepalm:

Seriously, there's gotta be a way to put an end to this, and it's driving me and many others nuts.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014   General Artist
I find that spreading the word often helps keep people from being fooled; it was one of the reasons I wrote this journal. :aww:
Reply
:iconcamilia-chan:
Camilia-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Right you are, and they should do more research about the fake hackers and the messages before they want to keep posting about them. There are better ways for them to protect themselves rather than be panicked and warn others about the hoaxes, as stated in your journal.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014   General Artist
Indeed. :aww: Hopefully this will encourage people to be more skeptical.
Reply
:iconcamilia-chan:
Camilia-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:nod:
Reply
:iconmrs-slaughter:
mrs-slaughter Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Professional
oh thank god someone is helping us to avoid hacker
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014   General Artist
It's no problem. Most likely, you'll be just fine. :aww:
Reply
:iconmrs-slaughter:
mrs-slaughter Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Professional
i hope ^^
Reply
:iconpuijela:
puijela Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
i shared to my journal an my friends
Reply
:iconchiceydice1234:
ChiceyDice1234 Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
DA needs an "art share" button so I could easily show all my friends this
Reply
:iconpurplekatz93:
purplekatz93 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I shall share this with all my friends.
Reply
:iconpieces-mod:
Pieces-Mod Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, thank you
Reply
:icondesirae12:
desirae12 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
ok thanks for share it to me
Reply
:iconeddywardster:
eddywardster Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student General Artist
Reading this gives me a some ease. I'm going to share this to a friend if you don't mind. I'm sure she'll find brief relief after reading this.
Reply
:iconsnowflower2097:
snowflower2097 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
It's a hoax stop posting it.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014   General Artist
Hi,

I am aware that it's a hoax. If you read the full journal, you'll understand why I included it. :aww:
Reply
Hidden by Owner
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013   General Artist
It doesn't look like anything to be overly concerned about. :aww:

At worst, this is probably a copied and pasted response because the deviant is hoping to get attention (hence the question about checking out his work). I would say that this is probably not a malicious spammer. Here's why:

:bulletblue: He has two deviations, both of which are similar enough in style to be drawn by the same person. Usually spambots don't post deviations.
:bulletblue: He describes himself on his deviantID.
:bulletblue: He cares enough about the site to get a premium membership. (My guess is that he's had another account before this one, and that's why he got a premium on his first day. That would also explain why he's joined several prominent groups, when most new users are unfamiliar with groups.)

I highly doubt that you could get hacked simply by visiting someone's page. I've never heard of it happening, and I would fall over in shock if I did, because how could deviantART have such a huge security hole? There is no way that dA would allow premium members to hack other members. I'd ask my brother about it, but I already have a feeling of what he'd say: it's impossible.

Usually, you should be cautious when it comes to encountering unfamiliar websites (not unfamiliar users on a familiar website). There, it might try installing something on your computer; however, if you don't permit cookies, use an ad blocker, and only agree to download things from sites you really trust, you should be fine.

I gave the user a llama. I imagine that if he's a real person, he'll give me a llama in return or be obnoxious and thank me/do nothing without returning it. He looks, if anything, like a guy who wants to promote himself, and I see no reason why you should be afraid to politely thank him for the compliment, ignore his work, and proceed with your day.

P. S. I've hidden your comment to protect the guy's identity. Feel free to respond, though; I didn't hide it out of irritation.
Reply
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