Feeds

Indian politico's webmail hacked to punt lost-wallet scam

PLEASE SEND $3,500. MOST GRACIOUS.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Fraudsters hacked into the webmail account of an Indian politician in a bid to sponge money from his contacts.

Senior Congress politico Mani Shankar Aiyar's Hotmail account was broken into on Wednesday in order to send messages claiming he'd lost his wallet and was in urgent need of cash to settle a $3,500 hotel bill in England and return home.

Indian Express tracked the former union minister down to New York, from where he confirmed his webmail account had been hacked into to send the dodgy "loan-requesting" emails. Unidentified hackers, who probably took advantage of weak passwords to break into the account in the first place, have locked Aiyar out of his account.

"Unfortunately, the hacker has changed my password so I cannot access my email account," Aiyar told Indian Express. "I am in New York attending a seminar on local self-government at Columbia University. I request all recipients to ignore this mischievous message."

The Times of India reports that fashion designer Rina Dhaka was hit by a similar scam last week. Delhi police are advising users to make use of strong (hard to guess) passwords, it adds.

Aiyer is far from the first high-profile politician left explaining a webmail hack. Previous examples have famously included Alaska governor Sarah Palin and former Republican VP candidate, as well as UK justice minister and former home secretary Jack Straw.

The 'person in plight' scam isn't new either, and has recently moved on from messages from hacked email accounts to electronic communiques from compromised social networking profiles. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.