Signs of a compromised mailbox are varied and the reasons for hacking a mailbox are numerous. A primary factor for the surge in compromised mailboxes is directly attributed to cybercriminals obtaining monetary benefits.
Most victims are targeted randomly and are completely unidentified to the hackers. These victims are targeted with the objective of obtaining any return from the compromised mailbox which could be monetary benefits or data. On the other hand, certain individuals are targeted because they are known to the hackers or they are employees of a company which is the main target.
TechDecoded has compiled the following list of signs to detect a compromised mailbox:
Missing or deleted emails- The end user will find emails are deleted or missing from the mailbox. An attacker will behave in a malicious way to destroy data belonging to the end user.
Blocking the end user mailbox - The end user will be unable to send emails because an adversary is controlling their mailbox and has blocked the mailbox preventing any outgoing emails from being sent.
Recipients receive emails which are not sent by the end user - Recipients have received emails from the compromised mailbox which the end user cannot identify or see any corresponding sent emails within the sent folder.
Mail forwarding is activated - The end user has not consented to any mail forwarding, however the emails are being forwarded to unfamiliar email addresses.
Formation of unknown email rules - Unidentified rules are created for various emails which the end user did not create.
TechDecoded tips for securing an email mailbox:
Create complex passwords - Use a range of letters, numbers, and symbols to strengthen the password. Complex passwords with an increased length using varied characters are difficult to crack for hackers.
Use a unique password for each account - Avoid recycling the same password for another email account. A security breach of one account will lead to a second compromised mailbox.
Enable two-factor authentication - Two factor authentication uses an additional means of identification alongside the traditional username and password. Two-factor authentication sends a code to a device authorised by the end user. The two-factor authentication security minimises the chances of a compromised mailbox by allowing the end user to select which device is linked to the email account.18