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Perry Hall Florist, An Internet Crimes Victim

Stealing internet contacts and deleting information from someone else's accoutn should be considered a crime!

Today someone hacked into the work email for Perry Hall Florist, PerryHallFlorist@yahoo.com and sent all of my contacts a notice that said I was in the Phillipines and needed $1700.00 to come home.  If that was not bad enough they somehow managed to erase all of my contacts so that I could not inform them of the hoax.  Not only were my contacts were erased but also all of my messages.  I called the baltimore county police but they said that this is not considered a crime.  Is it time to change some laws that would keep up with the technology?  They might not feel that this is a crime, but I feel that stealing peoples' information and using it with out permission is a crime.  Just like when a wallet is stolen I have been spending hours trying to get the word out and let everyone know.  The new email for us is PerryHallFlorist@gmail.com

Meanwhile to our lawmakers---it's time to battle the technology crimes!

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Tim January 31, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Friendly advice: Read this. https://xkcd.com/936/
FIFA January 31, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I cannot believe that hacking into someone's email account is not a crime. Didn't someone get sentenced for doing that to Sarah Palin's personal account in Tenn.? Crime in Tenn. and not MD.?
Mike Pierce January 31, 2013 at 08:35 PM
I think what the police meant was not that it's not a crime, but rather "it's not a crime that we know anything about investigating and prosecuting". Of course, we can pass all the laws we want in Maryland or the US, but, when the perpetrator is in China or India, it can never be enforced.
Brice Henninger January 31, 2013 at 08:46 PM
As tempting as it might seem to use Gmail or Yahoo free services for your business e-mail I'd recommend switching to either the paid Gmail service or getting a reputable web hosting company and get your own e-mail address (so instead of perryhallflorist@gmail.com you could have something like yourname@perryhallflorist.com)
Jeff Reyes January 31, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Tim, that link is genius! also not using an @yahoo address will cut down on spam and hack attacks. why not use the @perryhallflorist.com??
DougW February 01, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Check with the Maryland State Police, they have a Computer Crimes unit. I believe that this is illegal, but my bet, since this is a very common scam, is that it was done by someone offshore.
Homer February 01, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Better advice -- the above address may not be a safe domain even with the 's' Domain Name: XKCD.COM Created on: 25-Jan-03 Expires on: 25-Jan-19 BTW , dont click on unknown domain names or open any emails that are not recognizable - very risky - can easily contain executables/ viruses/ malwares that will 'take over' your computer.
Neil B February 01, 2013 at 01:47 PM
I am not sure the lawmakers should pass laws about people using bad passwords.
ARG February 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM
this should be considered trespassing and theft
T-roy BSOD Rescue February 01, 2013 at 02:30 PM
I hope this doesn't hurt her business. A quick tip for passwords.... its still ok to use easily remembered passwords like a pet name. But to make it more secure you need to add a series of random letters or numbers at the end of it.. ex: Bella5862z1 and they should be at least 8 characters long or longer. The programs hackers use to figure out passwords can scan for names and such very quickly, but the last sequence of random digits would take the program way to long. So the hacker will move on to the next person. Good luck to PHF, change that password asap! -T
John Doe February 01, 2013 at 03:40 PM
The next time I buy flowers I will use your business.
Homer February 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Better advice - don't open any unknown/ unexpected emails or go to unfamiliar websites. they may contain programs that will install themselves on your computer and 'take over' control of you mail or internet usage. In some cases, you may have to have your computer 'reimaged' . Even the one above looks risky, since it was just recently created.
BobBaft February 01, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Enjoy your trip! The Phillipines are beautiful this time of year.
Neil B February 01, 2013 at 06:08 PM
You should get out more. xkcd.com has been around forever.
Neil B February 01, 2013 at 06:10 PM
99.9 percent email accounts get hacked due to weak passwords. The rest of the time someone has a key logger on their computer.
Jon February 01, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Tim, Great suggestion with the pw strength, bu it's possible it was not a password breach. Check out this article from ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/01/how-yahoo-allowed-hackers-to-hijack-my-neighbors-e-mail-account/ I have been recommending to all my friends to move away from Yahoo,
Jon February 01, 2013 at 06:22 PM
While xkcd has been around for a while, I doubt that most people are familiar with it. Homer has a valid point that you should not visit a site that you are unfamiliar with. I would add to that though, if you feel that you need to go to a site from an email - google that address first. Google will often tell you if a site contains malware. Similarly, if you use Chrome as your web browser it will also warn you if a site has been found to have malware. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.
Tim February 01, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Homer is right about this, though. Phishing catches a lot of non-tech savvy people. They've gotten pretty good at it. Don't click on anything you aren't expecting. Better to throw out a legit email every once in a while.
Tim February 01, 2013 at 07:01 PM
oh wow, how about that! Nice find.
Tim February 01, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Unfortunately this. The internet is pretty much the wild west. I mean, you see it on this forum alone, but honestly if this was the worst of the internet, we'd be in fantastic shape.

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