Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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I Got Phished, Phuck it
Einstürzende Neubauten
Buggeration. A number of my accounts on the interwebs got phished recently. For those too lazy to follow the link, that basically means someone got hold of my username and password, then started trying to log into some of the major sites out there.

They probably got my password because I entered it somewhere that looked like another, real, site. Or I created an account somewhere dodgy.

I'm pissed, because I'm usually very careful - I don't open links in emails, I generally actually look at the URLs I'm going to. On the other hand, I do use more or less the same username/password combination everywhere. If you see Maxcelcat somewhere, it's 99% likely it's me. On the other hand, I usually use nonsense words and some numbers in my passwords. I used to use random chunks of German...

It started with MySpace, which makes me suspect it was the source of the problem - I can only guess that I followed a link to Myspace from somewhere which then demanded that I log in. To MySpace's credit, the did alert me on one of the rare occasions when I actually logged on. Someone had reset my status to include a URL... Needless to say, I was annoyed - I don't even particularly like Myspace, I'm only on there because I follow a couple of bands. And if they migrated to Facebook, I'd never go back...

Anyway, as far as I can tell the only other site where someone tried to access my account was Ebay. They also picked up there was a problem, and scrambled my password. Good on them! And possibly someone tried to get on to my Hi5 account, showing more enthusiasm for that site than I've ever displayed! Thankfully the sites where there was actual money involved - my bank(s) for example - had better security. And indeed to get on to my Paypal account, one needs an RSA-like token.

So I've been busily going around changing my passwords on all the sites I'm a member of, including this one. The trouble is I honestly can't remember all of them - I've been known to join just about anything, especially social networking sites. So I've also taken this as a sign that I should prune, prune, prune. I've deleted aforementioned Hi5 account, and my rarely used Orkut (Google's social networking site) account.

I'm also trying to think of a good reason to keep my Myspace account. I guess The Wet Spots and Cage Kennylz, who don't seem to have made it on to Facebook or organise a mailing list. *sigh*

Let this be a lesson to you all... Watch where you stick that thing ;-)


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