Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Determined to HACK

I got this email from one of my friends yesterday..



    How you doing? We made a trip to London (United Kingdom) unannounced some days back, Unfortunately we got mugged at gun point last night! All cash, Credit card and phone were stolen, we got messed up in another country, stranded in London, fortunately passport was back in my hotel room.  It was a bitter experience and i was hurt on my right hand, but would be fine. I am sending you this message cos i don't want anyone to panic, we want you to keep it that way for now!

Our return flight leaves in a few hours but I’m having troubles sorting out the hotel bills, wondering if you could loan me some money to sort out the hotel bills and also take a cab to the airport about ($920). I have been to the police and embassy here, but they aren't helping issues, I have limited means of getting out of here,  we canceled our cards already and made a police report, I won’t get a new card number till I get back home! So I really need your help.

You could wire whatever you can spare to my name and hotel address via Western union:

XXXXX XXXXX (my friend's name here)
10 Marylebone High Street, London
W1U 4RY,United Kingdom

Get back to me with the details, would def refund it to you once we arrive! Hopefully tomorrow

I await your prompt response.

(My friend's name)


Now I was pretty damn sure that this was hacked. I even considered alerting my friend but my only means of reaching her was to reply to the email which would be quite dumb, so I deleted the email and let it be.

Surprise of surprises, I got pinged by her in GTalk. The conversation went something like this:

XXXX: hey
 me: Hi XXXX
  Was your accound hacked?
  I got an email which looked like Spam
 me: I was going to reply but didn't know
 XXXX: I sent you the email
6:23 PM I just want to ask if you got my email
 me: ohh you are in London?
 XXXX: it sucks and scary here
  I'm stuck in London
 me: ohh too bad
 XXXX: I need your help
  I promise to reimburse you as soon as am back home tomorrow
6:25 PM are you still there?
6:26 PM me: yeah
 XXXX: did you go through my email
 me: yes
6:27 PM I am out of town
 XXXX: Can you loan me the cash?
 me: not sure if I can help :(
6:28 PM XXXX: Can you loan me the cash?
6:29 PM me: not very sure XXXX
  I am in Hyd alone with the baby
6:30 PM XXXX: you can help from there
  all what you need to do is to locate any western union close to you
6:33 PM are you there?
6:35 PM hello
    16 minutes
6:51 PM me: sorry XXXX

Of course I wasn't very sure in the beginning about it being some hack (I even checked the detailed network headers to see origin and make sure it was UK, but all Google would give me is its own IP) yet somehow I knew it was. Just the way emails are written. The clincher was this person trying to explain how to wire the money from here. My friend would credit me with that much intelligence I hoped ;) I wanted to have some fun with this hacker and do some Q&A saying I was not convinced it was her and she should answer some questions of mine so I can be sure it was her. But the baby got awfully cranky last evening and I was deprived of one such chance.

This morning my fiend sent an email saying her account was hacked. I suppose someone alerted her. I was going to reply saying I'm happy she came to know so soon, but kept back. What if it was the hacker trying to sound more genuine? ;)


sam said...

Dude..we totally got one of these e-mails and totally ignored it. These people have gotten so good..they are online also hunting for "losers" who will write them the money. I think it would have been funner if you kept the conversation going - asked certain things like how do we know each other. What do I do things like that :-p!

At our univ. (where I work) hackers have become so good that they are creating web pages that look IDENTICAL to our sign-in pages, of our e-mail, online courses etc and direct students to that (the only way is to look at the URL and some students are not conscious of that)..get their password and then hack their accounts...they are getting smarter by the day!

Anonymous said...

Can u call u'r friend??

Kishan said...

I think your friend is need of your help. You should first her the money before it is too late..

On a serious note, it is scary...especially having that one to one conversation with the hacker..

Rachna said...

We got the exact same message from my son's school's email id. It reeked of hacking and the hacker even replied saying -- No, it is not hacked :). What can one say? One has to be so careful these days.

DivSu said...

@All - So it looks like overall hackers are getting smarter and more innovative :))

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