Family and email security

Tech support for family is tricky, especially when the damage is already done..

I’ve just spent three hours cleaning out my mothers computer. Hadn’t been virus or spyware checked in over two years. Fortunately she doesn’t browse much so she got away with some odd keylogger and AV-avoider. But that seems to have been enough for someone to get into her Yahoo Mail account, change the password and spam her contact list saying she’s in financial trouble in Kuala Lumpur (and to send her money there, of course) before deleting not just those sent items but everything else in the account.

So we finally figured out the password reset secret answers and got the passwords reset using KeePass this time. It will probably take mum some time to get used to it, but the other option is setting her up with webmail on my server instead where I can restore from backups, because there seemed to be no way to restore once the trash file has been emptied..

That said though, half an hour ago I found a link to the mailbox recovery form. It’s only a maybe, and only good for 24hours after deletion,  but it’s a better chance than none at all. And thanks to using KeePass and helping her pick the master password, I could get in to use the form while she’s asleep.

Maybe if we’re lucky, morning will come around and some of her mails will be restored to her.