Bob Dvorsky, a Democrat senator for the state of Iowa, is the latest public figure to have had his email system broken into by cybercriminals.
The politician would probably not have realised that his Yahoo account had been broken into unless they had sent a scam email to his friends and online contacts.
The fraudulent email claimed that Senator Dvorsky was stranded in Scotland, and needed to be wired money in order to return to his home.
Subject: Emergency please
Hope you get this on time, sorry I didn't inform you about my trip in Scotland for a Program, I'm presently in Edinburgh and am having some difficulties here because i misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept. presently i have limited access to internet, I will like you to assist me with a loan of 10,000 Pounds to sort-out my hotel bills and to get myself back home.
i have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, I'll Refund the money back to you as soon as i return, let me know if you can be of any help. I don't have a phone where i can be reached.
Please let me know immediately.
Regards. Sen. Bob Dvorsky.
Of course, the reality was that anyone who wired money would in fact be putting cash in the pockets of the hackers.
According to a report by KCRG TV News, who interviewed Mr Dvorsky about the security breach, hackers managed to get their paws on the senator’s Yahoo password after he was sent a phishing email.
It’s clear that everyone who uses the internet needs to take greater care over their password security.
Other politicians who have had their email accounts breached in the past include former UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw (when scammers claimed he had lost his wallet in Nigeria) and Sarah Palin (who made some very poor password reminder decisions).