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Zombie email rises from grave after eight years of radio silence
In a novel twist on “What happens to our accounts when we die,” we have “what happens to our abandoned accounts while we’re still alive”. In this case, UK ISP TalkTalk kept an old customer’s email account alive some eight years after she closed it—which left it wide open for takeover by spammers. If you’ve cancelled an account and wondered which bits of your digital data continue to live on, this story is for you. I’ve talked in the past about how when loved ones die, their emails, social network accounts, and more keep on keeping on. Of course, this content is a prime target for cybercriminals, who can pilfer contacts and other data from long-dormant accounts. There are typically three ways of “rezzing” a dormant account, aka bringing it back. They are: Accidental: This is where a previously dormant account comes back to life, but with no malicious intent behind it. For example, critic Roger Ebert’s wife accidentally started sending public messages instead of direct messages via his inactive Twitter feed.
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