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I then called Pay Pal and asked how the perpetrator had gotten in, and was there anything else they could do to prevent this from happening again?
Twenty minutes later I was outside exercising when I stopped briefly to check email again: Sure enough, the very same rogue email address had been added back to my account. The perpetrator tried to further stir up trouble by sending my Pay Pal funds to a hacker gang tied to the jihadist militant group ISIS.Although the intruder failed to siphon any funds, the successful takeover of the account speaks volumes about why most organisations — including many financial institutions — remain woefully behind the times in authenticating their customers and staying ahead of identity thieves.On Christmas Eve morning, I received an email from Pay Pal stating that an email address had been added to my account.I immediately logged into my account from a pristine computer, changed the password, switched my email address back to to the primary contact address, and deleted the rogue email account.But by the time I got back home to a computer, my email address had been removed and my password had been changed.
So much for Pay Pal's supposed "monitoring;" the company couldn't even spot the same fraudulent email address when it was added a second time.
Pay Pal locked the account shortly after the assailant allegedly tried to send my money to the email account of the late Junaid Hussain, a 17-year-old member of the hacktivist group Team Poison.
Hussain — who used the nickname "Tri Ck" and is believed to have been a prominent ISIS propagandist online — was reportedly killed in a US-led drone strike earlier this year in Raqqa, Syria.
No doubt, the attempted transfer was a bid to further complicate matters for me by associating my account with known terrorists.
In my second call to Pay Pal, I insisted on speaking with a supervisor.
That person was able to tell me that, as I suspected, my (very long and complex) password was never really compromised.