Hack this email account… plz plz plz!

At least he was polite about it…

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Running a security blog means that I’m always interested in receiving tips about data breaches, vulnerabilities, malware attacks, and the like.

But I do explain that I’m not available to help troubleshoot PC problems or provide technical support – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and it doesn’t put any crumbs on the dining room table.

Furthermore, I make it pretty explicit that I won’t tell you how to hack your partner’s Facebook account because you suspect they’re cheating on you. Oddly this seems to be one of the most frequent requests I receive.

This morning, however, I received a very polite message from a reader of the blog.

Part of the message reads:

I want you to hack an email account which is :[REDACTED]@gmail.com
I’m not able to hack this is plz help me for that and after hacking email it’s password to me because I want to use it as my Google account I’d plz sir /madame plz plz plz…. Plz help and you you have to keep yourself promise as you said above plz

I don’t know why my correspondent doesn’t simply ask (in a similarly polite fashion) for the owners of the gmail address he’s interested in to kindly give it to him.

Surely if he says plz enough they’ll be happy to oblige, no hacking required!

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The chap who emailed me said on my online form that he’s happy for me to publish his name. Maybe I should…?

If you have any thoughts on how I should respond, plz feel free to leave a comment below.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

6 comments on “Hack this email account… plz plz plz!”

  1. Maybe contact the person at the target email address and point them to this article so they know someone is trying to take over their account?

    1. @Rich,
      Even better, email the owner and ask how much money would they need to give up the account. Take that and email the "hacker" with that price as the cost of the hack. If he agrees, let him know the owner is willing to part with the account for that much money and to just offer to buy next time.

  2. I think anyone who does any kind of online support gets this kind of crap all the time. I know I do. I actually hired part time assistants several years ago to weed it out from the incoming question stream. WELL worth the expense.

    Always fascinated me how adding z's to plz is supposed to make me more likely to consider the request. Naturally it does just the opposite. Also leads me to believe it's mostly kids (or adults that act like children) trying to hack their friends. You probably also get a constant stream of "I can't login to my account, can you help me get it back?" requests.

    All I can say is … SIGH.

  3. This guy asking you to hack an email account sounds like he might be a prankster, trying to see if you’ll at least publish something about. No sane person who’s not a prankster would openly beg you to hack an email account.

    That he offered his own name suggests that once the prank played out, he expected his 15 minutes of fame.

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