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Throughout the past 2 years; I have received email messages (about 6 or 7 cumulative) in which I responded to about 3. Which were personalized messages from a series of 3 email addresses. Nothing offensive is written within them; just weird within one or two sentences regarding my business or an off the wall job request. Written in terrible English, 99% sure its a Russian person. (Which is the capital of email hacks I hear)

Anyway I had set my spam filter to trash them immediately; but had responded to about 3 prior; telling the person I am not interested and to stop emailing me. Since I had responded; am I at risk of being hacked here?

From the way they are written; and the fact that it's not stopping - I certainly feel it is a hack attempt. And each message seems like a big attempt at getting me to respond.

Now that my spam filters are in place; just wondering if there is anything else I can / should do.

Cheers!

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It's a broad question, and here is a broad explanation. I believe you're at low risk to be hacked, assuming you follow good computing habits, and don't have any other risk factors you haven't told us about.

An email itself is just text. Assuming you haven't given away any personal or technical information when you replied, the recipient only knows that:

  • the email account is active
  • your email provider, and their mail server details
  • your ISP (maybe, if you are using an email account they provided)

This isn't enough information to effect a reliable attack on your computer. They would need additional details like:

  • your OS, browser, and browser plugin versions and patch levels (to use unpatched exploits)
  • your firewall settings (to attempt brute force attacks against SSH or RDP or similar)

Alternatively, they would need you to run malware on your computer (usually emailed to you disguised as something else. e.g. anna-kournikova-naked.jpg.exe)

Furthermore, we assume you have no traits that would interest an attacker, hence no motive for a targeted attack.

So keep your OS and software up to date, don't run malware (accidentally or on purpose), and it should be fine. It's unlikely that the person you replied to has enough information to target you specifically.

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  • Thanks @scuzzy just seems each message is specifically attempting me to Open and Respond. Cheers for the advice! Nov 17 '13 at 0:06

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