Imagine a postman turning up on your doorstep with thousands of letters – a rare concept these days, I know, but please think of that image for a moment. Would you bother to sift through all the junk mail, or would you just give up the will to live and consign the whole lot to the recycle bin?

The cyber criminals are counting on you feeling the same way if a load of spam emails should land in your inbox.

This is the reason that cyber criminals have taken up subscription bombing. Instead of letters landing on your doormat, hundreds of emails bombard your inbox confirming that you have just subscribed to several weird and wonderful newsletters and websites. As they are not exactly spam, your spam filters will allow them through.

Why would a hacker take the trouble to set up subscriptions for you to a number of newsletters? Obfuscation! Just as a fare dodger will attempt to get on a train by bustling in with a crowd of commuters, the one email you must see is hidden in a mountain of emails.

What were you not meant to see?

Subscription bombing is used to mask malicious activity. If your bank account has been hacked, chances are that the bank will try to alert you to unusual activity. We have seen an example of a shopping account being compromised, and hundreds of pounds-worth of goods being scheduled for delivery to an address which isn’t yours. All alerted by email, but swamped by the other email noise.

What should you do if you get a sudden influx of unrequested emails?

1 Search for the important email relating to one of your accounts.

2 Notify the supplier that you did not make the payment/place the order.

3 Change your passwords on the affected account, and any other accounts where you used the same password (but of course you wouldn’t do that, would you?)

4 Consider beefing up your security (multi-factor authorisation MFA, password managers).

If you are at all worried about activity in your email inbox, please contact Computer Troubleshooters. Happy to check it out for you.

Better safe than sorry.

Contact Suzanne Rice, Computer Troubleshooters on 01732 300064