Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. This is beneficial if you want to buy something. But it also makes the company a popular target for cybercrime.
If a hacker can figure out a way to gain access to people's accounts, they will have millions of potential victims. And many hackers have become effective at doing exactly that. This is partially because many users are not even aware that hackers want their accounts. This leads to weak security practices which hackers can easily exploit.
So what exactly happens when your Amazon account is hacked and how are hackers achieving it?
If somebody takes possession of your Amazon account, their first step is usually to change your account details. In doing so, they make it harder for you to get your account back.
After that, they will attempt to purchase items using your stored payment details. Amazon allows you to have items shipped to almost any address.
The hacker might have products shipped to themselves (potentially using an empty house). Or they will have items shipped to a third party who has been tricked into receiving fraudulent purchases.
Either option makes it difficult for the perpetrator to be prosecuted. Most hackers purchase items with the intention of reselling them immediately afterwards.MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY
Hacking Amazon accounts is a profitable business. And there are many ways that it can be achieved.
Phishing emails are the most effective option for hacking Amazon accounts. Due to the popularity of the company, hackers can send out thousands of these emails at random and it's likely that most recipients will have an account.
The emails are typically designed to look like they come directly from Amazon. The quality varies widely but some emails are highly convincing.
Each email will include instructions to click on a link. The link will then take the recipient to a website which appears to be Amazon but is actually a phishing website.
Once the victim enters their account details, their password goes straight to the hacker.
Solution: Here are a few ways to recognize an Amazon phishing email:
If you use a weak password for your Amazon account, it's possible that a hacker will be able to crack it using automated software.
Solution: Your password should be over 10 characters and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Whenever you sign up for a website, you run the risk of that website being hacked and your password being stolen and published online.
If you use the same password on multiple websites, a hack on one website can result in multiple accounts being compromised.
Solution: Your Amazon account password should not be used anywhere else. In fact, all your accounts should have unique passwords.
A keylogger is a type of malicious software that, once installed on a computer, records keystrokes. This type of software can easily be used to steal your Amazon account password.
Solution: To stop keylogging attacks, avoid malicious websites and install antivirus software on your computer.
If the email address associated with your Amazon account is compromised, the attacker can use that address to access your account.
Solution: The email address associated with your Amazon account should have a strong, unique password. Two-factor authentication (2FA) should also be enabled.
All of the hacking methods outlined above can be prevented by activating two-factor authentication on your account.
This security measure makes it very difficult for anyone to access your account without also having access to your 2FA device (which is usually your phone).
To set up 2FA, log in to your Amazon account, visit your Amazon account page, and select Login and Security.
If you think that your Amazon account has been hacked, it's important to do something about it immediately. Most hackers will continue to make fraudulent purchases until they are locked out.
If you're able to log in to your account, you should change your password immediately. You should then look at both your contact details and your order history for any sign of unauthorized use.
If you're unable to log in to your account, you will need to phone Amazon customer support at 1-888-280-4331 (American customers only; other territories have specific contact details you need to use and can find on your account). You will then be asked a series of questions and your account should be returned to you quickly.
If fraudulent orders have been made, you may be able to cancel them before they have been delivered. Otherwise, it's recommended you contact your bank who may be able get a refund on your behalf.
If you're not sure how your account was hacked, it's a good idea to change all of your passwords and check all of your accounts for signs of unauthorized activity.
Having your Amazon account hacked isn't quite as bad as having your bank or email account hacked. But depending on the attached payment method, it can be a very expensive problem.
If you follow the advice above, it becomes very difficult for hackers to gain access to your account.
You can also remove the threat completely by deleting your financial details and entering your card number manually for each purchase.
What Is Hacking and How Did It Start? Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorElliot Nesbo(85 Articles Published)
Elliot is a freelance tech writer. He primarily writes about fintech and cybersecurity.MoreFrom Elliot Nesbo
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