Account Hijacking

What Does Account Hijacking Mean?

Account hijacking is a process through which an individual’s email account, computer account or any other account associated with a computing device or service is stolen or hijacked by a hacker.

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It is a type of identity theft in which the hacker uses the stolen account information to carry out malicious or unauthorized activity.

Techopedia Explains Account Hijacking

In account hijacking, a hacker uses a compromised email account to impersonate the account owner. Typically, account hijacking is carried out through phishing, sending spoofed emails to the user, password guessing or a number of other hacking tactics. In many cases, an email account is linked to a user’s various online services, such as social networks and financial accounts. The hacker can use the account to retrieve the person's personal information, perform financial transactions, create new accounts, and ask the account owner's contacts for money or help with an illegitimate activity.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.