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Armed with this info, the attackers called Amazon and were allowed to add a new credit card to his account.
After the first call, they called Amazon again and said they'd lost access to the account.
Because his Amazon and Apple accounts shared info, the attackers were able to access his Apple ID with nothing more than his home address, his name, and his email address.
The attackers took over his Twitter account, deleted his Google account, wiped his i Phone, i Pad, and Mac Book using the Find My Device function of i Cloud, and deleted his i Cloud-based backups for his i Phone and i Pad.The individuals responsible deleted his Google account, hijacked his Apple ID, took over his Twitter, deleted the backups of his i Pad and i Phone, wiped his i OS devices, and erased his Mac Book.The people responsible claimed they did it all because they liked his 3-character Twitter handle.With different passwords attached to each account, the liklihood that an attacker can get access to one account and then use that info to compromise all your other accounts goes down considerably.If Apple is going to give access to your account to anyone with your email address, home address, and last 4 digits of your credit card--information that your pizza delivery guy has--you shouldn't use that email address for anything important.But that isn't what left me terrified, reading Mat's story.Mat wasn't vulnerable because he did something dumb--like use the same password on all his accounts or share it with the wrong person.You can insulate yourself from this type of attack by following best practices and setting up your Apple and Amazon accounts to avoid the established holes in those services.We'll start with best practices: Backing up won't prevent an attack, but it will make recovery easier.In the space of an evening, Mat lost access to his main online accounts and his smartphone, tablet, and main PC.I'm going to say this again, because it's important.