Help me figure how puter was hacked–?

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    • #4007

      In my attempts to protect my toddler granddaughter from harm, I’ve been attacked through many means, one being my private correspondence via my computer/internet. Details of the harm my granddaughter is faced with are not as important in this forum as my finding out how to prevent someone from making me appear to have used the internet in a harmful way against my daughter and her family.

      I believe that my daughter or someone she knows is using some means to access my emails, Facebook, and other areas to locate any info I’ve been sharing regarding the harm to my granddaughter.

      Example: Private correspondence I had with a psychologist thru Facebook suddenly appeared on her public WALL 3 days after I sent the private message. The public display on the WALL was copied and pasted from the private message in 3 parts and the icon indicated I did it when in fact I hadn’t.

      Another example: I sent an email to an individual and the content [which was altered to imply different intentions than originally meant] of that email was made available in a court document to imply I made a threat when I had not. This info was obtained through some means other than the receiver of it giving it out the info. Additionally, the original email had been deleted from my mailbox so that I cannot show that the email was altered. The person I sent the email to cannot find it, either.

      I need help in finding out how to prove that this has happened. This is a very difficult thing to ask as I’m not sure this forum will be willing to help me although it appears you guys have the knowledge to help me. She and her husband and some of their friends are all in this together but I have yet to prove it fully. They have gone as far as coaching my little granddaughter to act in terror when she hears my name although the little one has not seen me or spoken to me since 2006 when she was only 2 1/2.  She will be 6 in a few weeks.

      Because I went to my daughter’s pediatrician 3 years ago with some very alarming things my granddaughter told me about her father, my daughter has not allowed me to see the grandchildren ( just had the 3rd in June) since 2006. The doctor reported them to the child protective services. This year 4 reports were made, according to my daughter, one of which was made by me. Obviously, some other people have concerns as well.

      Due to more reports having been made to CPS, my daughter and her husband and some of their friends have conspired to find ways to report me from Mental Health Mobile unit to Adult Protective svces to the Dist Attorney to Family Court.  If anything, my daughter is digging her own grave with her teeth as she has had to lie to bring false complaints against me so that I appear not credible. One post was asking her ‘friends’ to beat me. The authorities look at this as a family squabble but my daughter’s actions are getting out of hand and quite serious. If I can find a way to prove that my computer has been hacked, then they will entertain my concerns. I know for sure it’s being accessed no matter how many times I change my password. I’ve even gotten emails alerting me to password changes from AOL as I sit at the computer! I’ve been told they are probably doing something similar to ‘sharing’ like techs do when they help with a computer problem and are able to see what I see and access what I access.

      PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP!!!  Thank you in advance…Jennifer

    • #25530

      I would first start by scanning your computer for any Malware/Viruses etc..
      It’s possible that your computer is infected with either a keylogger or some other type of malware, so I’d start there first
      There are a few free applications that may help to scan and remove malware from your computer:
      Spybot – Search & Destroy

      I’d also recommend changing all your passwords for email, Face Book and other applications that require a password, only after you have scanned and removed any malware from your computer .. or use a computer that you know is clean of malware.

    • #25531

      Yeah, I’ll second that.  Scan the computer, preferably offline.  I would use a computer you know to be clean to download the installers for Komodo and/or AVG and spybot S&D (all free).  Then I’d put them on a thumb drive and scan your computer.  Once you know the computer is clean, go change all your passwords for facebook, your computer, etc.  The reason I say to download offline is that some malware will prevent you from downloading this type of software or worse will redirect you to a site to download an infected equivalent.  If you believe you are infected, why risk it?  Use another computer.  Thumb drives are so cheap now that you can’t use money as an excuse (< $10, just get whatever is in the bargain bin, I'm not taking about more than 200M, I don't even think they manufacture drives smaller than 4G anymore).

      Is your computer on a home network?  If so, you should disable file sharing, etc.  It took me < 10 minutes to "hack" into my brother in law's computer this Christmas on the wireless network (I use quotes because it was so void of challenge that it isn't worth calling hacking).  I don't even think he realized some of the stuff he had on his computer.  But he was connected to the wireless LAN and that's all it takes (well, that and some guessed credentials if we're talking XP SP2 or later).

      Finally, as Data_Raid said, change your passwords.  If you are like many other people, you rotate between < 5 passwords.  You've probably used at least one of these on some questionable bulletin board/forum  where the administrator may be capturing your password.  He can then take your password and username (most people keep these consistent as well) and log into another forum posing as you.  This is most low tech way to impersonate you.  Just out of curiosity, level with us and tell us how many passwords you rotate between for your computer, facebook, email, etc.  Is the password you used for this forum the same as your facebook password?  BTW, while you are changing your passwords, you should make sure that they are reasonably strong (good length and mix of characters) and NOT some permutation of your username.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    • #25532

      As this isn’t a case of someone doing something benign to be funny, but appears to be pretty serious,  I’d contact a lawyer as soon as possible to talk about what is going on.  I am not a lawyer, but I suspect that this breaks a number of laws.  The lawyer can talk to you about your situation and the impact of bringing law enforcement into it.  

      It sounds like you have some pretty serious stuff going on, and just getting your computer clean may only be the half of it.  I would talk to a lawyer before you clean your computer.  If you start taking all of the bad stuff off, it makes it harder for people to figure out what happened.  Until then, I wouldn’t do anything sensitive on your computer. If the lawyer says nothing can be done, then clean away, change passwords etc, but if online “evidence” is being brought into court, you are going to want to bring this to the attention of someone outside of this community.

      Hope this helps

    • #25533

      I would talk to a lawyer before you clean your computer.  If you start taking all of the bad stuff off, it makes it harder for people to figure out what happened.

      I second that. I would also advice you to use a clean computer and change all your passwords and do not use your emails for now as they could be used against you, go for a telephone instead.

      If they have your passwords then they could even send fake emails from your account which could be used against you.

    • #25534

      I can second most statemetns done so far. It is highly recommended to change all your passwords and credentials, but on a clean machine. Maybe you can do it from a friends machine you truly can trust.
      Also you should not use everywhere the same password but different ones. Another thing to consider is that even if you changed all your passwords etc. you should not use them in public places such as internet cafes as often there are the things logged too and could be missused at a later time.

      Although is is highly recommended to run AV-software, anti-spyware software and similar, you can not trust them fully. It is not very hard to modify some malicious software so that it can’t be detected by such software as they are mostly using signatures.

      Another recommendation I can give is not to publish any personal information from you, even if it seems not sensitive at all (maybe your name would not harm but still it should not be published if you are not aware of possible risks associated with it, e.g. idendity theft).

      If you have a second machine maybe you can ask someone who is knowing his stuff in forensics, you may let him take a look at you main machine as it could be possible to trace back the attacker, if someone is present (e.g. trace back where logs are sent to etc.).

      Apart from all this I would recommend to go to police and a specialized lawyer.

    • #25535

      I recommend not giving so much detail in a public forum.

      Chane all your passwords at the same time (within an hour) and ensure they are both complicated and long, reinstall all of your computers OS’s, change any forgot password ‘secret’ questions/answers to things not even your family would know.

      Before doing the above seek professional legal advice.

    • #25536

      I didn’t originally mention going for legal advice, but that’s always a possibility.  The problem here is that based on the information given so far, I don’t think it meets the investigative threshold for computer crime here in the states.  Unless you are talking about hiring an investigator out of pocket for a civil case, talking to a lawyer is a waste of time (and money).

      Of course, to cover my own butt, I’ll also suggest you seek legal advice.

    • #25537

      1. Get legal help
      2. Change passwords
      3. Change your “password reset” questions. A lot of these services ask you personal questions in order to reset your password. Since this is your daughter I would presume she would know where you went to high school, your first pet, favorite sports team, etc.

    • #25538

      Timmedin, that is a really good point about the “security” questions.  As they move to the more generic, I find that I know most of my wife’s questions (even though we grew up in different states).  I’m sure my kids will know all of my questions long before they’re old enough to want to do anything really malicious.

      I’m changing mine now to some generic fake answers I can always remember….

    • #25539

      I think I never entered a real answer to those questions as for the above mentioned risks. Certainly many people do it (and publish the answers in some form on a social network..), so that’s a good recommendation too.

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