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Someone hacked my Dad's email- Help me out?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by greekorican, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    So sometime last night someone changed the password and account information on my dad's email, including password recovery. Whoever hacked it then sent this email to everyone in my dad's contact list.

    "I'm sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it's because of the situation of things right now, I'm stuck in London with family right now, we came down here on family vacation, we were robbed, worse of it is that bags, cash and cards and our cell phone were stolen at GUN POINT,and it's hard to get hold of a phone here in london it's such a crazy experience for us, we need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good thing is we still have our passport but don't have enough money to get our flight ticket back home, please i need you to loan us some money, will refund you as soon as we are back home, i promise."

    My dad called our ISP, they eventually reset the password after my dad couldn't figure out who is favorite actor was. (He was guessing John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, etc) It turns out his favorite actor is 50 Cent. This hacker is cracking me up.

    Anyway we changed the email password and the password to our router. We still can't send or receive an email with this account. Are there any other precautions I should take, and what should I do to get this account working? I'm stumped.
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Is your dad on FB or other social networking?
    Does he use the same password for all his accounts?
    This is typically how a hacker compromises an email account - taking pubicly available info (like what people post on their FB accounts), tracing them back to an email account, and trying the same password or others suggested by the data they've found.

    He should create several complex, non-sensical password (not based on his kids names, DOB, etc etc), and change the passwords for his other accounts also.

    Since at least one of his accounts have been compromised, his "security questions" for any accounts are also suspect (meaning someone knows what his answers were for at least that one account, probably for others).

    Feel free to PM me if you would like.
  3. I've no help, but that is very similar to what happened to a friend of a friend 2 weeks ago. We were at work (I got my friend a job in my office) and he got an IM from a friend. The conversation was similar to the email your Dad's friends received.

    While on the IM conversation, he called his buddy's home # and he answered! Not sure what was hacked first, but they had his IM, email and other accounts.
  4. Flyingaero


    Jan 12, 2010
    There are a lot of things it could be. Hopefully theres not a keylogger on your system that basicallly records everything you type. I think he should make a new account with a different service. I assume that was the email given with your internet service? There are ways to import your contacts into other email providers and then from there he could just send one of those "sorry for the inconvenience but my other email was hacked and I made this one as a safety precaution" sort of deals
  5. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    if there is a keylogger on his computer, should I reformat his computer? It's very possible that my dad was tricked into executing some kind of file. Should i be worried about other computers on the network? The ISP recommended that we change the password for our router as well.
  6. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Yeah, I left that out. You should do a very thorough virus scan on his computer. Make sure you are using up-to-date virus definitions.
    Reformatting the drive is a pretty drastic step (that would destroy all his existing data).
  7. this is a common one that's making the rounds right now. A local radio personality here in Dallas got clipped via Facebook a couple of months ago.
  8. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    I will check his virus software out and run a scan. I never use virus software, it irritates me to have it run at startup all the time. I've never had a huge problem with viruses on my computer, and by the time I get one, I want to try a new OS anyway.

    I hope there isn't a keylogger, because we just changed passwords. That would mean the hacker knows them already.
  9. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Back in the fall of last year, myself and numerous other people on Yahoo email had something similar happen whereby bogus emails were sent out to everybody on the contact list. The one and only fake email was for a male enhancement pill. I had no idea it happened until some female friends of mine wanted to know why I sent it to them.

    I had to redo out all of my email account information and Norton virus scan information and my computer files just to be safe. The good thing is that Yahoo keeps all email data saved on their server and when I went through the process of reloading, everything was still there. I updated everything on my computer. My friends who had similar things happen to them had to reload their email to get rid of it too.
  10. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    If you are using windows this is near suicidal.
  11. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Inactive

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    I've never installed a virus software on any of my personal computers (running XP, Vista, and soon to be 7) and I've NEVER had a problem. If you surf the web with Mozilla with no-script installed and ad blocker, and you don't hang around shady porn sites, the chances of you picking up a virus are pretty small.
  12. that you know of...

    Are you aware of the hundreds of virus out there that port scan netblocks for holes to infiltrate... they attack non browser and email client services and may not be noticed until it's already spread roots and invited friends.
  13. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Its very easy to pick one up from a file that a colleague or friend sends to you (unknowingly), and viruses also need not travel the file route - there are many viruses out in the wild that do not require files as a transmission vector. Windows still has many unplugged security loopholes.

    To me the benefits of a properly running antivirus far outweigh the difficulty (little) or expense (none) of running a free one.

    +1. For all you know your computer is already part of a botnet. Nothing may appear different on the surface. Do read up on the Conficker worm (wiki is an acceptable source) and what a malicious program is capable of doing.
  14. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    This is true, though you do have to be critically careful of files that anyone else may send to you.
  15. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    You're assuming Windows is a secure program in which the only security breaches are user-caused.

    It's not.
  16. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    There are about 60 million daily attacks coming from computer farms in North America. Daily.

    These attacks come from viruses that do not disturb the behavior of your computer, unless the program creator or user toggles an attack from it. The last thing he wants is this virus being noticeable.

    You're obviously not seeing signs of destructive attacks on your comp, but a big part of the role of an antivirus is to make sure you're not the one sending them.

    / I have an antivirus on my Mac. It mainly scans my inbound and outbound files for Windows-based malicious programs.
  17. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    One of the people on the contact list to my uncle, who works in IT/Computer Science. He sent an email to me saying that it looks like we've got a phishing virus. My mother was also on his contact list, and we did open the email on her computer. Is it possible that the virus was in email that was sent from my dad's account? We didn't download any files from the email, how likely is it that my mom's computer is infected too?
  18. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    James is right, it's people like you that are messing up Al Gore's internet!

    Just kidding but seriously, run AVG at very least. You can set it to scan manually so it won't scan on every start-up.
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