Hacking a computer and remote access

Sat 14 Dec, 2013 02:13 am
I know very little about programming when it comes to computers.

What happened was an elderly friend of mine called me and was having problems with their computer. I went there and the isp homepage was a white screen. It kept trying to redirect to another site.

I could access the internet so I figured it was just the home page. I unplugged the router, no change. I unplugged the modem, no change. I called the isp and told them their home page wasn't working.The person told me to do what I already did. When I mentioned about the redirect, they said it was normal. I disagreed.

The computer is Windows 7 and the browser is IE vs. 11...

I told my friend not to do ANYTHING!!! with the computer and I would call them when I got home.I called and the line was busy.

Finally, my friend called me back and said they were hacked.They told me someone from their isp called them and said hackers were in the process of getting into their computer.

My first thought was oh no, you didn't enter anything or tell them anything.Yep my friend put in codes in their computer.Then I said don't tell me you gave these people any financial info. Yep, my friend gave them bank account info.

I told my friend to hang up, call their isp and if it wasn't them, call their bank and stop any transaction. They did that and stopped the payment.

I spent over 4 hours looking over their computer today.I wanted to do a clean install except they don't have the disk that came with the computer. What I did do was a restore prior to the date this incident happened.

Is there anything else I can do except trash the pc......

btw the company was called sd websolutions ltd (going off memory). I can't find them on the internet.

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Sat 14 Dec, 2013 03:10 am
You definently did all the necessary steps in order to protect their bank info and such. You have already checked for unknown files, it seems. Best thing to do is wipe it, unless you are 100% sure it hasnt corrupted any files. Oh, before you do anything, what kind of thing did the hack do? was the redirect resulting from the hack? Also, if you havent already, surf the web. find out if other people have experienced silmular situations. Oh, and hopefully your friend backed up his files...
Btw, you sure it was a hack? It may have been just a virus. Or maybe i misread your post.
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Sat 14 Dec, 2013 07:42 am
A possible scenario:
1. Many computers crash or freeze. Often the user is not a techie and thinks "I've been hacked!".

2. There are scammers who phone people at random pretending to be the person's ISP, and inform them that their computer has been hacked.

3. Sometimes they will get lucky and call someone who is (a) gullible and (b) worried about their computer. They then induce that person to pay to have the computer "cleaned up". They will often induce the victim to allow them remote access during which they plant viruses which they then "remove". Usually the victim supplies credit card details for payment for the "service".

4. Now the victim is put on a list of gullible people (along with people who answer spam emails, etc) who can be further rooked.

ISPS will almost never call individuals to tell them their computer has been hacked. Such calls are very likely to be fake.
Sat 14 Dec, 2013 08:20 am
The call from the "isp" is the only part of this story that has me worried.

Your friend (or you) should call the bank and make sure that the bank understands clearly that some stranger has their bank information. This was the biggest problem by far (and surprisingly has nothing to do with the computer).

This scam wasn't after "taking control" of the computer. The scam was after being able to cause enough fear to get the victim to give out their bank information over the phone.

I suspect there was no "hacking" of your friends computer involved in this scam. The question is how did they get her phone number (did she type it in?) although this is probably available on the internet. The rest of what they did could be done simply with a well-designed web page (no virus or malware needed).

I would install a good anti-virus software. It would be nice to have someone with some expertise to do this, around here you can get this done for under $100. If you have a computer geek friend, you can do it for much less.

What you did, especially yanking the cord from the internet, was reasonable. It may have been a bit of an overreaction. But you should buy up-to-date Internet security software and install it. A clean install would work, of course, but in my opinion this is a lot of unnecessary work.

Sat 14 Dec, 2013 08:52 am
maxdancona wrote:
The question is how did they get her phone number

From the phone book, probably. It works like this: either obtain phone directory CDs directly, or make them like this: get paper phone directory books, guillotine near the spine to make a stack of pages, pass them through a sheet-fed scanner, use OCR (optical character recognition) software to turn the names, addresses and numbers into digital data, burn to CD, sell to telemarketing companies, scammers, in fact anyone. They are freely available in Asia. There are call centers in India, Philippines, Indonesia, and elsewhere, equipped with computerised dialling equipment. The computer chews its way through millions of numbers, dialling them. If a phone answers, (and often, additionally, when the computer hears a voice) the call is routed to a waiting call center operator, who has the number and name on their screen. At this point the number is logged as a 'live' one, and can be added to a smaller, more valuable list. I get a fair number of these calls. The landline phone at my house is registered to another person called Wilson. She is Miss Wilson, although the phone book just says "E. Wilson". The phone rings, I say "hello", I hear a click, a voice says "Is that Mr Wilson?" Thus I know it's a cold caller using a British phone list. I have had the "your computer has a virus" call a number of times. Sometimes they say they are calling from "your ISP". If I ask them which one, they just guess. Other times they say they are from the "Microsoft Security Department", which does not exist. The whole idea is to find non-savvy people who can be scammed.
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Sat 14 Dec, 2013 08:43 pm
contrex wrote:
A possible scenario:
Many computers crash or freeze. Often the user is not a techie and thinks "I've been hacked!".
ISPS will almost never call individuals to tell them their computer has been hacked. Such calls are very likely to be fake.
Thank you and I understand what you are writing. I just don't like people who take advantage of elderly people. From what that person told me, it wasn't a virus. These people convinced my friend that their computer was being hacked and had them type in words, letters, idk because they can't remember. I did my best to help that person.

The reason I believe this so called company had remote access is because they knew what was on the desktop. That was after my friend typed in what these people told my friend to type in their computer.
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Tue 17 Dec, 2013 10:31 am
I told my friend to call the bank and they actually drove to the bank. They explained to the manager what happened and the bank cancelled the account (it is a debit account) and will open a new one. The manager assured my friend that their money will be safe.

I don't know how they got my friend's phone number, how they knew who their isp is or how they knew the home page was down.

My friend has a good anti-virus program and I did a scan and nothing showed up. Without knowing exactly what was typed into the computer, I was at a loss.

According to my friend, the people who called never had them go to a website. My friend didn't know how to access the internet without the homepage working. I did and the only page I accessed was google, did a search and never clicked on any page. That is how I figured it was just the home page being down.

The reason I know the name of the company I listed in the op was because my friend was sent an email from a different company. One of which I have never heard of and in that email it said the amount of money that was transferred through them to that company.

The email had misspelled words and the only contact info was a gmail acct.

After I did the restore, I did change their email password. My friend wasn't too happy with what I picked Laughing Laughing Laughing
Tue 17 Dec, 2013 10:37 am
Several of the new scams are done with only a clever web page (rather than a virus). If she has an update anti-virus software, I wouldn't worry any more.

I assume you picked a strong password (meaning more than 8 characters, not dictionary words with a mix of letters and numbers). Great email passwords are important since your email can be used to get access to your bank account (a trend I personally think is stupid).

She can have a weaker throw-away password for the things that don't matter so much. And an email password should only be an email password. It should not be used for any other account (in my opinion).

You did a good thing Trying2Learn. I hope your friend appreciates it.

Tue 17 Dec, 2013 11:27 am
My friend only uses the internet for email purposes. Yes I picked a very strong password. From what I can tell, nothing strange is going on with their computer. I told that person the password, don't know if they remember it though. I just log into their account, at their request, and take care of their emails based on what I think they want.

My email password has nothing to do with my finances. My financial passwords aren't written down anywhere which is really tough sometimes because I have to remember all of them. They are all different. Then again I know all my credit card numbers, exp date and even the 3 digit code on the back. Probably weird but it works.

My friend does appreciate what I did.
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