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I have been hacked. Am I safe for the future?

ktran714

2 months ago

My laptop has been hacked for a while now. The first time I realized it was compromised was when I noticed a software that I already had on my computer was installed again and it appeared on my desktop. Another occurrence was when my system restore point option was mysteriously enabled when I had it selected to be disabled for the longest time, although I’m not sure if this is considered a sign of being hacked but I’ve read online that the first part is.

I’m just using this laptop temporarily until I have enough money to start my first PC build with hopes that I can start fresh, new and with some countermeasures that I’ve read online to protect myself against hackers. It feels like my laptop has been “hijacked” by a hacker(s) on the other end because I’ve also noticed my screen refresh itself on multiple occasions but idk what that could mean. I do have a few questions though so please bear with me.

Once I complete my PC build should I start new email accounts, gaming accounts like Steam and other online accounts because I’ve developed a minor paranoia that if I use the same accounts or softwares that I had originally used on my laptop for my new PC, the hacker(s) can hack me again through the “bugged” accounts and softwares. Also, how effective are the tips from this website and this website? Does anyone have any other recommendations and what are your thoughts on this as well.

I know this is a lot to read but hopefully I can get a few things cleared up lol. Thanks.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Chances are you weren't "hacked" but have some malware on your machine. On a side note, I'd be curious what software reinstalled itself.

Step 1: Open task manager and go to Processes. Google search any one you don't recognize. Kill any suspicious processes.

Step 2: Download Malwarebytes and run a scan. (Note: if Malwarebytes won't download or run, try using Ninite to download and install it. If it still refuses to run, something is still running in the background and blocking it. Things get trickier. See section at bottom)

Step 3: Download a second scanner, such as Kaspersky's Virus Removal Tool, and run another scan.

Step 4: Use a tool like Autoruns to see what is automatically starting on your PC, if anything, but it should be cleared of anything suspicious by now.

Step 5: Uninstall any software you don't recognize or need. If you aren't sure of the reputation of a particular piece of software, try to find info online or ask here.

Step 6: Consider installing a free antivirus solution like Bitdefender or Kaspersky.

Step 7: If you think your accounts were compromised (you can check the names of any malware that was discovered on the PC on the scans run earlier) then change your passwords.

Optional: Set up two factor authentication on sites that support it. I'd particularly focus on any sites where you use or save information such as addresses, birthdates, credit cards, and the like.

If you can't get malware scans to download and run even after killing processes: You will need an emergency boot disk to run malware scans from. Alternatively, use a live Linux boot disk to peel off any files you need, scan them, and move them elsewhere, and do a completely clean install of Windows.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Interesting. The software that automatically installed a duplicate was the free version of AVG Antivirus. Happened three times.

As for killing unknown processes in the task manager I honestly don’t know which are normally running and which are the unknown entities because I don’t often open the task manager and analyze all of that. I’m not much of a computer/tech savvy person so I’m very noob at all of this lol. As for the system restore point being enabled on its own, do you have any idea what that might be due to?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

free version of AVG

Is it genuine AVG? I've seen some malware that disguises itself and looks similar to AVG. Been a while, but possible.

unknown processes

Google them. Otherwise, you can try skipping that step; however, if you can't download and run Malwarebytes/other scanning tools, something may be actively running and blocking it.

system restore

This is harder to tell. I wouldn't get caught up on this point. If the last system restore point is for a point in which you were already infected, you might as well delete those restore points.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Well idk if it's genuine or not. It was the first site when searching for it on Google so I assumed it was.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

If you don't remember installing it, it could have been installed by a pre-checked checkbox in another piece of software's installer. However, it should remain uninstalled. If it is reinstalling itself, either it isn't uninstalling completely and self-repairing or it isn't a genuine install, being dumped likely by either a reinstall script or another piece of malware.

If it is malware, then Malwarebytes/kaspersky virus removal tool/etc. should detect it as such.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Well I downloaded it the first time with intent but twice after that there were duplicates out of nowhere, so I just deleted it and scanned my system with Malwarebytes and AVG. As for using Kaspersky softwares, someone on this site told me to read about this and ever since then I decided not to use that software. What are some other good tools for this kinda thing?

I might replace AVG with Norton.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

if you did not clean up your laptop, this should be your first priority.

What did you use to scan your laptop for bad guys?

are you still using personal information on this laptop?

consider a software backup like Acronis True Image to restore your laptop to a "clean install" in minutes. Like nothing happened

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Well all I did was just scanned it with AVG and Malwarebytes. I don’t really have any personal information on the laptop but when I log onto my online accounts to pay bills I do have to type in my usernames and passwords, and my personal information would be on there. Idk what a software back up is but I did factory reset my laptop every time that happened to me.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

If you really think you were hacked, reformat and reinstall your OS. Access is gone along with everything else you had. Norton 360 is fairly cheap and works good. You can set it so any incoming or outgoing traffic has to have permission.

No need to start new accounts just reset the passwords.

You should always have some kind of antivirus software on any PC. Some are better than others.

  • 2 months ago
  • 0 points

What abt windows defender

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