03 Apr 13 Signs that You have been Hacked
In today’s threat landscape, hackers are continually changing their tactics. While some hackers will let you know with alerts and messages, others can be harder to detect. We are breaking down a few signs that you have been hacked that you might want to get your device assessed for a breach.
One of the worst things to see is a sudden screen take-over telling them all their data is encrypted and asking for a payment to unlock it. Small businesses, large businesses, hospitals, police stations, and even entire cities are being brought to a halt by ransomware. About 50% of the victims pay the ransom so they do not lose everything, however, some businesses are not as lucky and lose their entire business to ransomware.
Even after you pay the ransom, it can take several days of downtime and additional recovery steps. This is why we recommend having a good, reliable, tested, offline backups. If your business can’t be down for a single day, we recommend also including a business continuity solution and disaster recovery.
Fake antivirus message.
You get a pop-up message on your device that it is infected. This pop-up message pretends to be an antivirus scanning product and is said to have found a malware infection on your device. The worse scenario is that the fake AV message has compromised your computer. If this is the case, power down your computer. If you need to save anything and can do it, do so before powering down. Then restore your system to a previously known clean image. Most operating systems have reset features built especially for this.
Unwanted browser toolbars.
Another sign that you been hacked is that your browser has multiple new toolbars with names that seem to designate the toolbar and are supposed to help you. Unless you recognize the, it’s time to get rid of it. You can usually avoid malicious toolbars by making sure that all your software is fully patched and updated.
Redirected Internet searches.
Many hackers make their living by redirecting your browser somewhere you don’t want to go. The hacker gets paid by getting your clicks to appear on someone else’s website. They often don’t know that the clicks to their site are from malicious redirection.
Frequent random pop-ups.
When you are getting random browser pop-ups from websites that don’t usually generate them, this could mean that your device has been hacked.
Fake social media invitations.
Have you ever gotten a friend request from a friend, but noticed that their account looks fake? This could indicate your social account has been hacked, and the hacker has created a second near-look-alike page. It’s vital not to accept the friend request, let the person know, and report it.
An online password isn’t working.
If you are typing in your online password correctly and it isn’t working, then you might be hacked. Once you know for sure that your current password is no longer working, it’s likely that a hacker has logged in using your password and changed it to keep you out.
What usually happens in this scenario is that the victim responded to an authentic-looking phishing email that claimed to be from the service. The hacker uses it to collect the login information, log on, and changes the password.
If you report your account as compromised, most of the time, the service will help you restore your authorized access. If the compromised logon information is used on other websites, immediately change those passwords. Go to the website directly to change the password. Also, consider enacting MFA for your accounts to add another layer of protection.
Unexpected software installs.
Unexpected software installs are a huge sign that your computer has been hacked. Most malware programs usually install themselves like legitimate programs. Many programs will show you all your installed programs and let you selectively disable them.
Mouse moves and makes selections.
If your mouse pointer moves while making selections that work, you have been hacked. If it starts happening, take a minute before turning it off to determine what the intruders are interested in, when it makes sense, power off the computer, and unhook it from the network. Then, call the experts.
Using another device, immediately change all your other login names and passwords. Check your bank account transaction histories, stock accounts, etc. We also recommend maybe think about paying for a credit-monitoring service.
Money is missing from the online account.
This sign is usually caused by your device being compromised or from a phishing email. To prevent this from happening, we recommend utilizing transaction alerts that send text alerts to you when something unusual is happening. Many financial institutions allow you to set limits on transaction amounts or transfer locations.
Notified that you been hacked.
This is one of the most common ways that an organization finds out they have been successfully compromised is a notification by an unrelated third party. If you get a notification, we recommend verifying it to ensure that you genuinely have been compromised. If confirmed, follow your incident response plan.
Unusual network traffic.
If you noticed unusual network traffic that you cannot explain, it’s probably best to kill the network connection and start an investigation. Most of these signs that you been hacked can be avoided with good cyber hygiene practices. Contact our team to get your free assessment and recommendations for your network, before an event happens.