Many of you may have seen the eMails that come though that says your account has been hacked because I am sending this email from your account. Well actually most of our users don’t get to see this message as it picked up by spam filters. That is because it is spam and an idle threat. If you read it; which you shouldn’t because it’s bad and will cause you problems if you download the virus that can be downloaded just by opening it on some devices and computers.
If you do happen to receive one then just delete it because it is not possible, in most cases, for them to actually send email from your account without your username and password. Yes reading the email you will be led to believe that they have this information and only by opening it could you actually give it to them. It is possible to spoof an eMail address and it is actually very easy to do, so don’t believe them just because of that. Sometimes they actually give you a password as well in the subject of the eMail to make it more believable, but again they probably do not have it. These eMails should be picked up as spam because whilst it is easy to spoof the address it is not so easy to spoof the sending IP address of the server that sent the email and that has to match the predefined servers allowed to send email from that domain name. That is why they end up in spam; because they did not come from the correct server.
What to do if you believe that you have been hacked
It is possible sometime to be hacked and if you believe that you have been hacked then you should follow the steps below to secure yourself again.
- Login to webmail from a different computer and change the affect password (account password or App password)
- On your computer (or all computers if you’re not sure which one is infected) run a full (or deep) scan of the computer with your antivirus program.
- Open the start menu and type “MRT” and press enter.
- You should get the Microsoft Remove Tool open up
- Run a full scan with this
- You can also run another antivirus scan but that would depend on what you have currently installed on your computer as they may conflict with each other. A good one that we often use is Malwarebytes but it is now well known and so less effective than it used to be.
Once you are sure your computer is clear of infections then you can put the new password in.
There is wisdom in the saying:
Once infected with a virus or malware of any sort you can never again trust the computer and should therefore complete a full factory restore of the computer.
This is because the virus makers are always one step ahead of the anti-virus makers and so you don’t know what new tricks they have for getting themselves back in. Most of the viruses these days are cleverly written and take in to account antivirus software and have ways to circumvent them, which the antivirus manufactures find out about and block but in the mean time they can get in and do what they want.