How to trace and prove who’s hacked my phone

15 pts.
Tags:
Hacking
MMS
Security
worms
My phone was somehow accessed by a woman I met asking me to buy my used generator. She then used info from there to hack into my laptop, which uses a Wi-Fi router to get on line. She then began using my bank card to pay her bills, etc. Last year I finally changed my phone # (she was able to turn the phone on/off remotely, change the AT&T Cust Svc tele # in my Contacts (removing the 800 #, adding simply "611", and when I'd dial 611 I'd get a recording I knew was NOT AT&T. I took phone to AT&T; they confirmed it wasn't their cust svc line, but could do no more. However, after changing phone #'s and passwords, the unauthorized use of my bank card stopped...for a while. Then it began again, right after the same woman stopped by my house unannounced. She was parked on the road in front of the house. When I went outside to leave for the store, she walked up, acting all nice, make up a pretense for being here, and she had her phone in her hand. She didn't need her phone unless she wanted to record our conversation, but I don't think that's what she was doing; perhaps NFC?  I don't know. I've had a plethora of other problems, so I disconnected the router and am hard wired now. Paranoid, I did everything I could think of the block outsiders from accessing my network or my laptop directly. I even went to see the woman, feigning to be asking for help on how to stop "someone" from draining my bank account. She only flinched when I said I'd considered getting a new router. Also, she told me last year that she's got a computer science degree and can "hack anything", but she "wouldn't dare" because it might jeopardize her job.  So she's capable. She told me to change my password to something more difficult, to download an anti-virus software (I already had McAfee, which I hate, but it was there; and of course the Windows Firewall...she recommended Comodo), and said perhaps I had a worm, which she said a hacker could in theory use to suck info off my hard drive pretty much automatically. She did not like the idea of me changing routers though. This year, I've actually found her name linked to a few of the charges on my card, plus one of the charges is to a service, American Roaming Network, which can allow people to bill calls (or network service type things) to third parties. In my control panel I stumbled upon a window that shows the network connections in my laptop.  Usually, I'll see the printer icons, an icon for Windows Phone ("grayed" out if it's not plugged in), the icon for the cordless mouse...you know, Devices.  This time, though, I saw something new: an area titled "Multi Media Servers", and in it were 3 icons that look like little safes ("grayed" out).  One had my computer's name, one had my (recently closed out) email address, and the third was called "Kona Films" (no clue). All were called "multi media servers" and operated via Windows Media Player. In Networks and Sharing, I found where things were set to allow other users on the network to CONTROL AND CHANGE MY NETWORK AND SECURITY SETTINGS, and to not only stream my music and videos, pictures, DIRECTLY FROM MY PC, WITHOUT ME KNOWING, but also to put things ONTO my PC (that could get a person in big trouble if some miscreant felt like framing someone, like someone they were hacking who was getting too close maybe?  I don't know, but it stinks. Also, lately, my laptop shuts down BAM, without the usual low battery warning, and yesterday the Word file I had open when it happened was not recovered. Can't locate it anywhere. Error message said "cannot open...check file extension...", but in Properties everything looked normal.  I found a weird file I did not save or create in My Documents tonight, simply saved as "21", a Notepad doc (I don't use Notepad), so I opened it. It was garbage to me, but it led me some window about backing up file histories, and there were three "folders" selected for backup, one of which (I forget the name now) listed something under "Exclude" (from backing up, I guess), listed just like this: "AppData;AppData;AppData;AppDa"  (it ran out of room). That led me to the File History Backup Log.  There were 95 events between end of February and May 2, 2015.  All were either Warning! or Information or Error events in something called the File History Engine or the File History Core.  Only about 5 were in the Core.  In all those labeled F.H. Engine, there was a "security>userID" that was "S-1-5-21 - 1709......." (about 20 more digits, always the same string), BUT in the events in the Core, that UserID changed, to "S-1-5-18" (without the long string of other digits after); likewise, all events in the Engine were in folders I know and use (Documents, Pictures, Music...); but every time the UserID changed and the event was in the Core, it affected folders called "AppData" -- same name as those excluded things in the previous window.  I don't know squat, but I know it means something significant, for there is only one user of my PC, and it's me.  Further, in the My Documents folder, I've noticed new files popping up that I did not put there (like "21"); many have funny names, & when I open them, most say similarly the likes of: "the file does not exist", "java script error...'self' is not defined" and there may be an Identifier in a different file but connected to the first, which I just now learned (I think, if I understood it) is indicating a whole bunch of Java Script files strewn among my regular files. I googled Java script files and read about them, only to find I'm even more confused now.  I think all these weird goings on are connected, and my son thinks I'm a loon. I'm not a loon, just clueless, frustrated, and getting either over-imaginative or paranoid (not to mention broke).       Okay, so here are my Qs":  1. My laptop...how can it become a MMS (I think that's the right abbrev'n)?  Same Q about my old email address...how can an email address become a server?  Could a person use other people's devices as servers or routers or (? here's where it gets hard 'because I don't even know how to phrase the Qs right!) and then use them to hack into bank accounts, go phishing, send spam, open websites for profit that (get this) teach how to hack, reroute people's calls to some other device they control for heaven knows what purpose, etc.? What is the benefit of "spoofing" someone's IP address?  And most of all, HOW on earth can I spot her activities, how do I identify them, and can I trace them back to her using anything like a reverse phone look up type of thing?  The police won't make a report of identity theft via hacking because they don't understand how it could possibly be done and I can't explain it well enough.  The FBI hung up on me.  I filed a complaint with the FTC, but to myself I think, "good luck with that one". I know she's doing this, and not just to me. It's a whole scam she's running. BUT HOW DO I PROVE IT? Blargh! Please, please help, anyone! I need clear, simple directions that a kid could follow (in fact, a kid could probably follow them better than me...I'm 53 and this new tech stuff isn't my bag. Oh...I also get a lot of "Error 404: cannot find server" messages, and there's a new "file" under My Documents with an icon like a gray box with black characters on top and a blue musical note at the top right, and it's entitled "myoldemailaddress@hotmail.com (nameofmyPC)", and when I try to open it the box opens saying "Access Denied. kaujules@hotmail.com (jc4god) is denying access to your PC. CONTACT THE OWNER OF THE MEDIA SERVER TO ALLOW YOUR PC TO ACCESS IT". Huh? Oh, AND, under Windows Firewall in the Control panel, it shows that the "private network" is not connected (it's not...I unplugged the router) but the firewall is on and there is a green shield icon with a check mark in it; but what's really weird is that that PC is not connected to internet at all, not by cable or router, but in the box called "Guest or Public Networks" there is a red circle with a slash, but it says Connected and says the firewall is on. Even with the router, I'd set it up as a PRIVATE network, not public, so what is that?  Could it refer to the use of my computer and old email address as "multi media servers", and could they be "public" or "guest" because it's what the hacker's using? I'm so confused.

Software/Hardware used:
It began with a Nokia Lumia cell phone w/Windows 8; then my laptop (Win. 8.1). Had a LynkSys router, I thought secured. I confronted the suspect who suggested a Worm. I've been "losing" work, mostly Word docs, in the abyss of my laptop; they just "disappear", or I get error msgs saying "Cannot open file" or "cannot find file", they all say "the...'self' is not defined" and to check to file extension to be sure it's a ".doc" file (I check properties, it is, but won't open. System restore is useless. None of the anti-virus/malware softwares have detected any viruses & I don't know if they can detect worms. My network settings change out of the blue. Sometimes my login password (to the computer) isn't recognized (nor the PIN option). Javascript files are appearing in My Documents so I googled JS files...no help to this amateur.

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there is no way to gat the 3rd party hackers ouy of my & wifes cell she has gone through 30 cells because they lock op, mine google said it was signed out & sone as you sent a code it was no good. I believe they grt the message first & control what I receive. I have a mac # , I have an lg cell through t mobile.& no ic # also I did an up date on utube and lost my saved play lists. now when I go to new play I must go through google and shows some problem inyellow can you help I my have others on this acct. mike

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  • TheRealRaven
    How to trace and prove who’s hacked my phone

    In general, if you have to ask the question, you can't do it without a couple years of study in related fields and in the specific platform that has the problem.

    You can only (1) engage a professional who's already done the needed study, and/or (2) find your state or federal authority that handles such criminal activity and file a formal complaint.
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  • carlosdl
    That is a long text to read, and it my cause many people to skip it.

    It might be a good idea to reword it including only the most relevant details...  Just a suggestion.
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  • ToddN2000
    Sorry to hear your troubles. She may be using Remote Access Technology. It could also be a key logger. It might not even be her. If you are really concerned it may be her, have you gone to the authorities? This is the reason after being in IT for 30+ years I do not own a smart phone, do no online bill paying of any kind. I have sat in on enough seminars about identity theft and what we do to put our self at risk.. Not worth it.
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  • Jesusforever1
    I know that my phone has been hacked from my neighbor because she has her kids and friends tweet things i just said or did to taunt me. I have spoke with the local police but they can't help. I want to prove she's doing it and take it to the FBI can some provide what my option are.
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  • Jesusforever1
    What are the recommendations on preventing it?
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  • carlosdl
    That doesn't mean the phone was hacked.  It could be any other thing, such as your computer, your facebook account, etc.  You could even have a hidden microphone at home.

    It is hard to tell you how to prevent it without knowing exactly what happened.

    General rules include:

    • Make sure to correctly secure your home Wi-Fi router.
    • Don't open e-mails until you are completely safe they are legit.
    • Don't use public wi-fi.
    • Don't open your social media or online banking accounts from a public computer or any device to which more people has access.
    • Don't use names, birth dates, pet names, etc as passwords for any account.
    • Don't visit internet sites indiscriminately.
    • Don't install applications indiscriminately.  Pay attention to the permissions they require before installing them.
    • Install security software if available for your device.
    • Don't accept unknown people as "friends" on social networks.
    • Etc.
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  • ToddN2000
    If things are that bad you may be better off getting a PC tech to make a house call and check out your network to see if there is a breach anywhere. I know Best Buy has a geek squad that does things like this and I have a few local shops that make house calls as well. IT might be worth the cost because you may end up losing more in the long run it this continues. There are a lot of variables that could be causing the problem. You could try the anti virus program MWAV by eScan. It's free and work quite well. After installing it you will to do the update (this takes a while as there is a lot going on). After that run the scan. In total it take a couple of hours depending on how much data is on your PC.
    If you have access to another computer not on your network, like a friends, change all of your account passwords. IF you do this from your network and it's compromised with a key logger they will just get your new ones. Don't use your PC until you run the scan.
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  • Theateam
    I've got exactly the same problem... I also think it is a female from my old apartment block... It has been going on for over a year and same deal with the police.  Also been in contact with pride. Google.  Microsoft for hours and hours and hours... Everything u described plus much more crazy stuff... Spent thousands on new stuff but keeps coming back! Now I have many email addresses and changed phones 6 times and PC doesn't work now after paying for 3 repairs? This is ruining my life as it is sending me crazy!

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  • ToddN2000
    I see this happen a lot. People get hacked and are up the creek without a paddle so to speak. They go out and buy new equipment to make sure there is no virus or malware infection. Then they set up their accounts using the same old passwords they had before...They need to CHANGE all their passwords. Make them complicated so they are harder to hack. If you won't remember them get a password manager to do that. This way you only need to remember that one.
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  • daphoenixizreborn
    This is happening to a friend currently, and he has followed all the prevention steps, as well as factory reset most, if not all of his devices, cell phone, lap top, desk top, all apple products as well. This has been occurring for a few months now, to the point that initially everyone thought he was just paranoid, especially after he contacted the authorities, but they simply asked him to provide a person that was doing this, and until he could, they couldn't file a report even. Then while visiting him, he was receiving random notices requesting his updated password, or while accessing his paypal account, the phone number that he needed to verify to access his account was reverted back to his old phone number that he didn't have. Honestly, I'm worried about his mental and physical health as a result of this lunacy more than the repercussions of someone hacking into his network. Either way, if someone has followed all the steps, is there a service he can utilize to get a professional to help? 
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  • TheRealRaven
    @daphoenixizreborn :

    "...he was receiving random notices requesting his updated password,..."

    If that's all that's happening, such messages should simply be ignored/deleted.

    Without technical details, though, nothing can be done from here except advise 'safe computing'/'safe surfing' practices. When problems reappear, it's almost guaranteed that 'safe surfing' isn't being done; and problems will continue. An analysis of a couple months of unsanitized web history would likely show multiple problem sites being visited.

    "...he contacted the authorities..."

    Appropriate "authorities" depends on region. For me, it would be my state's Attorney General's office, rather than, say, local police or sheriff's office. We don't know who's appropriate for you, nor your friend. It should be possible to research on line.

    "...his paypal account, the phone number that he needed to verify to access his account was reverted back..."

    This user shouldn't be using PayPal nor doing anything financial on-line. It's unlikely that he'll change habits in any near future, so it should simply be avoided. The PayPal account should be deactivated.

    Also, he should set a "credit freeze". The freeze should continue until he learns how to use the Internet better. If necessary, a 'freeze' can be lifted temporarily. Of course, he should get and review copies of his credit report(s) just before the 'freeze' and immediately handle anything suspicious.

    "...is there a service he can utilize to get a professional to help?"

    Yes and no. If no search engine searches show anything close, try old fashioned phone books. (They still make them, though one might not be available for you.) Start with any place that offers "services". Not because they might have help to offer for the problem, but because they might know available local and reliable professionals. It may take multiple calls to find a reasonable contact. I wouldn't pin my future on it, though, nor would I expect good help to be cheap. Such individuals tend to work in business/professional environments and are often busy and expect payment for their valuable time (which may be a lot even for individual projects).

    In short, a search for "safe surfing practices" will bring many links. Copying numerous tutorials here does little good, particularly since some details can change over time. Better to read thoroughly at least a half dozen sites at the top of search results until each recommendation is understood so that they will actually be followed.

    A problem is that you need to verify that the "professional" has an actual place of business and that you can meet with him/her. A business license should be visible that you can verify with the issuing agency. So you can't just expect someone from the internet to do anything (good) for you. Someone who can actually help will need to work on the actual network where the problem exists and will need to (be able to) access each attached device, in person.

    Don't expect anyone simply to teach you what to do. Each type of device and type of networking takes different skill sets. Becoming competent on any one may take a year or more of solid study and practice. And of course, it's ongoing since they all change regularly. Worse, a good study of one today won't necessarily tell you things that are, say, ten years in the past that aren't used anymore even though the older capability still exists. It's not unheard of for some older, nearly forgotten feature to be exploited.

    Every hardware and software component is mind-numbing complex inside. The tiniest detail (e.g., a misplaced or missing comma or period, seriously) can create a vulnerability that no one noticed until... tomorrow, or never. And there are many components. They can be trivially easy to use (and abuse), but may take a career lifetime to master.
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  • daphoenixizreborn
    Thanks for the suggestions and insight @TheRealRaven!
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  • Leeaham57
    My phone has said several times phone is hacked please notify me of who this is. Please help.
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  • Subhendu Sen
    @Leeaham57, What model/manufacturer is your phone? How did you know that your phone is hacked? Is there any type of malfunctioning that made problems to operate your phone? Whatever happened, as early as possible, you take all necessary backups of your phone like contacts/photos/videos/memos/SMS etc. However more details are required.
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  • ToddN2000
    A lot of time you may see a pop up on a PC/phone saying you have been hacked or virus detected. Call this number for help or visit this site to remove. DON'T they are just scams to actually let the hackers in. They are preying on our fears. If you run an anti/virus app, check that to see if it returns any results. If you can provide info on what hardware and exactly how you saw this message it will help.
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  • daphoenixizreborn
    He has actually taken screen shots when the popups occur, but not entirely sure what use they will have when there is no one to report these to. In attempt to file a complaint with the FBI's special unit, they asked him to fill out a report online, with no option to submit the pictures as proof that there is foul play occurring. 
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  • DaJacko
    Who is hacking my phone?
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  • Subhendu Sen
    Dalacko, Please provide more details. Without knowing your mobile model/manufacturer and what happened exactly then not possible to provide good replies. Is there any malfunctioning/ not working at all.
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  • ToddN2000
    @DaJako: For most people, if your phone was hacked you will never find out who did it. The general public does not have access to the tools and information needed. You can try asking local law enforcement but in most cases it will not be a high priority for them unless threats are made. Provide more information as to what hardware you have and the symptoms and maybe we can point you in the right direction.
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