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Poll: Has your personal computer ever been hacked?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 25, 2011 7:48 AM PDT

Has your personal computer ever been hacked?

-- Yes, once. (Tell us about it.)
-- Yes, many times. (Tell us why so often.)
-- No, never. (Tell us how you know.)
-- I don't know.

Discuss it here. If you had experience with your computer being hacked, please share your story with us, so we can learn from it. Thanks!

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Has your personal computer ever been hacked?
by Manhattan / March 25, 2011 10:51 AM PDT

Ihave worked in information technology for over 40 years. I have heard about, and seen, "hacked" computer. In ALL cases it was a lack of diligence in using Anti-Malware, Anti-Spyware and a daily look in what condition the Firewall was. I firmly believe that, if you think you do not have to do all this, you will do twice as much afterwards. But, I have a weird example how dangerous Anti-Virus Software itself can get: the Prime Example: Kaspersky. I was not prepared for their kind of tricks. I downloaded a 30-day trial. Kaspersky constantly interrupted my work. ON TOP OF THAT, THEY HAD ACTUALLY LOCKED THEIR PIECE OF HIGHLY ADVERTISED JUNKWARE. I had to pay $140 for a company in Toronto to unlock what this weirdos from Russia or the Ukraine had done, and done so on purpose. So, I have one warning: BE CAREFUL WITH TRIAL SOFTWARE AND THE RESULTS THE TRIAL GIVES YOU AS OPPOSED TO THE VALUES ONCE YOU BOUGHT THE DAMN THING. NOTHING LIKE THAT EVEN REMOTELY EVER HAPPENED AGAIN.

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has your personal computer ever been hacked?
by colencole / April 6, 2011 6:27 AM PDT

NO is the answer. i had 5 computers on my network which is protected by Norton network and Norton 360, Norton internet security 2011, on my hard drivers i have macafee which protects them.

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Yes Once
by Lennatron / March 25, 2011 11:00 AM PDT

It was awful. I ended up with all off these Trojans and then I believe I was hacked because Dora Explorer sounds started playing without my web browser being opened. (I was using Chrome but that stopped working over the viruses so I got Firefox which eventually got hijacked) I had been emailing a security expert over and he took me through the usual, download MBAM, Anti Spyware, PC Cleanup(Or something like that) He eventually mentioned Combo Fix but said that he "Didn't know enough about Windows 7 and would be nervous advising me to use it) So I didn't but a few days later we have been trying to get it off but we couldn't so I thought screw it, I'm getting Combo Fix, my computer is already messed up, what can I lose. So I ignored all of those warnings about advice from an expert and downloaded it myself and scanned it. It did find most of the viruses but not all of them. It made my computer run without Safe Mode without crashing. I tried do download Avast (My computer has previously been protected by Kaspersky which got destroyed by the virus and was useless) but the installation failed due to the remaining viruses. I then tried AVG which installed fine. About five seconds after the install finished it crashed. The install had finished in time. When I started my computer again AVG began detecting the Trojans and attempting to block them. I did a scan with AVG and it found several. I then scanned with MBAM and the other tools to get what it missed. Today my computer is virus free but the damage is done. The Media Player no longer works, Kadpersky doesn't work due to a missing or corrupt DLL file, and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 always fails to install which just pisses me off.

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Sometimes a re-install is the right answer...
by Doh_1 / March 25, 2011 1:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes Once

If the damage from malware is bad enough, sometimes the right thing is to re-install the system. You have to be careful with an infected computer, even the data that you'd like to save may have malware lurking in it (unless you can get that data from a backup made before you got infected), and/or the malware that you thought that you removed is still there in some form. At any rate, starting over is a good way to go sometimes.

I'm a big fan of system restore, but there are times when your system restore backups can get infected as well, so you can do a system restore, but you just get re-infected. So the only rational thing to do is to do a clean install. That way you get a working system, and if you're lucky enough to have a backup that you did before you were infected, you're golden after you restore that.

Good reason for doing fairly frequent backups, by the way.

Anyways, sorry to hear about all the problems...I've not had such a serious malware attack, myself, but I've had a couple of minor skirmishes that my antivirus/antimalware software has handled.


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Has your personal computer ever been hacked?
by LAUTAY6 / March 25, 2011 11:41 AM PDT

Not to my knowledge it hasn't. I am extremely careful while online. I keep my computer "cleaned out" after being online using disk cleanup as well as a wonderful
software product by Webroot called "Window Washer", which I have been using for several years now.

I also never click on links, either sent to me by people I'm familiar with or any link, period. I type the link in myself.

So far, so good. Hope I never get hacked!!

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Not since I stopped using Nortons
by peripo / March 25, 2011 4:09 PM PDT

5+ years ago I used Nortons Anti-Virus. In those days despite the fact that I stayed away from the sites they warn are magnets for hackers and never accepted cookies unless I knew what what they were for, blah blah. What I failed to realize at the time was that it was Nortons that was the magnet!
So I decided to find out more about how my computer worked and how the internet worked and what I could do to stop having to reformat and reinstall the OS on my PC once a year, got myself a different anti-virus software (I don't stay with the same one now either - when the license expires I change brand) and I bought a Mac. Now I do all my internet and email biz on the Macs (have 6 now) and just use the PCs(got 6 of them too) for playing about and of course they're connected to the net, but only for OS and antivirus updates..
Not helpful you say? Maybe not - but I haven't had any problems with hacking or malware or hijacked Address Books and Contact Lists since then.
I'm currently using Avira on my PCs and I recommend it. I just use common sense on my Macs and that's kept me out of trouble with them.
By the way, this isn't a recommendation that people rush out and buy Macs, frankly I'd be just as happy if their popularity would stop. My fear is that now that so many people are moving to Mac that the miserable sods who hack and write viruses, trojans and malware will move their attention from Windows to OSX.

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Agreed-Norton A/V
by Boogaloo / March 25, 2011 11:28 PM PDT

I quit using Norton years ago. I tried it in the beginning of XP's history. It ran anywhere BUT in the background, continually ranted, crashed programs if they were not written specifically with Norton in mind, was wholly IMPOSSIBLE to completely uninstall without wiping a hard drive, continually ranted AFTER uninstalling, and the whole experience reached the level of concluding that Norton, itself, was MALWARE in the first order.
If there is the first hint of a Norton item in a new computer, it is the FIRST thing that is removed. For all I know, it's much improved, but I don't care to find out.

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Norton is much better now
by burntmoon / March 26, 2011 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Agreed-Norton A/V

I have been using Norton Internet Security programs since 2008 and they work very good but it does use up much RAM when doing a scan. As a back up just to find different types of Spyware I use Spyware Doctor from the Google Pack offer. It is free and not just a simple trial version.
And yes I also have heard that their Norton Anti-Virus program is almost useless but the Internet Security program does work.

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Re: Antivirus Protection
by LAUTAY6 / March 26, 2011 2:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Agreed-Norton A/V

I use Microsoft Security Essentials for antivirus protection as well as spyware protection. I make sure virus definitions are up to date; also spyware definitions.

I regularly back up my computer and make sure the firewall is activated (Microsoft Security Essentials will let me know if it isn't). Never the less I check myself to make sure all is working as necessary. I also download updates and security patches from Microsoft.

As I posted earlier, one cannot be too careful when online. Had the offer for Norton A/V; glad I didn't take it! Had Norton in the past, but chose not to use it this time.

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by l8rb / March 25, 2011 5:53 PM PDT

November 2000: my wife's Gateway PC (256/2Gb Win ME, AOL Dial-up, bundled McAfee A/V) suddenly starts sending spam to all her contacts...at idle! Unit was 8 months old, but Gateway would not honor any repair warranty for 'Intrusions'. Took it to a repair shop, and $250+a week got her going again with a new hard drive -- and gave me the impetus to learn more!

July 2003: My first PC (512/20Gb HP, XP, Juno dial-up, Free Zone Alarm F-wall and bundled Norton A/V) locks-up while in a printing job off-line. Desparately needing it for my job, I did not have the time to self-troubleshoot and use my newly learned skills. Repair shop told me later it wouldn't have mattered as it was infested with one of those new-fangled 'Trojan' thingy's, and even HE couldn't make it work. He bid $400 to install a new hard drive and re-load the OS...opted for replacement of entire unit @ $550.

December 2009: My first laptop ('07 HP 1.5Gb/160Gb, XP, DSL (finally!!), Paid ZoneAlarm A/V/F, MBAM run monthly) starts randomly going to websites other than what I input while online, and getting more sluggish and unresponsive offline. Suddenly I get a message saying my hard drive is infected and may crash soon. I immediately acquired an external hard drive and backed it up...and went to a freind who runs a shop to verify my diagnosis. He put a CD in the drive, pushed three buttons, and pulled the power cord and battery out before he took out his CD. He then said the screen was correct and I had some 10 or 12 trojans in it, and it would be cheaper to replace the drive. I picked up a 320Gb for $90, and he installed it w/OS for $100. Still using it now, wishing I could afford to replace it with a newer, faster, and larger Win7 unit.

November 2010: Home PC ('04 Compaq 2Gb/80Gb[IDE] XP, hardwired DSL, Paid ZoneAlarm A/V/F, MBAM run whenever started, turned off when not used). I was doing some random research for european automobiles trying to identify a car I had seen on tv, when I clicked on a link on a Google results page, and all toothpicks broke loose!! I suddenly had a flashing screen with images jumping up and covering each other, finishing in a page saying "We have identified 17 trojans in your machine! Click here to be taken to a site to remove them." I immediately disconnected the DSL wiring. NOTHING I could do changed that screen...not re-boots, or virus scans...all ended back on this same scam! Even power disconnect for days would not dislodge it. I have purchased two new hard drives, and am waiting to be able to afford whatever best deal I can find on an XP load disc.

Killing is too good for these jokers! How about gouging their eyes out, popping their eardrums, and cutting off at least two fingers on each hand!!!

So, Yes, Many times. And until there is a change of some sort, I don't expect to ever feel completely safe with computers. Saddest part to me is: I don't book faces, my space is not online, and I am NOT a twit. I've had just as good a luck with free A/V as paid. I trust online banking and storage about as far as I can smell it. True 'Internet Security' is naught more than a sales department's buzzphrase.

So I'll remain an agnostic buddhist: I'd like to believe in the goodness of man, but I'd really like to see some first!!

Brad G

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Why care ?
by hifly.liu / March 25, 2011 9:43 PM PDT

1. I use Windows Vista Genuine Install Disk
2. I don't use any third party software if Microsoft has same function software.
3. I format first HDD and re-install Windows Vista.

So why do I need to care about any evil intension software ?

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Once or twice
by lawli56 / March 25, 2011 10:18 PM PDT

Back in the past when I was a newbie my browser got hijacked a couple of times and I probably had a virus or two but generally these days I'm much more careful about what I click on when browsing. I run good anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs, which are kept updated, and a good two-way firewall.

I'm also extremely careful about what I download and don't open attachments or emails from unknown sources. My junk filters get a lot of use and I check my logs regularly. My important files and passwords are encrypted.

With care and a lot of luck I've had no real problems, I've certainly never had to re-install my PC because of a virus or malware. Although as a technician I've had to do that many times at work.

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by Boogaloo / March 25, 2011 11:12 PM PDT

Years ago, prior to more mature AV/Trojan scanners and firewalls, a Wisconsin kid captured a $0 balance card number for $470 in on-line purchases. It took my attorney 10-minutes to retrieve his address and phone number with the aid of the statement.

The parents were shocked when my attorney proved what he had done. We offered two options. Pay all costs involved, including interest and my documented time and rate for running it down or pay thousands to an attorney to defend him against local in-state larceny and wire fraud charges. This would mean taking his computer and looking for all the other card numbers he has stolen and ramp up the charges, accordingly. The parents understood, helped him choose wisely, and payments had to be with money he earned. It could not come from his parents.

It cost him $3000 to steal $470. It did take one 'courtesy' call from the local prosecutor when he failed to make the first payment. It went like clockwork from there. The report is that his whole attitude changed and I can only presume that's true.

It worked because I didn't care what it cost to prove the point and the local prosecutor was kind enough to cooperate to avoid a trial. Everyone involved won, most particularly the kid and my attorney will never, ever dare look me in the eye and say that principle doesn't matter ... ever again. Besides, he got more out of it than any one else, the schmuck!!

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by K51773 / March 26, 2011 1:25 AM PDT

Love the way you dealt with this problem. Congratulations on coming up with a true punishment and not just a slap on the wrist.

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Look out for phony VNC remote access program
by burntmoon / March 26, 2011 2:29 AM PDT

This is still on the net so you have to be very careful about which version you are installing on your pc. I had a hacker get control of my pc several years ago when an IT guy that was trying to help me asked me to install VNC so he could have remote access to my pc to check out any problems. But I ended up installing a phony version of this program from Cambridge University that allowed the hacker to create dozens of back doors to my pc. My IT guy refused to believe this was possible until one day we were trying to use it to allow him to fix a problem and at the same time the hacker started to use my pc for his/her use. My IT guy could not believe that after so many years in this field that this was the 1st time he witnessed a hacking job in progress. He came over right away and by doing a simple Search for VNC we found almost 30 back doors all named VNC. After deleting the program and also removing those back door links the hacking problem was gone and has never come back since and that was around 2002 on that bad Windows ME system. Now happily using XP since 2003 with all security updates and a very reliable anti-virus tool no more hacking. And I will only allow a techie from that anti virus company to have a temporary remote access to find any new problem that got past security, but this is very rare problem. Only 3 times since 2003.

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What Irony: I was hacked again
by burntmoon / March 27, 2011 7:54 PM PDT

I just wrote that I thought everything was okay with my security and that I was hacked back in 2002. Well as I just found out I was hacked again since the middle of March by some one who was able to attach a virus on one of my blogs that gave him total access to my pc and my b/w usage went off the meter. That is when I figured out that there was a serious issue and even though I blame Norton for not stopping it they claim that I let it in by clicking on a connecting link to my blog to check on a new visitor's url. This cost me 100 bucks for Norton to fix and remove something that their program should have stopped in the first place. The free trial version of Antivir is better than having to pay for a useless program.

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Not Norton's fault
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 27, 2011 8:04 PM PDT

No anti-virus will catch everything, and certainly web site 'drive-by' malware is entirely the responsibility of the user.

I have to wonder, if you got infected by your own blog, how many visitors to your blog have also been infected. Many of those will not use Norton anyway and it is for you to ensure that your blog web site is free from malware which can cause havoc for visitors.

It is a common misconception that anti-virus utilities can check all web sites for malware. They cannot, and to blame your anti-virus for this when visitors to your web site are subject to the same risk seems a little severe to me.


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According to Norton
by burntmoon / March 28, 2011 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Not Norton's fault

According to Norton the virus got onto my blog when I clicked on a visitor's url to see who they are or where in the world they are visiting again. And yes I got it removed just as soon as I knew it was there. It was a hacker looking for free bandwith usage on some one's dime. Thankfully for me at least my ISP said they will not charge me for the hacker's usage and I am sorry if some one else got nailed from my blog in the few days it took for me to realize what was going on. But I believe that if you pay for an A/V program it should do as advertised if not a good free one like Antivir trial version is my next choice. I had used that program for years before switching to Norton because it came with this PC when I bought it. This was my 1st new PC instead of buying used or refurbished equipment in the past and I am very pleased with the hardware but just not happy with Norton and I want the world to know that Norton is not reliable.

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Have I ever been hacked? How would I know?
by Hartiq / March 26, 2011 3:04 AM PDT

Once, years ago, my sister watched while a hacker did things on her screen inside her Yahoo email account. Her *machine* wasn't compromised, just the webmail account. She hasn't had any more troubles since I showed her the difference between weak and strong passwords.
In the days of Win'95, maybe even Win 3.11, I once brought a floppy home from work which my system found a virus on. I have never since had a confirmed virus on any of my machines.
Caveat: never that I know of.
If there's a hacker skillful enough, I would never know he was on my machines. I would see no trace of him. He wouldn't slow down anything or delete anything or even interfere in any way.
It's possible I'm hacked to the eyeteeth, by spies and thieves and general no-goodniks from sevarl countries. If they are sufficiently better at their game than I am at mine, I would never suspect them.
Security, physical or electronic, is a fence. It will keep out those too lazy to climb over it or too dim to pick the gate-lock. Build a better fence and you block more skillful climbers and lockpickers. But no fence will ever block everyone and everything.
There is no such thing as secure.
Not even a box that is never connected to anything else. Such a thing can be physically hacked by an onsite human agent.
All of the foregoing is obvious and well-known. All we can do is build as tough, high, thick and wide a fence as we can afford, and not attract the atention of the real spy-guys.
And hope.
I *think* my boxes are fairly safe. Ish. So long as no one sees them as worth the effort of a personal attack.
I don't do dangerous stuff, and I keep my antibad-guy software up to date.
But I could still have been silently hacked.
So could we all.
Even the bad-guys and spies.

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Hacked mac or PC
by never2u / March 26, 2011 8:15 AM PDT

I would love to see this question again asking if the the person owns a PC or Mac.

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& Norton accepted responsibility!
by ClissaT / March 26, 2011 12:46 PM PDT

I had edited video for upload to youtube & had a variety of web pages open including Photobucket. While the video was uploading to youtube I fell asleep at my desk. When I awoke I could not believe what I was looking at!!!

My desktop was all messed up with things moved all around. My files were also moved around & there were security messages popping up left, right & center!! lol

Out of my fuddled brain rang a heap of alarm bells as I realized my computer had been infiltrated & hacked.

When I looked at recently used programs I could see MSM & some file transfer program were the most recent on the list. Since I never use either of them, that is obviously how the hackers got away with the loot.

The 'loot' included the WHOLE of my Outlook Express!!! It was totally GONE ! lol Since there was nothing else of great importance it was more of a nusiance than an security shambles.

But getting it all sorted afterwards was the BIG PROBLEM. I enlisted the help of 2 computer technicians, neither of which was able to help at all.

So I slept on it & on the second night I awoke with the answer..... This should never have happened if Norton had been doing it's job properly. I had the fully paid up version of Symantec everything.

I contacted them via chat & they sent me through to a technician & within an hour he had restored my computer to as new, found all the messed up stuff except OE which was indeed GONE. So they reloaded OE for me & gave me a written apology accepting full responsibility & giving me the latest upgrade which was 2009 at that time for free.

Apparently they had just that day discovered a new hacking ring that was getting into people's computers when they had both youtube & photobucket open similtaniously.

WOW that was lucky!! I felt very violated though, that someone got into my computer & chucked stuff around everywhere. Obviously kids doing it for kicks. But loosing my OE was a bit of a problem. After that I changed how & where I stored stuff. For a long time I made sure I never had those 2 pages open at the same time.

These days I have AVG fully paid & have had no problems for 2 yrs...touch wood!

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no, I do not think so
by manmur / March 26, 2011 4:33 PM PDT

I am careful at what a am downloading. I always download from trusted sites. I also do a security scan on every thing that I downloaded.

I do run security software (firewall, Anti-virus, Anti-malware,and host file).

Also I do not go to any hacker sites/forms and brag about my security software. As I am aware that their will be always be some one that will be able to get in.

I also do 99% of my web browsing in a sandbox.

In all of by browser I do use a program called the web of trust. I use it as a "guide" to stay away from the bad sites. While I know it is not fool poof it does help.

I also block most ads from my browsers. I have seen too many ads that are for a dangerous product or something that I find disturbing. I do Allow ads on the sites that I go on all the time. Even then It is once in a while.

In the Firefox I use the NoScript add-on. I find that it helps in preventing scrips from running that I do not allow. At the same time run the scripts that I do allow. I like to see this in other browsers.

In the end of it all I use my brain to make the deciding factor if I am going to a site that I have never been to or download a program from a strange site that I have ever herd of.

While security software do help; they cannot prevent you from making mistakes.

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Many times

A virus (which my 6 year old son put on my computer-it was a game) got on my computer when I wasn't around, and unfortunately, my network has media sharing, so it spread throughout my network, and somehow got to my server. I kinda got hacked once, but since I have a server (I inherited it from my dad's old network, he worked at home), my wife has a laptop, and I have my own computer, all on the same network, it's like getting hacked many times. Thank god all the computers were under warranty, or I would've had to fork out over $300 to fix the network.

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Sad & Cautionary Tale of Hacking & Fraud
by crazyquiltmom / March 27, 2011 12:56 AM PDT

My PC was hacked just once, but the amount of time & money involved & the stress of thinking I could lose nearly $1700 that I did not have to lose cannot be measured.

I still don't know if it was a keylogger that affected my computer or a Trojan that allowed my computer to be taken over by a proxy. The hacker had my name, address, & phone number. The only thing different was the email address - not mine.

I had my check/debit card number with a major credit card logo hacked which allowed some individual to make multiple purchases amounting to nearly $1700 from my checking account but using the credit card number. I discovered this over a weekend, & while I filed a claim immediately with my bank for the fraudulent charges, I had to wait until the charges actually cleared to begin proceedings.

To add insult to injury, another online retailer called me on a Monday asking me if I had initiated another purchase of about $500. It was their policy to call the cardholder if the cardholder's name differed from the name on the account opened with the retailer. The first online retailer apparently did not have such safeguards against fraud.

After nearly 40 days, the bank's investigation suggested that the charges came from my computer which they did not. I could, however, continue to dispute the claim. I offered evidence in writing that indicated there was no way these charges were mine. Finally, just short of 60 days, the bank notified me that their investigation was complete, & I had been vindicated. I have no idea how closely the bank worked with the online retailer in their investigation or if the bank decided in the interest of consumer happiness/satisfaction, to "eat" the charges, & I suppose it does not really matter to my story because I had a favorable outcome.

In the meantime, I took my computer, a Toshiba laptop, to a big box store's tech department to try to locate, isolate, & delete the virus. Their recommendation was to wipe the hard drive, reformat it, & reinstall my operating system + any other software I wanted or needed. I received my computer back after nearly 2 weeks, having been charged about $150 to do this, including backing up my files which just meant saving them to my thumb drive, which had I known better, I could have done & saved the money.

I have McAfee on my computer, but it did not alert me that a virus or Trojan had infected my computer until it already had been infected, & only when I ran a full virus scan. By then, the damage had been done.

These days, I try to avoid using key strokes to input passwords or numbers for credit cards or checking accounts, using "Character Map" that I have been told confounds keyloggers. And never rely on anti-virus software to protect my computer because they do not alert the user until it is too late & the computer has already been infected.

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Hacked? Define hacked...
by JayeD / March 27, 2011 8:54 AM PDT

Thanks to CNET recommendations I have been using 'AVAST Antivirus' & 'Glary Utilities' on all my equipment. Avast antivirus notified me that it detected a Trojan on my ASUS RPG. I ran a boot scan, deleted it, then ran Glary Utilities a couple of times...fixed. No issues, or damage to any of my laptops thanks to always using & updating Antivirus & spy ware programs. Eternal vigilance & CNET keep me free from hack attacks.

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by grey1960envoy / March 27, 2011 4:26 PM PDT

I haven't had the issue as Linux is very hard to hack, I'm not saying it is impossible BUT very unlikely. Now if I were using A windoze box I would certainly be on the alert for such a devious ploy. In my home everything has its place; Linux on my computers,windows in the walls & M$ in the trash!!!!

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Computer Hacked experience
by cnemo1 / March 28, 2011 6:30 AM PDT

I clicked on a link to see a schematic diagram that was offered off the Makezine website for a Make project. The web site with the schematic had a malware program that downloaded a malware program that would not let me run any program until I downloaded a recommended(by the malware) program to get rid of an "infection" it said it found. The malware was still present after I shut the computer off and then re-booted. My system guy told me to get a down load of Malware Bytes Anti-Malware. I had to boot my computer up in the "Safe" mode so the malware wouldn't run and block me running my browser. I downloaded Malware Bytes Anti-malware, ran it in the "Safe" mode, it found 8 trojans and/
or malware and removed or quaraintined them. After that,I booted up normal and the malware was gone.
So I recommend running Malware Bytes Anti-Malware on a regular basis just in case you visited a site with a malware that got onto your computer, but the
symptoms have not become apparent to you yet. I am running Windows XP SP3 on a 1.8GHz DuoCore Intel CPU, 2 GB DRAM.

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No, Never
by BroJohn2 / March 29, 2011 6:30 AM PDT

I use a firewall, (Comodo), Anti-Virus (AVG), and a rootkit checker every few weeks, as well as M$ Security Client, and Windows Defender. Firefox for browsing and Thunderbird for email. If google ever gets their act together I might switch browsers, but as long as they don't work with roboform I will not use their Chrome browser.

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Never been hacked, but a few other problems
by amphiprion / April 6, 2011 3:40 PM PDT
In reply to: No, Never

I've never actually been hacked, fortunately. I have experienced rogues and adware in the past, though, as well as being phished. This has, luckily enough, been about 8-9 years ago and I haven't had any recent issues, which I attribute to a number of things. They are, in no particular order:

1) common sense and good browsing habits.

2) hardware firewall (first line of defense when you have a lapse in judgement)

3) antivirus suite w/ software firewall--I use Norton Internet Security. Despite some of the hate it still receives, Norton is actually a top-notch AV with stellar overall protection. Scanning is done when the computer is idle and initiates full scans with zero trust. I also use aggressive heuristic settings (but not Sonar, which is aggressive enough as it is).

4) Anti-malware--as one may well imagine, Malwarebytes anti-malware is king here. I actually run the Pro version in conjunction with Norton and they run beautifully together (on several different machines, too). I schedule a quick scan daily and full scan weekly.

5) Anti-Spyware--I run SuperAntiSpyware, which is also an excellent program. I also run its real-time module (again, same as MBAM). It scans daily.

6) Sandboxing--amazingly useful type of application. I use Sandboxie, which allows me to see exactly what has been downloaded and whether or not I should allow it into the system proper.

7) Cleanup--I use CCleaner on a schedule using the /AUTO function, running twice daily. Keeps temp files and other potential risks at bay.

Cool Good browser security--I opt for Firefox, since it has a relative wealth of security plugins, many of which are integral parts of my security lineup. I personally use Web of Trust (WOT), BetterPrivacy, AdBlock, and NoScript. The latter has been the handiest, but all are great plugins.

That may be excessive to some, but it works well for me and has kept 5+ systems with many users clean for years now. Even with all of this, I'll occasionally (say, every 3 months or so) use a separate online scanner, like ESET, Panda, or BitDefender as a second opinion.

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Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.