15 Signs You’ve Been Hacked

Here is an interesting list that CSO Magazine created. Create your own list first and see how many match.

#1 – You see a ransomware message on your screen. Seeing a message like that can ruin your day and if it is one of the new ransomware 2.0 strains, your day just got really bad.

#2 – You get a fake anti-virus pop-up message. Usually a message pops up that your device (phone, computer) is infected and if you will only click this link, all will be right with the world. If you fall for it and click, if you weren’t infected before, you are infected now.

#3 – You see unknown browser toolbars. Ones that you did not install. Sometimes these are just there to generate ad clicks, but sometimes they are more nefarious. In any case, get rid of them.

#4 – You Internet searches are redirected. That is because the hackers that infected your system are getting paid to misdirect you. Usually, it is no worse that that.

#5 – You see random frequent popups. Boy this one is old school. Again they are trying to get you to click on stuff – either to install more malware or get paid for the clicks or steal your data. In any case, not good.

#6 – Your friends get social media invites that you didn’t send. Likely the person’s profile is a fake and accepting that friend request will have “fringe benefits” and not the good type.

#7 – Your online password doesn’t work. If you are sure the password that you are entering is correct, consider that a hacker compromised your account and changed your password to lock you out.

#8 – You see an unexpected software installation. It could be that the install is legit. It is equally possible that the installation is rogue, potentially unwanted or malicious. Check out what is going on.

#9 – Your mouse moves without you touching it. If the mouse movement is completely random, it could be a hardware problem. If the mouse starts making clicks – clicks that work – you HAVE been hacked. For sure.

#10 – Your anti-malware, task manager or register editor stops working. This is not a coincidence. Promise. Assuming this is the case, a repair is in order and may be difficult to ensure that you really have all of it removed.

#11 – Your online account is missing money. Probably a lot of money. Not a good sign. Typically they will empty the account. To an offshore bank.

#12 – You are notified by someone else that you have been hacked. Like the FBI notified the DNC in 2016. Not a good sign. Sometimes it may be a credit card processor. No matter who, it is probably a bad sign.

#13 – Your confidential data shows up in a place where it doesn’t belong. Like in the news or on the dark web. I am not sure there is a best case/worst case scenario here. Just worse and worser, if that is a word.

#14 – Your credentials show up in a password dump. Depending on the credentials, it could be someone else’s system that got hacked, but if it is internal credentials, it is probably yours.

#15 – Your observe strange traffic patterns on your network. This is never a good sign and likely an indicator that someone other than the good guys is involved.

If you observe any of these situations, contact your security provider or IT department immediately. If it is on your personal PC, you probably will need professional assistance. What you don’t want to do is think you have the bad guys disabled when all you have done is lulled yourself into a false sense of security.

For a lot more information, see this article in CSO Online.

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