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How to deal with a persistent hacker

By mr.blacksociety ·
EDIT: Thanks for the suggestions. I'll just reformat my computer and use preventive measures against further hacking. I understand there are some who think I should take legal action but in our country, something like that requires money and tedious process. Besides, I am outnumbered by the attackers (yes, the truth is, they're a group). If I told the school administrators, the hackers can easily conspire to hide the truth. More importantly, I have no recorded proof against them. It would be a greater loss if I fight back legally.


I need help in removing malware/virus in my computer. I don't know what kind of malware it is but I have noticed some symptoms that indicate my PC has been hacked. Aside from that, I'm pretty sure I've been hacked because the hacker himself has admitted that he has been monitoring my computer activity. I don't know if he's stopped already but I wanna check my computer before I decide to reformat it as a last resort.

I've read overviews of different hacking techniques and have tried countering them in various ways (done with the basic firewall, antivirus and antispyware). I already tried intrusion prevention/detection systems (like Snort), I've installed toolbars to hep me determine phishing sites, I've installed different virus/malware removal tools; but I still can't find the assurance that I am secured from the hacker. There are many ways to hack a computer and I don't really know what method he's using.

From the information he's disclosed, it seems like he's using a keylogger, and that he's phishing sites, or perhaps even manipulating my browser. Oh, and how is it possible for him to hear me singing on the headset? Is it possible to manipulate the hardware remotely? By the way, as far as I'm aware, he hasn't been to our house ever. So he's basically remotely monitoring me. Is it also possible for him to trace which PC I'm using as long as I've logged in one of my accounts (like email or facebook) in that particular computer? Because even when I'm using the PC at school, he was able to monitor me still.

I need answers to my questions so I can finally get rid of fear and confusion, and tackle this problem in a more direct manner. I appreciate any help.

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At this point...

by cmiller5400 In reply to How to deal with a persis ...

I'd disconnect the PC from the internet and do a fresh install. Make sure that you use a disk wipe utility such as DBAN http://www.dban.org Some of the software used is root kits and they can be mighty hard to remove. To answer your questions:

1. It is possible for him to do anything you can do with your pc short of removing hardware. So listening to a headset or viewing your web-cam isn't out of the question.

2. If the computer is infected yes he can "trace" what computer you are using. I'd go to a PC that you know is clean and login to ALL your web sites that you have usernames/passwords for and CHANGE them IMMEDIATELY.

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What if...

by mr.blacksociety In reply to At this point...

The thing I'm worried about is that if I back up my files, what if some of them are already infected? When I reinstall and "resave" the said files, what if they would cause my computer to be vulnerable again?

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You will need...

by cmiller5400 In reply to What if...

You will need to make sure that the Antivirus scanner is totally up to date and working before you even try to restore your documents. Even then there is no guarantee that it will detect any malware.

Since this is a peer of yours in school, I'd consider going to the administration of the school and letting them know what is going on. He probably has no right on school property to be monitoring other students. Also, he is probably breaking some laws by accessing your computer without your permission. A trip to the local police station may solve that problem.

Best of luck!!

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Thanks...and

by mr.blacksociety In reply to You will need...

About your suggestion, I really don't want to cause a commotion so I guess I'll just let it fly by. But of course I have to get rid of the problem. Besides, charging someone would need money here. I can't just report a case like it wouldn't cost me anything. Actually, to be completely honest here, the hacker is not just one person. They're a group of computer science students. Their "leader" was probably provoked by something I said (though I'm not sure what exactly). The others just got dragged into it, so it seems. I wish I could explain the details of the situation here but it's pretty complicated. I don't want the "others" to be punished by a simple misunderstanding. I could ruin their record or even expel them if I said anything. It would only cause some schoolmates who don't know the whole story to hate me for reporting an unbelievable case and ruining those students' future.

Thanks for the assistance anyway. If you have some more ideas, please do tell.

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Don't want to cause a commotion?

by Ron K. In reply to Thanks...and

I'd nail everyone to the full extent of the law. It's simply payback. Break the law? Go to jail. Pretty straight-forward and simple. You owe no one any leniency. <br>
I may provoke people a lot with what I say. What of it? That doesn't give anyone permission to break the law at my expense. <br>
Ruin their record? Screw 'em! Hate you? Tough s**t! <br>
Where are you going to draw the line with lawbreakers? How much will you allow?

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Good point but...

by mr.blacksociety In reply to Don't want to cause a com ...

The people I'm up against with here have probably thought about the probable defenses I'm gonna make, including legal action. And as it seems (though I'm not exactly sure) that they have made the same move ahead of me and reversed the situation in the eyes of some of our professors. Like I said, I'm not sure of anything but I overheard the "group" and one of our professors talk about the hacking issue. I'm not sure what the professor thought about their story (whether he bought it or not) but he seems neutral. The problem is, they won't stop until they make sure I won't hack them as well. It's all so ridiculous. I seriously think the whole thing is pointless, I'm not even interested in their personal affairs. And I'm not that cheap to actually think about hacking their bank accounts. I just want them to stop tracking me.

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"Probably, probable, not exactly sure, not sure of anything..."

by Ron K. In reply to Good point but...

Some would say that you're delusional. Paranoid. Whether you have right to be or whether it's a mental illness is beyond my ability to tell for certain. <br>
If you think it all to be pointless why worry about it?<br>
Insert the words crack, cracked and cracking in lieu of the words hack, hacked and hacking. Cracking and hacking are two different things and you're only displaying your ignorance by using hacking terms when you should be using cracking terms.

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A Few Questions and a suggestion

by C F USA In reply to How to deal with a persis ...

This may be nothing more than a troll attempt, but I am going to respond anyway.

Questions:
-Are you sure he is actually monitoring you? Or is he simply pulling your leg? I mean is it ia joke?
-You stated that he was monitoring you from the school as well? Have you notified the administrators there?
-You mentioned the security features you have performed, have you checked for hardware additions to your computer? If someone is gone through this length to harass you, perhaps they have in fact been to your home and installed a keylog on the back of the PC
-You mentioned that the person has been in contact with you. Do you know this person from anywhere else? How does he/she contact you and confirm such facts as "I know what you are singing"

Suggestion:
If you are serious about this and want it to stop this is what I would do.

Consider getting Law Enforcement involved if any of the following apply:

- logging into your accounts such as financial institutes (banks, loans, etc)

- posting things as you that could lead to a libel/slander case against you

If you decide against Law Enforcement or Legal action, then :

Go to a secure site and change all your passwords. Do log in from your computer at home (the one that has been infected) or school (if he is truly capable of monitoring you there)

Remove all outside access to your Home PC and reformat it and reinstall everything. Before doing this check for external devices that may have been connected without your knowledge. Check all thumbdrives and portable storage devices (including CD/DVD) received since the attacks began or before they began

Either way, it seems that you are in way above your head and need help. I am leaning toward someone pulling your leg, joke gone too far, etc. But if this is not the case you need to do something.

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answers and a question

by mr.blacksociety In reply to A Few Questions and a sug ...

--At first, I thought the jokes he cracked weren't about me until it just got to the point where they were ridiculously connected to the information I disclose over the internet like sites I've visited, things I type, my passwords, etc. It was already starting to feel like he really was referring to me. As a test, I even typed something addressed to him in my email which I didn't actually send him (I only saved it on my Drafts folder); but he was able to react to it the next day. He even quoted some of the conversations I've had with a friend online, and on the phone. I even played along with him, thinking he was only trying to get attention. But it just got to the point where I feel like he's humiliating me already.

--No I haven't notified anyone in authority. I don't even mention it to my friends in school. I just pretend like it's not happening.

--Yes I have. Nothing suspicious (and I'm not that savvy in terms of hardware anyway so I'm not really sure). I have also thought about him renting some place near ours, but nothing's ever for sure in that respect either. I swear, I've spent more time figuring out why he's doing all this than actually getting rid of the problem and I still haven't got any clue about his motives.

--He's a schoolmate of mine who was probably provoked by something I said (though I'm not sure what exactly).


I've already tried some of your suggestions. But charging someone would need money here. I can't just report a case like it wouldn't cost me anything.

I do have one question: How do I know if a site's absolutely safe? I've read articles about hacking, and considering that guy's a computer science student, I'm aware nothing's ever secure unless I completely wipe my computer clean. However, how about my important files? How can I be sure they're not infected? Even if I did clean my computer, how about my email? He can hack and infect it again and again and everything will just be a cycle of reformatting and rehacking?

I seriously think my head's gonna burst already.


Edit:

I forgot to ask what kind foreign hardware you think he must have installed in my PC. I don't know what surveillance cams/recorders look like but based on what I've seen in the movies, I imagine them to be really small and "high-techy". But see, I don't think he can afford those things as I imagine them to be costly. For him to buy such a thing for the sole purpose of monitoring me, I seriously don't think he'd go that far. I've just read an article a while ago (The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense), and just as I thought, it is likely that he's made his own code to hack; and since it's custom-made, it would probably be hard for malware tools to detect it.

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do your best

by mafergus In reply to answers and a question

I wouldn't worry about physical hardware on the machine. that requires physical access to install and if the individual has that access, there isn't much you could do to prevent that from happening.

The advice that has already been given is very much on point. I do find it hard to believe that your school wouldn't assist you or at least gather the information from you.

The one thing that worries me the most is that this hacker let you know he/she was messing woth your system. Assum ing that is true, he/she will have your mac address and basic information available, so even if you rebulid your machine, he/she will be able to find it fairly easily.

Lock it down as much as possible, never leave it online when you aren't using it.

Good luck

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