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Help! A keylogger has gotten ahold of me.

By Persevering ·
I?m having a problem and don?t know what to do. I have a standalone desktop at home with Windows XP. Someone has hacked into my machine because I keep getting emails from discussion boards I belong to saying I requested my password (?did you forget your password? ? press here). The problem is: I haven?t requested the passwords. So someone is getting onto machine and accessing my accounts. One password got changed (AVG Free Forum). I went back in and changed the password. But I don?t know if this person is still able to record my passwords. I?ve changed them all several times, but I received another password request email yesterday. I?ve tried all kinds of software to detect the keylogger: McAfee anti-virus, Kaspersky, Ewido, AVG, CCleaner, HijackThis and nothing is detected. I tried Zone Alarm Firewall, but I got so confused on all the information I was given I took it off. I don't know now if the Windows XP Firewall is configured correctly. One program said I had about 7 open ports. Yesterday I downloaded the free trial of Kaspersky?s Anti-Hacker and there have now been 6 attempts to log on to my machine already. Is Kaspersky?s program strong enough to protect my PC? This is really making me mad and paranoid as I want to change from dial-up to DSL. But I?m really afraid. The very intricate IT info is over my head, so please give me ideas in layman?s terms. Thanks for any help you can give me!

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Relax

by faradhi In reply to Help! A keylogger has got ...

It may not be someone that has hacked your computer.

If they had, they would not have to request a new password. They would have it everytime you changed it.

It sounds like you have done everything you can to ensure your system is clean. However, if you want to be absolutely certian, I suggest saving all your data files on to a removable disk. Then Wipe and reload.

I hope this helps.

Good Luck.

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Find local support

by gralfus In reply to Help! A keylogger has got ...

Find a good PC support person locally to help you with your system. (Ask around to see if anyone can recommend a shop. Some are better than others.)

However, I agree with faradhi that password change emails are not an indication that someone has your password, but that they don't. I get requests to change my gmail password fairly often, probably because someone thinks they own the account (I used my regular name). I chalk this up to stupidity on the part of the person asking for the password change. Since the confirmation requests always come to me, they can't get it reset.

If you don't have a router between you and the Internet, you will see multiple hacking attempts daily. This is not unusual. Some DSL modems have something called NAT built-in already, some don't. If yours doesn't, then you'll need a router (I use the Linksys BEFSR41). This will drop the attacks that your computer sees down to zero, unless spyware truly is already installed on your computer.

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Do you use a firewall program too?

by Persevering In reply to Find local support

With the router, do you also use a firewall program? If so, which one? I tried Zone Alarm but it was so complicated that I took it off. Do I need an additional firewall with Windows XP firewall if I use a router?

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Layers of security

by JamesRL In reply to Do you use a firewall pro ...

Its always helpful to have multiple layers - so if you do buy a router - a good idea BTW, at least use MS's built in firewall running as well.

Personally, if you can find another firewall software you like, turn off MS's and use it.

James

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router & firewall software

by Persevering In reply to Layers of security

Thanks for your help, James. Do you have any suggestions for a good non-wireless router that doesn't cost too much for my one PC ? I'm still a student. :) Also, I've been told that Zone Alarm is the best firewall software. But I found it so confusing and so much information. I don't know what to do with it all. Where can I get reliable help to configure it properly? Or do you know of another firewall program that would work just as well?

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Yes

by gralfus In reply to Do you use a firewall pro ...

I currently use Zone Alarm (which becomes a lot quieter after you install a router). The reason I use Zone Alarm is that it tells me about programs that are trying to call home from my PC, not just what is trying to come in from the outside.

It does take some configuration, but good security takes a bit of time to set up correctly.

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Zone Alarm

by Persevering In reply to Yes

I've been told Zone Alarm is an excellent firewall program. But I don't know how to do all the configuring. A lot of the information it returns to me I don't understand. So I don't know how to make a wise decision. It would seem I'd have to have someone with me every time I'm on the computer because there are always these decisions to make. Any suggestions on how to configure it?

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There was a keylogger! It's gone!

by Persevering In reply to Help! A keylogger has got ...

It was suggested to me to download Spyware Doctor from PCTools. I ran it and guess what - I had an actual keylogger program installed on my PC. Spyware Doctor has been the only program to detect it and has subsequently deleted it. I'm so excited! I wasn't crazy after all.

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good news, now follow up

by lowlands In reply to There was a keylogger! I ...

It's good you found it. Now I would go ahead and make sure to change all your apsswords one more time. Also, if you do things like online banking, or using your credit card for online purchases, you might want to put a fraud alert on those. It's free and might save you a lot of nightmares in case someone did get a hold of some of your personal information.

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good ideas

by Persevering In reply to good news, now follow up

Thanks for the ideas. I have changed all the passwords again. And I called Experian, who will contact the other 2 credit agencies, and asked for a fraud alert to be put on my records. That was a great idea.

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