Have I been hacked?
- Are there suspicious emails on the email account that have nothing to do with you (mails in the outbox folder, suspicious replies to mysterious emails)?
- Do your acquaintances suddenly get e-mails supposedly from you, where they are supposed to log in somewhere or open something?
- Does someone contact you because you allegedly bought goods online on E-Bay or in a webstore and did not pay? ( identity theft )
- Does your email address show up in government-secured hacking databases?
– Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam: Identity Leak Check (in German)
– Haveibeenpwned.com (English language)
- The most common cause for hacked accounts are phishing mails: A fictitious mail invites you to visit a seemingly official website, where you can enter your e-mail address and password to seemingly confirm, unlock, or something similar.
- In addition, too weak passwords (1234, myname, mypet, mycompany, or similar) are a known problem.
- It is also possible that your computer or mobile device contains a virus or Trojan that could reveal your passwords.
We will give you some recommendations. These are meant as food for thought to help you take the appropriate action for your own situation.
- – First change the email password immediately. Secure passwordsr are at least 12 characters long and have upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters ($%&.-_).
If access to the account is no longer possible because the password has been misplaced by the intruder, you must contact the provider/provider who provides and manages the e-mails.
- If the hacked password is also used for other logins, the password should be changed there as well. It is recommended to use different passwords for all logins. To keep track of this, password manager programs help. If this is a bank, please inform the bank.
- If the hacked email address is also used elsewhere for logins – which is the rule – a new password should be stored there as well. Using the usual “forgotten password” feature, the hacker could have already sent the appropriate passwords to the compromised email address. If this is a bank, please inform the bank.
- If you feel that you have other email accounts or web access with passwords that are too weak, this would be a reason to set new, better passwords everywhere.
Evaluation of the e-mails
- If the hacked is an IMAP account that also has data on the email server (this is usually assumed), this data could have been captured. Then all mails should be checked (use the search function of the mail program), if there are any access data of you or your customers mentioned (received and sent), which the hacker could read.If the accesses of yours are (WordPress logins, team tools, Dropbox, etc.), change the appropriate passwords and see if anything unusual has happened in the system. If in doubt, inform the provider.
If foreign access is mentioned (access for you in your client’s admin backend, etc.), please inform the client so they can take action.
- For Windows: Install and run up-to-date virus scanners – and always keep them up to date. Keep the operating system and browser up to date.
- With Apple, always use the latest operating system if possible (Mac and iPhone).
- Check whether the e-mail address appears in officially secured hacker databases:
– Federal Office for Information Security: Test program (click here),
– Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam: Identity Leak Check (click here).
- If financial damage has occurred: possibly involve the police.