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I have a confession to make. I was hacked.
It just goes to show it can happen to everyone. There I was standing in one of my favorite technology stores when I got a phone call saying someone got an odd email from me. Evidently I had been mugged in London and desperately needed help. About two seconds later my buddy's phone buzzed with the same email. Thirty seconds later another buddy walked up and told me quite plainly, "you need to change your email password dude".
I immediately used my phone to log onto my email account. Unfortunately the hack included changing my email password. My phone also showed my facebook connection was down. I'll go into how I fixed the problem in a minute, but first let me just say my accounts were back online and the problem was resolved within an hour. Judging by some of the internet sites I saw when I first looked up this problem, I'd say that was pretty good time.
So how did I fix the problem and what can you do if the same thing happens?
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While I was waiting for my accounts to come back I did a virus and spyware scan. This is where I found part of the problem. The free anti virus software I use didn't find anything, but when I tried another program it came up with a hit, a keylogger program. I am not sure where I picked this little bad boy up, but it had been flying under the radar. For those of you who don't know a keylogger can record keystrokes such as usernames and passwords and forward that information to a third party. My new anti virus program immediately dispatched this critter.
Now, I know you are probably wondering why on earth someone who is trying to sell me IT support would admit to being hacked. Well, two reasons. First and foremost I am a strong believer in learning from incidents like this. I have compiled several lessons learned that I hope will help others (free of charge).
My second reason for admitting to this is to show you that we at MHI Tech Labs have a promise to always be honest. If any computer guy is afraid to admit they got hacked then you need to run away and find someone who is willing to tell you the truth. It happens. It is not good, it is not fun to admit, and it may look bad, but it happens and it is important to own up to it and not bury your head in the sand. Only through acknowledging the problem can one find the solutions to prevent it from happening again. It is our commitment to professionalism and customer service that not only makes us a great company to do business with, but a great company to be a part of.
So, I hope this has helped you prepare a little better for the inevitable attack. If you need help ensuring your company's systems are secure, please don't hesistate to call us at 661-513-3828.
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