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Have I been hacked?

albert
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Have I been hacked?

Recently I had an email from someone who said that he had got access to my mobile phone and said that he would 'expose all my information' if I didn't pay a fee. I deleted it. It came from one of my addresses that I haven't used for a year or two: moths@username.plus.com

I changed my email password and also my PC's password and hoped that would be the end of it.

But since then, when I try to send an email from my PlusNet account I get an error message (see screenshot).

Also, I had an email come in which said that an email from moths@username.plus.com had bounced - but I never sent it in the first place.

Please tell me what is going on and how I can fix it. (I've run Malware Bytes and Avira antivirus.

Thanks.

15 REPLIES 15
albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Sorry, the link doesn't seem to have worked. I'll try with a .jpg file

newagetraveller
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Doubtful if anything's been "hacked". It's a scam e-mail trying to extort money from you. No doubt they claim to have all sorts of naughty messages and mucky pictures of you doing things, which will be sent to all your contacts if you don't pay up. That's the most common scenario.

dvorak
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Re: Have I been hacked?


Moderators Note


This topic has been moved from Fibre to Everything Else

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Baldrick1
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Re: Have I been hacked?

@albert 

The first thing that I would do is delete this ‘moths‘ email address in your account. Also make sure that ‘catch all’ is not active on your account.

Put each of your email addresses in here to get an idea of what has been leaked https://haveibeenpwned.com/ 

It’s a pain but I check all mine periodically and change any that have been compromised.

Regarding you email problem, have you checked the settings? This could be an unconnected problem.

albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Thanks, Baldrick1.

moths@ is just a term that I use to distinguish certain emails. It is not a separate address with its own box and password - so I don't think I can delete it.

Not sure what 'catch all' is. Where do I find that?

I'll try your other link - thanks.

albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

PS I tried the one you mentioned. My plusnet email was OK but my work one came back with

Oh no — pwned!

Pwned in 1 data breach and found no pastes ( to search sensitive breaches)

 

So I'll take it up with the guys at work. (Fortunately, some are in the US where they don't believe in public holidays.

billnotben
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Re: Have I been hacked?


@newagetraveller wrote:

No doubt they claim to have all sorts of naughty messages and mucky pictures of you doing things


These scam emails used to say that they had hacked your pc/laptop camera and saw you................

 

albert
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Have I been hacked?

Yes, that's the sort of thing. What they don't know is that I have a very primitive phone which has little data on it - no photos at all! (It will take photos of a fashion but I don't keep them.) So I wasn't worried about anything being made public. It may be a coincidence that I'm getting these certificate warnings but I was worried when the email that I had never sent 'bounced'.

Baldrick1
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Re: Have I been hacked?

@albert 

See here for more on Catch All mailboxes.  https://www.plus.net/help/email-guides/spam-protection-guide/

Basically if it is switched on you will receive emails addressed to anything before the @ part of your address, for example: 'thisisspam@<yourusername>.plus.com would get through unless the Plusnet spam filter caught it. It should be off by default. If you can't delete the subject email address, I assumed that it was unique because you said that you hadn't used it for a while, then just change it.

albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Thanks, Baldrick. I'll try that. But it is looking now as if the certificates issue is connected to my work email  and not PlusNet (I use Outlook 2019 to collect all of my emails apart from gmail.)

albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

I've turned off 'catch all'.

But I use <first name>@<username>.plus.com

Will I lose all that mail now?

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Have you read this. https://www.plus.net/help/email-guides/how-to-use-plusnet-email/
You will not lose access to an existing mailbox. However unless you have a mailbox also called <firstname>@<secondname>.plus.com emails to that address will be returned as undeliverable.

If you need to add an email address with this name I suggest that you add it as an alias and messages will be delivered as normal. You can add many different mailboxes by changing the part before the @.

What catch all does is accept emails that are not addressed to an existing mailbox. When you turn it off any addressed to non existing addresses are rejected.

albert
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Re: Have I been hacked?

Things seem to be going from bad to worse! My Outlook programme has basically disappeared (!) and I cannot access webmail. All I get is a message saying something like 'Fetch command failed'. I've tried quite a few times. I'm going to switch to gmail - but I've got emails that I haven't read that I need to!! Any suggestions?

idonno
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Re: Have I been hacked?


@albert wrote:

Any suggestions?


Yes, Stay cool! 😁

 

When you say Outlook program, do you mean via a browser or a standalone product. If it is a standalone product and it isn't starting, re-installing it might work. If it is simply failing to get emails or not logging in online, are you sure you've updated any changed passwords?

 

FWIW I use (have no choice) Outlook and Outlook 365 at work but I tend to use Thunderbird for all my emails at home. Pretty easy to use. Smartphone uses Gmail for a couple of email addresses but any Gmail email's are hardly, if ever, read. Simply because they tend to be from Google!

 

I do have quite a lot of different email addresses used for different types of businesses/people. And yes, one of those was p wned years ago but it's still in daily use. I might get a couple of junk emails a week - if I'm lucky. Sometimes none for weeks on end. I don't lose any sleep over it.

 

One thing I would do in your shoes is enable 2 factor authentication (if the option is available). I've done this with the Microsoft emails and it means no unknown devices can access my emails - only trusted computers, smartphones etc.If someone tries to log in from any other device, I get a notification via my phone asking whether I am logging in from that source. A couple of years ago, I had someone try it in Brazil and it wasn't the p wned email address either.

 

I have also made the MS email addresses exclusive (its in the settings). That means that any email received, from any source, that I haven't sent an email to, then that email automatically goes into the junk folder, ready to be deleted in 10 days time. Yes, it does mean that if I'm expecting an email from joe blogs, it might well end up in the junk folder, but it takes seconds to check. I just read the headers.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?