Author Topic: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear  (Read 674 times)

Offline Dean1

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Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« on: Thursday 02 November 17 14:34 GMT (UK) »
Hi All, I am very sad to post this BUT after quite a number of years doing my family Tree - I started by making enquiries on this website I think (and enjoying it) I have found a hacker - I have virtually nothing left on my Tree and the continued existence of my computer is
doubtful.   She has erased my memberships in my name.   I was thrown off FTF for mentioning her name - she had actually put her name on herself but I put it above where she had entered it, in larger letters and tried to point out that this person was a serial hacker - I was shown the door.   However, most of the folk on that website are lovely people and have e-mailed me offering help etc - this is brilliant BUT as soon as anything goes on my computer it is taken.   It was a complete blank when I went into it this morning.
A few weeks ago I reported the hounding, stealing of documents (paid for documents) etc to the Police - they would not let me make a statement.  They said "we don't investigate that sort of thing".  (Red rag to bull I am afraid)  - I contacted Action Fraud - they told me to go back and make sure I had their letter heading viewable in my hand  - absolute magic.  The officer I saw was very pleasant (not like the usual Wisbech Police) he took a complete statement and said he would do this, that and the other - I believed him:  Lesson 1 - don't put any faith in the police - they speak with
forked tongue.   I may be old but I don't like being patted on the head.  I have now been told I have to go and report it in Huntingdonshire - great stuff - I shall report it in the local press instead.  It is of course all too little, too late for me.   I even knew who she was and where she was currently living in N. Ireland - I also knew that her brother had just gone to prison (not for hacking).  Husband is incandescent as he already paid 75 to get computer fixed when she took all E-addresses etc.  This time it is the family Trees - devastated ............what a waste of my retirement. I don't think the computer will be repaired again - shall use library computers.   What is worrying of course is that all families E-addresses are on computer and that includes our children.   I have shed many tears over all of this and, deep down wish I could retaliate - don't know enough about computers, however.   I have yet to ask ancestry if they have copies of my Trees (x2 as many as most due to adoption) but don't want to know the answer as yet.
Well, we are moving from here soon, thank goodness - the only thing I wish we could take from here is the house which says it all.   Sue - how do I make a computer private - better late than never but probably crackable!
ANDERSON (Kings Lynn, Norfolk) BREWER (Somerset) BALDWIN (Catfield, Norfolk) CRONSHAW(Accrington, Lancs) DEAN (Accrington, Lancs) FOSTER, FORSTER (Astbury, Cheshire AND Canada AND U.S.A.) BRIGHT (London) ROWLAND (Essex and Hampshire) SEWARD (Petersfield, Hampshire) BAILEY/ BROWN (Biddulph, Staffordshire)

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Online KGarrad

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Re: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 02 November 17 15:09 GMT (UK) »
What anti-virus software are you using?
And do you know if you have a Firewall?

Are you sure stuff is missing from your computer, or is it missing from an online site?
To steal stuff from your computer, she has to have access to it - via broadband.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

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Offline Mike in Cumbria

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Re: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 02 November 17 16:18 GMT (UK) »
That's quite an accusation to make. I hope you're sure of your facts, because data can go missing for all sorts of reasons, not all of them malicious.
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Offline Mike Morrell

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Re: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 02 November 17 16:59 GMT (UK) »
Mike in Cumbria makes a good point. During the past weeks, Microsoft have been rolling out a major update to Windows 10 (The 'Fall Creators update'). The update is completely automatic and the first part of the process seems to be done in the background so you wouldn't even know it was happening. During the later parts, users are asked too sit back and wait while the PC is updated and restarted a few times. If this update didn't go as planned, it could result in apparent 'data loss'. This happened to someone I do voluntary work for. Something went awry and he's basically got a 'clean PC'. His programs and data (which wasn't much) have disappeared.

Your computer could have been physically wiped clean by a hacker but it's quite possible that your data is still physically on the hard drive, just not accessible via windows (or whatever). There are IT companies that can check what's on the disc with special programs and try to restore as much as possible (for a fee). Some companies even specialise in recovering 'lost' data. I've no idea what they would charge but it's worth checking out. In the meantime - since it seems you're being targeted -  I would avoid using the internet via your PC. The less it's 'interfered with', the better the chance of restoring the lost data.

I do wonder what the 'payoff' is for the hacker unless it's someone (working for someone) you know and have offended in some way. Malice could then be the reason for targeting you. Normally, hackers want something of value, either by demanding a ransom to get your data back or by collecting and selling e-mail addresses, bank details, etc. The only reasons I can think of to alert you to the intrusion by wiping your PC is either a future ransom demand or just plain malice.

However much data you're able to recover, the very first thing to do (off-line) is to make a copy to a memory stick/external drive. The second thing is (with advice from the people who recovered your data) is to beef up your on-line protection with something like Norton or Avast. Also change the passwords for your modem/router and check that the security settings are OK. Your internet provider should be able to help you do this.
The third thing to do is to completely scan your PC for 'Malware' which might have already been put there. You could also ask the IT-company who helps you recover any data to do this first. Don't forget to scan the external copy of the data too.

The last thing to do is to set up a backup schedule either to an external drive or to somewhere in the cloud (using something like backblaze). If you data is valuable and not backed up on an ancestry site, I'd recommend regular backups both to an external drive and to the cloud. Then whatever happens to one of them, you always have the other.

Mike

Offline BumbleB

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Re: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 02 November 17 17:43 GMT (UK) »
My advice would be to contact a computer professional in your locality.  I'm lucky in that I have one here in Tamworth, and if things appear to go wrong then I contact him in the first instance. 

As for your tree on Ancestry - visit your local library and try to access the tree from there - you're not compromising your computer, and it, hopefully, will confirm that your tree still exists.

Good luck  :)  ;)
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Offline groom

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Re: Hackers - more prolific than ever it would appear
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 02 November 17 17:50 GMT (UK) »
Surely unless a hacker has managed to get into your Ancestry Account and delete your tree using your User name, it should still be there?
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