Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Can't Change Passwords


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 cm3891

cm3891

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:21 AM

Hi,

Thanks for this opportunity to outline my problem, with hopefully the prospect of my problem being resolved!

I have been having difficulty changing my hotmail and gmail email passwords. This has been ongoing for about a week or so now. Each time I try to change my password to a complex long alphanumeric password, it reverts to the old one within a few hours! I've tried changing my security questions and inputting complex alphanumberic passwords for those too. I have contacted both gmail and hotmail support, who've been absolutely no help whatsoever. Hotmail keep sending me instructions how to reset my password, without reading that I've tried this multiple times and it hasn't worked. Very disappointing!

I do believe there is someone stalking and harassing me online, so it is important I resolve this asap. I have already been personally threatened with distribution of sensitive personal images to family members and friends, and I'm scared about my accounts being open to such abuse.

If anybody can help me with a) the technical problem I have detailed, in regards to changing my email passwords, b ) online harassment as described, or c) both, then please respond. I will be checking regularly for any support and advice. I have tried to explain my problem with sufficient and relevant info, but if there is anything else you need to know, please ask.

Thank you again,

Chris

Edited by cm3891, 01 July 2009 - 07:23 AM.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Blade

Blade

    Strong in the Bleepforce


  • Site Admin
  • 12,702 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:US
  • Local time:12:21 PM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:24 AM

Hello Chris and :thumbsup: to Bleepingcomputer.

In this situation I would have to recommend you close your current Hotmail and Gmail accounts and create new ones.

In regards to your cyber-harassment issues, I don't think we are currently equipped with a facility to handle that sort of thing here at BC. :flowers:

http://www.cyberangels.org is a non-profit organization that might be able to directly assist you. At one time they had a volunteer team of "Cyberangels" that helped victims of cyber-stalking or cyber-harassment. I do not know if this program is still active, but you may contact them at their website to obtain more information. Here is a page from their site which gives advice on beating your harasser.

CyberAngels

Some of their suggestions involve scanning your computer to determine if malware is present. If you find that your system is infected, you may return to Bleepingcomputer and create a thread in the Am I infected? What do I do? forum. We will be able to help you remove any infections present on your system there.

Hope that helps, and let us know if there is anything else we can do!

~Blade

Posted Image

If I am helping you, it has been 48 hours since your last post, and I have yet to reply to your topic, please send me a PM
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook
Follow us on Twitter!
Circle us on Google+


#3 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 12:06 PM

Thanks Blade. I have created a new gmail account, but am reluctant to close my other two addresses because of how widely I use them :thumbsup:

I have done countless scans, having accessed info from this website and followed the instructions word for word. I eventually formatted the drives and reinstalled Vista. Unfortunately my email passwords still reset to the old one. Do you (or anyone else) know how that is even possible?

I will contact the cyberangels organisation, and have already contacted another charity who I'm waiting to hear back from.

Cheers.

#4 Blade

Blade

    Strong in the Bleepforce


  • Site Admin
  • 12,702 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:US
  • Local time:12:21 PM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 12:55 PM

Hello Chris,

I'm no expert on this particular subject, but it seems to me that this is not a problem on your end. . . I'll ask around and see what I can find out.

Have you informed Microsoft that you are unable to change your password, and that you believe someone may have hacked into your Windows Live ID?
Have you tried using both methods to reset your password?

I couldn't find a number to call, but I don't have Windows Live, so maybe you have a number you can call for tech support. If you can, I suggest you do so rather than using the reporting feature built into Windows Live. Talking to a person is always better in these sort of situations. You should explain to them your situation, and inform them that the normal methods used to change your password don't seem to be working. If the tech guy says he can't help you, ask for his supervisor. If the supervisor says he can't help you, ask for his supervisor. Don't give up!

In all honesty though, it will probably be better for you in the long run to close the account. Sure, you'll have to inform people who only know that address of your new email (use a different email address that you know to be secure to do this!), and have to update the emails on all the websites you're registered to, etc. But if your account has been compromised, there really is no guarantee that it can ever be trusted again. Sorry I can't help you more directly.

~Blade

Posted Image

If I am helping you, it has been 48 hours since your last post, and I have yet to reply to your topic, please send me a PM
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook
Follow us on Twitter!
Circle us on Google+


#5 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:25 PM

Thanks Blade, I am impressed by your efforts in helping to resolve my problem.

I have informed Microsoft, but they only send automated responses which apparently ignore anything I write. I have looked for support telephone numbers, but have had no success.

I suppose it can't be considered coincidental that this affects both gmail and hotmail accounts, or I'd presume that this is a technical issue on their side. I suspect somehow my accounts have been permanently violated, and your suggestion to close them might, regrettably, be the only way to solve this.

Please let me know if you have any other ideas!

Chris

#6 Romeo29

Romeo29

    Learning To Bleep


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,194 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:127.0.0.1
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 01 July 2009 - 11:25 PM

You are putting a question mark on the security of gmail and hotmail ! Sorry, the problem seems to be on your side.

This is possible only if someone else knows your secret questions/answers. So when you change password, they login back using secret question and change your password back to old one.
Try changing your password, security questions and other settings on your gmail/hotmail accounts in such a way that no one can guess them. Not even your friends or relatives.
Do not save passwords/cookies on your browser. Do not write passwords on paper etc.
Use Firefox or Opera instead of IE. As soon as you close browser clear all private data.

Take care.

#7 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:16 AM

Yes Romeo, I've tried everything you've said and even gone further.

I changed my password and security questions at work, and saved the data on a USB stick. Then, while at work, the gmail password stopped working within a few hours (I have a G1 device, and it stopped synching). How could it possibly have been compromised?

I've been using Firefox for years.

Another detail I should mention: I'm using Roboform, which seems like a good piece of software and is highly recommended. It saves passwords to websites and encrypts them with a master password, which I save and access (copy and paste when needed) on my external hard drive. I've only started using it recently to attempt to combat my issues.

Edited by cm3891, 02 July 2009 - 06:19 AM.


#8 Queen-Evie

Queen-Evie

    Official Bleepin' G.R.I.T.S. (and proud of it)


  • Staff Emeritus
  • 16,485 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:My own little corner of the universe (somewhere in Alabama). It's OK, they know me here
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:20 PM

I'd like to offer this: don't close the accounts. Keep them, but don't use them. With hotmail, check once every 3 or 4 months, just to keep the account open.
The reason for not closing the accounts: IF they have been compromised, whoever hacked into it will eventually find out the accounts no longer exist. They could then open up a hotmail/gmail account with the user name you chose to close.
IF someone has your address book information, he or she could send out mail to your contacts, who will think you sent it. The "up-to-no-good" potential is a very real concern.

#9 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 02 July 2009 - 08:07 PM

Thanks Queen, good points. I have decided to take the course of action you prescribed. I am curious about the last sentence. Do you mean I should be very concerned about what is happening to me? I admit, I'm terrified.

#10 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:53 PM

I spent all night trying to change passwords repeatedly, with no success. They just keep reverting to the old ones within a short time. Interestingly, I found other people with the same issue in the Google forums, like 3 or 4, and all quite recently.... but any gmail fault doesn't explain why my Hotmail account is behaving in the exact same way. I've also had issues with Facebook.

I'm stumped and am not sure what to do now.

#11 Queen-Evie

Queen-Evie

    Official Bleepin' G.R.I.T.S. (and proud of it)


  • Staff Emeritus
  • 16,485 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:My own little corner of the universe (somewhere in Alabama). It's OK, they know me here
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:54 AM

IF the account has been compromised, then yes you should be worried.
You mention others have the same issues-so it's possible that no one compromised the accounts and something is whacky with those sites. That would be a heck of a coincidence if all of them have the same problem at the same time.
I just changed my password in hotmail. I'll see if it sticks or reverts back to the old one.

You state "I do believe there is someone stalking and harassing me online, so it is important I resolve this asap. I have already been personally threatened with distribution of sensitive personal images to family members and friends, and I'm scared about my accounts being open to such abuse" . Do you have anything else to add to why you think this? And if someone is, any ideas about how they discovered your passwords?
Did these threats come to you by email? You can report threatening mails to the abuse dept of the senders domain.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 03 July 2009 - 02:00 AM.


#12 cm3891

cm3891
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 03 July 2009 - 06:31 AM

I think they were hacked with a trojan virus which I discovered a few weeks ago. Since then I've tried securing my computer and changing passwords, but hit these road blocks. The threats come by both email and text, email is sneakemail.com and text is cbfsms.com, anonymous services and I believe the person doing it will be using a proxy too.

Had a sleepless night last night.

Edited by cm3891, 03 July 2009 - 06:31 AM.


#13 Queen-Evie

Queen-Evie

    Official Bleepin' G.R.I.T.S. (and proud of it)


  • Staff Emeritus
  • 16,485 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:My own little corner of the universe (somewhere in Alabama). It's OK, they know me here
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:39 AM

I think they were hacked with a trojan virus which I discovered a few weeks ago.


Because of the above statement, I have asked the moderators to review this topic and advise whether or not you need to go through the procedure to find out if your system is still infected.

#14 garmanma

garmanma

    Computer Masochist


  • Staff Emeritus
  • 27,809 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Cleveland, Ohio
  • Local time:12:21 PM

Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:55 AM

I would recommend starting a topic in our Am I Infected forum
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/
If for no other reason, just to rule out spyware/keyloggers
Mark
Posted Image
why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook and Twitter

#15 Queen-Evie

Queen-Evie

    Official Bleepin' G.R.I.T.S. (and proud of it)


  • Staff Emeritus
  • 16,485 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:My own little corner of the universe (somewhere in Alabama). It's OK, they know me here
  • Local time:11:21 AM

Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:10 AM

Thank you for responding Garmanma.

cm3891, when you start your topic in Am I Infected, include a link to this topic.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users