Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:07 PM
Hello Bleeping Computer members,
I am posting in the hopes of getting some feedback about how to proceed after having discovered that my laptop (with wireless internet) has somehow been broken into (my advance apologies for this lengthy post)--
This morning i went to log into my amazon account (the sign in page had still been on the screen as i had left the computer on over night [i realize now, i probably shouldn't be leaving it on overnight]) and saw that a weird e-mail address i'd never seen before was already in the e-mail address field. This sent up red flags (and i still don't understand why/how this is possible) - but i thought i would try to login - however, after getting error messages i promptly called amazon. They told me they could not find an account associated with the e-mail address that i'd always had attached to my amazon account, and when i told them about the weird e-mail address that appeared on the page and gave them that information - they did indeed say that it was this weird e-mail that i'd never seen before that was now associated with my account (apparently my account info came up on their end just from my calling them as that which is associated with the number i called from).
My level of freaking out ratcheted up upon learning that a $1400 charge had been made to the account this morning - of course, one that i had not authorized. Fortunately it seems as though the hackers had only hacked into my amazon account and had not secured my credit card information (as they had initially had the purchase set to send to my verified address [instead of adding their own from the get-go which would have required supplying full credit card info], and only afterwards sent an e-mail to the vendor requesting that the product be sent to a different[a foreign] address, under the premise of it being a gift]. I believe everything is now squared away with amazon and my credit card company -- However, i have yet to turn my laptop back on, not knowing exactly how my information was stolen and for fear of potentially allowing any further damage to be done. I'm not very computer savvy, so i don't quite understand how this happened and what precautions i need to take now with using this computer (the customer service rep from amazon was at first thoroughly convinced that someone had to have had access to MY computer until i assured him that no one besides me had even been in the household when this fraudulent purchase was made).
Basically, now i would just like to know if/how i can safely use my laptop again (can i even assume that the flashdrives that were plugged into it are safe to use?), if/how i can safely use the wireless internet on it (And whether not using my computer at this point even makes a difference), Plus what steps i need to take to prevent this from happening again (i'd had avast anti-virus installed - which is apparently not enough -- And i've already changed all my important passwords). . . My gracious thanks to anyone who has patiently read through my ramble here - i'm still quite frazzled & wasn't sure what all information to include, so i know i've gone on a bit -- However, i would be quite grateful for any advice.