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WARNING: Discussing our earnings may be a BAD IDEA: My account hacked

  1. Dorsi profile image90
    Dorsiposted 5 years ago

    My HubPages account was hacked yesterday. I had posted about my earnings in one of the forums here in response to a question that was asked. This looks like a targeted attack on my account here. The hacker changed my password, changed my pic, wiped my bio clean and entered a different email under my HP programs to receive payment. They also turned off my Google Analytics (why I don't know) I have spent all day cleaning up this mess. What a nightmare and invasion of privacy.

    I would advise all hubbers to think twice about posting earnings for all to see. I know I won't be anymore.

    1. IzzyM profile image84
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Dorsi, this is a horrible thing to happen and I am glad you managed to clear up the mess.
      I imagine they turned off analytics to help hide themselves, knowing that analytics sees all.
      In fact, when they changed your log on details through HP, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that HP have a note of their IP in their server records somewhere.
      I don't know if you kept a note of their paypal address, or their bank details when they changed your adsense method of payment, but HP should have it all logged somewhere.
      This is a serious case of attempted fraud, but the hacker has left footprints and dirty big fingermarks all over the scene.

      I would email HP and ask them if they a) have these details and b) would release them to you, for you to take to the police.

      Edit: I see from another thread you have their name, but that is not to say it was them - IP should confirm it.

    2. recommend1 profile image70
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      How can someone hack into your HP stuff ?  Did they do it by getting your details from your computer - or from HP ?   and what do HP say about this ?

  2. Lisa HW profile image84
    Lisa HWposted 5 years ago

    Dorsi, that's sound advice, of course; but I'm not sure there's a whole lot of difference between mentioning earnings and just having your account on a site like this, and having the account look like one that's likely to involve earnings.

    Potential hackers (and other sleeze-bags) can get a pretty good reading on who looks like they might be earning on here and who doesn't just by getting a reading on the kind of Hubs they have, the bio they have, whether their picture looks questionable, their style of conversing (in somewhere like the forums), etc. etc.  I'm not sure you should be "blaming yourself" for what happened.  (Of course, the particular thread where you mentioned a figure did have a title that would stand out.) 

    I used to be very careful about not even giving any hints on here about any possible signs of earning; but that can get to a point where everything's a "big secret" and nobody can have any real conversation about things like what works well for them.  There's a point where I think how "everyone everywhere" has a PayPal account and other financial info/accounts.  Hackers are going to find them if they get in.  There's so much out there, that they don't even need any info to figure out (or just try blindly) to steal your stuff and try to make money from it separate from hacking into your account (but separate issue other than highlighting how futile it can be to think that remaining "in silent isolation" will help a whole lot).

    If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that finding out that someone else is out to take what you have, what you've rightfully earned, and even (sometimes) some version of your very identity; you end up asking how it happened and wondering if it was something you did.  Sometimes it has nothing to do with anything you did.  Sometimes, no matter what you do right, or what little slip-ups you may have/have not made, someone will target you (and sometimes randomly).

    (I'm not at all disputing the point of your thread here - only mentioning "the other side" to things too.   hmm)  My friend's work computer got a "hacking situation".  I'm posting how that one happened on your other thread.

  3. melbel profile image92
    melbelposted 5 years ago

    While the attack may have been caused by some rather "delicious" looking money you may be earning, there are other factors you may want to consider:

    There are several users on HubPages who make a crap-ton of money, I'm sure:
    Patty Inglish
    Kathryn Vercillo

    If I were a blackhat hacker and general terrible person, I'd probably go after them first. That said, I haven't heard any complaints from them. My guess is that your account was super easy to hack.

    Possible causes:
    -A virus on or malware on your computer, such as a keystroke recorder (something that could tell the hacker every single letter you type on your keyword) or just one of a slew of nasty pieces of software.

    -Your password was super easy to guess. Don't put words in your password. password1234 is NOT a secure password. Try using a phrase like "WARNING: Discussing our earnings may be a BAD IDEA: My account hacked" and use the first letters only so: WDoembaBIMah Throw some capital letters in there. Numbers are also great to use as letters, like a zero instead of an o. So your potential password could look like:

    Of course, don't use the above password because the whole world knows that example now, but it's just an idea.

    Also, seriously, do some spyware/virus scans. If something pops up for me, I just format my machine -- I can't really trust it after it's been infected... but if you're not up for that then use your anti-virus to remove it.

    Chances are you were randomly targeted... perhaps someone was doing dictionary attacks on a list of HubPages accounts. This is something that you should notify HP about if you haven't already, so they can up the security if need be.

    Edit: If you find a virus on your computer, change ALL your passwords. At the very least, change it on sites that share the same password as your old HP password.

  4. Uninvited Writer profile image82
    Uninvited Writerposted 5 years ago

    That is why I never discuss specific earning or tell people what my most successful hub is.

  5. leahlefler profile image97
    leahleflerposted 5 years ago

    Dorsi, that is just awful! I am glad you managed to get your account back, and I hope you are able to get the information to prosecute the hacker (if the hacker was even in the USA... not sure what you can do about foreign hackers).

    I hope they didn't manage to steal any of your money in the time they had hijacked your account. sad

  6. seamist profile image82
    seamistposted 5 years ago

    It's not just the hubber's earnings that necessarily matter. Last winter, I had my HP account, Adsense, Amazon, and email account hacked. They changed all the passwords so I had a heck of time getting control of my accounts again. They not only changed the banking info on my Adsense account, but they used my Adsense publisher number on accounts that I didn't authorize and accounts that weren't up to Google's standards. It was a nightmare. At the time, I was going through it, some Adsense publisher who was earning 30K per month account was also hacked, and he also had a heck of a time getting control of his account back. Consequently, that's why I far prefer Amazon over Adsense.

    1. seamist profile image82
      seamistposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Plus, I forgot to mention, after I gained control of my accounts again, they started click bombing my HP account. I had to turn my Adsense off for awhile and change the setting in Adsense so only certain accounts were authorized. Although I didn't lose my Adsense account since I reported the abnormal clicks, it sure was scarey. If I had to do everything over again, I would not tell any one about writing for Adsense. As far as I know, Adsense didn't do anything about illegal activities. Considering all the woes with Adsense a publisher can have, unless you are making tons of money with them, it's just not worth all the headaches.

  7. waynet profile image49
    waynetposted 5 years ago

    A good rule of thumb is to not rely heavily on bookmarks or favorites of the sites you visit regularly or even the temporary files that accumulate on your web browser and always sign out of your accounts properly so that no one could access it.

    This is horrible by the way, that somebody could do this and I hope they get dealt with in some way.

  8. WriteAngled profile image90
    WriteAngledposted 5 years ago

    After my Gmail account was hacked a few months ago, I downloaded the Google verifier onto my phone.

    Now, if I want to access any feature in my Google account from anywhere other than at home, I am asked to enter a number generated by the verifier. It is a minor hassle, but well worth it in my opinion.

    I still don't know how the account was hacked, because I found no malware of any sort on my computer.