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Hacked iphone. Any advice on what to do?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Schnitger, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    I think my iphone XS has been hacked (photos being sent via whatsapp, but not by me; various other strange unpredictable things happening with the phone). I think I know the event that caused it.

    What should I do to stop this? Will resetting the phone cure the problem, or is it deeper than that? First step is to change passwords (which will take hours). I have an old iphone SE into which I could transfer the sim card, but will that simply transfer the problem?
  2. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Without knowing specifics just some general advice, change passwords/pins starting with the Apps and Accounts you are seeing suspicious behaviour on. Check your finance - banks, cards, PayPal etc BUT NOT ON THE PHONE. Stop using it now. Use another device to do the changes/checks.

    If you suspect it’s been compromised turn it off so it can’t carry on using your Wi-Fi or 4G until you get the main and most important stuff changed.

    Put 2FA on you important Accounts especially messaging like Email after changing password, security info.

    There will be security advice on all the Apps/Sites/Services you can read and gen up on.

    Malware scanning the device is a good idea, various free and paid services are available.

    If you know or are pretty sure how it happened, close that hole or take it onboard and don’t get fooled again.

    Don’t panic, read up, plan and go forward methodically.

    Use a Password Manager as soon as possible to shore up your password choices and allow for really complex ones you don’t need to remember.
    sean99, twotone, PhilofCas and 3 others like this.
  3. Bananahead

    Bananahead pfm Member

    What was the event that caused it?
  4. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    What do you mean by hacked? If its what app it sounds more like a sim hack/replication in which case get a new sim. Not sure how you hack an iphone, not saying its not possible but if the events you are experiencing are more like phone number related I would suspect the sim. (whats app uses your phone number)
  5. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    Sounds more like a compromised account.
    Andrew C! likes this.
  6. Andrew C!

    Andrew C! Been around a while....

    Password changes initially needed, as well, for anything you use on your phone that you also use elsewhere ie iPad, desktop, laptop etc.
  7. Nero

    Nero Wiped Clean

    Put it into airplane mode sharpish, back up your photos, and wipe. Get a replacement SIM from your provider
  8. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Could be your iCloud account is where the hack started. You can Logon to iCloud from a PC , do that and change password sharpish. Then a new sim on the phone and reconnect. Should be secure then.
  9. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    That won’t effect what’s app. What’s app does not work without the valid sim phone number in situe.
  10. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    Something of an own goal caused it. I think it was caused by connecting a cheap HDMI iphone adapter so I could stream video through the TV (the tv is 7 years old and won't download airplay/Apple TV). The adapter was connected and showed a QR code on the TV screen. I thought this was dodgy and could be a hack, crossed my fingers and took the risk and bingo, a run of dodgy quick fire adds ran through my phone, after which the phone has deteriorated. I assume the adds installed a virus/malware, whatever, on the phone. Lesson learned.

    I have other Apple devices backed up on the same iCloud account - an old iPhone and two old iPads. Assuming the phone has been hacked can they also be hacked? One is an old iPhone that has no simcard (used for streaming radio etc) an the other two are wifi only iPads.
  11. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    I’m struggling to see how that’s possible, I.e scan qrcode and get hacked I think all that happened is the code sent you to a website with a tonne of ads.

    What specifically happened in what’s app that has you concerned?
  12. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    Thanks for the advice folks. I've stopped all cards, changed passwords (on a different device) and have 'erased all content/wiped the phone. A new sim has been ordered. I have other Apple devices backed up on the same iCloud account and their serial numbers etc are visible on the phone. One of these is an old iPhone that I use for streaming radio/Qobuz etc via wifi. It has no sim card. I assume that this and the two wifi only iPads I also use on the same iCloud account (old devices) can also be hacked. Come to think of it, the old phone has for some time now presented a message saying that my wifi account has been found at a new location. I don't know if this is at all related.

    Hopefully changing my iCloud password etc and then wiping and 're-installing' these old devices will help.

    Does anyone know of some good FREE anti virus software for iPhones? The ones I've looked at on the App Store are subscription only. They have a free trial period, but as I've cancelled all my cards I've no way of subscribing even for a free trial.
  13. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    You need to be far more specific, iphones are really very good at not letting this happen. It is highly unlikely plugging in an hdmi lead led to a breach, unless its is very sophisticated, i.e someone was specifically targeting you because you are a high up member of the government or something.

    What specifically happened, in what areas, all you have said so far is a photo got posted on your whats app and some other things. Poor information and you may be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    You wont find antivirus for iphone, you might find various security softwares.
  14. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    I hope you're right. What's app has been behaving erratically by forwarding some images I posted on to other contacts. The keyboard sometimes takes on a life of its own and refuses to 'print' what I type, while at other times trying to open one contact has actually opened another. Similar things have happened in e.g., BBC Sounds - the screen behaving erratically and scrolling up, refusing to open a page. The phone's passcode screen sometimes won't let me access the phone by refusing top select the digit pressed, and at times the phone has refused to shut down.

    Whether this is a hack or a malfunctioning phone, it needs to be sorted out.
  15. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    I'm going to say malfunctioning phone, sounds like the touch layer is playing up? That could well account for photos being thrown around as well, if its misreading copy pastes etc.

    I am not saying iphones cannot get malware, but its not common. I think in ios 11 in like 2018 there was a vector that allowed a qrcode to redirect to a dodgy site, but it was patched by apple pretty quickly.
  16. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    I would say a "hack" is extremely unlikely, and malware unlikely.

    Did the OP say they had scanned a random QR - in theory this could lead to spyware being installed....
  17. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    That's good to hear and I hope it is the case. The phone is second hand (bought about 3 months ago) and it is feasible that it had been damaged in some way or had a second rate screen replacement.

    Either way I've now changed my Apple ID and next is to change Apple iCloud password details. I'm not sure how to do this on a PC (I don't have iTunes). Is it safe to do this on one of my other Apple devices, given that they all have the same Apple ID and iCloud backup?
  18. Schnitger

    Schnitger pfm Member

    Yes I said that. Immediately after the QR was scanned a short of run of dodgy adds appeared on the phone, after which the problems began. However, now I think of it a couple of screen functions had become slow or occasionally unreliable before scanning the QR code, i.e., upwards swipe to close/change screen, digits on the passcode screen not always working, but this was nothing compared to what happened post QR code.
  19. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Trade: Mark Grant Cables

    Before you change the apple id password check for rogue devices on your account as if there is a rogue device any password changes will also replicate to that device.

    I have used this link from a PC to change passwords in this situation (no need for itunes)

    Good luck.
  20. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Delete what's app, reset the phone and replace the sim for good measure. Iphones are rock solid, but it could be a hole in WhatsApp.
    Pedro83 likes this.

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