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gmail hacked through Iphone

4858 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 14, 2013 1:03 PM by thomas_r. RSS
volley99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 13, 2013 11:07 PM

I there anything I can do to make sure there are not virus or such on my iphone?


Every gmail account that I check on my iphone was targeted today.  All of my gmail accounts except one blocked the unauthorized user from opening my gmail account with the correct password.  Most of these gmail accounts I only check on my phone.  The one account that let the hacker in was the account with the 2 step verification process (I use the google authenticator on my phone and have a password specific to my phone).  They were all attacked at the same time from the russia /Ukraine area.  I first noticed this because my main account with the two step verification recieved 200 return emails (undeliverable) of spam.  I then check my sent folder and found lots of sent spam messages.  I believe they stopped sending messages since my account reached googles outgoing mail limit.  None of my account settings were changed.  I caught the problem 2 hours afer the attack. 


I had 2 other emails addresses on the phone that are checked but those didn't seem to be affected or I couldn't tell.  The one uses gmail but has a different ending after the @. 


I have since changed all the passwords on my accounts.  Changed my reset emails.   Deleted 2 step verification and removed all computeres hooked up but then added 2 step verification back with a new password for the iphone. 


Is there anything else I should do?  Can I scan my phone to make sure this does not happen tomorrow after the 24 hour restriction from google is up? 



There are two possible ways this happend that I can think of?  I opened a suspiscious email today 3-4 hours before the attack.  My kids were using the phone to play minecraft at the time. 

iPhone 4S, iOS 7.0.2
  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 Level 6 (14,450 points)
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    Oct 13, 2013 11:38 PM (in response to volley99)

    There are no viruses for iOS.

    Your phone was not hacked, Google was.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Oct 14, 2013 3:10 AM (in response to volley99)

    Go to your Mail settings for each of those accounts and look at the Advanced settings. Is SSL turned on? If not, any open wifi network that you have used could be the issue. Someone could have captured the packets your phone was sending, and without SSL, those packets would have been sent unencrypted, with your passwords in clear text.


    As Johnathan says, there is no malware for an iPhone, unless it has been jailbroken. (If you let your kids play games on it, you'd probably better check to see if they jailbroke it without your knowledge. If you find a Cydia app on the phone, it's jailbroken.) This is due to the security settings that prevent any executable files from running unless they have been downloaded from the App Store. Thus, opening an e-mail message is totally safe... even if it had a malware attachment, and even if that malware were written for iOS, it still wouldn't be allowed to open. Unless, of course, the security had been removed by jailbreaking.


    One last note: GMail provides hackers with the method of their dreams for leaving a backdoor on your account. Delegation allows them to add an account that is authorized to access your account, and if they do that, even changing your password won't lock them out. You need to check for such a backdoor. See:


  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2013 8:28 AM (in response to volley99)

    If you're on iOS 7, just go to the home screen, then tap in the middle of the screen somewhere and drag down. That will bring down the search bar, and you can search for Cydia. If you find it, that's concrete evidence that the device has been jailbroken. I'm not a jailbreaking expert, though, so I don't know what else to tell you to look for if you don't find Cydia (if, for example, it was deleted).

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2013 12:48 PM (in response to thomas_r.)

    [...responding to myself to make this blasted forum show me the latest post that it's currently hiding from me...]

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2013 1:03 PM (in response to volley99)


    I don't know if gmail access would be different than google account access.



    GMail accounts also double as Google accounts these days.


    It doesn't make sense how they got the information.  If they can't get into the Iphone system and that is the only place the information resides together without other email account information.


    I don't know how they've done it, in this case. I just know that it's not malware, unless you are the "lucky" discoverer of something brand new. I think that's pretty unlikely.


    Does anyone else know the passwords to these accounts? If so, you not only have to consider how careful youare with them, but how careful the other folks are.


    Were those accounts all using the same password? If so, one account may have been compromised on some other device, thus compromising all the others.


    Were the passwords potentially guessable to someone who knows you, or someone who searches social media sites for information about you?


    It's also possible that what you thought was a good, secure password was actually easily guessed by a brute force attack executed by a botnet. There are certain strategies that hackers use to guess passwords that you would think are totally safe. If there's any kind of system behind the way you insert numbers into your passwords (such as p1a2s3s4w5o6r7d8), it's potentially vulnerable to brute-force attack.


    Or it could be something I haven't thought of, even possibly a vulnerability in GMail for all I know. The "good guys" are constantly playing catch-up with the hackers.


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