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Sascha Steampunk

friend of mine needs help getting back into her hacked accounts

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If your friend didn't give her password to anyone, then it seems to me the most likely way someone gained access to her account would be by somehow installing a keylogger.   While I can understand her anxiety about regaining her alt account, I would have thought tracking and removing the keylogger would be the most urgent matter of business.  Emsisoft is said to be very good, as, of course, is Malwarebytes.

I think, too, she should certainly report the matter to the police.   As I understand it, cybercrime units tend to take very seriously indeed people who grab people's passwords remotely, even though the actual cash loss to the victim may be minimal, since if someone can steal your friend's SL password he may well graduate to stealing someone else's banking details.

 

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If your friend didn't give her password to anyone, then it seems to me the most likely way someone gained access to her account would be by somehow installing a keylogger.   While I can understand her anxiety about regaining her alt account, I would have thought tracking and removing the keylogger would be the most urgent matter of business.  Emsisoft is said to be very good, as, of course, is Malwarebytes.

I think, too, she should certainly report the matter to the police.   As I understand it, cybercrime units tend to take very seriously indeed people who grab people's passwords remotely, even though the actual cash loss to the victim may be minimal, since if someone can steal your friend's SL password he may well graduate to stealing someone else's banking details.

 

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Unfortunately, short of illegally hiring another hacker to take BACK the hacked account, the only thing your friend can do is go through LL. They're the only ones who have legal access to all accounts in order to help her get hers back.

I'm surprised nothing is being done about the tickets. In my experience, LL takes compromised account reports very seriously, so if your friend is completely and accurately filing her ticket, using the compormised account option, it's odd that LL hasn't done something for her. Normally they request that a) she answer her secret question; or b) she provides RL information to prove her identity as the owner of the account, if she can't answer her secret question.

I would suggest that she first search for how her account was hacked. As someone else said, it's usually a keylogger, so she should get a quality program to find and get rid of that first thing. Otherwise, you're right - the person who hacked her account can simply do so again, over and over and over.

Second, she can contact her bank or credit card company and inform them that her information has been compromised online. They should be able to place a hold on the card, or freeze the card completely and issue her a brand new one.

But again, as far as actually getting her SL account back, she kind of HAS to contact LL. That's really the only way to do it legally.

 

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In addition to the support tickets, send an email to:  security@secondlife.com and call the Fraud number, 800-860-6990

And also, she should call Billing at one of the following numbers:

US/Canada: 800-294-1067
France: 0805-101-490
Germany: 0800-664-5510
Japan: 0066-33-132-830
Portugal: 800-814-450
Spain: 800-300-560
UK: 0800-048-4646
Brazil: 0800-762-1132

Long distance ( not free, but you can use Skype to save some cost ) : 703-286-6277
**Note: Support is offered only in English

I'm puzzled by something, though:  If she bought land from LL, it must have been Mainland, or a private estate region.  She could ONLY buy Mainland with her Premium account.  If she bought a private estate region, she could use a free Basic account, but in that case she has another number to use, the one for Concierge level support: 877.236.0711

As far as "not contacting LL to solve the problem", that is highly unrealistic.  LL is her best shot at solving the problem, and it's very unlikely anything else she can do will fix the billing issue.

Also, threatening to sue LL is unrealistic and unproductive.  Read the TOS:  you are responsible for anything that happens to your account, not LL.  LL is responsible for exactly nothing, and that's what she agreed to.

While it's possible to hack someone's account, it's NOT possible to do so without the password.  There are several ways someone could get that password.  The most common is that you gave it to them, because you trusted them.  Next most common is that it was tricked out of you by a phishing scam.  Least likely is that someone snuck a key logger into your computer and "watched" as you typed in your password.  This last one takes either physical access to the computer, or knowing the email address of the computer AND getting lucky in getting past firewalls and malware scanners.  Usually it requires that the targeted user be either careless with security precautions or gullible enough to be tricked in some way.  There are more esoteric tools, like password-cracking programs, but very few people have access to them or know how to use them.

But all that isn't what you need to worry about now.  What your friend should do is:

1.  Contact LL by all of the above methods.  Keep bugging them, politely, until the problem is resolved.

2.  On the chance that her computer is compromised, run a complete antivirus and malware scan.  Use more than one detection and removal program.

3.  Change ALL her passwords, not just her SL one. 

4.  Password protect the computer itself.

5.  Once she has control of her account again, change the email address that ties to her SL account.  Use a new email address with a new and different password.

6.  If she is REALLY worried her computer has been compromised, wipe the hard drive and reinstall the operating system and all software.  Again, use all new passwords.

 

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