Yahoo Hackers and Your Answers To The Security Question
Someone hacked my yahoo account and has my password now??
posted 06-19-2005 04:16 PM
I'm assuming that somebody has hacked my account and has "stolen" my password because I couldn't log into my messenger (several times) yesterday.
Every time when I tried to log in, I got "booted" and the following message appeared:
"You have been signed off because you signed in on a different computer or device."
Anywho, I can log in and use my messenger now. What do you guys think?
Is there any explanation for this other than my concerns that I've been hacked?
I know that your inquiry about the log-on problem is quite old, but just in case someone else might stop by--this being on October 10th or beyond--having experienced this same error message that you have been seeing, this post might be of further assistance to them as I haven't noticed some of these things mentioned in any of the replies to your former posting. I know that the error message that you received ~~"You have been signed off because you signed in on a different computer or device"~~ can definitely happen as a result of various things; but I'll just mention the most likely reason....
Sometimes when Yahoo Messenger users click on the EXIT option from the Yahoo menu, the computer doesn't always shut the program down, but instead signs the user out of the program leaving the service available in hibernation on the lower desktop toolbar tray. Even though the Yahoo Messenger window closes, users may still see the "gray sleeping face" rather than see the Yahoo Messenger icon disappearing from the toolbar when their computer has failed to perform the exiting command, but performed the sign out command instead. People that do not pay attention to their toolbar when they try to sign in again by clicking on the Yahoo Messenger icon located on their desktop screen, end up having a new Yahoo Messenger application trying to open and a previous older application of Yahoo Messenger from the desktop toolbar trying to come out of hibernation at the same time trying to perform the same sign-in function.
HOW TO FIX
All you need to do to fix this problem--(((with no other windows or programs open on your desktop toolbar to get in the way: i.e., websites or other computer programs)))--is right click on the center of the desktop toolbar, and click on TASK MANAGER. When the Task Manager window opens, you left click on the PROCESSES tab once. Now left click on USER NAME to sort the processes into categorized groups. Your computer user name (i.e. Marys Computer or whatever you've named your personal computer log-on session) should appear at the top when you click on the USER NAME column tab. In the processes running with your name as the user at the top, look for MSGSYS.exe, Ypager.exe, and/or Ymsgr_tray.exe. Right click on those processes individually and a menu will appear with a list of selections. Click on END PROCESS (NOT "Process Tree") to manually shutdown and close those Yahoo programs that are running. Once you've manually made your computer shut these programs down, you should be able to log-in again to Yahoo Messenger successfully after completing these steps without receiving the error message you were previously receiving.
IF THIS SHOULD NOT WORK
If you are unable to sign back in to Yahoo without getting the same error message after you have manually shut down any existing Yahoo programs and commands on your computer, then the only conclusion is that your Yahoo identity is being used by another person at another location. If this is the case, and if you are persistent, keep trying to sign in to boot the other person off. The program may keep giving you the familiar error message over-and-over again, but quickly close the message windows and sign back in FAST. Once you are able to successfully boot the other person off and get into your identity, immediately, and very quickly go to your account and change your password so that whomever may be using your identity cannot get back in.
IT MAY NOT BE THAT SOMEONE STOLE YOUR PASSWORD!!
Yahoo Messenger has the lamest security questions that I have ever seen if you cannot remember your password. As most Yahoo users know, you are given a choice of 5 or 6 security questions that the service will ask you to pick from as the question it will ask you should you ever lose your password. For example: If you were to decide to use the question, "What is your pet's name?" and your dog's name is "Fluffy" chances are that anyone you might talk to on a dog website, chatroom, or any other website is going to take note that you own a dog named Fluffy as you will most likely share your fondest memories and best of times that you've spent with your furry companion. Anyone wishing to steal your Yahoo identity that knows your ID screen name can apply for a new password and the security question "What is your pet's name?" pops up giving whomever might be trying to break into your ID account the ultimate opportunity because he or she remembers that you talked about a dog named Fluffy a lot. This person enters "Fluffy" as the answer and he or she is in! Presto! Bingo! Now he or she has access to your private emails, archived Yahoo Instant Messenger IM's, and can obtain all of the addresses for your friends, pals, family, co-workers, etc. And if the person is there to cause you some real trouble--and let's face it, most hackers are there for that purpose, and that purpose only--they can send out some really nasty emails to people pretending to be you, or worst yet, forward emails to people that you would never want reading the things you'd been writing about them secretly.
It's best that you pick a password that no one will know; sure. But it's also a good idea to provide an answer to the Yahoo security question that no one would guess. Like if you want to use your pet's name for the pet question, and your name is John Doe, you are 30, you live in Greenville, and you drive a Nissan, then type the answer as: FluffyJohnDoe30GreenNissan. There is no way that anyone would guess all of that, and it would be really hard to break through that string of text! :)