Alex Lielacher

Alex Lielacher has 7 articles published.

Alex is the founder & editor-in-chief of the Dark Web Journal. He is passionate about Bitcoin, online privacy, and digital freedom.

Top 5 Dark Web Hacker Forums

in Hacking
hacker forums

Hacker forums are among the most active communities in the underground market. You can hire a hacker to undertake a penetration test or pay someone to hijack a social media account for you. Additionally, dark web hacking forums are a place to discuss a variety of hacker-related topics anonymously.

In this guide, we will share a list of hacker forums that you can find on the dark web.

Diving into Hacking Forums

hacking forums

According to investigations published by security firms and cybersecurity experts, the number of hacking communities on the dark web is on the rise.

Most of the hacking forums are closed to the public and one must request an invitation to join. Also, the majority of these groups focus their discussions on specific topics and practices, such as DDOS attacks, social media hacks, data theft, etc.

However, not all hacker forums are a hotbed of criminal activity as often depicted in the media. Some hacker communities work for social causes like highlighting oppressive governments or providing censorship-free platforms for citizens.

Torum

Torum claims to be a non-profit cybersecurity forum that was launched in 2017. The hacker forum has a self-governing structure that confers authority and privileges based on seniority, with new members having to share a minimum of 10 posts to unlock key features.

The forum’s three main sections include:

  • Beginner
  • General, and
  • Main

New users have to post at least three times in the beginner’s lounge section to post in other sections. The general section is for public announcements or to spark new marketplace discussions about topics such as carding, vendors and dark web marketplaces. Users can also post challenges and puzzles in this section as well as create CTF/hacking teams and share training videos.

The main section contains the majority of the educational and informative posts with popular threads covering topics such as cryptography/malware, denial of service, social engineering, website pentesting, etc.

http://torum43tajnrxritn4iumy75giwb5yfw6cjq2czjikhtcac67tfif2yd.onion/index.php?sid=dd899d947f96f6d5ddca67c7b5b19f62

BHF

BHF is a dark web hacker forum that boasts over 200,000 members. The site allows you to access the platform without registering including the threads and messages. However, if you need to reply or access any protected messages, you will have to sign up. The forum is mostly in Russian so you either need to be using Google Chrome or any other browser with an auto-translate feature.

The forum shows an impressive level of traffic even by popular dark web standards. Discussion threads are updated on an almost real-time basis, with some topics attracting over 100,000 responses. Certainly, a prime attraction to the forum is its ‘contests.’ The contests include competitions and giveaways such as bitcoin prizes, VPN accounts, and other items.

The forum provides users with programs related to Hash, SQL, Checkers, Proxy, Bruteforcers just to name a few. Furthermore, the BHL marketplace facilitates the purchase of leaked databases, user passwords, accounts, codes and even trading of cryptocurrencies. If you are looking for digital marketing tips and tools you can access them on the ‘WebMasters’ section.

https://bhf.io/

0Day

0Day is one of the more advanced hacker forums that also doubles up as a marketplace. Forum members can browse the forum without registration though you will have to load funds in order to trade on the platform.

You can purchase/test exploits from categories such as private, remote exploits, local exploits, web applications, dos/poc, and shellcode. In addition, you can follow the review in the comment section of each exploit and share your feedback with other members.

http://mvfjfugdwgc5uwho.onion/

HackerPlace

Hackerplace is a deep web hacker forum that acts like an online directory, listing various hacking and programming related materials.

You will not only find discussions, but can also access marketplaces, search engines, and other services. You can browse and select a thread about hacking books to access up to 100 cybersecurity and hacker titles.

http://hackerw6dcplg3ej.onion/?c=home

Hack Forums

Hack Forums is a hacker forum on the clearnet that you can access without a Tor browser. The site claims to have over half a million users which would make it one of the largest hacker communities online. In order to access any of the threads, registration is mandatory.

While not your typical dark web hacker forum if you consider its stringent registration procedures, the site is not without its merits. To begin with, users can access a number of security and hacking tools for free. This includes BIP39. Epoch Converter, Base64 Encoder/Decoder, Hash Encryption and many more. You can browse and share posts about basic and advanced hacking, website hacking, as well as access hacking tutorials.

Interestingly, the forum strives to remain on the right side of the law and, therefore, restricts the sharing of any personally identifiable information. Also, the forum logs, monitors, and shares IP addresses and other private details with law enforcement agencies. While useful if you are looking for information the forum is not anonymous, unlike its .onion counterparts.

https://hackforums.net/index.php

Having said that, all the hacker forums listed are a rich source of information and a platform to connect with fellow hackers on the dark web.

Top 7 Best Google Chrome Privacy Extensions

in Privacy
privacy extensions

If you are looking for a privacy-focused browser, Google Chrome does not fit the bill. However, this guide will discuss the top seven best Google Chrome privacy extensions that you can use to improve your privacy while browsing in 2020.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

Google knows the URLs and search terms that you are using because it reads and transmits what you type on the omnibar in real-time. Moreover, the browser records your browsing, download, and location history.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials can protect your privacy while browsing using Google Chrome. When you click on search results, the extension forces sites to use an encrypted connection when possible. Also, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials blocks all hidden third-party advertising trackers and enables you to search privately.

The extension exposes trackers that have been tracking you and lets you know how much you can trust a site before and after implementing its privacy protection feature. Furthermore, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials does not track your search history.

Ghostery

If you hate coming across ads as you scroll through websites, then Ghostery is a privacy extension to consider. 

The extension finds the trackers on each website and gives you the power to control the ones that you do not want. The extension also blocks ads to declutter web pages while improving user experience.

With Ghostery, you can access insights on trackers and customize the trackers you want to block and when you want to block them.

Blur

Creating new strong passwords and remembering old ones is often a hassle. Blur, however, makes life easier with its password management feature.

While Chrome also offers a similar service, Blur goes a step further to provide secure payments and improved online privacy.

Blur uses AES-256 encryption to secure passwords and keys, it creates strong and unique encrypted passwords for every account, and it saves your passwords for fast logins. Additionally, Blur enables you to shop online with disposable credit cards, blocks tracking that does not use cookies, and prevents companies from collecting your online activity data.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is another useful best Chrome privacy extension. This extension is a virtual private network (VPN) that provides enhanced security and privacy while surfing the internet.

When you are surfing without a VPN, websites and your internet service provider can see your IP address. Furthermore, you cannot access sites that have geographical restrictions. However, Hotspot Shield will hide your IP address allowing you to surf privately and it gives users access to restricted sites. Also, Hotspot Shield encrypts your browser traffic and gives users unlimited VPN access.

HTTPS Everywhere

Most websites have already moved to the more secure “HTTPS” protocol. However, other websites are still using “HTTP” and are therefore insecure to use.

HTTPS Everywhere automatically changes websites from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” to protect you from some forms of censorship, account hijacking, and surveillance.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) provides more security and privacy than HTTP as you surf the web. For instance, your internet service provider cannot see the specific pages of a site that you are visiting and they cannot tamper with web pages.

Click&Clean

As you browse the internet, you leave behind traces of your online activity that third-parties can use to track you and to collect your personal information. As a result, you should delete these traces frequently to stay safe. This is where Click&Clean comes in. This extension protects your privacy and security by enabling you to delete your browsing history, cookies, cache, download history, and typed URLs with one click.

The ability to constantly clean your digital traces protects you from cookie trackers, malware, adware, search hijackers, and personal data collection.

Click&Clean also scans your computer for malware, it cleans up your hard drives to free up space, and it erases all traces of your online activity.

Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger blocks all those invisible trackers that are tracking you while you browse. The web pages you visit are made up of content from different sources. For instance, a news media site could display ads from an ad company. 

Privacy Badger keeps track of all these sources and if it appears that one of them is tracking you, it tells your browser to stop loading content from that source. When your browser stops loading that content, the source cannot track you.

Furthermore, Privacy Badger prevents outgoing link click tracking on sites like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. This service provides first-party privacy protection.

As long as you are surfing the internet, you should take online privacy seriously because privacy matters

Is WhatsApp Safe to Use?

in Features/Privacy
Is WhatsApp Safe to Use

Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp has more than two billion users across the globe. With so many people using this app daily to send private messages, we should all ask ourselves: “Is WhatsApp safe to use?”

In this guide, we dive into the popular messaging app to gauge how trustworthy it is for individuals who care about privacy and security.

Is WhatsApp Safe?

is whatsapp safe

According to Facebook, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the recipient can read a message. Facebook states that it does not have access to the messages you send and receive.

When you first open WhatsApp on your phone, two keys are generated: a public and private key. The user keeps the private key while WhatsApp sends the public key to the receiver via a centralized server. When someone sends the user a message, the public key encrypts it and the user decrypts the message using the private key.

Simply put, every message you send and every call you make on WhatsApp is encrypted and inaccessible to third-parties. To confirm that this encryption exists, tap the profile of any contact and go to encryption. If you can, scan the code on your contact’s phone. On the other hand, you can manually compare your 60 digits to those of your contact to see if they match.

How Secure Is It Really?

While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption sounds good, it doesn’t guarantee 100 percent security.

Most people use WhatsApp to share sensitive and private information because they believe that the encryption keeps this data safe. However, this is not the case. 

According to a report by Bloomberg, a hacker can access the information you share via WhatsApp without having to decrypt the message. By gaining entry to your phone’s operating system, he or she can read every message you send or receive on WhatsApp.

“End-to-end encryption is a marketing device used by companies such as Facebook to lull consumers wary about cyber-surveillance into a false sense of security. Encryption is, of course, necessary, but it’s not a fail-safe way to secure communication,” wrote Leonid Bershidsky.

Moreover, if law enforcement believes that you are using WhatsApp to conduct illegal activities, it can access your information in several ways.

  • Firstly, they can read your messages if they have physical access to your phone.
  • Secondly, they can submit a court order or a search warrant to WhatsApp requesting the disclosure of your information.
  • Thirdly, should governments succeed in forcing tech companies to create backdoors to their encrypted apps, all your data and messages will be available to government agencies.

Threats to WhatsApp Users

In 2019, Pegasus spyware spied into the phones of 1,400 people by exploiting the WhatsApp video and audio calling features. The spyware infected target phones whether the phone owners received the calls or not. This makes spyware a huge threat to WhatsApp users because they can infect mobile phones without users taking any action.

The Pegasus cyberattack abused WhatsApp vulnerabilities, a sign to users that the app is not as secure as they think.

Furthermore, a flaw was discovered that makes links to WhatsApp group conversations available on search engines. Links to group chats were previously available on Google but Facebook made a change preventing this search engine from indexing such conversations. However, links to group chats are still available on other search engines. 

WhatsApp reported twelve vulnerabilities in 2019, a rise from one or two medium-category vulnerabilities reported in the past few years. Of the twelve vulnerabilities, seven were critical.

Can You Trust Facebook?

Facebook

Facebook does not have the best track record of protecting the data privacy of its users. In 2018, it emerged that Cambridge Analytica had harvested personal identifiable information of 87 million Facebook users. The harvested data is attributed to the success of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the pro-BREXIT campaign.

History has shown that Facebook has handled security and privacy matters horrendously. But does that mean that you should stop using WhatsApp?

Well, that depends on what you are using it for.

If you want to discuss sensitive matters with friends or family or exchange important business information, probably not. If you want to send someone a quick hello or make plans for coffee, you should be okay.

Should you decide to continue to use WhatsApp, here are several measures that you can take to stay safe:

  • To secure group chats, admins should reset the invite link to generate a new one. This measure is necessary if you shared the previous link publicly.
  • Do not back up your WhatsApp data to the cloud where the government or hackers could access it.
  • Enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security. To do this, go to “Settings,” then click on “Account.” Next, tap “Two-step verification” and enable it.
  • Turn on security notifications to receive alerts when the security codes of your contacts change. To do this, go to “Settings” then tap “Account.” Select the “Security” option and turn on the button to “Show security notifications.”
  • Verify that the messages you are sending are encrypted by scanning the code on your contact’s phone or by checking that the 60 digits match those of your contact.
  • Install WhatsApp desktop instead of using WhatsApp web, which hackers could manipulate.
  • Review your privacy settings to check who can view your status, profile photo, live location, and about section. Also, you can turn off read receipts and control who can add you to groups. Go to “Settings>Account>Privacy to change these settings.
  • Only send non-sensitive media files because once you send them, they are out of your control.
  • Avoid clicking suspicious links shared to you on WhatsApp.

The Dark Web Journal does not recommend using WhatsApp for anything other than trivial conversation. If you need to exchange sensitive information, we recommend using the open-source messaging app Signal.

What is a Botnet?

in Hacking
what is a botnet

In this guide, you will discover what a botnet is, how it works, and how you can prevent your devices from being used in botnets.

What is a Botnet?

Created from the words “robot” and “network,” a botnet is a network of compromised devices at the will of a hacker. This network of robots becomes an “army” at the hands of a hacker because it can cause large-scale destruction. As a result, botnet attacks are more efficient to hackers when their “army” is as large as possible.

Hackers that control botnets are known as botmasters or bot herders.

Characteristics of a Botnet

  • It is not easily detectable because the bot herder intentionally ensures that your computer continues operating normally to avoid alerting you.
  • A botnet can stay dormant in devices for a long time waiting for the hacker to grow his army and eventually launch an attack.
  • An advanced botnet is created in such a way that it can update itself to prevent detection by antivirus or antimalware software.

Hackers are constantly improving botnet designs to make them more difficult to find.

How Does a Botnet Work?

A botnet obtains access to your computer or other internet-connected devices through a piece of malicious coding, IoT hacking, a spider, or a Trojan horse.

A spider is a program that crawls the internet looking for security holes to exploit while a trojan horse is a type of malware that lures you to click a malicious link by disguising itself as a legitimate link. You can also infect your computer with a trojan by downloading malicious email attachments or software.

Once a botnet has gained access to your computer, it will contact the botmaster so that he or she can begin using your computer for malicious reasons.

Attackers use botnet structures to give them as much control as possible over the devices they compromise. The two botnet structures are as follows:

Client-server model

With this structure, the botmaster uses one main command and control (C&C) server to send instructions to each client device with the help of special software.

This structure is reliable in allowing the bot herder to control and maintain the botnet. However, this botnet is easy to bring down because law enforcement agents simply have to locate the C&C server and destroy it.

Peer-to-peer model

Instead of using a centralized C&C server, this structure uses the compromised devices as both the clients and servers. 

Each individual client will reach out to other infected devices to update and exchange information. As a result, a botnet using the P2P structure is more difficult to destroy.

Botnet Attacks

botnet

Also called a zombie army, a botnet is used to carry out a variety of attacks. Some of these attacks are listed below:

· Ad fraud

Bot herders create ad fraud schemes where they command thousands of compromised devices to go to fraudulent websites and click on ads. The attacker receives a percentage of the advertising money for every click.

· Spam distribution

A hacker can use infected computers to email spam to millions of internet users across the globe. Some organizations pay hackers to send out ads about their products via these spam emails.

Through spam distribution, hackers can infect more computers if owners download files attached to the spam email. Moreover, botmasters can send phishing emails to trick recipients to send their personal information.

· DDoS attacks

In a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a botmaster instructs infected computers to contact a website or server repeatedly. The sudden surge in traffic can overwhelm the website or server causing it to shut down.

Some botnets might use innocent computers to carry out a DDoS attack to stay hidden. To do this, the bot herder commands the infected computers to send connection requests to the innocent computers, also known as reflectors. When the reflectors receive these connection requests, it will appear as if they originated from the target website or server. The reflectors then send information to the website or server hence overloading it. The website or server then shuts down completely.

Once a botmaster has achieved his goals with a botnet, he can sell or rent it to other hackers for them to carry out other attacks.

Examples of real-world botnet attacks include Zeus, Methbot, and Mirai.

How to Protect Yourself

To keep your computer, phone, tablet, and home IoT devices from becoming part of a bot network, you should observe the measures below:

  • Only download software and email attachments from trustworthy sources
  • Secure your home Wi-Fi network
  • Create strong and different passwords for all your devices
  • Use security software to protect your devices from botnets
  • Avoid downloading files from P2P networks
  • Update the operating system of your devices regularly
  • Do not browse the internet without a firewall
  • Do not visit sites that distribute malware
  • Enable two-factor authentication on your devices

For more topics on security threats, read what is a remote access trojan and how to protect yourself against it.

What is a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) and How to Protect Yourself Against it

in Hacking
Remote Access Trojan

When a hacker attacks your computer, it is usually easy to notice the red flags. However, a remote access trojan (RAT) can be difficult to detect.

In this guide, you will learn what a remote access trojan is, how it works, and how to protect yourself against this malware.

What is a Remote Access Trojan?

A RAT is a type of malware that gives a cybercriminal remote access to your computer without your knowledge. This attack is silent because the attacker does not give himself away. This means that a hacker can have access to your computer for years without you noticing that something is wrong.

A remote access trojan is similar to legit programs used to share files and to provide tech support. The difference, however, is that hackers use RATs for malicious purposes.

A RAT attack begins when you download malicious software to your computer or download compromised torrent files.

The malware will then install itself on your computer and create a direct connection with a command-and-control (C&C) server by using your computer’s predefined open TCP port. The hacker owns this server and could connect your computer to more than one C&C server. This connection gives the attacker remote access to your computer.

Why Are RATs Dangerous?

RAT

Once attackers gain remote access to your computer, they can do anything they like. They can remotely watch you via your webcam, record your private conversations, log keystrokes, obtain your identifying information such as name and identification number, obtain your bank account details, read your documents, use your computer to download illegal content, and use your Wi-Fi network to carry out criminal activities in your name.

Cybercriminals could use your bank details to steal your money or to shop on the dark web for illegal goods. Additionally, they could sell sensitive information and photos on the dark web.

With access to your computer and home network, attackers could also use a botnet for further attacks. A botnet enables them to use your computer resources for file hosting and torrenting. If your computer is just one of the thousands of hacked computers, they could use a botnet to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which could cause damage on a massive scale.

Examples of RAT Malware

Back Orifice and CrossRAT are some of the most well-known RATs out there.

The hacker group cult of the Dead Cow is behind the creation of Back Orifice. The RAT was released in 1998 and specifically targets Windows 95 and 98. The malware was designed to detect security issues in Windows operating systems. Hackers could use Back Orifice to acquire passwords and banking PINs or to modify files.

Spyware campaign Dark Caracal is behind CrossRAT, a RAT malware that was reported in 2018. The RAT contains a .jar file that modifies files, takes screenshots of your computer activity, and makes your system vulnerable to outside threats. CrossRAT infects computers running Windows, Linux, and OSX operating systems.

Other types of RATs include Beast, Mirage, and Blackshades.

How to Spot a RAT

RAT malware

Spotting a RAT infection is difficult because it does not slow down your computer and does not appear on the list of running tasks or programs on your machine.

However, RAT malware will slow down your internet connection. Therefore, this is a sign that could prompt you to take action like scanning your computer using malware detection tools or an antivirus.

If you find that your files have been deleted or changed and you are sure that you did not do it, you might have a RAT.

Also, if a dark web monitoring service provider finds your identifying information on the dark web, it might have found its way there because a hacker accessed it through RAT malware.

Hackers sometimes add RAT malware to Windows startup directories enabling automatic execution when you launch your computer. To look for such a program, take these steps.

  • Press the “Windows key” + “R”
  • Type in msconfig.exe in the command box and hit enter. The system configuration window will appear on your screen
  • Click the “Startup tab” and open the “Task manager”
  • Look for any suspicious programs

If you find an odd program, research its legitimacy online. If it is RAT malware, you should install security software on your computer and run a complete scan to remove the infection. Once done, change your passwords and banking PINs and increase your overall security.

Some of the tools that you can use to catch a RAT include SpyHunter, Immunet, and SUPERAntiSpyware.

Safety Measures

You can avoid a RAT malware infection by practicing the following safety measures:

  • Only download software, games, and email attachments from trustworthy sources
  • Use antivirus or antimalware software on your computer and update it regularly
  • Update your web browsers, applications, and operating system regularly
  • Check your list of installed programs frequently and uninstall any odd programs
  • Do not click suspicious links shared to you via email or social media
  • Unplug from the internet any computers you are not using 
  • Configure a firewall for your computer
  • Restrict internet access to programs that do not necessarily need it
  • Secure your Wi-Fi network
  • Secure your email to keep out malicious messages and attachments
  • Use multi-factor authentication to keep attackers from logging into your accounts once they get your login credentials
  • Cover your webcam when you are not using it
  • Constantly back up your data
  • Encrypt sensitive data on your computer

Practicing just some of the above-mentioned safety measures will already greatly reduce the risk of getting hacked via a remote access trojan.

How to Access the Dark Web/Deep Web on Your iPhone

in Deep Web
how to access the deep web on iphone

You may have reasons for wanting to access the deep web on-the-go. In this article, we explore how to access the dark web on iPhone or devices that run iOS. 

If you follow the steps below, you will be able to consume dark web content and or interact with others over the dark web using your iPhone.

1. Get a Dark Web Browser for iPhone

There are deep web browsers that enable you to run darknet sites without problems on your iPhone. Onion browser and Red Onion Browser, for example, allow you to access .onion site on your iPhone.

The Red Onion Browser is a paid application that costs $1.99 to purchase on your iPhone. Conversely, Onion Browser, which the Tor Project recommends, is free.

2. Use a VPN for Extra Security

Even though most Tor network-enabled browsers have features that protect users, it is not enough. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) come in handy for the protection of your device and data.

Tor browsers usually cover the basics by ensuring your connections to sites hide your IP. Vulnerabilities still exist regardless and can be mitigated by combining Tor and VPNs. Most top VPNs work on the iPhone.

3. Access Sites

After downloading the essential applications, you can now access dark web sites on your iPhone.

If you know where exactly you are going, you can enter the address in your Tor browser. However, if you need to search for dark web content, you can use DuckDuckGo or StartPage. Both are private search engines that crawl dark web content.

Do’s and Don’ts When Accessing the Dark Web on Your iPhone

dark web on iphone

Using the dark web can be dangerous, especially on your phone as it carries a lot of personal information. Here are some tips on things you should do and not do while using the dark web on iPhone:

Don’t Share Personal Information

Avoid sharing your personal information while using the dark web. It would help if you stayed clear off sites that require you to enter your personal data before usage.

Critical information like your whereabouts, images, or videos should not be shared on the deep web to protect you from bad actors.

Don’t Share Your Financial Details

A mistake some people make is to share their financial information on the dark web. The laws that produce consumers on the general internet cannot be applied to the letter on sites hidden on unknown parts of the internet with little to no trace of owners or origin.

Sharing your financial data – like credit card information – on a dark web site opens you up to theft. On the other hand, cryptocurrency payments are more secure and do not require any sensitive data should you need to make financial transactions.

Finally, links on the deep web could be traps that might lead you to illegal content. To prevent this, you should avoid clicking any links that you are not sure of! 

In conclusion, it is not difficult to access the dark web on the iPhone, but it comes with the responsibility of protecting your data and device.

How to Remove a Hacker from Your Phone

in Hacking
how to remove a hacker from your phone

Your smartphone is an essential part of your life and contains sensitive information about you. The delicate nature of your phone makes it a prime target for hackers.

In this article, we will explain how to remove a hacker from your phone and how to prevent it from happening in the future. 

What is Phone Hacking?

Phone hacking generally involves spyware like applications or websites that steal information such as passwords and credentials from your mobile device.

These hacks take different shapes and forms. For instance, in 2016, over two million Android phones were infected with malware that was using internet bandwidth in a botnet to exploit phones. 

Furthermore, 25 million Android users were affected by a malware attack that got onto their phones through the downloading of unofficial WhatsApp applications early this year. 

From the examples above, it might seem to some readers that only Android devices are at risk of suffering from phone hacking. This is a popular myth shared online.

iPhones are also at risk of getting hacked even though it hardly happens. This is due to Apple’s strict guidelines for accepting applications on the App Store. Most Android users suffer from phone hacks because they download applications from third-party sources.

How to Identify if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

In most cases, a hacked phone begins to operate slower and runs out of battery quicker. These symptoms, even though synonymous with hacked phones, do not necessarily mean your phone has been hacked. They may also be signs that you have to clean up your storage.

To clarify, you can go through these steps to check and remove a hacker from your phone.

1. Go Through Your Apps

Firstly, go through the applications downloaded on your device to see if there are any applications you don’t recall downloading. If you find any, it is a major red flag that indicates that your phone might be hacked. 

how to remove a hacker from my phone

Most of these hacks that take this form do not target just one user but the masses, in a way to steal important information from several mobile users. For example, the BankBot malware is a Trojan that displayed a phishing screen on several Android devices to steal banking credentials. 

What’s more, some categories of applications are highly known for being compromised. A lot of battery-saver and flashlight applications are frequently used as vessels for attacking Android users. When you suspect that your device is being hacked, check for applications like these as they might be the cause.

If you notice these applications on your phone, you should delete them immediately and find the source application which installed the unidentifiable apps on your device. 

In several cases, most users notice a difference in performance after they uninstall these applications. 

2. Review Your Phone Bill

Not all phone hacks are tied to mobile applications. In certain instances, these hacks affect the charges you pay to your network carrier. 

If you begin to notice that you are sending messages from your phone that you don’t recall sending, it is time to investigate the possibility of a hack. 

You have probably been infected by malware that requires your phone to send or receive texts that produce profits for cybercriminals. To prevent your phone from receiving such messages, you must first text “STOP” to the number. Secondly, you should call your network carrier to block the number for you. 

You should also check to see if you have downloaded any third-party messaging apps recently. These apps may be the reason why you are sending or receiving such texts.

3. Clicked Links

While surfing the internet, certain pop-up ads or hidden links can open up our mobile phones for an attack. Several free download sites are filled with links that hackers use as gateways to attack your phone. 

Likewise, some of these links disguise themselves as anti-virus software alerting you that your phone is hacked and you should take immediate action by clicking the link.

If you remember clicking any link of that sort, you should check it out and delete them. 

4. Public WiFi

Public WiFi is another method hackers use to gain access to your mobile device. Based on research by Kaspersky Lab, 1 in 4 open public hotspots are unsecured. In worse case scenarios, some private WiFi networks in public places are traps to gain access to your mobile phone.

If you connect to public WiFi and begin to realize any symptoms described in this article, you should immediately disconnect from the network.

How to Remove A Hacker From Your Phone

If you are still having issues removing a hacker from your phone, then it is time for more drastic solutions.

Here are two steps to take to remove a hacker from your phone.

1. Run A Scan

You will have to download a trusted anti-virus application to run a scan on your device to identify malicious software. On Android devices, it relatively easier to be affected by spyware that can only be detected by ant-virus applications.

iOS devices are mostly protected unless you jailbreak your iPhone. You might not have done this yourself but someone else might have done it for you. 

To check if your iPhone is intact or not, you can download applications like Sophos to scan your device. 

2. Factory Reset Your Device

If, after running the scan and deleting the malicious files found, you still have problems with your device, you will have to remove a hacker from your phone.

Here is how to perform a factory reset on Android or iOS:

Android: Settings > System > (Advanced) > Reset options > Erase all data

iOS: Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings

Moving forward, even if you do not see these symptoms, you should regularly scan through your device. This is to ensure that your phone has not been compromised by a hacker. 

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