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sacmac
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My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

My primary VM email account was seriously hacked.  After weeks of wrangling with countless VM operatives, I got a message that VM has locked my account.  It was so hacked that the VM technical team were unable to resolve it and no operative was able to renew my password using their standard renew password URL (and neither was I), the entire account had been hijacked and effectively locked us all out for their own use such that no one could repair it or secure it.  I was very concerned about our personal security and went to great lengths stopping all internet banking, changing passwords on numerous accounts etc etc...  It was actually overdue but really time consuming to do this.  At one point the hackers sent me a message with words to the effect that I should not endeavour to change passwords on my son's, now ex-minecraft account.  

To unlock my account, VM want me to provide a new password.  However, I believe the whole account is insecure, I have lost confidence in it (and VM security?) and I do want to renew the account in any form for security reasons. I particularly do not want to provide a new password for this account for what I now consider to be a comprehensively insecure and hacked account!  

What I want is a new email address and a new VM account, completely separate from my old, hacked account.  VM seem unable to process or understand this request and it goes endlessly round in circles from call centre to call centre, operative to operative.  Meanwhile, I have no VM email and cannot login to My Virgin Media at all.

Please can someone help with a solution or I'll have to consider leaving VM after many years of pretty trouble and happy loyal free custom.

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sacmac
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

hello? anyone able to help with this issue ?
many thanks
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coenoby
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

Hi sacmac

The first thing I'll say is that I am a VM customer like yourself and the second thing is that this forum is a 'community forum' where users try to offer help to other users. It is not a direct link to the VM support team.

Having said that, I am surprised that this thread has not yet been picked up by one of the forum super users. These are also VM customers but very experienced in VM processes and they are able to flag up posts such as yours to VM staff members. Clearly you need this complex problem resolved as soon as possible.

Having got nowhere with the support team all you can do is to wait for this thread to be picked up by the forum team who have an excellent record of helping VM customers resolve difficult issues.

You say, "What I want is a new email address and a new VM account"

VM obviously have to sort out access to your 'My Virgin Media' account but in my view, going back to using a new VM email account would be a mistake. I have a VM email account but the only thing I use it for is to receive messages from VM themselves. I have never used a 'free' email account from an ISP as my main email account.

Following your recent experience my advice you should set up an email account which is more secure and more reliable than the VM offering. Many others on this forum would give you the same advise.

Gmail is one option. Google provide the added security of 2 step verification which means that your Gmail account is protected by password and phone. There are others, Microsoft's Outlook.com for example, it's your choice.

I am surprised that you are even considering using VM email after your experience. 'Putting your head back in the lion's mouth' comes to mindSmiley Happy

I am sure that the forum team will pick up on this in the next day or two. If you do have to resort to the 150 call centre again I would suggest calling Monday to Friday during office hours since you will be more likely to get the UK call centre.

 I hope that you get your problem resolved.

coenoby

 

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sacmac
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

Thank you so much for your helpful and useful reply... especially your tip not to return to VM as my primary email. I have a gmail plus two step verification on my google account which I have moved things to now to act as primary email so I feel happy that you consider this to be a safe bet regarding security.
The unresolved bit remains my locked up My Virgin Media account which, as you say, I hope the community can offer direction with in due course.
Many thanks for taking the trouble to help me.
much appreciated
sacmac


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Superuser
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

Writing as one of the Superusers I wouldn't have thought it right to queue jump this post and refer it to the Forum Team for attention out of turn.  It was only posted last Tuesday and the Team are taking about a week to get round to posts - which they read, each and every one of them, and respond accordingly if they need to.

But I can briefly answer the questions. VM will not give you a new VM account.  That is because the account not only controls your e-mail , it controls your access to My Virginmedia and all of the rest of your VM services. A new account would be no more secure than your existing account. The key to the hack was that your password got into the hands of spammers. Now whilst it is not unknown for the loss of confidentiality to be via VM it is very unlikely to have been the case. Much more likely is that the password was disclosed because your machine has picked some malware (use the free trial version of malwarebyes from the Malwarebytes site to scan) that is disclosing your password to the spammers. Or it has become known because of a site security breach by one of the sites you use or have used in the past.

You will need to change the password on your account if you want to continue to use the facilities of My Virginmedia. The Forum Team can help you with that. 

But in respect of your future e-mail services I would not disagree at all with what @coenoby has said.  You'll probably to need to use VM mail for a while as you transfer contact details but then I'd use it only for communications from VM. 

Read this as well:

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/templates/selfservice/vm/help/customer/locale/en-GB/portal/20030...

but I would ignore the advice about the use of F-Secure. My advice on using malwarebytes (effectively to supplement your existing security) is preferable.


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coenoby
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?


@HowardML wrote:

Writing as one of the Superusers I wouldn't have thought it right to queue jump this post and refer it to the Forum Team for attention out of turn.


Hi Howard,

No criticism intended in my post and I was not suggesting that the OP should get special treatment. However, as there had been no response to the original post after 4 or 5 days I felt that some reassurance was needed in what must be a difficult and worrying time.

Thanks for picking up on this and clarifying things a bit more. At least the OP now knows it's on the radar.Smiley Happy

For sacmac (and HowardML) Unfortunately, by marking my post as helpful it means the Forum team will class the thread as being closed. You can remove the Helpful message tag to open it up again and replace it by clicking on the thumbs up signal too give kudos to the post.

coenoby

 

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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?


@coenoby wrote:

@HowardML wrote:

Writing as one of the Superusers I wouldn't have thought it right to queue jump this post and refer it to the Forum Team for attention out of turn.


Hi Howard,

No criticism intended in my post and I was not suggesting that the OP should get special treatment. However, as there had been no response to the original post after 4 or 5 days I felt that some reassurance was needed in what must be a difficult and worrying time.

and none taken (it was fair comment)  - I have to be sparing with referrals. I get reprimanded otherwise

Thanks for picking up on this and clarifying things a bit more. At least the OP now knows it's on the radar.Smiley Happy

coenoby

 I'll try and keep an eye on this thread and I'll act if gets overlooked.


 


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sacmac
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

Thanks very much for your helpful advice. You are right about the security breach not being VM.  Unfortunately, it was almost certainly my son's minecraft account (passing the buck there) that was led to the hack.  It is also a very old email address and of course I probably slipped into bad habits regarding passwords... i.e. not changing them often enough.  I have run Norton for years and do full system scans on an almost daily basis and this shows no threats now but I'll also DL malwarebytes as you suggest and give that a run too before reinstating my VM account as you suggest.  

many thanks indeed

sacmac

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Tudor
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

One point I have for ALL emails users wherever their account is located is to never leave any messages on an ISP or mail providers servers. I download all my messages and ensure they are deleted from the mail servers. The security is then in your hands, not others. 


There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't and F people out of 10 who do not understand hexadecimal
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Re: My virgin email was hacked... what do I do next?

@ForumTeam

I suspect that this issue is resolved because the OP has followed the advice appropriate to this kind of issue and the security breach has been identified and the password changed. However it is more than a week since the OP posted and I wonder if the Team could take look and confirm that from VM's end the account and address are now in good order.

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Superuser 18/19.
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Tick an answer as "helpful" only when the problem is solved
Please don't send me private messages unless I ask you to.
I do not work for VM. The advice I give is based on my best understanding of VM policy and practice. You rely on it at your own risk.