GMail/Orkut Hacked. What now?

Over the past two days, I’ve been waiting for somebody to hack my GMail account but it seems like they gave up the idea either because I outsmarted them or because there aren’t many girls in my Orkut profile and hence it would be waste of time trying to hack through it. So I decided to do some community service to help those who get their accounts hacked and then panic thinking nothing can be done. All’s not lost buddy, read on.

Firstly, a few things you should NOT do if you don’t want your account to be hacked into:-

  • Don’t run any scripts (javascript codes etc) that are forwarded to you on your Orkut account or GMail.
  • Don’t ever paste any link or code in your browser’s address bar if you aren’t completely sure about it.
  • Don’t choose passwords which are too easy and similar to the username. For example, if your username is xyz@gmail.com, your password shouldn’t contain similar letters or sequences such as “xyz1”. These are easy to guess and hence easier to hack into.
  • Don’t save your passwords anywhere on your hard drive or browser’s history in case you’re on a public computer.
  • If you are planning to get Windows reinstalled from a professional, make sure you delete all cookies and history because you never know what the computer guy would wanna do.
  • Don’t add people you don’t know because you can never be sure which hot looking girl can turn out to be a coke drinking chip munching hacker.
  • If you do think you got hacked, DON’T PANIC immediately.

Now, some things you should do to keep your account safe:-

  • Use difficult passwords which contain alphanumeric as well as numeric fields and characters such as “_” and “.” if they are permitted. I know you’ve heard it millions of times but it helps, trust me it does.
  • Always sign out when you’re done checking e-mails and using your account. Closing your browser when you’re still signed in is the worst thing you can do.
  • Another neat trick would be to use a separate Google ID for Orkut so that even if that does get hacked into, you don’t lose much important stuff. You will only need to inform the people that the account has been hacked and hence they shouldn’t open or send any e-mails to the concerned ID. However, if you’re using the same ID that is used for Blogging, other purposes, then you’ll be stuck badly. This is because if some service sends you a notification message and the hacker opens that, it’s probable that he would be able to enter the other account without having to know the username or password for that because the services assume that the person using your e-mail ID is actually you.
  • Don’t share e-mail ID’s. Your girlfriend wants to know the password for your e-mail ID and you tell her. The other day, you break up and your girlfriend finds a new guy and they hack your account as revenge. You’re dead dude. If you’re a girl, be even more careful. Guys are crazier, over possessive and revenge prone so don’t give him the password to the account which contains vital information. If though you have shared, make sure you change the password the day you have a break up.
  • Read the instructions of the website on which you are making an account. Orkut clearly states that you should NOT paste any scripts in your browser’s address bar. I hadn’t read that and so I pasted one. That’s why I’ve been thinking my account will be hacked for the past couple of days. All the people who clicked on that link had their accounts hacked, well except me. Orkut’s help is here.
  • Backups are helpful. You can download your contacts and your Google Reader items from your Google account in different formats and these can be used in the new account.

Now, what to do when you know your account has been hacked? I’ll tell ya. But first step is, DON’T PANIC!

There can be two possibilities if your account gets hacked into. They are:-

  • You still have access to the account.
  • You don’t have access to the account.

If you still have access to the account, consider yourself lucky and immediately do the following things:-

  • Go to your account settings page and change your password. Set it to something difficult and make sure it’s different from the one you had earlier. It should not be guessable incase somebody knows your old password.
  • Change your security question and set it to something only you know. For example, don’t use questions like “What’s my pets name?” because anybody who knows you might know your pet’s name too and hence can hack into your account.
  • Change your alternate e-mail address to another account.
  • Check the “Sent Items” folder. If the hacker is careless enough, you’ll get to know what they’ve been doing to your account from here. Read all the sent e-mails and try to manually reverse the things that have been done. First step would be to e-mail all the people and tell them to not open the previous e-mail incase they haven’t already.
  • Log into your account regularly and keep an eye around to make sure it isn’t being compromised still. If it is, it would be logical to give this account up and slowly shift to a new one. But you’ll have to do this in a way the hacker doesn’t notice. For example, make sure the account looks exactly the same as it used to when you’ve shifted. You can always outsmart a foolish hacker and you should know that.

If you don’t have access to your account, there are still chances you’ll get it back without much damage. So firstly, DON’T PANIC!

  • When you are trying to log in, click on the “Forgot Password” option. You will be asked the secret question, answer that and the new password will be sent to your alternate e-mail account.
  • GMail has the “I cannot access my account” option. In case some clever hacker used Javascript to disable that option, you can reach the password recovery page indirectly. For example, if I try to click that link in my Firefox, it automatically shuts Firefox down. You can go to their main help page by clicking here.
  • There are chances that the hacker captured your account, changed your password, security question and alternate e-mail ID. In this case, you would think the account is gone but there are still ways to get it back. This can be done by asking GMail to conduct an inquiry into your account. Instructions and links are in the following points.
  • You might remember that when you created your GMail ID, you got a code verifying the creation. If you still have that code saved in your alternate e-mail account somewhere, you can use this link to ask the Google people to conduct an inquiry based on the information you provide to them. In case you don’t have the verification code, you don’t need to worry because that isn’t necessary. If you do have it, it’s good because that will help them make sure you’re the real owner. Enter all the information and tell them all about how you’ve been using the account and which websites are associated with it in the “additional information”. The more information you give them, the more are the chances of you getting your account back safe and sound.

If you’re an advanced user and need to know how exactly your account was hacked, I can tell you as much as I know. There are two basic ways in which your account can be hacked:-

  • Someone managed to get your password. In this case, changing the password will solve your problem.
  • Somebody used advanced techniques to hack into your account. This is dangerous because even if you change your password, you are still at risk. This is done by using Javascript. There are chances you got tempted into pasting some javascript code into your browsers address bar and your account got hacked. In this case, immediately open your browser, clear all private data including history, cache and cookies. This way, the browser will forget the code and the hacker *might* not able to hack into your account anymore. However, you can never be sure so it’s better to be secure.

If your account is still hacked, well then you can safely PANIC!!

Thanks to Balu for his comment in which he gave me a link to Logo Designer David Dairey’s story in which his business was sabotaged all thanks to a “cracker” who hacked into his GMail account. And it’s a neat little trick that the hacker used to exploit GMail. Though GMail has fixed that bug, I highly recommend you to read this article in which Dairey has explained how it all happened. What I mean to say is that it’s best if you don’t visit any websites with your mailbox open. Check your e-mails, log out and then do whatever you want to do or else get hacked.


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63 thoughts on “GMail/Orkut Hacked. What now?

  1. Lol, mine was meant in a more “Coldplay” kind of a way. They have a song by that name which I really like so used it. Over used it actually. :P

  2. @Balu: Ah yes, I’m paying more attention to the kind of links that should be clicked and the kind of websites that should be subscribed to. I have decided to slowly discard that old account because I’m still not completely sure if the hackers have given up. But this seems to be a mass hacking thing, nothing else explains like 5 people on my Orkut’s friend list getting hacked in one day straight. But now I’ve deleted Orkut anyway.

  3. That’s a very comprehensive post and I think people coming to your blog through Google Search will find it to be very helpful.

    I never had the common sense of having a separate ID for Orkut, but it is definitely one of the best tips that I’ve read to prevent hacking!

  4. @Anurag: Sir, how is 26 January associated with giving your password to your gf/bf?

    @Vasudha: Yes, every normal guy has that. But you’re not a guy so you won’t know. We not only have an add-everyone-who-sends-a-request-disorder but there’s also one called add-every-girl-whose-profile-you-come-across disorder. :P

  5. @Ruhi: Well yeah, a layman would find it helpful I believe but the deal is that I tried searching Google and the first page only has results to tell you how to HACK Google and not to save yourself from a hack. Funny isn’t it? People just give up when they’re hacked, or else they make a new account and beg the hacker to give them their account back because they have 750 girls in their profile and they don’t even know half of them and it’d be impossible to repeat that feat. This particular guy I’m talking about makes girls write testimonials for him. I mean he actually pesters them until they don’t write him one, and after all that he has the guts to call himself a big dick. I call him an a-hole.

    Even I didn’t think of a different account for Orkut when I was making my own account. It’s only after the scare that these ideas have been coming, y’know.

  6. hey you left fake login pages…those are the easiest one to create..
    anybody with basic html knowledge can create those..
    i have a orkut fake login page in my somewhere inmy hard disk..used a long back :)
    good post..
    you would get a lot of hits..
    but get ready for some foolish comments.. :P
    world is full of morons :D

  7. @Arvind: Nah, I’m not sure I’ll get many hits, there are many people who must have written about it before but yeah, if I do get ‘em, that’s good!

    Ah yes, fake login pages never came to my mind, must mention them when I update the post. Thanks for the tip. And yeah, I’m getting ready for comments such as “Do you know somebody who can hack so and so account for me?”. :P

  8. @Vasudha: I don’t know because I don’t do that. I’m much more intellectual y’know. :P

    And you forgot Emma Watson, she’s the most copied girl. I’m sure she’s on the maximum number of profiles. Almost every girl in the Harry Potter community is Emma Watson and guys get to choose between Daniel, Rupert and sometimes even the guy who plays Draco Malfoy.

  9. there may be many post but there are a helluva lot more people who are desperate to hack ..
    i am sure you would get some hits for this post in the future
    ..otherwise you can try editng the title/.. :D
    and about those comments..they may directly ask u too hack :P

  10. Tom Felton? I know girls with his pic as their display image :P

    Oh, and does this explain the whole crazy guy phenomenon? Found this while scouring my scrapbook.

    किसी नजर को तेरा:
    hello……..
    ./……………… me RajNish………. a stenographer….
    ………. typing and stenography both……….. the tuffest work in this world………….. but someone has to do………..
    and finally they make himself proficient in this……….
    so keep practing on………….. oneday got the dream spped….
    and also ur satisfaction…………………
    ………… this is my experience…………

    bye take care of urself…………………………..

    =P

  11. @Arvind: True, they are gonna be disappointed if they ask me to hack though because I can’t do that. I know just the basics, thoda bahut HTML and that’s about it.

    @Vasudha: Yeah, Tom Felton.

    LOL, that comment is funny. But not the kind of comment that explains the crazy guy phenomena I believe. Those are more like “Hey, wanna be friends?” kind of comments. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of them. And if you have any pictures in your account, I’m dead sure you got a scrap from one of the guys who saw you in Converse and all at your first day at tuition. If they have an Orkut account that is. :P

  12. Ish bhaiya don call me sir bhai…
    it makes me feel older…i know i have some 60-70 grey hairs…and a receding hair line…par yaar..one should be compassionate towards other..na..
    i was just trying to an internet cafe in my neighbourhood, they asked me for my id proof…i asked them the reason..they said 26 janwari…
    i think i look like a terrorist too…

  13. Anyone who wants to hack any of my email accounts can be my guest. I have absolutely nothing of worth in any of them and I have way too many to be affected by losing one or two. As for Orkut, that place reeks like, I quote Phoebe here, ‘the Who’s-Who of human poo(p)’.

  14. @Ish

    750 Girls?! :o Frikkin’ Hell. What do you get adding so many girls to your profile? I prefer having 50 people whom I know. Anyway I’m off orkut for good. That place is a waste of time. I don’t know what to talk to my friends apart from muttering “Hello how are you” blah blah.

    Btw, you need to change the email address in your WP.com profile probably…because your avatar is not showing up.

    And you said ki 20 comments nahi honge….dekh lo bachchoo..I’m writing the 21st comment. ;)

  15. @Anurag: Sir mein to apne friends ko bhi sir kehta hoon. It’s a way of giving respect, not telling you that they are old. And waise bhi, boss type bandon se deal karne ke practice ho jaati hai. :P

    @Arvind: Yeah I know, that’s just for cheap thrills.

    @Bharat: I have many e-mail ID’s too and I was scared of losing it not because it had data but because they could use it to impersonate me and e-mail others and probably hack them too. I didn’t want all that to happen because of me.

    @Ruhi: Hey, I didn’t have 750 girls in my profile, I’m talking about another guy in here and all of you are thinking it’s me. I had 100 people overall and I knew all of them. There were only 10 or so girls in there.

    My avatar isn’t showing up because I’ve started using the other e-mail ID and the gravatar is associated with the previous one, I need to change that. Moreover, I don’t sign in when I reply to comments these days. Earlier I had set it to automatically sign me in but I’m too paranoid now. I’m signed in now though so it’ll appear.

    And I thought this wouldn’t go beyond 20 comments par Vasudha ki jai ho, we started that Orkut waala conversation and then baaki kasar Arvind ne poori kar di. My comments are more like a chatroom. :P

    Baaki yeah, bet to haar gaya. Bol tujhe kya chahiye thakur? :P

  16. Mera ‘bird’ day is over- you can remove that advertisement from your sidebar :P

    Arre I knew that you’re talking about that other guy. I was in your Orkut friendlist too….so I know how many people were there (at least till a couple of months back).
    seriously your comments section is more like a chat room…hehe. people talk about anything and everything. :P Some advantage of not having a comments policy ;)

    //Bol tujhe kya chahiye thakur? :P

    Soch kar bataungi ;) Itni jaldi hi thodi na tujhe chodungi.

  17. @Ruhi: Usko advertisement to mat bolo yaar, kitne pyaar ke saath likha tha. :P I will remove that, chinta nahi.

    I never thought about a comments policy and till date I’ve never read the details of it on a blog which does have one. Agar comment theek hoga to accept hoga, nahi hoga to mereko delete karke ignore kar denge zyaada se zyaada, koi baat nahi, chalta hai.

    *Soch kar bataungi ;) Itni jaldi hi thodi na tujhe chodungi.*

    You’re scaring me now, y’know. :S

  18. @ Ishmeet : lol, yeah.Those too.Or sometimes those, “Heyz, howz you doinz?”s. The worst bit is that people have these insanely long nonsensical display names, which give NO idea who the person is. So I end up replying to people I don’t know, which leads to one garbled conversation. :P
    And no, no pictures thankfully :)

    Yeah, meri jai ho! :P lol.

  19. @Vasudha: Ah yes, I totally know that kind of guys. I had an infinite number of them on my profile when it existed. They’ll give you lines like “Broken Heart hurts big time..love you baby”. That is seriously annoying. When you visit their scrapbook, it is full of scraps from girls which go like “Hi..do i knw u?” :P

    Who’s on your profile picture then? :P

  20. glad u still have ur a/c… i rem a friends a/c getting hacked…. n its pissin off….

    ya i never understood y bf/gf need to know each others passwords…. lol….

  21. @Ish

    Arree I didn’t mean it in a bad manner…koi baat nahi…keep it for as long as you like. I’ll celebrate my birthday for the entire year ;)

    //You’re scaring me now, y’know. :S

    Good! Be scared…you’ve put yourself into dire trouble ;)

  22. @Shuz: Well, I think the bf’s need to know the gf’s password because they are over possessive and they never trust her because who knows she might be making out with somebody else. That’s why they make sure they check the inbox, both text message and e-mail.

    @Ruhi: I was only joking yaar, senti waali line maar raha tha. :P

    And you’re scaring me even further now. Koi aur song suit nahi kar raha so … Shaadi kar ke phas gaya yaar achcha khaasa tha kunwaara..aaha! :P

  23. @Vasudha: Ah too bad you’re not one of those Emma Watson girls. And don’t tell me you don’t have a picture of either Rajeev Khandelwal or some random Bollywood or T.V. Serial guy in your pictures. :P

  24. @Vasudha: LOL, I’m sure you have those towel pics up there with captions like “ooh..he’s sooo cute” etc. :P

    Well, that’s still better of than guys who have Aditya Narayan as their avatars. Do you even know who the guy is?

  25. @Sha: Shukriya. :P

    @Vasudha: Culture pariah? wtf is that? :s

    Ah, well now that you know Mr. bright pink Aditya Narayan, what would you think of a guy who has him as his profile picture? Man, if my Orkut was alive, I would have showed you this friend of mine who’s a total replica of Karan Johar. If I ever make an account on there again, remind me I have to show him to you. You’ll die laughing. :P

  26. will visit this page if any of my accounts gets hacked…
    useful post

    tell u what…i deleted orkut couple of weeks ago…absolutely useless thing…facebook–its better

  27. @Vasudha: Nar, not really. I don’t think you’re a culture noob. You’re still not normal though. No Hilary Duff on your profile, no guy inside the pics. That is so not normal. :P

    And my friend is well, way more than intriguing. I seriously think I need to resurrect my Orkut account from the ashes.

    @Nidhi: I hope your account never gets hacked, if it does, I hope this page helps you get it back. What would my present for all the good work be though?

    I know Orkut is useless but I have most of my school mates there. They haven’t upgraded to Facebook yet, still stuck in the Hi5 and Orkut generation. But yea, Facebook is fun indeed, gotta love all those movie quizzes. :D

  28. @Vasudha: Okay, nobody did. Maybe I just thought you said that somewhere. What’s your name on Facebook btw? Might send you an add request. I searched for you but there were too many of you’s there. :P

  29. Pingback: Someone’s Trying to Hack My Gmail Account « Time and Again

  30. my orkut account has been hacked after that i deleted my account than again make it with same id i have send freinds request to all my freinds but to my freinds me not showing to them in their freinds list accepted me as well wht should i do

  31. @Gipeeka: I’m sorry I can’t help you with that since I’m not associated with GMail and Orkut in anyway. You might wanna contact the support on Orkut though, maybe they can help you?

  32. I want to hack orkut account and gmail account..Can anyone help me for doing this ? I need it as soon as possible. I will be highily oblized to you if anyone can help me..

    With regard’s
    Ranadeep :-)

  33. u r a genius.my google a/c was hacked last nite but got it bk this morning following your instructions.thanks a lot m8.just loved it.cheers!

  34. orkut hacking is really possible, i found something really cool on orkut. As all old ways of hacking are not working now, then i met a person name VIJIT on orkut he teaches the new ways to hack really and many other tricks, he only wants to join his community, so if you want the easy way to hack is to join this orkut community.
    This is the link of his community copy this when you are logged in your orkut account and paste it in your address bar and join it
    http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?rl=cpp&cmm=64451621

    have fun!

  35. Pingback: orkut hack | 420 Tricks

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