Hacked computer?

Posted on 2013-01-12
Last Modified: 2013-01-20
My Outlook came up with a bunch of Chinese characters on it.
How do I find out if I've been hacked?
What should I do if so?
Image attached.
Question by:dcass
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Expert Comment

ID: 38770065
don't see an image here... can you attach it again?
Have you installed a Language Pack for Windows/Office lately?
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 38770159
"My Outlook came up with a bunch of Chinese characters on it."

Set outlook to view unicode:

"How do I find out if I've been hacked?
What should I do if so?"

Run your antivirus scan also scan with Malware Fighting Tools listed here:

Author Comment

ID: 38770172
Here's the image.
I did read about the hackers that were going after anyone with the Chinese language pack installed.  I'm not sure where to look to find out if it was, but I really doubt it.
I've got an older version of Outlook - 2003 and I don't have that READ option in the above post.
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Expert Comment

ID: 38770353
That Image does not look great, I think its scraped. Can you redo the screenshot and post it here?

Author Comment

ID: 38770389
It's just a print screen - so it will depend on how you view it.
I can't redo it - it doesn't show up now.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38770599
Actually if this image really shows what had been on your computer I rather suspect a hardware or driver issue which screwed up your display / windows.

Author Comment

ID: 38771922
If I could find someone that could read it, I'd know for sure.
If anyone could translate or forward to a friend, that would help.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 38771957

What you have attached looks to me like a corrupt JPG image.  It shows all the typical signs of corruption, such as the pink and blue vertical banding that has affected the section of the image where the menu bar is, and there is a dark grey section at the bottom of the image where the image content is incomplete.

That type of image corruption can occur if you eg. close an image editing application while a file is saving, or if you eject a usb flash drive while it is being written to, but there can be many more causes.

I don't know how you are seeing the screenshot, but here's a small section of how it looks to me, and apparently also to abbright who is worried that your graphics card or monitor are screwed up.
Shows classic signs of JPG corruptionI cannot see any Chinese characters in that screenshot image.


The image fails to load in a few image viewing/editing applications on my system, which again signals image corruption.

That said, however, here is how the screenshot image opens in a "Quick View" application I have:
Chinese characters?There are fragments all over the place from toolbars, menus, open application windows, and the dotted green area even looks like one of the old Windows 3.1 desktop bitmap textures that persisted through to Windows XP.  I can only assume that you are actually seeing the characters (visible in the image you attached below the menu bar) in the body of the email.

Can you try to capture another screenshot and attach it?

Expert Comment

ID: 38772666
Try uninstalling, rebooting, and re-installing your video driver.  If there is an update for the video driver, that would be great.  

Also, if permitted, switch to a different video card, due to the fact it could be an hardware issue.



Author Comment

ID: 38773008

Author Comment

ID: 38773009
I'm not concerned if it's a driver - only if I"m hacked.
It only happened once.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 38774235
Thanks dcass, that's much clearer in the PDF you attached.

From what I can see this isn't something in the body of the email message, but instead looks like you have or had a corrupt system font that affected the text in the actual program windows/tabs.  The fact that it only happened once tends to infer that this may have just been a passing glitch with the font as it loaded and displayed.  If you still have that email and it opens correctly, then I would be very curious to see what text shows exactly in line with where the foreign looking characters display in the screenshot.

There is one member here known as hermesalpha who lives in China and can probably read Chinese.  I have posted a message in one of his open questions asking for his assistance.  There is another Chinese member here who is based in Hong Kong and I believe is Chinese.  I have done likewise in one of his closed questions.

LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 38778093
I asked my son who is fluent in Japanese and knows about this stuff he replied
His words>Looks like some just random garbage Chinese characters. This is what my phone reckons it said.
Garbled chineseThis the image I sent him and asked him chinese or Mandarin or some other language?
I felt it was rubbish as well. Japanese does not use the alphabet but rather small charactures and most of these were nothingness.
chinese or Mandrin or some other languageSo if any of the translated makes any relevance to you then you have a Font a problem.

Assisted Solution

Smighty earned 250 total points
ID: 38780050
you can try uninstalling it completely and reinstalling it:
here's the guide:

In between uninstall and install try a Hard Disc Cleanup, Let CrapCleaner or some similar program run to clean out other rubbish and scan your system for viruses. (use another (free) Anti-Virus-Software (like avast) for a second opinion on your system.
Check if your Windows Firewall (or 3rd Party Product) is up and running and other Computers in your local Network are safe as well.

Hope it helps...

Expert Comment

ID: 38798596
There are no meaningful words in that screenshoot in the PDF. The middle part is completely distorted (characters on top of each other). Only parts of left and right sides are legible. And there are empty squares also. I'm not sure if they are simplified characters (used in mainland China) or traditional characters (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan) because only a few characters on left and right side are legible (and these could be the same whether written with simplified or traditional script).
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 38799941
Thanks for posting hermesalpha.  It's appreciated.

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