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Old 10-02-2016, 05:57 PM   #1
Solid State Member
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Default Did Malware Infect My Entire Household - Need Help from Experts


I'm a true idiot. Let's get that out of the way. I really messed up with my computer security and there's no other way of putting it than to say that I'm a true idiot.

Putting aside my stupid actions, which I will describe below, I wish to ask knowledgeable and trained people for help in securing my home network, computers, and devices and have a slew of questions I'd like to ask on the topic and my specific situation generally. This is going to be kind of long, so I hope you'll be patient with me and realize I really do badly need help.

BACKGROUND INFO. I: I live at home with my parents and younger sister. We have Verizon Fios internet. My sister and I both own laptops. My parents own an iPAD. Parents don't have anti-virus (b/c they think you don't need it for Apple products), but my sister and I do.

A couple of months ago, I visited a popular porn site that's been known to be a cesspool of malware infected videos. I am a true idiot. Very shortly after visiting that website, my computer started running more slowly. It started off with minor decreases in speed to being totally inoperable practically. Like if I started it up right now and tried to watch a YouTube video, it would probably take 5-8 minutes (minimum) to load a video, whereas before my porn site visit a YouTube video would load and start playing at normal speed within seconds. And if I tried to play a 10 minute video, it would likely take 20-30 minutes (minimum) to fully play through the entire thing with frequent pauses throughout. Web surfing also takes forever to load pages.

Additionally, I've noticed weird stuff at the bottom left corner of my Chrome browser that wasn't there before. Every time I go to a new webpage, it will say "waiting for ______________" and list any number of weird names that aren't the target website. Often there will be 5 or more weird names that are toggled through.

Shortly after I noticed my computer slowing down, my sister's and parent's computers also had the same issue. My parent's iPAD doesn't seem to show as much decrease in speed, but there is noticeable decrease. My sister's laptop also has shown speed issues, although maybe not as bad as mine. Also, her email keeps sending out junk mail to people (me and others have noticed it and told her about it).

BACKGROUND INFO. II: My porn site visit took place in August. However, prior to that back in May, we had a power outage that caused our Verizon Fios router to reset to factory default settings. That meant it went back to a generic login name and password (that I've been told is easily searchable and cracked). Being the ultimate idiot, I did not change the settings after the outage to a more secure and personalized login name and password.

I literally only did so a few days ago after it was clear my laptop had a virus/trojan/hacker or whatever.

Therefore, anyone could have potentially hacked our network from May until late September. And remember that I also visited that porn site in August.

Why did I not change the Verizon Fios router default settings to a personalized one after the outage? I literally forgot and no one else in my family is very computer literate either. I'm the only one who knew to change things in the first place. I just gave my parents and sister the default factory settings name and password like a true idiot!

MY PROBLEM: Obviously, something is wrong with our computers in our house. They are slowed down and mine is super freaking slow.

I fear we may have been hacked via our router and/or had a virus/malware spread from my computer to the others, due to an infection from that porn site.


1.) What process should I use to secure our household computers and network?

2.) What actually happened? Is it possible that a hacker got our router name and password and then screwed around with our computers by installing malware on them?

Or, could my porn site visit have infected my personal computer with malware and then from being on the same network as my family members the malware spread to them as well? I don't see how it could have spread to my parents' computer if solely from something like email, because I don't email or connect with them in any way online. I do email back and forth with my sister, so that's a pathway of infecting her. I asked her and she also literally never emails or contacts our parents online either. Instead, she'll just walk up to them in real life and say whatever she needs to say. Anyhow, I'm still curious what happened, because it seems everyone got affected in the house.

My AV and Malware Bytes (free version) both came back negative when I ran virus searches.

3.) Our devices connected to WiFi were: 2 laptops, 1 iPAD, 1 printer, 2 chromecast units, and the Verizon Fios router itself.

Is it possible for malware to infect things like a printer, chromecast, or even a internet router themselves? I know malware usually infects computers, but what about other stuff that has WiFi and is on the same network? Can these devices be infected and actually contain the malware too. If so, would I have to throw them away and buy like a new router, new printer, and new chromecast units?

4.) I think I might have seen the mouse arrow on my laptop move a few times on its own and click the webcam button on my desktop. I say I think, because it seemed to happen at lightning speed and I wasn't 100% sure. If this did happen, would that mean some person actually turned on my laptop webcam? Should I call the FBI, police, etc.? That part freaked me out.

5.) Do I need to wipe, reformat, or whatever it's called both laptops and iPAD in the house to be safe? As I said above, we came back empty with an AV and Malware Bytes search. So, I can't even target malware to wipe if I wanted to and it existed.

If a complete wipe, reformat, etc. is needed, how do you do it? Never done it before.

6.) I have 1 friend and an aunt who also came by our house to use our network before, since May. Should I tell them about the issues we've had?

7.) Should I tell everyone not to email me or send me social media, because I might have a malware infection? If so, would that literally be on everything like email, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where I (and family members) have accounts? Could our possible computer malware transfer onto stuff like that when we use online communications/social media?

If I am missing anything else that's important, I welcome anyone and everyone to tell me and teach me. I am not the most computer literate person out there and that is why I am here.

I shall reiterate that I am a true idiot on this matter. I feel I let my family and myself down with my actions. I just want to understand, fix things, and make sure this never happens again in the future.
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