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Is this extremely weird security problem related to my smartphone or m

Android Security

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#1
Channeal

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Hello Geeks,

 

Apologies if I am posting this in the wrong section. My latest thinking is that the problem might be connected to my Google Android smart phone (a Sony Xperia SP), although I do not know for certain. It concerns an extremely weird security-related question which has plagued me for a whole year now. I will try to explain......

 
A year ago I was the owner of two Google Blogger blogs under two separate Google I.D.s. The first one - under my main Google I.D. - was inactive at the time. The second one was meant to be more private and was created back in 2006 because my grown-up daughter suffers from depression and other problems and I felt the need to try to seek support from other mothers in a similar position.
 
Around a year ago, I became aware that I had acquired a very strange visitor to my blog. At first I completely panicked, because I believed that my blog had been hacked into. I noticed a sudden increase in visitors and installed Statcounter to find out what was going on..... and then saw lots of strange entries (from what I believe were various Proxy IP numbers) in which the visitor(s) appeared to be editing posts and widgets. These visitors all had one thing in common: they were all shown as having the same computer details as me I.e. Windows XP with a screen resolution of 1024x768. I now believe that they may actually have deliberately faked these details to be the same as mine as I now know that it is simple to do this. (I have screen shots of most of the Statcounter entries for these visits). After a while though, I realised that they were not actually editing anything, merely somehow making it look as if they were doing so. I stopped freaking out and tried to treat it as a joke....
 
The fake editing continued until the end of January. After that, this person went 'underground' - by which I mean that they no longer showed up at all in Statcounter. They still however made their presence known merely by showing up in the Blogger stats as viewing pretty much everything I ever posted, usually immediately (though their behaviour does sometimes vary, so I do not think a robot is involved here). The Blogger stats always show this person as being from the US and using Chrome on a Macintosh computer. I believe that they also sometimes use a strange Google proxy which once again usually shows them as sharing my screen resolution of 1024x768. This visitor obviously has some kind of alert set up to inform them of even the smallest change to one of my blogs, as just doing something such as adding a full stop to the title will trigger a visit from them.
 
I found this all more than a little bit creepy. I have however been far more occupied with family matters since the end of January, as my daughter had something really bad happen to her then and as a result has been suffering from post traumatic stress. So, my strange visitor faded into the background for many months. Recently though, things have become more serious.....
 
First of all, I discovered that this person had also found their way to the disused blog on my other Google I.D. - which was a little strange, to say the least. I then tried creating new I.D.s and blogs (using new email addresses to sign up) but this person always found these straight away. In sheer desperation, I very reluctantly tried creating I.D.s using fake names and details, but they somehow found these too. 
 
At this point, I believed that the problem was in some way connected to my computer and was even afraid that this person had somehow gained access to it. I thought perhaps it was down to a security issue related to the fact we are still running XP. 
 
Somebody in a blogging forum suggested that I go down to my local library and try opening up yet another fake I.D. and blog using the computers there. I took this advice.... and was completely and utterly amazed to discover that my devoted visitor found this new blog within a couple of minutes as well! I really was not expecting them to be able to do that! How on earth could they possibly be able to achieve this? I really cannot even begin to fathom it..... 
 
The only thing I can possibly think of that links all the I.D.s and blogs that I have created is the fact that in order to create a new Google I.D. you have to have a message sent to a mobile phone for authentication purposes. I only have one phone - and I used my Android phone for each of these I.D.s. What I want to know is whether it is possible that if this person had somehow got hold of my mobile phone number there is any way they could somehow track any new Google I.D.s it was used to authenticate (apologies if I did not express that question very well). I admit that I know virtually nothing about such matters and cannot think how they could be doing this. I use Avast Mobile Security on my phone and have Malwarebytes on it as well and have never been aware of any problems with it, apart from this issue.
 
I have already asked for help in various blogging forums etc including one specifically related to Blogger. I have however found it hard to make people take me seriously. I actually think they might believe that I am some crazy person who has made all this stuff up! I swear though that every word I have told you is one hundred per cent true.
 
I have actually been reluctant up to now to ask you guys at GTG for help. I was involved in a very long thread here last year (during which I received an incredible amount of help) which came to an end just before all this started and I have at times wondered whether my strange visitor actually got my computer details from that..... and I was therefore reluctant to seek help here. I am however getting to the stage now when I really don't care even if this person reads what I have written here, or anywhere else for that matter.......
 
I am determined not to give up trying to find answers to what is going on here! Surely, somebody somewhere must be able to help me...... If anybody has any ideas at all about what might possibly be going on here, do please let me know.
 
This has been going on for over a year now - and it is time that it stopped! I was previously  dealing with it okay, but the latest developments have really scared me. I want/need to find answers! I am just an incredibly boring old lady in my 60s and I have absolutely no idea why anybody would target me in this way and for so long.......
 
Many thanks for reading this,
Chris.
 
PS I forgot to say that I think this appears to only be a problem with Google. Wordpress does not seem to be affected. I would be letting this person win if I merely defected to Wordpress though! Also, if he is doing this to me, he could well be trying to intimidate others too. He really needs to be stopped!

 

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#2
dsenette

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your best bet is to contact google support directly. not just looking at blogs and forums or whatever, but actually contacting google support.

 

but, 1024x768 is one of the most common computer resolutions in use. and, XP is one of the most widely distributed operating systems around (even though it's out of support it's still ridiculously common).....those two variables are nowhere near enough to pinpoint your "visitor" to being one individual.


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#3
Channeal

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your best bet is to contact google support directly. not just looking at blogs and forums or whatever, but actually contacting google support.

 

Yes, but have you tried contacting Google support lately? You have to navigate your way through a maze of options and once you think you have found the correct one, there is no means of actually contacting anybody!

I did send an email to [email protected] but have not received an answer as yet.

I have been considering mailing a letter and sending it by recorded delivery (i.e. where they would have to sign to acknowledge they have received it) to Google's offices in London (I live in the U.K.). Am not sure if they would respond to that or not.

As far as it not being a good idea to keep trying to get help from various forums is concerned, I have just been hoping really that somebody who reads my story would come forward and say that something similar has happened to them. I find it incredibly hard to believe that I can be the only one that such a thing has happened to!
 

 

but, 1024x768 is one of the most common computer resolutions in use. and, XP is one of the most widely distributed operating systems around   (even though it's out of support it's still ridiculously common).....those two variables are nowhere near enough to pinpoint your "visitor" to being one individual.

 

Regarding your point about XP and the screen resolution I know you cannot pinpoint my visitor from that. Likewise you cannot do so from the fact that this person is shown in the Blogger stats now as simply using Chrome on a Macintosh and being from the U.S.

My difficulty with telling this story to others is that you would need to have actually followed the pattern of this visitor's behavior for yourself in order  to understand just how weird it has all been! :(

Anyway..... my one and only concern now is regarding the fact that this U.S./Chrome/Mac person is able to find every new Google I.D. I have created, including those for which I have used a false name - and also to one created using an entirely different computer.

Again with this, you might say that there is no absolutely irrefutable proof that the U.S./Chrome/Mac user who finds each new I.D. and views the new blog just a couple of minutes after it has been created is the same person every time, but the likelihood is that this is the case.
 

I will probably try mailing a letter to Google..... but first I think that I will go out and buy a cheap second phone and use it to create yet another I.D. and blog. This is the only way I can think of of pinning it definitely down to whether my Android phone is connected to this strange problem. (Soon I will have created so many different I.D.s that I will

be in danger of forgetting what my real name is! :) )

 


Thanks for posting a response to my question, by the way. Most places I have tried have not even answered, so I was fully prepared not to get an answer here!

 

I will keep you updated if there are any new developments, just in case there is anybody who is really interested.

Chris.

 

PS I amended this post, as I somehow seem to have managed to mess up the 'Quote' facility the first time. Not exactly sure what I did, to be honest!


Edited by Channeal, 01 October 2015 - 05:33 AM.

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