I’m writing a simple lame man’s term way to convey how you could have been phished.
Hacking according to Wiki finding out weaknesses in an established system and exploiting them
Hacking into a server takes a bit of work. First ,every computer on the Internet connected via a broadband connection (cable, DSL, ISDN) has an Internet address assigned. Blocks of addresses are owned by the ISP who dispenses an IP address for each customer connection. While you may have installed a router behind your DSL or cable modem that assigns an IP address to each system within your home network (192.168.x.x), the packets that leave your home network retain the originating IP address that was assigned by your ISP (i.e., 18.104.22.168)
Furthermore, most Internet facing web applications keep logs on the type of traffic that hits the website. That information contains the originating IP address of each connection. Web administrators or security administrators regulary review the logs for suspicious activity (or they should). If unusual activity is spotted, one of the first things an administrator does is check the originating IP address against the Network Solutions, RIPE, or ARIN databases.
The IP address generally will fall within a range owned by an ISP (NetRange: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199). This information will be documented and a security investigation will commence. The steps in an investigation vary from company to company, but at some point the FBI gets involved because interstate crime requires their involvement. The FBI will request the customer information associated with the IP address from the ISP and it's downhill from there (for the hacker).
That said. Its actually quite a challenge.
How you are generally hacked.
The thing is you’re not really hacked. You might have been compromised. Most like by a keylogger program or your visited a site that phished your info.
Phishing is a method of getting your information by either posing as legitimate entity such as a person posing as a GM asking you for information. Other ways of phishing include visiting a site that imitate the Aeria’s site. Click here for GM response to protecting yourself.
Phishing is only 1 method of obtaining your information. Other method are keylogging. Keylogging is a program or cookie you could have downloaded without knowing that you did download such program/cookie.
Those are hard to detect and some are are not even picked up by malware.
Click for for some keylogger detector
If you suspect you might have a keylogger. Best thing to do is to reboot your pc in safe mode.
Run your virus protection and malware program. Run key logger detector. Once you find something. Try to get rid of it. Be careful if they are embedded into your register. Changing your registry without knowing what you are doing may make your system unstable. Do some research on keyloggers to identify how to safeguard yourself.
Good luck and hope this helps a bit.
Update. Info taken from Tech-FAQ
Click on Start -> Go to All Programs -> Click on Accessories -> Select Accessibility ->Click on On-Screen Keyboard
Executing the above steps opens a keyboard on the screen so that the user can click whatever letter he/she would like to type. Since a keylogger does not track where and what the user clicks, this helps to get around it in times of urgency. Typing with the onscreen keylogger is a great hassle. The only alternative is to eradicate the keylogger program from the computer completely.
[Tass speaking] This is no longer a viable method as there are new and legal keylogger on the market that track input from the mouse also. This was viable before. but no longer. However it will still help if the keylogger is not very advance.
The user has to detect a keylogger in order to eradicate it. Detecting a keylogger is not simple. It can be installed in over a 100 places on the computer, usually in one of the system files. However, there is a much easier way to detect if a keylogger is running. Right click the desktop’s task bar and click Task Manager. Alternately, press Ctrl + Alt + Del simultaneously to open the Task Manager. Task Manager displays a list of all the applications currently running on the computer. Click the tab that says Processes. This gives information about all the programs, hidden and visible, that the computer is currently running.
The name of each process is under Image Name. The keylogger will show up on the list of processes as well as many other programs and background processes. However, it may be difficult to distinguish between the different processes.
There are many sites on the Internet that provide a vast amount of information on each and every process. One of these sites is Liutilities
. This site provides some background information on each process as well as specifies the author and the program it is part of. One of this site’s best features is that it recommends what to do with each process. Most of the time, the process is harmful and simply part of the operating system or another program that is running.
Another fantastic site for information on processes is Neuber. Like Liutilities, Neuber gives background information on each process. A special feature they have is user created comments. Anyone can rate a process in terms of its security and leave a comment about how to deal with the process. Generally, these comments are very accurate. Neuber also provides a ‘security rating’ for each process based on the users’ average rating.
However, some find it hard to research each process individually. Thankfully, there is a program called Security Task Manager that is free to download. It displays information about each process that is currently running and specifies whether they are dangerous or not. The user is immediately notified if anything harmful comes up. This Neuber program also shows the security rating and a random user’s comment for each process. Processes that the program has never encountered are not given a security rating or comment. It is therefore advised that each process is researched individually.
Once the harmful process is found in the Task Manager, click the process then click the ‘End Process’ button. The process selected should be terminated immediately.
Once this is complete, the computer is safe until rebooted. If the keylogger was not deleted, it will start up again upon being rebooted.
Once the keylogger is stopped, run anti-virus and spyware checks on the entire computer. Some free virus scan utilities that are recommended are A2, Dr. Web, and AVG. However, highly advanced keyloggers such as TypeAgent, KGB, and SpyOutside can often slip through these scans and remain undetected.
If the anti-virus scans fail to show any result, manually detect and delete the keylogger. Keyloggers are usually located in the system files, so do not delete anything that is not definitely keylogger. Doing so may lead to errors in other areas of the computer.
Go to 411-spyware and search for the type of keylogger that has infected the system. If it is listed, there should be instructions about how to manually remove it.
A great way to check if the keylogger has been completely removed from the system is to reboot. Remember the name of the keylogger’s process and reboot the computer. If the process is not there when the computer has rebooted, then the keylogger has been removed.
[Tass speaking] The problem with spyware detector, virus scan and some other utility are that some key logger are legitimate tools. Because of the tool is legal, some utility companies put these keylogger on the ignore list. So it is possible that scans will miss that.