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I have an iPhone XR with iOS 14 with security issues in the past. One of my email addresses showed up on to data breach websites and the password I use was the same for all of my accounts like a dummy. Accordingly, my Apple account was hacked at the same time and password was changed by whoever hacked it.

I was really worried about my bank information and things like that so I changed all of the passwords that I could.

For a while everything seem to be going all right, until this morning I noticed a blue bubble message that “I” had sent to my lead at work, and I put quotation marks because it most definitely wasn’t me. And no one else had physical access to my phone at the time. And it was at three in the morning. Here is a picture of the message circled in red that was sent by someone

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It was 8 AM before I noticed the message was sent to her and I apologized and told her that it was not me. I might even believe the stretch that it was an accidental voice to text but there is a question mark Emoji on the end that I never use.

At this point with everything that happened with my accounts being hacked I am almost certain that my phone has been compromised somehow by hackers. I’m paranoid about checking my bank account to make sure my money is not wiped out every day.

Has this ever happened to anyone before?

I was reading other forum post about this and people said that it is almost definitely the work of somebody remotely controlling from a computer terminal for malicious reasons. I think at this point I’m going to invest in an android with better security like a OnePlus unless someone has any better recommendations?

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  • 3
    If your Apple ID was compromised, someone else could sign in with your Apple ID and send a message on your behalf without having to remotely access your iPhone.
    – nobody
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 6:58
  • While anything is possible (because computers are complex, software is fragile, and humans are the weakest link in all security systems), I'm going to say that it's most likely that it was your account, and not your phone, that was compromised. However, this isn't something that we'll be able to troubleshoot with you.
    – Ghedipunk
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 7:01
  • Maybe you are using your Apple id on antothers phone and you can send from both phones an imessage?
    – Cyberduck
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 7:09
  • 2
    Are you sure you didn't just talk in your sleep?
    – Polynomial
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 20:22

2 Answers 2

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I can think of four possibilities.

  1. Your compromised account was registered on a new device and is used from there.
    If this is the case, you will have gotten a message like this in the past. Maybe you have dismissed it without thinking about it.
    Here is how to check your registered devices.
  2. You sold one of your old devices and forgot to disable iMessage.
  3. You changed your phone number in the past and did not deregister your old number.
    If someone else is assigned your old phone number it could be treated like you send the message. This is rather unlikely, since that person would need the number of your contact for that to work.
  4. Your device is jailbroken and has an unsecured SSH socket.

In my opinion the most likely scenario would have been that it was a voice message, but I don't think you can send that emoji via voice.

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  • #4 is only a risk on the local network and implies default credentials are used, right? It could happen on public WiFi, but not sure of the likelihood that someone would be looking for that sort of thing on public WiFi at any given time. Commented Feb 25 at 19:04
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I have an iPhone XR with iOS 14 with security issues in the past

I think at this point I’m going to invest in an android with better security like a OnePlus

It can cost significant time and millions of dollars to research/develop or purchase working exploits for modern phones, so this is not a likely attack vector for the average person unless you possess something of interest to a powerful adversary. Someone is not going to risk burning a valuable exploit to send your lead a nonsensical message.

No matter how bulletproof the security of a system is, the weakest link is usually the person using it. Nothing can protect you from poor security hygiene like weak passwords and password reuse. While there are many possibilities, at a glance, it sounds like your Apple ID may still be compromised and someone could be sending iMessages from another device that is logged into your account.

Standard recommendations apply here:

  • Where possible, audit what devices are currently logged into your accounts, remove unused or unrecognized devices. Especially make sure your email account(s) are secure, as they can be used to get into your other accounts.
  • For every account, make sure you are using strong passwords that are unique per service. Generate and store them in a password manager.
  • Enable MFA wherever possible, preferring methods like authenticator apps and hardware tokens, or SMS if there's no other option.
  • Extra credit: see if your mobile phone carrier has some kind of extra protection option to prevent unauthorized SIM swaps or number transfers.

If you do all of that, you should be able to sleep at night knowing that you will not be the low hanging fruit that has their bank account compromised due to poor security hygiene.

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