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About a week ago, we received a Facetime call from our own email address and it was a complete stranger. Then a friend of ours got a Facetime call with from our email address and they missed the call, so they tried Facetiming back and they got this same stranger. This person Facetimed me again, and I confronted him and hung up. Then he messaged me on my iPhone. How could this happen? What happened? Did he hack our account? We have since changed our apple id password, but how could this have happened? Is changing our password enough? Would he still have access to our information?

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Would you consider editing in enough detail to perhaps make this different than the other linked question. This could also be that FaceTime allows people to sign up with an account that doesn't belong to apple (xyz@gmail.com and abc@yahoo.com) so it can't really tell if you own that email address and this is no more concerning than someone entering a raffle (or having a sample of hemorrhoid cream mailed to your house) to mess with you. –  bmike Feb 14 '13 at 14:26
    
Specifically, is the email you own one provided by Apple (iCloud.com me.com or mac.com) or is it something outside apple like gmail or yahoo where Apple couldn't really know who owns that email? Basically it boiles down to did someone contact you using your iCloud account (where you might want to contact Apple / change the password) or just register for an account in your name? –  bmike Feb 14 '13 at 14:52
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marked as duplicate by bmike Feb 14 '13 at 14:15

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2 Answers

Apple ID Security:

First, someone having your Apple ID could have devastating results. This is because, if they know your Apple ID username and password, and if you have Find my iPhone enabled, they can wipe your devices, and literally claim your device. Security of an Apple ID should be of utmost priority. They can also purchase content with your credit card (if you have one on file), and such.

With that in mind, Apple has done several things to increase security of Apple IDs. Now, when you set up an Apple ID password, they have very good restrictions that encourage you to make a strong password. In addition they have three security questions. If you have done almost anything with your Apple ID in the past 6 months you were probably prompted to set up these questions. "Do something with your Apple ID" could be anything from purchasing content, to download apps, to logging into your Apple ID on a new device.

All that brings me to the point that unless someone knows you, or, for some reason someone has access to quite a bit of your personal information, it would be very difficult to hack an Apple ID as it is setup right now. I am in no way, or shape, stating, or implying, that your Apple ID was not hacked. I am just saying that the process would be very difficult.

In addition, you will receive an email confirmation when a new device is registered with Facetime. For example, when I purchased a new MacBook Pro recently, I signed into Facetime. I then received an email to my Apple ID email address that stated that my new MacBook Pro was now registered with my Apple ID account (Facetime). To the best of my knowledge this happens any time a device is signed onto Facetime initially. If you haven't received such email, it would seem there is a possibility that your account wasn't hacked. Again, I am not saying either way, just a question mark about what happened.

What may have happened:

Without you sharing more info, there are a couple things that could have happened:

  1. Your account was hacked.
    • But why would someone Facetime the person whose account they hacked into? From what I've heard, hackers prefer to remain anonymous. Again, this doesn't mean this didn't happen, it would just be a little odd.
  2. Somehow, might it be possible that it, in some way wasn't your email address? Perhaps it is just one character different?
    • While this may, at first glance, sound like a feasible option, it really probably wouldn't make much sense either. How would this stranger happen to get your email address (slight character or two different then his) and your friends?

I guess that is to say I'm not really sure what could have happened. If he hacked in to your Apple ID and found your friend's info from that, this could mean that he downloaded, via iCloud, all your contacts. This is truly a worst-case scenario, and could potentially have very undesirable, and far-reaching affects.

What you can do:

Log on to appleid.apple.com and:

  1. Change your password.
    • I know you have done this already (you could always do it again), and although it seems obvious it is a critical first-line of defense. Use reliable software to generate a long alpha numerical password. Maybe 14 characters long. Be sure to write it down on paper and secure it somewhere.
  2. Consider changing your security questions. Did you know you can use passwords instead of real questions for security questions?

Lastly, you could consider changing email addresses. Setup a new email address (like Gmail and enable two-step verification), and link it with your Apple ID when you manage your Apple ID. Also unlink, if you have already, and don't link, if you set up a new email address, your Apple ID email address with FaceBook, Twitter or other social services. Consider setting up a separate account for the recovery email addresses for those services.

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Hi! Thank you so much for your answer. I am not positive that our apple id was hacked, but we just can't figure out how this person was able Facetime people from our email address, this is what we are trying to figure that out. It is definitely, without a doubt not someone we know. He was extremely inappropriate and was definitely a stranger, and he had access to our contacts. He was very bold and even texted my iphone. It was extremely scary and I just want to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Nothing was ordered on our itunes account that we can see (thank goodness!) Thank you –  user41741 Feb 13 '13 at 3:27
    
I don't believe that we ever received an email saying that a new device was added, but I can't say that for certain. I know that my daughter just re-added her ipod (since we changed the password), and a message did pop up on my macbook, but I did't get an email regarding it. We are just hoping now that we have changed our password that he no longer will have access. We will take your advice and change our password a second time and make it extremely long and secure. I would just love to know how this happend so that we can be sure it doesn't happen again –  user41741 Feb 13 '13 at 3:59
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Well, I guess changing the password would be enough. Just be more careful when it comes about passwords, 'cause it's kinda difficult for somebody to hack a password like that, unless you've told it to the person or this person knows the answer to your secret question.

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Thank you so much for your response. It definitely wasn't someone that we know, that is for certain. –  user41741 Feb 13 '13 at 3:35
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