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With increasing frequency of hacked things, news headlines highlight cyber security breaches involving large financial institutions or retailers, where millions of records are stolen. However, what often goes unnoticed are the countless individual breaches occurring worldwide on a daily basis.

Now, let’s explore simple ways to identify if your system has been affected by a security breach.

Perform a Scan with Antivirus Software

There are many good antivirus software options available, but even the best ones cannot detect all types of malware. New and unknown malware is constantly emerging, making it difficult for antivirus software to keep up when you are hacked. Despite this, it is still recommended to invest in reputable antivirus software and keep it updated. Regular updates are crucial as they provide signatures for new hacking software. It is important to enable active detection and response features in the software to increase protection. While it can be challenging for consumers to evaluate antivirus software, independent laboratories like the Virus Bulletin assess their effectiveness. The chart below displays their latest results, highlighting the varying effectiveness of different antivirus software options.

Malware often hides within system files making it challenging for antivirus software to detect and remove

Check Task Manager (Hacked)

The initial step to take when suspecting a hack is to check your Windows Task Manager. To access it, press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and choose Task Manager from the menu that appears. Alternatively, you can simply type “Task Manager” in the search bar of your Start menu.

Moreover, Upon opening the Task Manager and navigating to the “Processes” tab, you will see a window similar to the example below. Pay attention to the CPU usage displayed at the bottom. In this case, despite the system being idle, the CPU usage is abnormally high, reaching around 93%. Also, It indicates that there is likely an issue or activity occurring on the system that requires investigation.

Verify System Integrity Using Windows System Checker

Malware often hides within system files, making it challenging for antivirus software to detect and remove. However, To address this, Microsoft has included a system integrity checker called sfc.exe in Windows. This utility is designed to test the integrity of these system files. This tool helps ensure that the system files are functioning correctly and have not been tampered with.

The idea here is that this tool or utility checks to see whether any changes have been made to the system files and attempts to repair them. Let’s try it out. Open a command prompt by right-clicking and choose Run as Administrator.

Verifying System Integrity in Windows Using System Checker

Monitoring Network Connections with Netstat

Analyzing Network Connections with WireShark


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