Original topic:

Ghost touch or a hacked phone?

(Topic created: 03-02-2022 09:22 AM)
Galaxy Note Phones

I have a Galaxy Note 9 that I got back in March 2019. I have never had any major issues with it up until recently.

Back in December, my Google account got hacked. A game randomly started downloading to my phone, so I stopped the download and made sure that it wasn't installed. It was not installed. I changed my password and I haven't had any issues with Google since.

However, my phone has been experiencing some strange things since then. 

First, my fingerprint scan would not work. I would go to unlock my phone using it, but it would stay on the lock screen as if I wasn't even attempting to unlock my phone. I have a 4 number PIN as a backup, so I tried that. It said that it was incorrect, so I tried it again and was still being told it was incorrect. I was putting it in correctly, I know of this. I ended up getting locked out for 30 seconds. Once I was able to try again, I simply restarted my phone and that fixed the issue for the time being.

The next day, it did the same issue with unlocking it, both with fingerprint scan and PIN. Though after getting locked out for 30 seconds again, it let me in with my PIN. I decided to get rid of the security unlock altogether, since that was becoming an issue. Now, all I have to do is swipe to unlock. (Not a big deal because no one else uses my phone anyway.) 

Just hours after changing it to swipe to unlock, my phone started opening one specific app (Tumblr) on its own. It did open a different app twice before, but I can't recall which one it was. 

It started happening more often, but only while I was sleeping (when I normally charge my phone) so I thought that I was opening it in my sleep, but I wasn't. It did it a couple times while charging during the day, so I knew I wasn't opening it in my sleep.

I then found out that it only opens this specific app while it's charging, and no other time. 

I went to the store where I purchased the phone and asked them if there was anything they could do. They downloaded an anti-virus and ran a scan. It came back negative, no virus. They then cleared the cache for Chrome because sometimes that can cause issues. I had no issues for a few days afterward.

A couple days ago when the same app opened again while charging, I decided to delete the app even though there were no viruses found, and I want to see if it will happen with another app.

It's not predictable at all, but it happens frequently enough (at least 3-4 times a week). I've searched all over online and haven't had much luck finding a solution on what it might be.

I don't suspect that it's the touch screen going, because it is just one specific app (so far, I'm waiting since I deleted it to see what comes of it) and I've had no issues with anything, phone or app wise, up until my Google account got hacked. Other than the annoyance of the previous lock screen issues and the app opening on its own, the phone is perfectly functional.

I'm starting to suspect that, since my Google account got hacked, that somehow my phone also got hacked? Is there a fix to this, or do I need to get a new phone? I'm open to any ideas at this point because I have no idea what went wrong or why any of this is happening. I'm also curious if there's anyone out there that has experienced what I currently am going through, because it seems like a very isolated issue right now.

3 Replies
Community Manager
Community Manager
Galaxy Note Phones

I am very sorry to hear of your device seemingly being hacked, and can see the concern with the unusual behavior it is presenting. If you’re worried about your phone getting hacked, or if you think it may have been hacked already, there are some steps you can take to keep it safe. For example, you should only download apps using the Galaxy Store or Play Store and you shouldn’t click on malicious links in apps, texts, or emails. Give this guide a try: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/troubleshooting/TSG01209886/

We also recommend changing the passwords for all accounts from an unaffected device.

If these steps are not helpful, it is recommended to have the phone evaluated by an authorized service location. You can use the following link to find a list of service centers in the U.S. that can do the repair: http://www.samsung.com/us/support/service/location 

For assistance outside the U.S., please use this link: https://www.samsung.com/us/common/visitlocationsite.html 






Galaxy Note Phones
It says it's a malicious link, and it makes my phone vulnerable; and u just said don't open them. Why would you send us to a site that could start a hack to my phone again? Does that make good sense??
Not applicable
Galaxy Note Phones
Att needs to stop stealing my identity,