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My account on Stack Overflow was compromised yesterday. I share a computer, but I have no idea who did it. I realized, that yesterday, someone has made derogatory comments toward a fellow moderator.

I appologize that this has happened on my account. I have secured my Google Account (I use it to sign in to SO), and I would like to know whom do I contact to resolve this issue.

I noticed that I also got a huge amount if downvotes in less than an hour. I would like to know of a moderator can delete such answers/questions.

Sorry if this is a wrong section to post this in. Please, kindly state in the comments what I need to fix, and I will gladly do so.

Here is the email I got:


I'm writing in reference to your Stack Overflow account:

After reports of unusual voting patterns, we've determined that you engaged in a pattern of downvoting against specific users.

The focus of your voting should be on the post, not the user; this kind of community hostile behavior will not be tolerated.

As a result of these actions, I'm placing your account in timed suspension for seven (7) days.

These downvotes have been removed. Please refrain from engaging in malicious or revenge voting in the future.

Regards, -deleted- Stack Overflow moderator

This email was sent from an unmonitored account. Do not reply directly to this email; if you feel this message is incorrect, please respond on Stack Overflow here.

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Your account looks like you voting your self and some found it and reverse it. At least the negatives - are not negative but are from removing positive votes. – Aristos Feb 21 '13 at 20:41
I have received an e-mail saying that someone was was insulting and down voting questions/answers. I am not certain if I can make that message public. – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:42
What do you mean by robo-upvotes? – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:43
@Vlad1k You were serially upvoted over a period of several days. That is, an unlikely pattern of upvotes, most likely by a single user (or at most a couple of users). This upvoting is not accepted and has been reversed. – Bart Feb 21 '13 at 20:44
I added an e-mail I got. The upvoting is completely different story and it is done by someone I know in real life. Please do not go off topic, this is a question about my account compromise. Edit: Whoever downvoted - can I know what is wrong with my question so I can improve it? – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:47
For the future, be aware who you are sharing a computer with, although it is rather strange that you do not know this already. Additionally, log out properly and prevent the browser from remembering your login details. – Asad Saeeduddin Feb 21 '13 at 20:54
I have never had any issues like this before. This is the first time I've been compromised. – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:55
I have not made a self-repping spree, this is (most likely) a real life friend who wanted to help me out. He is new to the site. – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 21:04
And took the time to create three separate accounts to upvote you? – LittleBobbyTables Feb 21 '13 at 21:06
@LittleBobbyTables I guess that's something for the moderators to deal with. Oscillation happens. – Bart Feb 21 '13 at 21:06
@Vlad1k Well, no, it's not one account, because in your rep history we can see that several users have been removed. So someone must like you a lot. If you have a hunch who it is (or who they are) tell them to stop, because it won't do you any good in the long run. – Bart Feb 21 '13 at 21:09
@Vlad - Guess the downvotes are from people thinking it is strange for anyone to get exactly one upvote for each of his answers every day. And all within a few minutes each time. Other people hitting the rep cap usually get many upvotes for a few answers, and none for the rest. – Bo Persson Feb 21 '13 at 21:26
The issue is that your account was used to serial downvote. Being the victim of the same scheme is irrelevant. The suspension occurred because your account was used to engage in it. – Kyle Trauberman Feb 21 '13 at 21:38
Since you are responsible for keeping your account secure, you are also responsible for any activity that occurs as a result of someone compromising your account. Make sure your account is secure; full account functionality will resume in six days. – Robert Harvey Feb 21 '13 at 22:05
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The situation is essentially pretty simple. As explained in the email you received, your account was (somehow) used to target specific users with downvotes. Such targeted downvoting is frowned upon and will cause a suspension. The email does not mention derogatory comments, so I'm not sure if that's part of it, but it might be if you've seen those comments in your history.

This suspension will last for 7 days, during which your reputation is put back to 1. This will be reversed once the suspension ends. It seems however that you have also been serially upvoted, which has been reversed by the system (you do not seem to have gotten a huge amount of downvotes). So not all the rep you gained will come back to you, since at least part of it was undeserved.

If your account has been compromised, all that remains for you is to make sure you secure your account (and probably your Google id) and wait until the timed suspension is over. That is all.

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I looked at the private message the admin sent me, and it had some rude comments coming from my account. – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:59
Then that might be part of the decision. But well, it doesn't really change the situation. You can contact them, as Kyle suggested, but you're most likely going to have to wait this one out. – Bart Feb 21 '13 at 21:00
Why this question was downvoted? – Revious Mar 31 '14 at 9:15
Ask the downvoters. – Bart Mar 31 '14 at 12:56

In cases like this, I believe it is preferred that you contact the dev team directly using the contact us link at the bottom of every page, instead of posting about it on meta.

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Thank you. I will go ahead and do that. – Vlad Bondarenko Feb 21 '13 at 20:51

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