1. If I can understand Kali enough just to recover my files that's optimistic so I'm not worried about user file loss via Kali I either get them back or I don't. Is it possible to do damage to basic computer function not just the OS by use of a livecd of Kali linux I do not intend to install?

2.Would the virus still be there if I wiped my Ubuntu OS with a clean install of ubuntu again or do I need to change the version of linux I install on my macbook next time to tails or fedora or something to eradicate the remote hacker's access? Long before the virus I'd wiped the commercial apple software with ubuntu studio as apple annoyed me with siri's randomness.

Yes I'm sure I was hacked there's a new user remotely added after I (ok to laugh) took a stranger's advice to install handbrake via the terminal for one thing. The keyboard and trackpad now stop working from the HDD directly after signing into the valid user account but booting from the cd drive the keyboard and trackpad work ok for another. My OS is ubuntu but it's still a macbook.

Many thanks.

Can someone please explain what is wrong with the above question? No communication doesn't really clarify things to me, nor to the next user to look up my unanswered question. Again thanks.

closed as off-topic by George Udosen, Eric Carvalho, Thomas Ward Jan 5 at 18:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux, those about Windows on Super User, those about Apple products on Ask Different and generic programming questions on Stack Overflow." – George Udosen, Thomas Ward
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


It's generally a BAD IDEA to try to recover data from a compromised system. Clever hackers can place ordinary-looking files that quietly restore their back-doors on the new system. It's an EVEN WORSE IDEA to try and rescue applications, customizations, and other executed code for obvious reasons.

It's a better idea to get into the habit of using regular, versioned, off-site backups. This will protect you from many future problems (hacks, fire, hardware failure).

When you reinstall, format the partition (also called a "clean-install"). This will erase all malware on the partition. It will NOT erase malware stored on data partitions, malware stored on your external-drives/USB-sticks/phones (common), malware hiding in the EFI/MBR section of the drive (rare), or malware flashed to NVRAM/BIOS (rare).

So remember to scan other partitions and all your pluggables.

  • Thank you, I'm a human rights activist who has been reusing her USB drives because my nondisabled friends say it's safe to and tell me that the thought that ordinary documents that look like my own pictures or letters on them could later infect me from them would be unreasonable. – sortanew Jan 2 at 7:02
  • As an activist, you already know that you are a target. Maybe it was a real attack (maybe not, insufficient data). Make yourself a difficult target by using safe computing habits, secure computing habits, smart backup strategies. Train your fellows to resist common social attacks like spear-phishing that lead to compromised systems. – user535733 Jan 2 at 13:34
  • Just offhand, image & video files seem hard to "infect", or even if they were infected with code it seems unlikely that code would ever be executed... or am I wrong about image/video players? OTOH, Word documents are historically vulnerable, but opening them with a program other than Word could be safe... running strings would at least extract the text without formatting, would be a shame to just delete safe stuff – Xen2050 Jan 3 at 0:56

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