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How come

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Maddie

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:25 am

How come

I need your help rather desperately. A cyberstalker lives in my building, and has been hounding me for months. He had already gained physical access to my office and home computers, so he definitely knows more about the machines’ configs, IDs, IPs than I do. He once changed my home computer’s homepage to something else.

To be on the safe side, I always carry the machine with me, and have decided not to let my home laptop go online. I disabled all network-related functions in the bios (wf, LAN, Bluetooth etc), disabled network adaptors, disabled lots of things in the “services” (network connections, workstation, browers, wf), turned off folder/printer sharing, added new inbound and outbound rules to the firewall (block all). However, he has always managed to hack into the system, and shows no signs of going away. I have already taken the machine back to the factory for reinstallation 2 times in 3 months. Today I reset COM security (no remote access), then my user and admin accounts simply disappeared, and I could not even log in. I used the recovery discs given to me by IBM, but after installing everything, my former settings remain unchanged.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please keep your computer language simple, for I am a bona fide computer idiot. Thanks a million.
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lorddicranius

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:59 am

Re: How come

When you say "physical access," were the machines in your place at the time?  Or were they left out in public (coffee shop table)?  If the former, I believe that's grounds for getting law enforcement involved.  If he's gaining access remotely, I'm going to leave that to some of the other, way more knowledgeable people here to answer.

I hope your situation can be resolved quickly.
GSEC, eCPPT, Sec+
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venom77

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:15 am

Re: How come

Format the drive completely and reinstall Windows - or buy a new drive if you feel so inclined.

If this person has gained physical access to your home, you should be contacting law enforcement.
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WCNA

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:26 am

Re: How come

Stalking is a crime and as it has already been pointed out- "you should be contacting law enforcement." At the very least you can get a restraining order, which would make any contact with you (or your computer) a more severe crime. It sounds to me that he is exploiting something that is unpatched on your machine. personally, I would connect through a router and log all traffic as well as running wireshark, excluding all normal traffic.
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TheXero

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:02 am

Re: How come

Format and reinstall Windows, apply all security fixes

Install ZoneAlarm free firewall

Block all incoming connections

Block all outgoing connections except 80 and 443

Always get prompted for Outgoing connections

Contact law enforcement about his activities
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Maddie

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Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:53 am

Re: How come

Thanks for your suggestions. The laptop-on-coffee-shop-table scenario does not exist. I never use my own laptop in public places. I have been to the police, but they are not interested in "petty" white collar delinquency unless I can produce concrete proof. I once installed a humble wi-fi cctv at home, but the signals/image went dead after 2 seconds (intercepted?).

Regarding my laptop, I am not sure internet is the key issue (for I have disabled all network-related stuff in the bios, and set the firewall to block all inbound and outbound connections). I even get an IT person to do it for me. I have no network access, but somehow he knows how to get into my "system account", and he always has more privileges than I do. I have re-re-re-installed my computer many times and he can still find a way to get back in :(

I love reading gothic stories, but it is indeed no fun being a damsel in distress.

A second firewall seems a good idea. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks. 
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hayabusa

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Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:40 am

Re: How come

Good morning, Maddie.

I think, at this point, as you were told by BillV and WCNA, you need to involve law enforcement.  If, as you say, this person still finds a way into your machine, with ALL networking disabled, then he / she MUST still, somehow, have physical access to your machines, as it's literally impossible to continue to access your machine, remotely, with those disabled.  

The only other suggestion we can make is to obtain software to FULLY encrypt your hard drive and data, with a password that ONLY you know, that is entered IMMEDIATELY at boot, and NOT leave your machine running, at ANY time that you're not physically sitting with it.  If this person is getting your data, at that point, you'd need to be more concerned with physical security and / or the possibility of cameras, etc, being able to view your activity, where he could be literally gaining information 'over your shoulder.'

At this point, assuming this person persists, you have a very REAL reason to be concerned, as again, they MUST have physical access to your machines(s.)  There's really nothing more that anyone here can do, with respect to helping you, further.  I wish you luck, and again, suggest that it's time to involve law enforcement, if you've not done so, already.
Last edited by hayabusa on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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R3B005t

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Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:55 am

Re: How come

Contact law enforcement immediately, if you do not get a response from the person you contact initially then ask to speak to their superior.  What the rest of the guys have said is correct and quite frightening.  If you have disabled all network services after reformatting the drive and you still experience intrusions by this individual then either A) this person has some sort of surveillance device in your home or B) is actively breaking into your home.  One thing you could do is buy a nanny cam teddy bear and set it up in your house to capture any intrusion a video of someone entering your home would force the authorities to take action.  Take a look here: http://www.amazon.com/Hour-Record-Micro ... B00314N0Y0
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rattis

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Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:18 am

Re: How come

This reminds me of a series of posts from a couple of months ago. But I'll chip in.

Maddie wrote:Thanks for your suggestions. The laptop-on-coffee-shop-table scenario does not exist. I never use my own laptop in public places. I have been to the police, but they are not interested in "petty" white collar delinquency unless I can produce concrete proof.


All you have to say at this point is say you think that someone broke in to your house.

If the only access is physical access to the box, meaning it person walked up to it and placed "his" hands on it, and the box has never been out of your house... Well either you let "him" in, or "he" broke in.

Out of curiosity what is the account he created with more privileges than your account?
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rattis

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Post Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:24 am

Re: How come

Just for fun...

Pick up a copy of Dissecting the Hack. It'll at least give you a better idea of some of the attacks, the person could be using. Also includes some counter measures. The book was written to give people an overview of hacking and the types of things that can be done.

if you want to look for pin-hole cameras, you can try this instructable. I haven't tried it, but considering the original source "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow, it might work.
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