Question

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How was someone else able to control a library computer?

By birchswinger ·
I broke off a romance with a tech geek who turned out to have unsavory connections. Initially he stalked me solo (I think), but somehow eventually got others to participate. Sounds implausible, but it happened and I have witnesses. QUESTION: During 2006 I repeatedly had this experience: I'd go to the library and begin to use a computer. All would be fine, but after a short time one of these proxy stalkers would show up, plant himself behind me, and start texting. Very quickly I'd lose control and/or access on that computer. I learned to beat the game, sort of, by suddenly running to a random computer, typing in an address I'd copied, and printing immediately. This was the only way to get any information on anything that might help me. A couple of times the thing I was reading disappeared,the screen and text changed color, and I was suddenly reading hostile messages like, "There's nothing for you here. Move along". (This when I'd found an article on rootkits in a journal for librarians.) Generally I don't share this bizarre story with people, because I know they'll be at least skeptical. But this stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and I'd be grateful if you could help me understand HOW. Thanks in advance.

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All Answers

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Lock the thread.

They just think they are

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Reponse To Answer

by OH Smeg In reply to Lock the thread.

Slayer I'll have you know that My Alter Ego is All Powerful. But it relies on opening Air Lock Doors behind you unexpectedly not deleting or locking threads.

Col

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Lock the thread.

That sounds like an FTL reference....

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It might be an admin

by RSmiedy In reply to How was someone else able ...

Dear birchswinger,
I do believe that this has happened to you and I might be able to shed light on this problem. The person doing this to you most likely is using an administrator's account. I have established this therory because a friend of mine was looking at adult rated sites at the library (not a good idea) and they locked the computer up tighter than fort knox and exited all of the web browsers. I hope that this has helped with your problem.

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Reponse To Answer

by wizard57m-cnet Moderator In reply to It might be an admin

So, how can you draw a parallel from your friend surfing porn sites at a
public library and subsequently getting the computer locked down to the
OP's "situation" (which I feel is suspect, possibly delusional) of being
stalked by a former boyfriend or his hired hackers? Is that what you are
saying? Being stalked is the same as surfing porn?
Genius...admin??? Really? I'd have never guessed!! DUH!
Wizard57M
TR Moderator
and tempted to delete this entire thread as it is just too far out in
left field, non-believable.
Yes, I flagged your response, in case you were wondering.

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Possible

by gechurch In reply to How was someone else able ...

Wizard and I will have to agree to disagree. Perhaps you've asked dodgy questions in the past (I haven't looked up your history) but I see nothing in your post asking for help to crack passwords or break system security, and I'm certainly not going to offer advice on anything such so I'm sure I can't be breaking any guidelines in answering your question.

This certainly is weird, but not impossible. The messages you are seeing could be sent using "net send" which lets you send a popup message to another computer over the network (provided the security on the computers is weak enough). The screen colours changing could potentially be a dying monitor, and the thing disappearing could be Internet Explorer crashing. If all these things coincidentally happened then it's possible that there is no rootkit/infection involved. That's very unlikely to be the case though - I think you've basically answered your own question mentioning the rootkit. If he managed to infect the library PCs the rootkit would be sitting there waiting for commands. He could potentially do anything he wanted to with the machine. Given the symptoms this seems likely to be what he has done.

If it were me I'd report it to the library/technical staff and suggest they run offline virus scans (or dedicated rootkit detection tools) on all the machines. Also be aware that if the machine is infected he could be detecting all the keystrokes you type, so don't use any passwords.

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Thanks to some of you re: the scary experience in the library

by birchswinger In reply to How was someone else able ...

Wow. First, thank you to gechurch, Rsmiedy, and Slayer for your rational, respectful responses to my question.( The only reason that I posted a similar questions elsewhere was that I thought I'd failed to post my first question successfully because I hadn't completed the registration process.) And now for the rest of you: As gechurch correctly pointed out, I asked no questions as to how passwords might be circumvented. Wizard57m-cnet's false statement that I "was asking how to break the security at the library's computer system" because I want "TR members to show me how to crack system security" is seriously objectionable coming from someone who is "serving" as a moderator on this site. Given the wording of both of my questions, "wizard", I'm gonna say you're the bull-goose paranoid here, and not I. And for crying out loud, what is your excuse for your infantile rudeness to Rsmiedy? Are you kidding me? You're supposed to be a "moderator"? You and several others certainly have reason to wonder at my strange story. It is incredibly weird, and no doubt about it. It was also extremely frightening to live through, and no amount of telling myself, "This is not happening because this can't be really happening" made it stop happening. You don't know that I'm delusional (I'm not, with witnesses and police reports to back me up) and really have no business casting aspersions on my character, intelligence or sanity ---all of which are well intact. Did it occur to you at all to show a bit of compassion? It really seems like it didn't. (Frankly even if I were suffering from delusions there would have been much more appropriate ways to respond.) I'm about to lose power, so I'll wrap up with another thanks to the nice folks out there. Nobody needs a ****-by-**** tutorial on how this nasty stuff is accomplished, but someone who's been victimized does need someone knowledgeable to go to bat for her when others take it upon themselves to dismiss her as "delusional".

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Reponse To Answer

What does this mean when you type, and I quote,
"But this stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and I'd be grateful if you could help me understand HOW. Thanks in advance."
You asked HOW, did you not? You did not ask for help in preventing
stalking, nor for help in dealing with compromised library computers.
You asked for help in knowing HOW the computers were compromised,
and for those questions we have developed the standard response I
gave you, that TR members do not assist in cracking/hacking.
Wizard57M
TR Moderator

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Reponse To Answer

by glen.harris In reply to Thanks to some of you re: ...

Hi Birchswinger,

I'm sorry to hear of your experience and can't begin to understand how upset you must have been.
It is very difficult for anyone to establish how this happened as so much time has passed since the event.
I feel it unfair that Wizard, who by the way is usually incredibly helpful to visitors here, referred to you as delusional and I'm sure his comment was not intended to offend. I'm no psychologist, but reading between the lines of your story these incidents have been keeping you awake at night for a long time. This really isn't right and it is time for you to draw a line under it and move on with life. Perhaps it's time you talked about your feelings by contacting a support group for people who have suffered from stalking. If one doesn't exist near you, your family Doctor may be able to refer you to a councilor who can listen and help you to get over this. You could maybe even be prescribed pills to take the edge off your worries.
There's nothing to be ashamed about when talking to a medical practitioner about this - I seem to recall some stats to suggest that 2/3 people need help at some point in their lifetime.
Don't let this A-hole ex wreck the rest of your life. If it is still worrying you, perhaps it is time to admit that you might have a problem, consider getting some help and begin looking forward to a life without torment.
I hope you don't take offence at my comment and, should you choose to take my advice, please do come back and let us know how you are.

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Content Filters

by Nunob In reply to How was someone else able ...

Content filter's or behavior monitoring applications can be configurred to popup pretty much any verbiage. As an example here I have configured our service to popup various different warning messages for different content. These messages replace whatever content is found to be potentially bad on the site so say that a specific banner advertisment on a website contains a keyword or content I have elected to block it will just be replaced with one of my messages. I notice at times when i am surfing the internet that on some websites some of the adverts will say 1 message and others will say another so i know from the verbiage what rule was violated by that advertisment or the site I was trying to surf. Now I have tried to make the messages descriptive so that others will understand what the warnings are. With that said it may be possible that what you are facing is the content filtering of the library and whoever configured it was less descriptive in their warning messages. It also is possible that you are actually seeing advertisments on the sites that are directed at searches for things that have been searched for like "Am I being hacked" or similar on that system.

So you are basically elluding to someone is stalking you, ok if that is the case you need to contact your local authorities and the administrator at the library and inform them that you think this is happening. Until then it is easy for people to let their minds conjure up all sorts of ideas and to be worried about things that are only a perceived danger. For me I find it is best to find out if I have something to stress out about before I let my little hamster loose in the cage to run because I don't like to expend energy on worrying until I need to. If the library computers are being remotely controlled they need to know. If you are being harrassed the police need to know. So I encourage you to first find out if you have anything to worry about and if you do take the steps to protect yourself and others.

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