Questions

How was someone else able to control a library computer?

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How was someone else able to control a library computer?

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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    TR members do not assist in password recovery or removal.
    Do not respond to this thread.

    We, the members of TechRepublic - A Resource for IT Professionals, will not assist anyone in the recovery/removal of lost passwords. You may have a legitimate reason to recover/remove a password. However, we cannot verify your motives and will therefore not assist anyone in what may be an attempt at gaining unauthorized access to a computer system. Due to the open nature of this forum, any assistance given to help circumvent security measures, even for legitimate purposes, would be available for unscrupulous individuals to use for illegitimate purposes. This is a risk that we, the members of TechRepublic, will not take. Please do not ask questions of this nature on TechRepublic.

    If you have a legitimate need to circumvent a password scheme, please contact the vendor for the software / hardware and request their assistance. E.g. Windows XP password recovery/removal issues should be taken up with Microsoft's technical support, Phoenix BIOS password recovery/removal issues should be taken up with Phoenix Technologies, hard drive password recovery/removal should be taken up with the manufacturer of the hard drive, etc...

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    gechurch

    Perhaps the OP changed her question before I read it, but as it stands now there is no mention of passwords at all - the OP just wants to know how this has been happening.

    Can I suggest you now remove your reply so other potential helpers are not dissuaded?

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    No, gechurch, my reply will stand...the OP is asking how to break the
    security at the library's computer system...not "password" specifically,
    but system security none the less. If the OP cannot or will not use a
    search engine, of which there are several, to find the information then
    it is not upon TR members to show them how to crack system security.
    The other issue I have, they asked this same basic question twice.
    Even ignoring the paranoid delusional aspects of this "question", it
    has a smell of the darkside of system cracking. That is something that
    the majority of TR members have decided NOT to assist.
    Wizard57M
    TR Moderator

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    Charles Bundy

    Siding with wizard on this one. I have no idea what this is about but the profile for the OP is suspect both temporally and personally.

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    RSmiedy

    Wizard if you would like to bring down the whip on suggestions to hack, than go after Slayer. He made a post that says word for word "Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok. If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit." and a comment saying word for word "This whole thread is getting funny. Hack that library computer. Just like that girl in school, everyone has already done it at least once".
    Ps: Please remember I am not attempting to engage in a flame war with any one.

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    Slayer_

    LOL, I am not saying anything that couldn't have been figured out through google.

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    Slayer_

    it is possible that there was remote control software on that computer in the library.
    Something like vnc could have been used.

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    demotricus

    If you`re the Moderator then just lock the thread....

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    As Moderator's, we still do not have the ability to lock a discussion; that is passed on to higher powers. We have to ability to flag and delete a discussion is need be; some discussions are flagged and passed onto others that make the decision on whether or not to lock it down.

    Purpleskys
    TR Moderator

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    demotricus

    I did not know that,...thought you guys were "all powerful"!....:-)

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    Slayer_

    They just think they are

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    OH Smeg

    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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    Slayer_

    That sounds like an FTL reference....

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    RSmiedy

    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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    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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    gechurch

    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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    birchswinger

    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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    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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    glen.harris

    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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    Nunob

    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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    RSmiedy

    Good explination. I just have one objetion, and please remember I am not trying to be rude but, birchswinger said the computer was displaying a message that said "There's nothing for you here. Move along." Why would they have that message pop up if something was blocked.

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    Warwick05

    Hie I am no geek when it comes to computer security but from my experience I think this stalker might have hacked the library system and somehow managed to create a rootkit that monitors you when ever you login in to the system and start disrupting you, if this could help there is a software called RAT , its a remote access tool used to send Trojans and control whatever system that is infected the way you like, I suggest you read about it maybe you will have a n understanding on how it is possible.

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    Slayer_

    Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok.

    If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit.

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    cybergrrl

    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well. I'm glad to hear that's not the norm. It seems the "helpful" responses here have helped explain "how" this could have happened, just as birchswinger asked, without giving any suggestion of hacking, cracking, or password circumvention. There's a difference between asking how a computer can be compromised and how to compromise a computer.

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    OH Smeg

    So how would you personally approach dealing with Problem Questions?

    The response submitted above was worked out by the TR Peers in an attempt to make a standard response which was neutral.

    If you think that the response above was Rude you can contribute the the discussion on the Standard Response here.

    www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/103-341154?tag=content;discussion-table

    Of course the response that some used to use which involves driving a solid metal rod through a CRT Monitor while being protected by having several points of the body directly connected tot he Metal Rod being driven through a running CRT Monitor which results in Electrocution and death may be your idea of a suitable answer.

    TR is supposed to be a place for TR Pros not for end users who come out with silly I forgot my password so you have to tell me how I can break it demands.

    On the whole we don't mind helping people but the reality is that some are just unbelievable and are treated as such by many TR Members. If that is Rude in your Eyes I would suggest that you are not a IT Professional and are a end user who would be better served by going elsewhere where Jaded IT Professionals are not likely to call what is obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person are considered as both Common Place and Reasonable.

    The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions.

    Personally i would have deleted the entire thread but that's just me as I would expect to see many of the Regulars here have fun with the OP and feed their Paranoid Delusions. When you ask stupid unbelievable questions of Professionals you have to expect to be treated accordingly and if you don't expect to get called out for what you have posted on a Public Forum you need much more help from Mental Health Professionals which simply can not be provided here nor should it be expected.

    Remember the carry ons in things like Days of Our Lives is Make Believe not Real Life.

    Col

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    gechurch

    @OH Smeg

    Wow! Condesending much! These forums are a place to help people. If you want to use them to treat people like crap and call them names because they aren't "professional" enough for your elitist attitude then I'd suggest that you're the type of person we don't want here. Honestly, where do you get off?

    "So how would you personally approach dealing with Problem Questions?"

    Your question assumes that this is in fact a problem question. I'm all for not helping people hack here but that simply is not the case here. Anyone that interprets "can anyone help me understand how a stalker was doing this?" as "Please tell me the specific steps I need to take to hack into a computer system, even though I haven't even mentioned which OS the system is running" has problems if you ask me.

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    Slayer_

    This whole thread is getting funny.

    Hack that library computer.
    Just like that girl in school, everyone has already done it at least once.

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    OH Smeg

    OK then Me Bad as I posted the wrong link. The correct one is here

    http://www.techrepublic .com/forum/discussions/102-248696-2392005
    remember to remove the space from between the techrepublic and the .com for a working link.

    Feel free to contribute to that discussion and I can tell you that there will be no complaints about resurrecting a Zombie Thread from anyone here who moderates the site so go ahead and jump right in.

    Unfortunately your Reading Comprehension is a Fail and you need to brush up on that one. I draw your attention to

    Wow! Condesending much! These forums are a place to help people. If you want to use them to treat people like crap and call them names because they aren't "professional" enough for your elitist attitude then I'd suggest that you're the type of person we don't want here. Honestly, where do you get off?

    Care to post back with that is what i said or in any way implied as my personal belief? What I said actually was

    The response submitted above was worked out by the TR Peers in an attempt to make a standard response which was neutral.

    If you think that the response above was Rude you can contribute the the discussion on the Standard Response here.


    That in no way implies that is what I would have said it does most certainly say however it could happen and has happened in the past by some others who I did not mention.

    I'm more than willing to engage in a conversation along these lines but you have to sit back dispassionately and read what was written not what you want to believe was written.

    If you really believe that there are no Jaded IT pros here may I ask what it is you are smoking and can I have some? I very well remember a discussion way back when a guy from South Africa made a post for workers to move to South Africa and the responses that got. About 6 months latter a company called Conical was started and while I can not prove that is the same person asking for staff to work there there has also not been any other new business started in the time frame so I believe that it's safe to add 2 + 2 and believe that the answer is 4.

    You have to remember that Nice is not normal on the Net and many people are downright NASTY believing that they are safe from being discovered for who that they actually are.

    What I did say above was that I honestly expected far worse that was given and if people where so upset that the should contribute to the Discussion that was had here to give a standard response that doesn't raise any hackles.

    So I'll say it again feel free to participate in the discussion at the above link. :0

    Col

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    gechurch

    I've got no issue with the standard response when applied correctly. But you'd have to be either genuinely idiotic (which clearly you are not), or deliberatly attempting to misdirect if you thought it was the standard response that I found rude, while ignoring your statements like:
    * "obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person"
    * "Paranoid Delusions"
    * "When you ask stupid unbelievable questions"
    * "The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"

    Those things are all unfounded, uncalled for, and incredibly rude and condescending.

    I'm sure there are plenty of jaded IT pro's here. So what? That means that no-one is allowed to come and ask questions here, because it might upset people that are already jaded?? Now who's dillusional. Perhaps you're one of those jaded IT professionals that don't like answering stupid questions. That's absolutely fine - don't answer! But being jaded is no reason to go around demeaning people you know nothing about. If you want to be unneccessarily rude to people you don't know in forums go join Slashdot or Youtube because you're right, this here is a place for professionals.

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    OH Smeg

    Well then I suppose you should read my post above as a question to the person who posted and not the the Original Poster which it was never intended for.

    After all it was a reply to Cybergirl who specifically posted

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    - .I'll think twice in the future...
    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well.


    The above was in no way aimed at the OP and I can not see how it could be interpreted that way either. but as you prefer to limit your responses to the following lets have a look see shall we?

    * "obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person"
    * "Paranoid Delusions"
    * "When you ask stupid unbelievable questions"
    * "The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"


    obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person" was used this way

    If that is Rude in your Eyes I would suggest that you are not a IT Professional and are a end user who would be better served by going elsewhere where Jaded IT Professionals are not likely to call what is obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person are considered as both Common Place and Reasonable.

    So just how is that in any way directly directed at the OP here? I was suggesting that the person in question may not be a Thick Skinned IT professional who is constantly blamed for what doesn't work in the eyes of the people who want it to. It was not intended to in any way relate to the OP here but was aimed as a general question on Questionable Content that does get posted on this Forum.

    It is up to the people appointed as Moderators to remove posts like that and if anything it makes them more Jaded than they already where. Personally I deliberately refrained from posting a answer to the OP here because I felt the post was way too open and left too much room for abuse.

    as for

    The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"

    Sorry but that is exactly what the AU Federal Police say and to all intents and purposes is correct. There are very few people who get stalked who do not know the person stalking them and of those who are stalked and do not know who the person is they mostly happen to be Celebrities who get No Hoper Losers fasting onto them as a means to improve their perceived shortcomings.

    That to is in no way directed as the OP here and was posted in Response to a direct comment claiming that it was rude to say something.

    Well unfortunately the fact of life is that most people who hide behind an Alases on the Net are more than Rude they are Downright Objectionable.

    But to make you feel better if you like I can delete the entire thread as it's now gone beyond the bizarre.

    So would you like me to delete it?

    Col

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    this forum is an open, online forum. There is ABSOLUTELY no way that "birchswinger" nor anyone else can prove that they are indeed the person they say they are. This person could just as easily be the stalker, and is asking for help in hacking the library computers that their stalking victim is now using. That's why we, as members of Tech Republic, have decided it is in the best interest of everyone NOT to go into details on
    how a system can be compromised.
    Downvote me, flag me, whatever. Call me rude, uncaring, non-sympathetic...you don't even know me, it doesn't hurt my feelings. I've been in a situation similar to this, and let me just say that people can pretend to be anything on the internet. That's why we, the members of Tech Republic, have written some of the GPL documents we have, and is
    also why the FAQ in all sections should be read and understood prior to posting.
    FYI---the "move along, nothing to see hear" is an OLD, very old, sarcastic remark that is made to people that ask the wrong questions in some forums. So perhaps the OP triggered a response from someone they were asking questions of in a forum about how to rootkit the library computer? I'm not saying that's what happened, I don't know...
    none of us do. Since the issue occurred in 2006, why ask now, 7 years later?
    If the OP was just looking for a recommendation on how to stop someone from stalking, ASK THAT QUESTION, not understand how the library computers were compromised.
    Wizard57M
    TR Moderator
    (edited to try and remove extra line breaks...durned IE)

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    Slayer_

    I don't know why but there is a line return after each word on a new line.
    Making it very hard to read.

    This is a sentence
    This
    is a sentence


    Like that. Is it just me?

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    Doesn't surprise me...I'm using IE at the moment!!!

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    Slayer_

    Now it's fixed. I am using Chrome (out of necessity). So far I hate it.

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    Charles Bundy

    Why are folks swinging at each other? Let's look at what we know of 'birchswinger'

    Gender: unknown
    Location: unknown
    Age: unknown
    Solution: unlikely as this happened 7 years ago
    Time on TechRepublic: Three days

    If one simply types in the title question to Google, they are given numerous links related to remote control. Question answered. So why are you folks beating this to death? Sounds like the OP truly is a 'swinger of birches'.

    Heed W.O.P.R.'s wisdom - The only winning move is not to play :)

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    Isn't finding stuff by way of search engines fun...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_PkqW44mhU

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    Note---I'm not saying this is the same person, I just find the parallels interesting...

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    Slayer_

    I like to google myself.

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    OH Smeg

    Slayer you need to remember never to Google Google or you'll break the Internet.

    That's Very Important to Remember.

    Col

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    JohnStanton

    I'm an academic librarian. If anyone in a library (or elsewhere for that matter) think they are being stalked, notify someone immediately. Tell the librarian or other staff member you don't feel safe and need help.

    Stalking on college campuses is far too common and assaults on college students happen too frequently. You have a right to feel safe, especially in a library. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for help.

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    info

    ...that right now, thanks to some of these infantile and juvenile remarks on a near non-issue, I am actually embarrassed to be a member here.

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    Slayer_

    Don't worry, we are embarrassed that you are a member.

    :-) just kidding.

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    Merlin the Wiz

    If you search for "Google" remote administration software you will learn more than you really wanted to know on wikipedia

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    birchswinger

    Hello, everyone. I want to give special thanks to everyone whose contributions to this discussion were purely constructive. John Stanton, RSmiedy, glenharris, Nunob, Warwick05 : I'm grateful to you all, and Cybergrrl and GEChurch: I'm especially grateful to the two of you for going to bat for my right to try to learn something here. The reason I brought this question to TR in 2013 was that when I tried to tell the librarians and a couple of friends in 2006 what had happened to me at the library it was just not something that they could picture as possible, and I was broke, and my cameras had been taken repeatedly, etc., etc, and I couldn't prove it. Since I'm almost sure that I wouldn't have believed such a weird story had I not experienced it myself, I couldn't feel angry at them for their disbelief -- but I did feel incredibly depressed and defeated and scared. For all I know the librarians looked into things and eventually took the necessary steps to prevent their network being hacked; I don't know, because I stopped going. I did go to the police, by the way, but no real help. (I can elaborate/clarify further on that or on other parts of the story if anyone has questions.) I also have been treated by mental health professionals, and do essentially take care of myself, but thanks to those of you who expressed concerns for my wellbeing. I'm running out of time, so I'll just say that my main reason for asking my question on TR was to help anyone else out in the world who may be experiencing this kind of harassment, or something similar. I certainly have googled the Q that I posted over the years, and came up with nothing. I cannot be the only person in the world who has had to deal with something like this, and to think of someone else being harassed like this (and surely in so many other ways) and dismissed as delusional because "That's not possible" or "People would never do that" makes me feel ill, because it's terribly painful to be dismissed when you legitimately need assistance. By the way, wizard describes the proxy stalkers with the cellphones as "hired hackers" in one of his posts. Not my words. I do not know, to this day, who these people were, or why they participated in this. I can tell you that I eventually learned from a neighbor (others have spoken w/ her of this and heard this too) that she'd been seeing TONS of different people in different vehicles come to my house several times a week (I was never home, and the alarm was always set) --sometimes staying for minutes, sometimes staying for hours ---and no, this wasn't because I was dealing drugs or anything illegal, or had an "alternative" lifestyle, or anything. It was because actual strangers somehow got persuaded to join in on messing with me. How could such a thing happen in the real world ? Who were these people? Why would ANYONE smart enough to have a driver's license participate in such a thing against an innocent, law-abiding person like me --or anyone else? I've tried to guess at answers, but that's all I can do. I just don't understand it at all. Thank God these people don't hassle me anymore. The original stalker who started all of this did allude on a couple of occasions to being involved in some sort of community watch-type thing (or something), but he always kept the details murky, and I never dreamed of anything/everything ever getting crazy and scary.(And as I said, I just don't know.) He still likes to make his presence felt on occasion (I imagine he does this with every woman he's ever been with, like a hobby). Please just understand that (A) The unbelievable can actually take place. It's actually possible for an innocent person to be stalked/harassed by a bunch of other "adults" who they don't know. Apparently their "reasons" for targeting someone can vary. This has been documented by anthropologists, etc. What can I say? It's messed up. And OHSmeg's pronouncements notwithstanding, the number of people who are stalked in any form who "bring this on themselves" (and therefore, I guess, deserve it?) ---that's a number really close to zero. (B) New technologies have emboldened some creeps to perpetrate really awful things on others more than they might have done in an earlier time when these resources were not available to them. (C) It is incredibly important that people who are proficient with technology stay on the side of the angels and work to make the digital world a safer one for everyone. And in order to do that effectively they will have to keep an open mind and listen to their guts so as not to cause further harm to someone who legitimately needs help. So thank you again to those of you who have helped me here, and peace to everyone. It wasn't ever my intention to stir up bad feelings, etc.

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    birchswinger

    When this discussion started the posts appeared in chronological order, and frankly the discussion thread made much more sense that way. I wonder why/how that changed? Now the posts are wildly out of order (ex: 3/18, 3/26, 3/28, 3/17, etc.), and everything makes less sense and is less interesting as a result. Also, my first response to other posters now appears to thank another member for what was really hacking advice, which WAS NEVER WHAT I WANTED. That member's post (advocating that I try hacking) didn't actually appear in the thread until after I'd posted my thanks to him ( for his earlier, more appropriate response) and to others on the site who'd responded "respectfully and rationally" to my question. I imagine that most people who read these threads don't necessarily scrutinize the date on each post, and I'm concerned that anyone reading the thread (as it now appears) would come away with the impression that I had welcomed Slayer's how-to-hack-for-revenge suggestion as "respectful and rational", when I was not seeking that kind of feedback. Can anyone shed light on this for me? Why doesn't the thread simply read vertically with each post appearing according to the time and day that it was originally posted? For several days (3?4? longer?) the posts here appeared in a chronological, sequential order so that a reader (having seen what preceded each post) could easily make sense of the responses that followed. Had the responses on this thread appeared disjointed/random from the start then the change several days later would have been less jarring to me, but I admit that I am new to TR. Perhaps threads here always end up this way, although given the result --- that posts no longer appear in the actual, chronological order in which they originally appeared --- I wonder if it has to be that way?

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    it all depends on how a person responds to your posts. if they post in "answer the question" it starts a different section of the blog and people respond to each individual question and it is posted chronologically under each one; If they click on "reply" , they post to that part of the discussion. That's how the Q&A section of TR works. The Discussion page works a little differently again. Does that make sense to you?

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    birchswinger

    I think (?) I get what you mean about the way things get responded to here in terms of the order in which the posts appear. I take your word for it, certainly, and really appreciate your filling me in. I'd just been puzzled because for several days when the discussion started the order of the posts appeared strictly sequential, timewise, and the discussion thread did seem far easier to understand. The (vertical sequential) order of some of the posts here did change after a number of days, but I'll assume that perhaps some people revised their posts and that this somehow affected where they ended up appearing in the thread. (?) Or something like that; I don't know. :) At any rate, thanks again, PurpleSkys.

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    Wow

    Becca Alice

    What a disappointment. How can calling a user delusional ever be defended as professional IT response? This sort of thing is exactly why IT has such a terrible reputation for being a group of condescending jerks. We are all well aware from multiple media sources that group bullying happens, and in fact quite a few of our own "nerd" community have suffered through extensive bullying, so making an assumption that someone is insane is hardly a productive response. I went to the site noted for discussion and it has to do with asking for passwords, nothing to do with professional and productive response to end users. If you wanted to tell a user "we can't help you because this touches on areas in which we should not be involved" it's certainly possible to do so without coming across as a complete IT jerk. Googling things does not help non-professionals and while we're not used to seeing them pop up here often, when they do, slaughtering the lost lamb is not helpful. I have to agree with those who say this entire response from TR moderation has been condescending, defensive, aggressive and deeply unprofessional. What a disappointment in this site.

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    birchswinger

    Thank you so much, Becca Alice, for coming to my defense here -- and to the defense of any non-geek who comes to this community seeking help/answers.Without a doubt many of the responders to my original post were nothing but kind, and tried in different (appropriate) ways to help me out, and for that I'm really grateful to all of you who did that here. As to the others, I hope that they'll give my question/my position some more consideration and conclude that they were hasty in being dismissive, or hostile, or whatever shoe fits some of the less friendly posts in this thread. I guess one of the things that I'd urge them to think about is that your basic smart geek-type is far less vulnerable to being messed with in the kind of ultra weird (albeit reality-based) scenario that I described above. They tend to have the smarts, the skills, the monetary and tech resources, etc. that would make messing with them a bad idea.

    I'd also like to add that even if it appears very strongly that a newcomer to a place like TR is suffering from a terrible mental disease that has stripped them of sound judgment and perception --- if it appears overwhelmingly that that is the case, and certainly it may be at times --- well, that person would be someone in a state of immense suffering, and through no fault of their own. That would be a person living in what I picture as truly a sort of **** on earth, and someone who desperately needs to be shown some human kindness. And while I can appreciate the need to not have discussions dominated by someone who seems unable to perceive and interpret reality as well as most of us can, I think that it's a good idea to keep in mind the old Hippocratic idea of "First, do no harm" when responding to the concerns of people seeking guidance or help. Thanks again to all of you who have been so kind. I really do appreciate it.

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    Juanita Marquez

    Agreed. There are people that call TechRepublic home who are paid to do IT work, who are very smart and "jaded", and there are also people here who do the same and can actually be labeled "professional" in conduct or at the very least, gracious and tolerant. I know who I'd rather follow. Puerile behavior may be acceptable to those who have been here awhile and can take the punches but IMO I'd rather err on the side of being welcoming to someone who may not turn out to be who they say they are than scaring off people that took an interest in TR in the first place and badmouthing it down the road to people that may be positive for the site. But hey, I'm weird that way.

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    Slayer_

    It's like any other public forum. You have to filter it yourself, take the information you want, ignore the stuff you don't want.

    I think of it this way.
    If someone says a rude joke, even if not to you. Do you (A) yell at them for offending you or (B) ignore it and get on with your day.

    Here is a blog post about someone that chose option (A).
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career/off-color-remarks-at-conference-result-in-two-developers-getting-fired/4872?tag=mantle_skin;content

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    well put Slayer_ ....thank you :) Most of us don't mean to come across as rude; we're just a little too blunt at times or it's been one of those days. No excuse, I know...

    PurpleSkys
    TR Moderator

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    birchswinger

    I suppose that you're right, Slayer, that most public forums are going to be a mixed bag of wisdom and ignorance, good will and bad. And yeah, we all get to make choices about how we respond to people. The choice to respond to another's post IS the FIRST CHOICE. If one thinks someone's question should be dismissed for some reason, why even take the time to write a response? If you do write a response you have other choices: you can decide that you want to avoid hurting someone needlessly as you take the time to contribute thoughts that you (presumably) figure will be of some use to someone. Or you can be overly "blunt", as PurpleSkys said. But that's a choice too, and when you make it you can't blame others for asking why. And you're right, PurpleSkys, about how there really is no excuse for responding like a jerk. If you've had a bad day then do the kinds of things that decent, mature adults do to get rid of stress or whatever but spare the rest of us. Clearly some people on Tech Republic have a pretty narrow idea of who should be recognized as a welcome visitor to the Republic and a rightful speaker in a forum. Thankfully other members of TR have extended themselves to defend my right to be here, to answer my (sincere, non-sinister) question, to express concern for my wellbeing, and to apologize for other TR members who'd dismissed me, or snarled at me, or sneered at me, or did all three by turns. (And Slayer_, you were not rude to me, and thank you for that. I WASN'T looking for "evil" suggestions, but given your lack of meanness to me ----even after I distanced myself from your how-to-take-revenge feedback --- I'm gonna bet you've got a good heart behind that cynical, devil-may-care online persona.) I do think that I and other non-geeks (who have searched elsewhere unsuccessfully for answers) have every reason and every right to show up at TR in the hope that experts will help us with our questions if they want to and they can. And apparently most of y'all (Thank you, Juanita Marquez) agree with me, so....cool.

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    Slayer_

    Dang I just read that this happened 7 years ago.
    Sorry, my advice was worthless.

    Did you ever figure out who did it?

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    birchswinger

    For some reason the site isn't saving edits I'm trying to make today, even though it says under my post that I "edited" it a minute ago. I did TRY to edit two things, and repeatedly hit save button (was logged in) but changes have not been saved. Anyway. Juanita, your name was supposed to be in the blank. :)

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    Slayer_

    When you hit save in TR. It often doesn't refresh the page. But it does save.

    But I do think you should check that computer for remote control software like VNC. It is usually in the taskbar by the clock. But you can use task manager to check what services are running.
    You can also edit the windows firewall to block those things.
    It's hard to explain how for every version of windows.
    http://support.microsoft .com/kb/843090

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    just refresh the page after you make your edits and hit save...they'll be there after a refresh

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    -Loanman

    @birchswinger: It is unfortunate that so many in my profession lack even rudimentary social skills, and think that name-calling is an ok thing to do. I would like to apologize on behalf of true IT professionals everywhere for the conduct of one or two on this thread who claim to be professional but demonstrate otherwise by communicating in a most unprofessional way.

    If I talked to end-users the way you have been addressed here, I would quickly become a professional unemployment recipient. I hope all goes well for you and that you are granted a modicum of peace.

    All that being said, I'd love to get my hands on the jerk/s who perpetrated this evil on you and do some very unprofessional things to them.

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    birchswinger

    Thanks for the useful info, Slayer and PurpleSkys, and I appreciate your patience. And LOANMAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. What you said was really lovely. The closing line is my favorite. It's remarkable how powerfully good it feels to hear someone say, in essence, "You didn't deserve to be hurt, and I'd stand by you and teach these jerks that they won't be hurting you anymore." Because that's what I needed (kinda still need) WAY more than anything else: emotional support. The lessons from my own experience suggest to me that a person in a situation like the one I've described will probably be able to get through some truly hellish things (even in the absence of successful, real-world solutions to the problem )as long as she feels that others are emotionally there for her. So thanks again, Loanman.

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    birchswinger

    Slayer, I just saw your Q. The only thing I know is who STARTED the harassment. He'd been doing creepy, scary things for years all on his own (as far as I know) before anyone else signed on to join him, and God only knows how something like that can happen. One would think it would be a serious challenge finding just one sicko kindred spirit to participate in something like this, let alone a bunch? Seems like it would be, but constantly telling myself that this couldn't be happening didn't make it so, because it was happening. (And pedophiles manage to find one another, so ...? Some people are gross; I'll leave it there.) And Slayer, no, the guy never got caught. I believe he's currently working as a "consultant" for a major internet service provider.

    As to why I've written about this now: I learned the term "rootkit" from a kindly tech guy who I'd spoken with about the problem, and I did share what I'd been told about them (as well as the details of my library experiences) with the head librarian, but I don't know that any action was taken. Had I been able to print out that professional journal article on the subject that was written expressly for librarians perhaps it might have helped my case. I suspect that the librarian's take on me at the time was that on the one hand I seemed sane, but on the other hand I was describing something that seemed SUPER unlikely, and I'm guessing she wasn't hearing about this problem from anyone else. (I'd gone to the library, by the way, because my computer at home had been similarly compromised.) Had she been better informed she would have helped me, I think.This happened in 2006, yet in 2013 there still seem to be very few lay people who've even ever heard of a root kit, or other stuff of that ilk, and I think it's essential for everyone to understand that things like this have happened and do happen. Certainly all administrators of computer networks need to be aware of this stuff. I shudder to think of the things that are surely happening to other good people out there, and the way they'll likely be treated if they dare to speak about it or seek help. To be targeted for harassment is really hard, but to be dismissed out of hand as someone who's psychotic (and the idea there, though not admitted, is often that the mentally ill person is by definition not worth actually helping) ----that is devastating ---especially when some people apply this label so contemptuously. Let's face it: If I were deluded because of a brain disease it would not be my fault. Furthermore, the awful reality is that there are some bad people who relish victimizing those who are vulnerable, who will be questioned and dismissed: those with mental illness, people with developmental disabilities, people with poor support systems and lack of income, etc. This stuff happens. In my opinion it would be far better to take all complaints seriously (i.e., actually investigate them) than to not do that and be an unwitting accomplice to an evil scumbag who preys on the vulnerable. Real innocent people are being hurt out in the digital Wild West, and they are being abandoned by others who might help them. At least a couple of people here at TR have called this thread a silly discussion about something that doesn't really merit any attention, but they're mistaken.

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    Slayer_

    it is possible that there was remote control software on that computer in the library.
    Something like vnc could have been used.

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    demotricus

    If you`re the Moderator then just lock the thread....

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    RSmiedy

    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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    gechurch

    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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    birchswinger

    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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    Nunob

    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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    Warwick05

    Hie I am no geek when it comes to computer security but from my experience I think this stalker might have hacked the library system and somehow managed to create a rootkit that monitors you when ever you login in to the system and start disrupting you, if this could help there is a software called RAT , its a remote access tool used to send Trojans and control whatever system that is infected the way you like, I suggest you read about it maybe you will have a n understanding on how it is possible.

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    Slayer_

    Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok.

    If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit.

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    cybergrrl

    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well. I'm glad to hear that's not the norm. It seems the "helpful" responses here have helped explain "how" this could have happened, just as birchswinger asked, without giving any suggestion of hacking, cracking, or password circumvention. There's a difference between asking how a computer can be compromised and how to compromise a computer.

  • +
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    TR members do not assist in password recovery or removal.
    Do not respond to this thread.

    We, the members of TechRepublic - A Resource for IT Professionals, will not assist anyone in the recovery/removal of lost passwords. You may have a legitimate reason to recover/remove a password. However, we cannot verify your motives and will therefore not assist anyone in what may be an attempt at gaining unauthorized access to a computer system. Due to the open nature of this forum, any assistance given to help circumvent security measures, even for legitimate purposes, would be available for unscrupulous individuals to use for illegitimate purposes. This is a risk that we, the members of TechRepublic, will not take. Please do not ask questions of this nature on TechRepublic.

    If you have a legitimate need to circumvent a password scheme, please contact the vendor for the software / hardware and request their assistance. E.g. Windows XP password recovery/removal issues should be taken up with Microsoft's technical support, Phoenix BIOS password recovery/removal issues should be taken up with Phoenix Technologies, hard drive password recovery/removal should be taken up with the manufacturer of the hard drive, etc...

    To those viewing this post: Please DO NOT respond any further to this thread.

    This template has been released under the GNU public license and you are encouraged to use it as a standard reply for questions of similar nature, provided that you make any modifications available to other users.

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    gechurch

    Perhaps the OP changed her question before I read it, but as it stands now there is no mention of passwords at all - the OP just wants to know how this has been happening.

    Can I suggest you now remove your reply so other potential helpers are not dissuaded?

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    No, gechurch, my reply will stand...the OP is asking how to break the
    security at the library's computer system...not "password" specifically,
    but system security none the less. If the OP cannot or will not use a
    search engine, of which there are several, to find the information then
    it is not upon TR members to show them how to crack system security.
    The other issue I have, they asked this same basic question twice.
    Even ignoring the paranoid delusional aspects of this "question", it
    has a smell of the darkside of system cracking. That is something that
    the majority of TR members have decided NOT to assist.
    Wizard57M
    TR Moderator

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    Charles Bundy

    Siding with wizard on this one. I have no idea what this is about but the profile for the OP is suspect both temporally and personally.

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    RSmiedy

    Wizard if you would like to bring down the whip on suggestions to hack, than go after Slayer. He made a post that says word for word "Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok. If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit." and a comment saying word for word "This whole thread is getting funny. Hack that library computer. Just like that girl in school, everyone has already done it at least once".
    Ps: Please remember I am not attempting to engage in a flame war with any one.

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    Slayer_

    LOL, I am not saying anything that couldn't have been figured out through google.

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    Slayer_

    it is possible that there was remote control software on that computer in the library.
    Something like vnc could have been used.

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    demotricus

    If you`re the Moderator then just lock the thread....

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    As Moderator's, we still do not have the ability to lock a discussion; that is passed on to higher powers. We have to ability to flag and delete a discussion is need be; some discussions are flagged and passed onto others that make the decision on whether or not to lock it down.

    Purpleskys
    TR Moderator

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    demotricus

    I did not know that,...thought you guys were "all powerful"!....:-)

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    Slayer_

    They just think they are

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    OH Smeg

    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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    Slayer_

    That sounds like an FTL reference....

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    RSmiedy

    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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    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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    gechurch

    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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    birchswinger

    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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    0 Votes

    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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    glen.harris

    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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    3 Votes
    Nunob

    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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    RSmiedy

    Good explination. I just have one objetion, and please remember I am not trying to be rude but, birchswinger said the computer was displaying a message that said "There's nothing for you here. Move along." Why would they have that message pop up if something was blocked.

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    3 Votes
    Warwick05

    Hie I am no geek when it comes to computer security but from my experience I think this stalker might have hacked the library system and somehow managed to create a rootkit that monitors you when ever you login in to the system and start disrupting you, if this could help there is a software called RAT , its a remote access tool used to send Trojans and control whatever system that is infected the way you like, I suggest you read about it maybe you will have a n understanding on how it is possible.

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    Slayer_

    Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok.

    If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit.

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    3 Votes
    cybergrrl

    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well. I'm glad to hear that's not the norm. It seems the "helpful" responses here have helped explain "how" this could have happened, just as birchswinger asked, without giving any suggestion of hacking, cracking, or password circumvention. There's a difference between asking how a computer can be compromised and how to compromise a computer.

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    OH Smeg

    So how would you personally approach dealing with Problem Questions?

    The response submitted above was worked out by the TR Peers in an attempt to make a standard response which was neutral.

    If you think that the response above was Rude you can contribute the the discussion on the Standard Response here.

    www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/103-341154?tag=content;discussion-table

    Of course the response that some used to use which involves driving a solid metal rod through a CRT Monitor while being protected by having several points of the body directly connected tot he Metal Rod being driven through a running CRT Monitor which results in Electrocution and death may be your idea of a suitable answer.

    TR is supposed to be a place for TR Pros not for end users who come out with silly I forgot my password so you have to tell me how I can break it demands.

    On the whole we don't mind helping people but the reality is that some are just unbelievable and are treated as such by many TR Members. If that is Rude in your Eyes I would suggest that you are not a IT Professional and are a end user who would be better served by going elsewhere where Jaded IT Professionals are not likely to call what is obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person are considered as both Common Place and Reasonable.

    The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions.

    Personally i would have deleted the entire thread but that's just me as I would expect to see many of the Regulars here have fun with the OP and feed their Paranoid Delusions. When you ask stupid unbelievable questions of Professionals you have to expect to be treated accordingly and if you don't expect to get called out for what you have posted on a Public Forum you need much more help from Mental Health Professionals which simply can not be provided here nor should it be expected.

    Remember the carry ons in things like Days of Our Lives is Make Believe not Real Life.

    Col

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    gechurch

    @OH Smeg

    Wow! Condesending much! These forums are a place to help people. If you want to use them to treat people like crap and call them names because they aren't "professional" enough for your elitist attitude then I'd suggest that you're the type of person we don't want here. Honestly, where do you get off?

    "So how would you personally approach dealing with Problem Questions?"

    Your question assumes that this is in fact a problem question. I'm all for not helping people hack here but that simply is not the case here. Anyone that interprets "can anyone help me understand how a stalker was doing this?" as "Please tell me the specific steps I need to take to hack into a computer system, even though I haven't even mentioned which OS the system is running" has problems if you ask me.

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    Slayer_

    This whole thread is getting funny.

    Hack that library computer.
    Just like that girl in school, everyone has already done it at least once.

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    OH Smeg

    OK then Me Bad as I posted the wrong link. The correct one is here

    http://www.techrepublic .com/forum/discussions/102-248696-2392005
    remember to remove the space from between the techrepublic and the .com for a working link.

    Feel free to contribute to that discussion and I can tell you that there will be no complaints about resurrecting a Zombie Thread from anyone here who moderates the site so go ahead and jump right in.

    Unfortunately your Reading Comprehension is a Fail and you need to brush up on that one. I draw your attention to

    Wow! Condesending much! These forums are a place to help people. If you want to use them to treat people like crap and call them names because they aren't "professional" enough for your elitist attitude then I'd suggest that you're the type of person we don't want here. Honestly, where do you get off?

    Care to post back with that is what i said or in any way implied as my personal belief? What I said actually was

    The response submitted above was worked out by the TR Peers in an attempt to make a standard response which was neutral.

    If you think that the response above was Rude you can contribute the the discussion on the Standard Response here.


    That in no way implies that is what I would have said it does most certainly say however it could happen and has happened in the past by some others who I did not mention.

    I'm more than willing to engage in a conversation along these lines but you have to sit back dispassionately and read what was written not what you want to believe was written.

    If you really believe that there are no Jaded IT pros here may I ask what it is you are smoking and can I have some? I very well remember a discussion way back when a guy from South Africa made a post for workers to move to South Africa and the responses that got. About 6 months latter a company called Conical was started and while I can not prove that is the same person asking for staff to work there there has also not been any other new business started in the time frame so I believe that it's safe to add 2 + 2 and believe that the answer is 4.

    You have to remember that Nice is not normal on the Net and many people are downright NASTY believing that they are safe from being discovered for who that they actually are.

    What I did say above was that I honestly expected far worse that was given and if people where so upset that the should contribute to the Discussion that was had here to give a standard response that doesn't raise any hackles.

    So I'll say it again feel free to participate in the discussion at the above link. :0

    Col

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    gechurch

    I've got no issue with the standard response when applied correctly. But you'd have to be either genuinely idiotic (which clearly you are not), or deliberatly attempting to misdirect if you thought it was the standard response that I found rude, while ignoring your statements like:
    * "obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person"
    * "Paranoid Delusions"
    * "When you ask stupid unbelievable questions"
    * "The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"

    Those things are all unfounded, uncalled for, and incredibly rude and condescending.

    I'm sure there are plenty of jaded IT pro's here. So what? That means that no-one is allowed to come and ask questions here, because it might upset people that are already jaded?? Now who's dillusional. Perhaps you're one of those jaded IT professionals that don't like answering stupid questions. That's absolutely fine - don't answer! But being jaded is no reason to go around demeaning people you know nothing about. If you want to be unneccessarily rude to people you don't know in forums go join Slashdot or Youtube because you're right, this here is a place for professionals.

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    OH Smeg

    Well then I suppose you should read my post above as a question to the person who posted and not the the Original Poster which it was never intended for.

    After all it was a reply to Cybergirl who specifically posted

    0
    Votes +
    - .I'll think twice in the future...
    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well.


    The above was in no way aimed at the OP and I can not see how it could be interpreted that way either. but as you prefer to limit your responses to the following lets have a look see shall we?

    * "obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person"
    * "Paranoid Delusions"
    * "When you ask stupid unbelievable questions"
    * "The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"


    obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person" was used this way

    If that is Rude in your Eyes I would suggest that you are not a IT Professional and are a end user who would be better served by going elsewhere where Jaded IT Professionals are not likely to call what is obviously the ramblings of a Mad-Person are considered as both Common Place and Reasonable.

    So just how is that in any way directly directed at the OP here? I was suggesting that the person in question may not be a Thick Skinned IT professional who is constantly blamed for what doesn't work in the eyes of the people who want it to. It was not intended to in any way relate to the OP here but was aimed as a general question on Questionable Content that does get posted on this Forum.

    It is up to the people appointed as Moderators to remove posts like that and if anything it makes them more Jaded than they already where. Personally I deliberately refrained from posting a answer to the OP here because I felt the post was way too open and left too much room for abuse.

    as for

    The reality is that People do not Cyber Stalk strangers and those who are stalked tend to bring it on themselves by their own actions"

    Sorry but that is exactly what the AU Federal Police say and to all intents and purposes is correct. There are very few people who get stalked who do not know the person stalking them and of those who are stalked and do not know who the person is they mostly happen to be Celebrities who get No Hoper Losers fasting onto them as a means to improve their perceived shortcomings.

    That to is in no way directed as the OP here and was posted in Response to a direct comment claiming that it was rude to say something.

    Well unfortunately the fact of life is that most people who hide behind an Alases on the Net are more than Rude they are Downright Objectionable.

    But to make you feel better if you like I can delete the entire thread as it's now gone beyond the bizarre.

    So would you like me to delete it?

    Col

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    4 Votes

    this forum is an open, online forum. There is ABSOLUTELY no way that "birchswinger" nor anyone else can prove that they are indeed the person they say they are. This person could just as easily be the stalker, and is asking for help in hacking the library computers that their stalking victim is now using. That's why we, as members of Tech Republic, have decided it is in the best interest of everyone NOT to go into details on
    how a system can be compromised.
    Downvote me, flag me, whatever. Call me rude, uncaring, non-sympathetic...you don't even know me, it doesn't hurt my feelings. I've been in a situation similar to this, and let me just say that people can pretend to be anything on the internet. That's why we, the members of Tech Republic, have written some of the GPL documents we have, and is
    also why the FAQ in all sections should be read and understood prior to posting.
    FYI---the "move along, nothing to see hear" is an OLD, very old, sarcastic remark that is made to people that ask the wrong questions in some forums. So perhaps the OP triggered a response from someone they were asking questions of in a forum about how to rootkit the library computer? I'm not saying that's what happened, I don't know...
    none of us do. Since the issue occurred in 2006, why ask now, 7 years later?
    If the OP was just looking for a recommendation on how to stop someone from stalking, ASK THAT QUESTION, not understand how the library computers were compromised.
    Wizard57M
    TR Moderator
    (edited to try and remove extra line breaks...durned IE)

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    Slayer_

    I don't know why but there is a line return after each word on a new line.
    Making it very hard to read.

    This is a sentence
    This
    is a sentence


    Like that. Is it just me?

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    Doesn't surprise me...I'm using IE at the moment!!!

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    Slayer_

    Now it's fixed. I am using Chrome (out of necessity). So far I hate it.

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    Charles Bundy

    Why are folks swinging at each other? Let's look at what we know of 'birchswinger'

    Gender: unknown
    Location: unknown
    Age: unknown
    Solution: unlikely as this happened 7 years ago
    Time on TechRepublic: Three days

    If one simply types in the title question to Google, they are given numerous links related to remote control. Question answered. So why are you folks beating this to death? Sounds like the OP truly is a 'swinger of birches'.

    Heed W.O.P.R.'s wisdom - The only winning move is not to play :)

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    Isn't finding stuff by way of search engines fun...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_PkqW44mhU

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    Note---I'm not saying this is the same person, I just find the parallels interesting...

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    Slayer_

    I like to google myself.

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    OH Smeg

    Slayer you need to remember never to Google Google or you'll break the Internet.

    That's Very Important to Remember.

    Col

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    JohnStanton

    I'm an academic librarian. If anyone in a library (or elsewhere for that matter) think they are being stalked, notify someone immediately. Tell the librarian or other staff member you don't feel safe and need help.

    Stalking on college campuses is far too common and assaults on college students happen too frequently. You have a right to feel safe, especially in a library. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for help.

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    info

    ...that right now, thanks to some of these infantile and juvenile remarks on a near non-issue, I am actually embarrassed to be a member here.

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    Slayer_

    Don't worry, we are embarrassed that you are a member.

    :-) just kidding.

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    Merlin the Wiz

    If you search for "Google" remote administration software you will learn more than you really wanted to know on wikipedia

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    birchswinger

    Hello, everyone. I want to give special thanks to everyone whose contributions to this discussion were purely constructive. John Stanton, RSmiedy, glenharris, Nunob, Warwick05 : I'm grateful to you all, and Cybergrrl and GEChurch: I'm especially grateful to the two of you for going to bat for my right to try to learn something here. The reason I brought this question to TR in 2013 was that when I tried to tell the librarians and a couple of friends in 2006 what had happened to me at the library it was just not something that they could picture as possible, and I was broke, and my cameras had been taken repeatedly, etc., etc, and I couldn't prove it. Since I'm almost sure that I wouldn't have believed such a weird story had I not experienced it myself, I couldn't feel angry at them for their disbelief -- but I did feel incredibly depressed and defeated and scared. For all I know the librarians looked into things and eventually took the necessary steps to prevent their network being hacked; I don't know, because I stopped going. I did go to the police, by the way, but no real help. (I can elaborate/clarify further on that or on other parts of the story if anyone has questions.) I also have been treated by mental health professionals, and do essentially take care of myself, but thanks to those of you who expressed concerns for my wellbeing. I'm running out of time, so I'll just say that my main reason for asking my question on TR was to help anyone else out in the world who may be experiencing this kind of harassment, or something similar. I certainly have googled the Q that I posted over the years, and came up with nothing. I cannot be the only person in the world who has had to deal with something like this, and to think of someone else being harassed like this (and surely in so many other ways) and dismissed as delusional because "That's not possible" or "People would never do that" makes me feel ill, because it's terribly painful to be dismissed when you legitimately need assistance. By the way, wizard describes the proxy stalkers with the cellphones as "hired hackers" in one of his posts. Not my words. I do not know, to this day, who these people were, or why they participated in this. I can tell you that I eventually learned from a neighbor (others have spoken w/ her of this and heard this too) that she'd been seeing TONS of different people in different vehicles come to my house several times a week (I was never home, and the alarm was always set) --sometimes staying for minutes, sometimes staying for hours ---and no, this wasn't because I was dealing drugs or anything illegal, or had an "alternative" lifestyle, or anything. It was because actual strangers somehow got persuaded to join in on messing with me. How could such a thing happen in the real world ? Who were these people? Why would ANYONE smart enough to have a driver's license participate in such a thing against an innocent, law-abiding person like me --or anyone else? I've tried to guess at answers, but that's all I can do. I just don't understand it at all. Thank God these people don't hassle me anymore. The original stalker who started all of this did allude on a couple of occasions to being involved in some sort of community watch-type thing (or something), but he always kept the details murky, and I never dreamed of anything/everything ever getting crazy and scary.(And as I said, I just don't know.) He still likes to make his presence felt on occasion (I imagine he does this with every woman he's ever been with, like a hobby). Please just understand that (A) The unbelievable can actually take place. It's actually possible for an innocent person to be stalked/harassed by a bunch of other "adults" who they don't know. Apparently their "reasons" for targeting someone can vary. This has been documented by anthropologists, etc. What can I say? It's messed up. And OHSmeg's pronouncements notwithstanding, the number of people who are stalked in any form who "bring this on themselves" (and therefore, I guess, deserve it?) ---that's a number really close to zero. (B) New technologies have emboldened some creeps to perpetrate really awful things on others more than they might have done in an earlier time when these resources were not available to them. (C) It is incredibly important that people who are proficient with technology stay on the side of the angels and work to make the digital world a safer one for everyone. And in order to do that effectively they will have to keep an open mind and listen to their guts so as not to cause further harm to someone who legitimately needs help. So thank you again to those of you who have helped me here, and peace to everyone. It wasn't ever my intention to stir up bad feelings, etc.

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    birchswinger

    When this discussion started the posts appeared in chronological order, and frankly the discussion thread made much more sense that way. I wonder why/how that changed? Now the posts are wildly out of order (ex: 3/18, 3/26, 3/28, 3/17, etc.), and everything makes less sense and is less interesting as a result. Also, my first response to other posters now appears to thank another member for what was really hacking advice, which WAS NEVER WHAT I WANTED. That member's post (advocating that I try hacking) didn't actually appear in the thread until after I'd posted my thanks to him ( for his earlier, more appropriate response) and to others on the site who'd responded "respectfully and rationally" to my question. I imagine that most people who read these threads don't necessarily scrutinize the date on each post, and I'm concerned that anyone reading the thread (as it now appears) would come away with the impression that I had welcomed Slayer's how-to-hack-for-revenge suggestion as "respectful and rational", when I was not seeking that kind of feedback. Can anyone shed light on this for me? Why doesn't the thread simply read vertically with each post appearing according to the time and day that it was originally posted? For several days (3?4? longer?) the posts here appeared in a chronological, sequential order so that a reader (having seen what preceded each post) could easily make sense of the responses that followed. Had the responses on this thread appeared disjointed/random from the start then the change several days later would have been less jarring to me, but I admit that I am new to TR. Perhaps threads here always end up this way, although given the result --- that posts no longer appear in the actual, chronological order in which they originally appeared --- I wonder if it has to be that way?

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    it all depends on how a person responds to your posts. if they post in "answer the question" it starts a different section of the blog and people respond to each individual question and it is posted chronologically under each one; If they click on "reply" , they post to that part of the discussion. That's how the Q&A section of TR works. The Discussion page works a little differently again. Does that make sense to you?

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    birchswinger

    I think (?) I get what you mean about the way things get responded to here in terms of the order in which the posts appear. I take your word for it, certainly, and really appreciate your filling me in. I'd just been puzzled because for several days when the discussion started the order of the posts appeared strictly sequential, timewise, and the discussion thread did seem far easier to understand. The (vertical sequential) order of some of the posts here did change after a number of days, but I'll assume that perhaps some people revised their posts and that this somehow affected where they ended up appearing in the thread. (?) Or something like that; I don't know. :) At any rate, thanks again, PurpleSkys.

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    3 Votes

    Wow

    Becca Alice

    What a disappointment. How can calling a user delusional ever be defended as professional IT response? This sort of thing is exactly why IT has such a terrible reputation for being a group of condescending jerks. We are all well aware from multiple media sources that group bullying happens, and in fact quite a few of our own "nerd" community have suffered through extensive bullying, so making an assumption that someone is insane is hardly a productive response. I went to the site noted for discussion and it has to do with asking for passwords, nothing to do with professional and productive response to end users. If you wanted to tell a user "we can't help you because this touches on areas in which we should not be involved" it's certainly possible to do so without coming across as a complete IT jerk. Googling things does not help non-professionals and while we're not used to seeing them pop up here often, when they do, slaughtering the lost lamb is not helpful. I have to agree with those who say this entire response from TR moderation has been condescending, defensive, aggressive and deeply unprofessional. What a disappointment in this site.

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    birchswinger

    Thank you so much, Becca Alice, for coming to my defense here -- and to the defense of any non-geek who comes to this community seeking help/answers.Without a doubt many of the responders to my original post were nothing but kind, and tried in different (appropriate) ways to help me out, and for that I'm really grateful to all of you who did that here. As to the others, I hope that they'll give my question/my position some more consideration and conclude that they were hasty in being dismissive, or hostile, or whatever shoe fits some of the less friendly posts in this thread. I guess one of the things that I'd urge them to think about is that your basic smart geek-type is far less vulnerable to being messed with in the kind of ultra weird (albeit reality-based) scenario that I described above. They tend to have the smarts, the skills, the monetary and tech resources, etc. that would make messing with them a bad idea.

    I'd also like to add that even if it appears very strongly that a newcomer to a place like TR is suffering from a terrible mental disease that has stripped them of sound judgment and perception --- if it appears overwhelmingly that that is the case, and certainly it may be at times --- well, that person would be someone in a state of immense suffering, and through no fault of their own. That would be a person living in what I picture as truly a sort of **** on earth, and someone who desperately needs to be shown some human kindness. And while I can appreciate the need to not have discussions dominated by someone who seems unable to perceive and interpret reality as well as most of us can, I think that it's a good idea to keep in mind the old Hippocratic idea of "First, do no harm" when responding to the concerns of people seeking guidance or help. Thanks again to all of you who have been so kind. I really do appreciate it.

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    Juanita Marquez

    Agreed. There are people that call TechRepublic home who are paid to do IT work, who are very smart and "jaded", and there are also people here who do the same and can actually be labeled "professional" in conduct or at the very least, gracious and tolerant. I know who I'd rather follow. Puerile behavior may be acceptable to those who have been here awhile and can take the punches but IMO I'd rather err on the side of being welcoming to someone who may not turn out to be who they say they are than scaring off people that took an interest in TR in the first place and badmouthing it down the road to people that may be positive for the site. But hey, I'm weird that way.

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    Slayer_

    It's like any other public forum. You have to filter it yourself, take the information you want, ignore the stuff you don't want.

    I think of it this way.
    If someone says a rude joke, even if not to you. Do you (A) yell at them for offending you or (B) ignore it and get on with your day.

    Here is a blog post about someone that chose option (A).
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career/off-color-remarks-at-conference-result-in-two-developers-getting-fired/4872?tag=mantle_skin;content

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    well put Slayer_ ....thank you :) Most of us don't mean to come across as rude; we're just a little too blunt at times or it's been one of those days. No excuse, I know...

    PurpleSkys
    TR Moderator

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    birchswinger

    I suppose that you're right, Slayer, that most public forums are going to be a mixed bag of wisdom and ignorance, good will and bad. And yeah, we all get to make choices about how we respond to people. The choice to respond to another's post IS the FIRST CHOICE. If one thinks someone's question should be dismissed for some reason, why even take the time to write a response? If you do write a response you have other choices: you can decide that you want to avoid hurting someone needlessly as you take the time to contribute thoughts that you (presumably) figure will be of some use to someone. Or you can be overly "blunt", as PurpleSkys said. But that's a choice too, and when you make it you can't blame others for asking why. And you're right, PurpleSkys, about how there really is no excuse for responding like a jerk. If you've had a bad day then do the kinds of things that decent, mature adults do to get rid of stress or whatever but spare the rest of us. Clearly some people on Tech Republic have a pretty narrow idea of who should be recognized as a welcome visitor to the Republic and a rightful speaker in a forum. Thankfully other members of TR have extended themselves to defend my right to be here, to answer my (sincere, non-sinister) question, to express concern for my wellbeing, and to apologize for other TR members who'd dismissed me, or snarled at me, or sneered at me, or did all three by turns. (And Slayer_, you were not rude to me, and thank you for that. I WASN'T looking for "evil" suggestions, but given your lack of meanness to me ----even after I distanced myself from your how-to-take-revenge feedback --- I'm gonna bet you've got a good heart behind that cynical, devil-may-care online persona.) I do think that I and other non-geeks (who have searched elsewhere unsuccessfully for answers) have every reason and every right to show up at TR in the hope that experts will help us with our questions if they want to and they can. And apparently most of y'all (Thank you, Juanita Marquez) agree with me, so....cool.

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    Slayer_

    Dang I just read that this happened 7 years ago.
    Sorry, my advice was worthless.

    Did you ever figure out who did it?

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    birchswinger

    For some reason the site isn't saving edits I'm trying to make today, even though it says under my post that I "edited" it a minute ago. I did TRY to edit two things, and repeatedly hit save button (was logged in) but changes have not been saved. Anyway. Juanita, your name was supposed to be in the blank. :)

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    Slayer_

    When you hit save in TR. It often doesn't refresh the page. But it does save.

    But I do think you should check that computer for remote control software like VNC. It is usually in the taskbar by the clock. But you can use task manager to check what services are running.
    You can also edit the windows firewall to block those things.
    It's hard to explain how for every version of windows.
    http://support.microsoft .com/kb/843090

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    just refresh the page after you make your edits and hit save...they'll be there after a refresh

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    -Loanman

    @birchswinger: It is unfortunate that so many in my profession lack even rudimentary social skills, and think that name-calling is an ok thing to do. I would like to apologize on behalf of true IT professionals everywhere for the conduct of one or two on this thread who claim to be professional but demonstrate otherwise by communicating in a most unprofessional way.

    If I talked to end-users the way you have been addressed here, I would quickly become a professional unemployment recipient. I hope all goes well for you and that you are granted a modicum of peace.

    All that being said, I'd love to get my hands on the jerk/s who perpetrated this evil on you and do some very unprofessional things to them.

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    birchswinger

    Thanks for the useful info, Slayer and PurpleSkys, and I appreciate your patience. And LOANMAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. What you said was really lovely. The closing line is my favorite. It's remarkable how powerfully good it feels to hear someone say, in essence, "You didn't deserve to be hurt, and I'd stand by you and teach these jerks that they won't be hurting you anymore." Because that's what I needed (kinda still need) WAY more than anything else: emotional support. The lessons from my own experience suggest to me that a person in a situation like the one I've described will probably be able to get through some truly hellish things (even in the absence of successful, real-world solutions to the problem )as long as she feels that others are emotionally there for her. So thanks again, Loanman.

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    birchswinger

    Slayer, I just saw your Q. The only thing I know is who STARTED the harassment. He'd been doing creepy, scary things for years all on his own (as far as I know) before anyone else signed on to join him, and God only knows how something like that can happen. One would think it would be a serious challenge finding just one sicko kindred spirit to participate in something like this, let alone a bunch? Seems like it would be, but constantly telling myself that this couldn't be happening didn't make it so, because it was happening. (And pedophiles manage to find one another, so ...? Some people are gross; I'll leave it there.) And Slayer, no, the guy never got caught. I believe he's currently working as a "consultant" for a major internet service provider.

    As to why I've written about this now: I learned the term "rootkit" from a kindly tech guy who I'd spoken with about the problem, and I did share what I'd been told about them (as well as the details of my library experiences) with the head librarian, but I don't know that any action was taken. Had I been able to print out that professional journal article on the subject that was written expressly for librarians perhaps it might have helped my case. I suspect that the librarian's take on me at the time was that on the one hand I seemed sane, but on the other hand I was describing something that seemed SUPER unlikely, and I'm guessing she wasn't hearing about this problem from anyone else. (I'd gone to the library, by the way, because my computer at home had been similarly compromised.) Had she been better informed she would have helped me, I think.This happened in 2006, yet in 2013 there still seem to be very few lay people who've even ever heard of a root kit, or other stuff of that ilk, and I think it's essential for everyone to understand that things like this have happened and do happen. Certainly all administrators of computer networks need to be aware of this stuff. I shudder to think of the things that are surely happening to other good people out there, and the way they'll likely be treated if they dare to speak about it or seek help. To be targeted for harassment is really hard, but to be dismissed out of hand as someone who's psychotic (and the idea there, though not admitted, is often that the mentally ill person is by definition not worth actually helping) ----that is devastating ---especially when some people apply this label so contemptuously. Let's face it: If I were deluded because of a brain disease it would not be my fault. Furthermore, the awful reality is that there are some bad people who relish victimizing those who are vulnerable, who will be questioned and dismissed: those with mental illness, people with developmental disabilities, people with poor support systems and lack of income, etc. This stuff happens. In my opinion it would be far better to take all complaints seriously (i.e., actually investigate them) than to not do that and be an unwitting accomplice to an evil scumbag who preys on the vulnerable. Real innocent people are being hurt out in the digital Wild West, and they are being abandoned by others who might help them. At least a couple of people here at TR have called this thread a silly discussion about something that doesn't really merit any attention, but they're mistaken.

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    Slayer_

    it is possible that there was remote control software on that computer in the library.
    Something like vnc could have been used.

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    demotricus

    If you`re the Moderator then just lock the thread....

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    RSmiedy

    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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    gechurch

    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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    birchswinger

    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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    Nunob

    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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    Warwick05

    Hie I am no geek when it comes to computer security but from my experience I think this stalker might have hacked the library system and somehow managed to create a rootkit that monitors you when ever you login in to the system and start disrupting you, if this could help there is a software called RAT , its a remote access tool used to send Trojans and control whatever system that is infected the way you like, I suggest you read about it maybe you will have a n understanding on how it is possible.

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    Slayer_

    Since it was originally posted on TR, it should be ok.

    If the Library has open wireless. Download firesheep for firefox and use it to monitor the network. Then steal your stalkers login credentials and mess with them for a bit.

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    cybergrrl

    ...before asking any questions on TR as a result of this thread. I agree the response by wizard57m-cnet is rude and insulting, not only to birchswinger, but to other TR responders as well. I'm glad to hear that's not the norm. It seems the "helpful" responses here have helped explain "how" this could have happened, just as birchswinger asked, without giving any suggestion of hacking, cracking, or password circumvention. There's a difference between asking how a computer can be compromised and how to compromise a computer.