+ 4 Votes Let me put it this way so MAYBE some of you will understand... wizard57m-cnet Moderator March 20, 2013 at 3:47am PST 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) + 2 Votes Aieeee! Death from above!!! Charles Bundy March 20, 2013 at 11:54pm PST 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 + 2 Votes Tell your friendly local librarian JohnStanton March 22, 2013 at 2:47am PST 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. + 0 Votes All I Know Is... info March 22, 2013 at 3:25am PST ...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. + 0 Votes Solution Merlin the Wiz March 28, 2013 at 1:35pm PST If you search for "Google" remote administration software you will learn more than you really wanted to know on wikipedia + 1 Votes Some info for those of you who had questions + thanks birchswinger April 12, 2013 at 10:14am PST 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. + 0 Votes Just baffled as to why the thread no longer goes in chronological order birchswinger April 12, 2013 at 10:25am PST 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? + 0 Votes Thanks for your response, PurpleSkys birchswinger April 16, 2013 at 1:02pm PST 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. + 3 Votes Wow Becca Alice April 17, 2013 at 1:33am PST 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. + 0 Votes re:" bluntness" as a choice, etc. + thanks as well birchswinger April 22, 2013 at 11:59pm PST 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.