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.
Clarifications Clarifications
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Slayer_
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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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PurpleSkys Moderator
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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
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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_
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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
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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_
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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
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just refresh the page after you make your edits and hit save...they'll be there after a refresh

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-Loanman
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@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
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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
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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.