DSL hijacked?

By jgminor ·
Having a hard time understanding how far my phone company got into my network on our wireless dsl account. First started when one of their employees moved into her vacation home about a year ago,\. We noticed whenever she was here our dsl would go down and my router would show her network instead of ours. After calling their "tech" support a few times, spending about two hours each time going thru routine checks, they always found that our password had been changed. This last time I finally cornered the woman into admitting it was her network and the instant I notified the public service commission in my state, my DSL was on and running strong. At least once I found temp internet files-3800 of them- on my laptop that were evidently private network files from the phone company network. These also were deleted when I began scrolling thru them.
Sounds kinda crazy but it is tru. They are now paying this woman to take two days and come up here to let a phone tech check both our systems. I am paranoid of himgetting access to our computers but really dont know what they actually did. Al we are told now is that they hooked her into my dsl card. To me this sounds like they gave herdsl access thru my line and she would have access thru my router.
This is a bit over my head and would appreciate any imput anyone has on this.

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All Answers

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You've been a member since 9/07. Have you been paying attention at all?

by ManiacMan In reply to DSL hijacked?

All you had to state in your paragraph was "wireless" and already I know what the issue is. Your SSID is set to the default model type of your router and is wide open and I bet you have absolutely no security, other than the default admin password, which is widely documented for your router, and no encryption at all on your WiFi router or access point. Of course she'll connect to your router because you're not doing anything to stop anyone from connecting to your equipment because you're basically being a free hotspot for the entire block you live on. Secure your equipment and you won't have this issue. It's as easy as reading the manual and following the instructions.

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by jgminor In reply to DSL hijacked?

Thanks for nothing. I figured you guys could help on this but all I get is a smart---= remark.
get better from my grand-daughter.

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Were you expecting a sugar coated response? Read the manual as I stated

by ManiacMan In reply to reply

I will not lecture you on how to secure your router because I know nothing about the equipment you have. Ignorance is bliss! You're an executive of a corporation and in charge of business decisions, yet you can't read a simple manual and secure your router? Not everything is as simple as plugging it in and expecting it to work. You're not running a toaster, so please read the manuals.

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I wouldn't let the telco techs anywhere near your computers

by seanferd In reply to DSL hijacked?

Until you get the wireless secured, I wouldn't use the wireless at all. Get an ethernet cable if you need connectivity until you can secure the router. At least go into the router and disable the wireless also, until it is secured.

If you have any hard documentation of what has been happening, get it together and talk to a lawyer. Get an IT tech of your own to search your computers for any traces of what has been happening. It is too bad that you didn't save the temp files which you suspected of belonging to the woman and/or telco. If the telco's techs handle your computers, they can erase anything that belongs to the telco or your neighbor. Depending on what she does for work, that could mean the unsecured data of other customers- a serious breach of their security for which the telco should be held responsible.

This kind of wireless hijacking can happen easily by accident or on purpose. It sounds like your neighbor did not have the wireless in her computer or the router secured, either. If she was using your wireless purposely, that's ridiculous. As if she can't afford her own. If a truly malicious attacker were using your connection, they can use that to hide who they are, and you could be held responsible for anything the attacker did through your network connection.

So, you need to get your computers and router secured, using encryption, strong passwords, and limit the number of connections to just the number of devices you have (no broadcast)-and don't let the telco guys do it. If they do, they both know your passwords, etc., and can remove any evidence.
At the very least they owe you some credits on your bill, as they have supposedly taken care of the problem more than once in the past. I would ask an attorney if some legal action might be taken against the telco and/or your neighbor.

Post back if you have anything else, and I'm sure someone can answer any further questions you have.

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Is secure

by jgminor In reply to I wouldn't let the telco ...

I do nothing on any computer without it being secure. My network has always been secured. Her network is secured.
What has suposedly happened is that some tech attached her dsl thru my connection. Instead of my router broadcasting my network it was sending hers. I have had the telco techs here all day. First the head guru said we were trying to get on her network which miraculously was coming in on my wireless card at full strength from 1000 feet thru the woods and houses below me. Since I didnt fall for that reason, they returned tonight and installed a new dsl modem, saying it was defective and somehow confusing the networks it found. As soon as the telephone company heard my complaint, the womans network disappeared from our pcs and ours is back strong. I realized there was no way they were going to admit the screw up and I was just happy to get us back on track and her network out of here.
I was asking the question to see if there was any way to catch them on this and to be sure they were truly out of our computers. It never occured to me before this that the telephone companies can just about cover their tracks enough to go anywhere their lines go.

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There's one thing I learned and that is the telco techs are no smarter than

by ManiacMan In reply to Is secure

the burger flippers at your local fast food restaurant. I wouldn't let them anywhere near my equipment because they will walk away having completely destroyed everything.

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I see

by seanferd In reply to Is secure

This means that they somehow had her phone lines wired to your house, or the circuits were bleeding through in the telco's lines.

If everything is otherwise secured, there should be no "wireless confusion". In this case, the neighbor should not have been able to access your router. A strong password of your choosing for the router will prevent anyone from altering the router settings. "Strong" in this case means: Long (definitely longer than 8 characters). It should not be a word. Mix letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and especially any "special" characters that the router will accept (depends on the router, but ()*&^%$#@!~`,.<>/?:;"'+=_-{}[]|\ are what I mean by "special characters".

Write down the complex password and keep it in a safe place that you will remember. Maybe keep several copies, where no visitor can find them.

Use WPA encryption, not WEP. There should be no SSID broadcast.

The only way to catch them is by saving your computer's and router's network logs to a disk or a different folder regularly, for instance, a folder on your Desktop or in Documents folders. When you save them, just rename them adding the date to the log's name. Also, if there were any of those mystery Temporary Internet Files, you would copy them to a new folder also.

If you were to take legal action, the neighbor's logs and any relevant documents and logs from the telco could be subpoenaed. Any paperwork that you have for the service calls would be relevant. You can talk to the Public Utilities Commission about all of this. Since you you had rapid response when you complained to them, I can assume that they aren't biased in the telco's favor.

If you can't get a straight answer about what exactly the cause of the situation was from the telco, your PUC may be able to prompt them to give a factual account.

I am by no means an expert on broadband networking. Maybe I can get some other folks to give you a list of possible causes to examine.

I know you said your that the wireless for your computers and router is secure, so please don't mind me bringing up the security points. I am not trying to offend or preach to the choir, I just want to make sure that you or anyone who reads this has some basic info.

This is very important, not only so that people do not accidentally hijack each other's wireless, but because there are criminals out there in cars or on foot that cruise neighborhoods cracking and using unsecured wireless connections.

I hope that your home networks stays problem-free and easy to use. Take care.

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