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Old 02-08-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
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Default Is this even possible?

Hi All,
I've got a bit of a problem that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

Background:
Hubby and I live in an apartment complex. We have a wireless router so we can go anywhere in the house with our laptops. New neighbors move in downstairs, seem very cool at first....fast forward...they are being evicted from our building for harassing us (physical/verbal threats, you name it). The male counterpart of the couple is an IT guy...almost has a Master's in IT and has his own company (or so he says). One of the first things he mentioned to us (when we thought everything was cool) was that he was trying to leach internet access from the leasing office to our building. We live in the back of the complex. He said he saw our network (and referred to it by its name).

Current situation:
Woke up today (weekend they are moving out) and suddenly our wireless network is ERASED. Yes, we had it password protected with a very unique password that nobody could simply guess at. It's not personal, it's very obscure and has nothing to do with our lifestyles. It contained four letters and four numbers. I called comcast and asked if they had any outages. Nope. I told him about the situation (gory details and all, lol) and he said that it is possible for someone to mess with your wireless connection even without knowing your password. He was able to hook me up on a LAN but for the moment our wireless network is missing in action.

This is what I'd like help with:
As most of us know, proving harassment and/or intimidation is very difficult to do legally. You can know it's happening like you know your mothers name, but you're essentially helpless when it comes to the law. What I would like to know is if there is a way for me to find out DEFINITIVELY if HE had any hand in messing with my network? I've got the financial resources to take him to court or hire an attorney, anything. But I need proof. What should I be looking for? I need something concrete because the last thing I want to do is to go making a claim that can't be substantiated and just end up looking like a retard.

Here's what I'll do in return for the favor:
The first person who can guide me through the process of discovering if anything unusual happened which provides me with proof--I will HONESTLY paypal you a check for fifty dollars. The catch is that you have to talk to me like I'm stupid...because when it comes to things like this..I am. I'm not afraid to admit when I don't know something. That's why I'm coming to the people who know =)

Bottom line:
I'm sick of being harassed, sick of the threats (both overt and veiled) of physical violence. At the risk of sounding like a lunatic, it sure doesn't help that his dad is a detective in the sheriff's department and that his brother owns the security company that patrols our complex. We just moved in here in November (15 month lease) and can't pay it off to get out of it. Otherwise we'd just pack our stuff and leave. We're not rich, but we're not poor. 20K to get out of our lease and secure a new place is not an option at this time.

Take pity on my soul and dispense your wisdom. I am serious about the fifty dollar fee. I need PROOF. Even if it's just an IP address, I think I can compel a court to order a warrant to determine if it's his IP that the incident originated from. After all, isn't messing with someones internet connection maliciously a crime?

Thanks much in advance (from me and the hubby)!
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

I was also facing a similar kind of problems but a friend of mine told me about iYogi Technician who guided me step by step to solve my computer problem.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Thanks so much for the advice. Is iYogi a program, business, or what? Sorry...I'm a total newb. I will definitely check it though! And if it turns up the results I'm looking for...conclusive proof that he messed with my network...I will absolutely make good on the fifty dollar paypal transfer!
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Ignore the person above. It's a spam bot - Automated posts. We get them somtimes .

This will be very hard to do. If he did connect your router, then He will have been given an LOCAL IP address by your router - His/Your ISP wont be able to locate anyone with a Local address, as the chances are that hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe will have that same, internal IP address. Your Router might have logged his MAC address when he connected, but I dont know if that will be any good. I've had the wireless function on my router just spontaniously distroy it's self before now... (Twice, infact), so it might just be bad luck that it happened when it did.

Good luck with that, and if there's anything else I can help you with, just shout!
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J03 View Post
Ignore the person above. It's a spam bot - Automated posts. We get them somtimes .

This will be very hard to do. If he did connect your router, then He will have been given an LOCAL IP address by your router - His/Your ISP wont be able to locate anyone with a Local address, as the chances are that hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe will have that same, internal IP address. Your Router might have logged his MAC address when he connected, but I dont know if that will be any good. I've had the wireless function on my router just spontaniously distroy it's self before now... (Twice, infact), so it might just be bad luck that it happened when it did.

Good luck with that, and if there's anything else I can help you with, just shout!
You make a good point...how well would that hold up in court (my router logging his MAC address--I see an "I'm as innocent as the driven snow..it was a mistake...oops!). Arg...well we changed our IP address, installed some other features and instead of being retarded, we actually READ the router manual. It's frustrating that the "quick install" doesn't set it to the highest security setting. We were under the delusion we were uber safe. We've remedied it as much as we mere mortals can. I'm just going to have to chalk this one up to a learning lesson. What really chaps my hide is having some trailer trash talking crap about me in the hallway of our building and talking about a medical condition I have--one that she could have only known about if she had access to my email and/or word docs. I met the chick once, the guy once. It's not like we hit on such topics like "what's the status of your health".

Oh well, I'll get over being upset. I just wanna thank ya'll for your replies. If you ever need medical advice...hit me up LOL. That's about the only area of expertise I have to offer in return.
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

That's most unfortunate to have neighbors like you did.

Unless you have extensive forensics tools, detailed logs and access to his hardware / equipment and physical proof it was HIM there's not much you can do that will stand up in court. If he has a masters in IT he's probably knowledgeable and can weasel up some "reasonable doubt". Probably best to go in and reset it back up.

Something you can do to prevent future problems like this is specify your router to have limited IPs (same amount as devices you need connected) and specify those IDs for individual mac addresses each associated with your devices. Some routers have this feature. This way if he tries to connect 1) no more available IPs will be issued so he cannot connect to your network. In the event one of your devices is off 2) his mac address will not match and he will not be allowed to connect to a reserved IP. The difficulty on figuring out what the mac address is and spoofing it I cannot say.

If using WEP 128bit or 64bit, it's fairly easy to crack your WEP key and login. WPA doesn't seem to be much better, it'll keep a snooping novice neighbor out though. What probably happened is he sniffed out packets over time to accumulate enough data to crack your encryption. An intuitive curious person with google, the ability to read and follow directions, install and operate software could be on their way to cracking wireless networks in 20 minutes.

I know this post is old, but figured I'd post this info incase someone else stumbled on it.

Cheers,
Rewt
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RewtGuy View Post
That's most unfortunate to have neighbors like you did.

Unless you have extensive forensics tools, detailed logs and access to his hardware / equipment and physical proof it was HIM there's not much you can do that will stand up in court. If he has a masters in IT he's probably knowledgeable and can weasel up some "reasonable doubt". Probably best to go in and reset it back up.

Something you can do to prevent future problems like this is specify your router to have limited IPs (same amount as devices you need connected) and specify those IDs for individual mac addresses each associated with your devices. Some routers have this feature. This way if he tries to connect 1) no more available IPs will be issued so he cannot connect to your network. In the event one of your devices is off 2) his mac address will not match and he will not be allowed to connect to a reserved IP. The difficulty on figuring out what the mac address is and spoofing it I cannot say.

If using WEP 128bit or 64bit, it's fairly easy to crack your WEP key and login. WPA doesn't seem to be much better, it'll keep a snooping novice neighbor out though. What probably happened is he sniffed out packets over time to accumulate enough data to crack your encryption. An intuitive curious person with google, the ability to read and follow directions, install and operate software could be on their way to cracking wireless networks in 20 minutes.

I know this post is old, but figured I'd post this info incase someone else stumbled on it.

Cheers,
Rewt
Hey thanks bunches for replying! We did change our settings and we even went to a paper system to keep track of our account numbers/passwords, etc. This is great info you gave and you were really cool to take the time to impart your sage advice! In the event he is still able to gain access--we made sure to give him a nice little welcome message (and by nice, I mean completely insulting LOL).

Thanks again!!!
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Also if it has not gone to court the downfall is he can say he was invited over for dinner or something and linked up to the network. It would be difficult to prove without the he said she said.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

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Originally Posted by Hid_Enigma View Post
Also if it has not gone to court the downfall is he can say he was invited over for dinner or something and linked up to the network. It would be difficult to prove without the he said she said.
Yeah, the whole he said/she said thing is a massive hurdle in most cases. I had to laugh when I read the part about him asserting he had been invited up for dinner though. He wouldn't even be able to describe what my place looks like. That would be quite a hurdle for him to overcome. I can just see it now:

Attorney: What did you have for this alleged dinner?
Him: I don't recall.
Attorney: Have you, in fact, ever been in the petitioners home?
Him: Yes, that's how I was able to link up to their network
Attorney: What color is their couch?
Him: Uh, Ummm...errr....OK Fine I did it!

Hehe!
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Firsly, if the guy has a masters in IT... I really wonder what masters... Computer Science ect.. If I remember correctly there is no IT masters...

Secondly, it is good that you have changed your specs... Doing the Mac-Filtering and ip limiting is a great way to keep people out... Though with you having so many people next to you... Keeping that password on is just an extra precaution... Though WPA2 so far is a great encryption method...
As for spoofing a Mac address... The easiest way to come to that, is to purge a connection to a device that is on the network, from there mac address is easy to find... So as to being cautious of that, it would be best to make sure you have no servers running on your devices (servers are programs that other devices or computers can connect into...).

If theses people had access to your email... It is a sure bet they probably still do, I would suggest (if you haven't already), changing all your passwords for anything and everything... If he or she had been in your computer, then you have an actual case... With most laws, just fiddle farting around with devices is not a legal offense (not federally, it would depend on your state in particular)... Though stealing data, breaking into a computer, and other what nots are... If you still have your logs from that far back, you can probably find when he was on and what not (of course this would mean you had all the right logging settings...). Also this would also mean that he was stupid enough to not clear out the logs... In which case you can still identify if someone was in your computer... Also with some good forensics tools, you could find out if it was him (everything leaves a fingerprint, even when you change or delete something)... Though getting that far deep into it... I am sure you probably would decide to just say screw it, and tack it up as you previously said...
If you every need any help, feel free to ask... I have been doing a lot of different computer stuff for a long time...
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