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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?

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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, 03:49 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, 11:47 AM   #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, 03:29 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, 05:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

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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, 09:08 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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Old 04-27-2009, 10:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

"IP Limiting" and MAC Address filtering won't do anything at all, totally useless security wise. With wireless, you have to remember it's a radio. Much like a radio station, everyone can see the stuff in the air and pick it up. Encryption just scrambles this stuff and it's unreadable (or very hard to read) without the matching encryption key.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Actually it is useful... Though yes the radio waves may be able to be picked up, a connection that is outside the limitations, will not connect... Though yes using a sniffer, and an antenna, a connection can be interrupted... With encryption, it makes it much harder to inject within that connection... Although wireless period is not that secure nor can it be secure... Though you can make it somewhat secure, using those options, can give one a sense of security with wireless, but then again with someone that close, it can seem useless cause of how easily exploitable it is... (That is why I use only wired connections... The only reason I have any support for wireless anywhere in my network, is so my grandparents can use their laptops on the internet... But I am also to far away from anyone to be able to do so... (those close enough don't know enough to do anything)).
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:22 PM   #13
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Ya'll are officially over my head at this point lol. It's so awesome that you guys have taken the time to respond to my post. We've clamped down hard on our security but we are also taking extra precautions to keep ourselves as safe as possible (changing pw frequently, keeping certain info off our computers, etc). One weird thing that has occurred lately (last month actually) we got an email from Verizon "confirming" that we changed our email address...which we had not done during that month. We talked to a customer service rep at Verizon and they told us the exact date and time it was changed and what it was changed to. Thanks to a bit of investigating by looking at his "Linkedin" page, we were able to discern that the email address he changed it to was a mish-mash of words that were essentially his mom's name with initials, just a few variations thrown in. So now we have set up with all our online accounts that the PW's/email addresses are NOT to be changed online. What a douche this guy is.

With regard to a Master's degree in IT, all I know is that the one time we actually talked to the guy, he said he was about to graduate from University of Phoenix (we have a "campus" in town) with a Master's in IT. He said he worked for the Geek Squad for a period of time and now he works for an IT company that actually provides service for the hospital where the hubby works. LOL--small world. Luckily he doesn't have access to HIS personnel records or other sensitive info there, but OMG this guy is a mutha fuckin' stalker. I mean OMG--it's hard to imagine someone would do this in the first place, and secondly it's hard to fathom that he would even spend the energy on it. Good thing is, the hospital system is HUGE so it's not like hubby has to see the guy on the rare occasions he goes to that specific hospital (plus hubby works graveyard and douche bag works daytime).

We asked Verizon if they could tell us the IP address that the PW request had originated from, but they said no (not without a court order). From what I understand though, it's easy to alter your IP. I live in a reasonable sized town that is adjacent to a huge city, and I'm totally being cock blocked by the local police dept. They won't even take a report. I know this is totally gonna come off as paranoia, but since his dad really is the county sheriff, I wonder if that is a factor in why the local precinct won't take a written report.

In any case, the hubby and I have implemented your suggested security measures and despite the whole Verizon debacle, nothing has occurred. We assume that he had our Verizon info before we clamped down on the security measures that ya'll suggested. So unless something else occurs, I'm gonna assume (at least hope) that this issue is over. We even contacted all of our credit card companies, banks, etc (over the PHONE) ensuring that a very obscure security question be asked before anyone can inquire, change, etc anything to our accounts.

An extra thing we did (and ok, this might have been overkill) but we bought a nice security cam that overlooks our parking lot (our parking space and the only unobstructed view of our apartment window in our office). When or if anything amiss should occur, we'll review the footage and if he's out there in his car (and yeah, we have the plate #) we'll proceed from there.

I'm typically pretty laid back, but OMG I could actually see myself punching someone in the face over this (and trust me--that's saying A LOT) LOL.

I totally appreciate the feedback from you guys. Sucks that I can't catch him red-handed for what he's done thus far. Oh well, life ain't fair lol.

UPDATE:
Yeah, just went to the U of P website for our local "campus" and found out that they offer a BS and a MS in IT. No offense, but as a college graduate, I tend to look at places like this as degree mills. Students pay upward of 20k for a mostly online program. They'll give anyone a degree for that amount of money. I'm sure they have rigorous academic standards lol.

(ducking in case anyone here is going to U of P)...hehe.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

Personally, I think the whole online degree bs, is well bs... If your going to go to school, go to a real one damn... I went to a community college, but still I went to college, and at 16 lol...

A few more things to suggest... Make sure you have the router firewall enabled, as well as a software firewall for you computer... Also good anti-virus, and anti-spyware... (my suggestions would be Avast, and Spyware Terminiator).

Your right the whole his father being a cop could have something to do with it... But if he does something serious enough, (which by the sounds of things probably will), then his father could end up going down just the same... I would say not to worry about him, karma will get him...

Also just to let you know, he sounds more like a script kiddy then anything...
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is this even possible?

If your ISP still has the records of the attempt he made with your Email address, you've got yourself a reasonably hefty piece of evidence.

Even if the IP is from a proxy, the time and length of connections can still help shorten the list of possible attackers.
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