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Thread: How to find out if my computer's been bugged?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    How to find out if my computer's been bugged?

    I handle the computer purchases and installations at the company I work for, which has approx 15 computers. We just recently changed from dialup to a T1 line, which has opened a can of worms as far as security is concerned. My experience is limited and when we have a problem with our AS 400 mainframe they call in the experts. I was having a little trouble with my machine (looked like the HD was dying ) and mentioned it in passing to the owners sister (she aggravating, but hey, she's the owners sister). To my surprise, I went to my office later and found our "network specialist" hooking up a used machine in my office and in the process of copying all my files to a new HD. This bothered me on a couple of counts because no one has ever touched my machine ( I do my own repairs, replacements) and because I had a few fairly confidential files that I never thought anyone would be copying, viewing, etc. Since the change Ive noticed my HD accessing when the machine isnt in use. With the new T1 connection, I assume that its possible that information from my machine can be tapped into from a remote location. I guess my biggest question is, can I detect spyware software that didnt come from webbrowsing? If someone installs it on my machine is it as easily detected? I work on multi million dollar construction bids from time to time, and Ive always been a little suspicious of the people that maintain our mainframe/network. They work on machines for several companies in the same industry and have access to information that could be pretty valuable to the right company. Probably just being paranoid, but I wanted to ask...

    Thanks, Gregg

  2. #2
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    In short - No.
    If someone is determined and clever enough to put the right kind of software on your PC then the chances of you discovering it are pretty well zero. Your best bet would be to have something like ethereal or snort on your system set up to monitor and capture network traffic then if you see something you don't like the look of you can check the logs - but if the traffic is encrypted you still won't guess much.

    Unfortunately there are many tricks which can be used to fool even experienced computer engineers and if there is the will there cetainly are plenty of ways.
    I'm using Windows 7 - you got a problem with that?

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    A good password policy is essential for network security. Use passwords on all user accounts. Obviously, blank passwords are a bad idea if you care about security. Make sure you assign passwords to all accounts, especially the Administrator account and any accounts with Administrator privileges.

    You can configure XP/2000 machines to audit user access to files, folders and printers using Local Security Policy. Using auditing you can easily keep track of what's happening in your network. For more information see KB article Q310399

  4. #4
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    In Your Monitor
    there are a few programs that will do a fairly good job of scanning and find retail spyware program that is designed to monitor your child or spouse and that could be used to send your text and screens to a third party ver the internet. A skilled technician could also plant software that turns your computer into a beacon that transmit a signal to the data-thief that you are online and this signal acts like a direct connection that is one that can and does bypass all hardware/software firewalls.

    As curio mention, A sophisticated data-thief would not want to get caught or risk losing their steady flow of data. This person can and usually does purchase a full working trojan horse software that enables full control of ones pc as well as true stealth. Most people are not aware that many trojans that are released in the wild that get detected by antivirus software are simply demo teasers of the real deal. you see, many offer contact info that you could send a request to purchase an undetectable version of the same trojan. One that all anti-virus would never ever detect unless someone sends all the antivirus companies a sample of the trojan you purchased. scary stuff. Antivirus software only detects a short peice of code inside the trojan. this is known as a sigature and the trojan writer simply modifies the unreleased trojan. no signature.... no trojan detected.

    anyway.. here is what i would do if I suspected something.

    i'd get spysweeper,( detect some commercial monitoring software)

    i'd get trojan hunter (detects beast trojans and notifies you of suspicious open ports)

    security task manager(find suspicious running proccesses

    if someone has access to your machine or hard drive there is pretty much nothing you can do to protect yourself. you give the keys to the kingdom...

    we have not even discussed the rootkits yet which are far more difficult to detect and remove.

    in a multi-million dollar company I am on your side with the thought of someone watching over your shoulder.

    my favorite saying to my customers when I was in computer repair and security was when you look in your webcam remember that you might be staring at your friend your neighbor and your lover...hahaha

    ohh.... they can also listen to your room if you have a mic hooked up. pretty scary.

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