Need some computer security assistance

Need some computer security assistance

This is a discussion on Need some computer security assistance within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So I'm working on my MacPro and all of a sudden notice that I have two additional hard drive icons on my desktop, and they're ...

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Thread: Need some computer security assistance

  1. #1
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    Need some computer security assistance

    So I'm working on my MacPro and all of a sudden notice that I have two additional hard drive icons on my desktop, and they're Not Mine. I did not voluntarily connect to any other server, which I do on occasion - my laptop. So I open one up, scroll down through the files (didn't open any), and immediately recognize the hard drives as belonging to my next door neighbor. My MacPro is both wireless (which was on) and was plugged into the Ethernet. I believe the connection between the two was made through my Ethernet, because when I unplugged the ethernet cable, the connection was immediately severed. I gave my neighbor a call. His wireless signal is always broadcasting, mine is a closed network with MAC address filtering. He said whoops, he had no idea something like that could happen.

    This has never, ever happened before, and I'm sure in five years of living next to each other, we've been on our computers at the same time. I'm just scratching my head here.

    I want to know:
    - that the lack of security is on HIS end and he didn't somehow do it on purpose (I'm hoping that wasn't a two-way connection where he could also access MY files)? I've not known my neighbor to be a bad person, so I don't suspect him of any wrongdoing, but this was an eye-opener and I'm not savvy enough in the security dept to know if my computer was made vulnerable.
    -if I have both wireless on and the Ethernet cable plugged in, doesn't the access go through the hard-wired way first? But how did my computer find and access his hard drives?
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    You guys would have to be on the same network (SSID) to start with. Is he stealing your wifi? Or are you on his?
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    We each have our own wifi. My neighbor openly broadcasts his signal to the universe with no security, and my laptop will sometimes log in to his before it finds mine, but I always correct that. As for my MacPro (where the issue occurred), I was hard-wired through the ethernet. It does have wifi, but I don't know if it runs while the ethernet is. My wifi is not publicly broadcasting, and I have MAC address filtering.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Member Array thephanatik's Avatar
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    You can connect to multiple networks simultaneously and it doesn't necessarily use the wired connection first. I'm not overly familiar with OSX, but in the Network preferences there should be an option for setting the order to use them.

    I would also recommend you check to see which folders you are sharing. I believe that's also an option in the System Preferences.

    Edit:After seeing your last comment, I would recommend going into the Network preferences and you should be able to delete his network from your saved list.
    Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. - Rule #23 in the USMC rules for gunfighting.

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    Member Array JasonJ's Avatar
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    If he is running a Windows based pc, don't worry about him seeing your files as the HFS+ file structure is completely alien to Windows.. he wouldnt be able to open the source code let alone read any files from your Mac.

    Now the weird part is that for this to happen, you two must be on the same network.. be it wifi, LAN, appletalk, i dont care.. but some network (other than the general internet [unless he has infected your mac pro with a virus that gives him access via the internet, in which case you got bigger problems]).

    After you two are on the same network, for his drives to show on your desktop and be mounted, I would tend to think that YOUR computer has to initiate contact and a request to mount a shared volume.. he cant forcibly place his shared volumes onto your pc.

    so all in all what does this mean? based on the information youve given, and which you know, it means that none of this adds up. At least not if we conclude first that this happened unintentionally..

    First thing I would do is go into network preferences and delete his SSID from your wirelses settings, or at the very least move it to the bottom of the preferred list.. stay off of his unsecured network.. if you're connected to his WIFI and your LAN (ethernet), there could be some hacker in a black van in front of his house ALSO on his WIFI.. and it might be THAT guy you gotta worry about, not the neighbor.
    carracer likes this.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Have you talked to your neighbor?
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  7. #7
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    I just checked. All of my file sharing is off, and I tried to re-connect to the neighbor's wireless. He's fixed the issue on his end by adding a password, so no more accidental logging in. And I've shut the wifi off on my MacPro. I'm sure I gave him a good scare, though he's going to bear the brunt of some jokes for a while. I'm surprised he didn't have at least a password.

    I guess my ethernet connection must've sputtered out long enough for my computer to do an automatic wifi search, found the neighbor's connection, and then re-accessed the ethernet when it was available. Maybe I should rename my computer HAL......
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    After you two are on the same network, for his drives to show on your desktop and be mounted, I would tend to think that YOUR computer has to initiate contact and a request to mount a shared volume.. he cant forcibly place his shared volumes onto your pc.

    so all in all what does this mean? based on the information youve given, and which you know, it means that none of this adds up. At least not if we conclude first that this happened unintentionally..
    And this is what I don't understand. I don't *think* he did anything on purpose, and I know I didn't. Whenever I access my laptop from the MacPro, I know what I have to do to connect to a server, and I did none of those things to access my neighbor's.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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