0

Hi, I have 6 family pc's connected by a cable router. My and my husbands connection is wired, my 18 yr old son, 17 year old son, 15 yr old daughter and a family pc for use by the younger children have a wireless link.

My son is a real computer whizz and always sets up all the pc's - he has all the passwords. When my daughter tried to log into her msn ac from my pc recently she was informed 'Do you realise that your conversations may be viewed by other pc's'. Then, yesterday when she was chatting on msn, she nudged her friend..oddly she heard the nudge sound in my sons room so she repeated it. Again, she heard the same sound in his room. A third nudge and she heard the sound again in his room.

We are now concerned that he is accessing our ps'c/msn conversations.

Some time ago at another address, I was having problems accessing my hotmail ac. He gave me a program where I could access hotmail another way, which always worked and I was delighted. However, searching on my husbands pc (which used to be mine) brought up all my old emails. I asked my son who told me that it was from when it was my pc and that the program had obviously downloaded all the mails to the harddrive. He told me that he wasn't aware of this when he gave me the program but deleted all the mails from the drive. (This has nothing to do with my husband incidentally, we have each others email passwords anyway - before you come to the conclusion that it's probably my hub who's spying, lol).

Anyway, this means that my son, if he was aware, would have been able to read all my mails.

My daughter is very concerned that her private conversations are being monitored by her older bro and so am I. We feel that all the pc's may be being watched my my son and I would be so grateful if someone could please tell me if theres any way I can find this out and additiionally, block him from having this power over the whole family.

He's always been fairly nosey too and will often stand around while we try and chat etc. The 17 year old is like us and wouldn't consider spying on someone.

He is extremely computer literate, where we are not.

Thanks so much to anyone who can help :)

7
Contributors
16
Replies
33
Views
8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by joke1972
Featured Replies
0

Even without all the passwords, this would be a relatively simple thing to accomplish.

First thing, did you post this from home (in which case, does he already know you're onto something), or did you go to an internet cafe or a library?
Ditto with all the replies that you're going to read.

Also ditto, did you enable the facility which sends you an email every time there is a reply to your thread?
Given the actual title you've chosen, and that you suspect said son can read emails, this would be a bad thing.

> I would be so grateful if someone could please tell me if theres any way I can find this out
Not really. Each machine has a network card, which by it's very nature receives all the information sent by all the machines on your local network. Normally, packets of data which are not addressed to a particular machine are quietly discarded. But it's all too easy to tell the network card to pass the packets to the user instead.

> and additiionally, block him from having this power over the whole family.
This might be harder to achieve, or cost money.

The whole internet is a series of linked machines. For example, between me and google (at the moment), there is

> tracert www.google.com

Tracing route to www.l.google.com [74.125.79.104]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2     6 ms     5 ms     *     gw8-no153.tbcn.telia.com [90.229.227.1]
  3     7 ms     7 ms     7 ms  kbn-bb2-link.telia.net [80.91.254.82]
  4    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  hbg-bb2-link.telia.net [80.91.254.2]
  5    18 ms    17 ms    18 ms  adm-bb2-link.telia.net [80.91.253.47]
  6    19 ms    19 ms    19 ms  adm-b4-link.telia.net [80.91.253.86]
  7    21 ms    20 ms    22 ms  google-ic-126116-adm-b4.c.telia.net [80.239.193.182]
  8    20 ms    21 ms    21 ms  209.85.251.14
  9    22 ms    22 ms    23 ms  209.85.248.79
 10    23 ms    22 ms    24 ms  209.85.255.70
 11    34 ms    35 ms    31 ms  209.85.255.118
 12    24 ms    25 ms    25 ms  ey-in-f104.google.com [74.125.79.104]

Trace complete.

Anyone sitting at machines 2 through 11 could potentially see that traffic, and neither end would know a thing about it.

If you want to read your hotmail in private, then point your web browser to https://login.live.com/
Unlike using http://login.live.com/, the 's' makes the link secure in that only the machines at each end know what's going on. Anyone listing in from the side (including your son perhaps), would see only random data travelling back and forth.

I don't use MSN, so I don't know if it has a similar feature. Though I suspect it won't do any good whilst your son still has the passwords.

For a "total" solution, you would need something like anonymizer to encrypt ALL the data to/from your machine.

However, the social aspect is going to be far more interesting. For example, what are you going to say when your son asks "why did you install ...?". I'm pretty sure the straight answer you're painting here won't go down too well. It might spell the end of all the free tech support you've been getting so far.

That he knows all the passwords isn't a problem per se, but he does need to understand that there is a responsibility which comes with it. That, and fixing the broken trust within the family would seem to be the priority to me.

0

Salem, thanks so much for a very detailed answer to my post, I am extremely grateful for the time you took to answer me.

So...it's easy for him to do this? Thats annoying beyond belief.

There is a box with a user name and password entry that I can find when I try to search for other computers within this house. I tried to get onto my daughters (she was with me and consented) but the password thing stopped me. Is it possible that I can demand that he brings those boxes up so that we can set ourown passwords and usernames? Would this stop the access to the other pcs please?

I did send the email from home and I agree that if he is spying he'll be able to see all this.

However, I'm not over worried about that as, seeing as he's the guilty one, I don't feel bad at all for trying to stop him. Next, I'm on the verge of asking him outright anyway. What would really make me feel far more awful is if he's not doing any of this and yet he's under suspicion. But if he's not spying he hopefully won't know anyway. That's the reason I dont confront him with it.

I'm sure he would still help with the tech side of things even if I did prove he was spying - he's decent (this aside!) and would feel bad about it I should imagine. We have a good relationship within the family, he does with everyone, he's just nosey to be frank. He's due to start at Uni in Sept and has chosen one near home so he won't have to live away from us.

However, I would be dismayed if I found out he had been spying and would have to question whether I even wanted him living here at all any more. Like you say the issue of trust is a strong one, I would never consider reading my older childrens txt msgs or msn convo's and the younger ones aren't allowed to use those things anyway.

I like the idea of encryption, do you possibly know how I could obtain something safe that would achieve this? If he asks why I've installed it, then he's spying and I can boldly say, 'Because you're spying on us' and if he isn't then he hopefully won't know anyway.

Once again, thank you so very much for your excellent and helpful reply :)

0

Additionally, Salem, he doesn't know our actual email and msn passwords. He just knows the ones that he has himself set when he networked the pcs. So the router password for example. But our passwords for everything else are unknown to him...as far as we know.

0

> Would this stop the access to the other pcs please?
I don't think access to individual PCs is the problem.
To allow this, you have to proactively right-click on say a folder and select the "Share..." command, then enter some information. Even after doing that, there may be some setting up of the firewall running on the machine to allow the "share" to be visible outside the machine.

To find out if you have any shares, then press the "windows"-R key combination (like ctrl-c to copy, but with the key next to ctrl :) ). This will bring up the "Run..." dialog, to which you type in "cmd" and press enter.
At the command prompt, enter "net share", and you should see something like this

> net share

Share name   Resource                        Remark

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C$           C:\                             Default share
IPC$                                         Remote IPC
ADMIN$       C:\Windows                      Remote Admin
The command completed successfully.

If there's more than that, then questions need asking.

The real problem is that almost all your information appears in clear text on your intranet as it passes from your machine to the router.
Anyone running something like Wireshark would see that, without having to do anything at all to your machine.
The only things which would be presently inaccessible would be say the banking sites you visit which begin with https (as I mentioned earlier).
If he is using wireshark (or similar), then it's pretty sure that he'll know all your other passwords as well.

> Then, yesterday when she was chatting on msn, she nudged her friend..
> oddly she heard the nudge sound in my sons room so she repeated it.
> Again, she heard the same sound in his room. A third nudge and she heard the sound again in his room.
Is it possible in MSN for you to send the "nudge" sound of your choice, or is it always the same sound?
Coincidence would be easy to argue for a few instances of a stock sound. But a dozen instances of your own unique sound would be much harder to explain, especially if you ask why when they're happening.
Or recruit a trusted "nudge-buddy" who won't mind being nudged several dozen times in quick succession. For extra effect, tap out a message in Morse_code using nudges.

0

Hi, I have 6 family pc's connected by a cable router. My and my husbands connection is wired, my 18 yr old son, 17 year old son, 15 yr old daughter and a family pc for use by the younger children have a wireless link.

It is trivial to eavesdrop on a wireless connection, especially if you are a part of that wireless network. From the bits you have shared in this thread, it sounds that he is either a) sniffing the wireless network (which would reveal any unencrypted traffic from any wireless computer on the network) or b) setting up pcs to use a proxy service he oversees.

Have a talk with him. Ask him about it. This almost sounds like "My bf/gf is spying on me - how do I confront them?" The chime x3 is enough to raise eyebrows, so go get answers. You may find out that he is doing some really cool stuff - just with the family as his test subjects.

The mail downloaded to your pc is a possible oversight. Some mail programs do such actions and rarely inform the user, so this may have simply been a mistake and not malicious.

0

Thank you once again Salem and also Stylish for your excellent replies.

Salem, I'm going to write down the steps you suggest to see if there are any shares on my pc, this might be very interesting.

I actually laughed out loud at the 'morse code' nudges, it's a brilliant idea!! Imagine the embarrassment for my son if he is in fact watching the conversations. You can actually pick your own nudge sound but I would imagine that if my son doesn't have this setting on his pc the altered sound would still sound as the original one. I'm slightly disappointed that my daughter didn't confront him at the time and ask to see his conversation box showing the nudges that were received by him. She said that at the time disbelief and shock stopped her from asking him. She too laughed at the thought of the morse code nudge catching him out ;).

Stylish, I do think you're right about the emails. He did seem genuinely mystified about it and added that he had no idea the program downloaded them to the hard drive. He's not a good liar and I believed him at the time.

I think I may confront him as you say. He's not aggressive or nasty, just extremely nosey, lol. I want to try the steps that Salem describes first, partly to have more ammunition and partly to avoid accusing if I'm wrong.

I think his nudges are pretty strong evidence too though but although we intend to try the morse code nudges, I feel he will have been mortified at the time those 3 came through and will have now disabled this particular sound. So confrontation may be the only way.

I'm actually tempted to ask him to search for the mentioned sniffer programs while I watch. Although he's 18 and a bit of a self taught computer whizz, he is still very home dependant and quite childish and will probably comply without too much argument.

I'm going to look a little into the proxy thing you mention too.

Thank you so much once again for taking the time to help me it really is sincerely appreciated :).

0

This was a fun thread to take part in.

A parent who did not overreact and is even researching technologies. All the while, allowing their children to be children.

I am rather interested to hear how this ends. Good luck!

0

Well, Salem, I did as you say with the Windows - R keys, and I worryingly DO get more up than you say should be there.

In addition to what you say is there I also get;

(my keyboard wont type blackslashes so I've used forward ones)

Public C:/Users/Public
Users C:/Users

My husbands pc brought up similar with the addition of one showing downloads of EA games. They do play WoW online and Warcraft where they battle each other.

Do you think this sounds ominous then? :o

And I'm glad you found this interesting Stylish, I will certainly keep you updated :)

0

Well if he is such a computer expert then he will be able to crack your PC privacy in any circumstances

He's not an 'expert' - simply a bright young man with a huge interest in computers and programming. He's only 18 so hasn't really had time to become an expert. He is taking computing at degree level from September but is currently only at A level stage - all he knows is self taught.

I doubt he's good enough to crack encrypted data.

I'd really love Stylish or Salem to reply to my last post before this one, if either of you get a chance please :)

0

Those shares do not look out of the ordinary. However, I am not familiar with Windows Vista shares. Windows XP added a "Shared Docs" folder, which is available to all users on the same local machine (not shared over the network) and it looks like those two shares are an extension of that idea.

Again, I do not know fully whether those are trouble or not.
"Public: C:\Users\Public" sounds fine - a Public accessible share on a blatantly labeled Public folder. Nothing surprising there.

I am unsure what "User: C:\Users" is sharing and who has permissions. Hopefully someone more familiar with Windows Vista file sharing can chime in. It does not sound bad (Users can access the Users folder, seems to make sense).

0

Hi, I have 6 family pc's connected by a cable router. My and my husbands connection is wired, my 18 yr old son, 17 year old son, 15 yr old daughter and a family pc for use by the younger children have a wireless link.

My son is a real computer whizz and always sets up all the pc's - he has all the passwords. When my daughter tried to log into her msn ac from my pc recently she was informed 'Do you realise that your conversations may be viewed by other pc's'. Then, yesterday when she was chatting on msn, she nudged her friend..oddly she heard the nudge sound in my sons room so she repeated it. Again, she heard the same sound in his room. A third nudge and she heard the sound again in his room.

We are now concerned that he is accessing our ps'c/msn conversations.

Some time ago at another address, I was having problems accessing my hotmail ac. He gave me a program where I could access hotmail another way, which always worked and I was delighted. However, searching on my husbands pc (which used to be mine) brought up all my old emails. I asked my son who told me that it was from when it was my pc and that the program had obviously downloaded all the mails to the harddrive. He told me that he wasn't aware of this when he gave me the program but deleted all the mails from the drive. (This has nothing to do with my husband incidentally, we have each others email passwords anyway - before you come to the conclusion that it's probably my hub who's spying, lol).

Anyway, this means that my son, if he was aware, would have been able to read all my mails.

My daughter is very concerned that her private conversations are being monitored by her older bro and so am I. We feel that all the pc's may be being watched my my son and I would be so grateful if someone could please tell me if theres any way I can find this out and additiionally, block him from having this power over the whole family.

He's always been fairly nosey too and will often stand around while we try and chat etc. The 17 year old is like us and wouldn't consider spying on someone.

He is extremely computer literate, where we are not.

Thanks so much to anyone who can help :)

If you only need internet, email and msn then may I suggest you for free reinstall your pc's with ubuntu as writing hacking applications is a thousand times harder then widows (they make it to easy). Ubuntu is easy to use and SAFE. But still keep your eye out. There are just to many ways to track a windows PC, screen capture, keylogger, sound recorder, file copier and so on.

0

Hmm. Thank you, but this thread is over a year old. Everyone who posted is now going to come visit this thread again :)

0

He's not an 'expert' - simply a bright young man with a huge interest in computers and programming. He's only 18 so hasn't really had time to become an expert. He is taking computing at degree level from September but is currently only at A level stage - all he knows is self taught.

I doubt he's good enough to crack encrypted data.

I'd really love Stylish or Salem to reply to my last post before this one, if either of you get a chance please :)

There are so many tools on the PC to crack encrypted data its not he cant its how long. It normally takes about 2 constant weeks of decrypting which ha cant do.

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.