Author Topic: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?  (Read 9285 times)

Offline LizzieW

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Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« on: Friday 15 April 11 15:46 BST (UK) »
I lost connection to the internet, and did my usual things of disconnecting from the router and re-connecting, didn't work.† So asked my OH to disconnect the router (his PC was still connected to internet) and reconnect - this usually works.† All that happened was that the PC and the laptop got the following message:

Quote
Windows has detected an IP address conflict.

Another computer on this network has the same IP address as this computer.† Contact your network administrator for help resolving this issue.† More details are available on Windows System event log.

Obviously my laptop and OH's PC have different IP addresses.† We looked on the Windows System event log and there was nothing there.

I re-booted my laptop and it now seems to be OK (my husband who only downloads updates once a week can't close his PC yet as it is busy uploading 22 updates - mine is set to update daily).

I'm worried how both our computers could show another computer on our network with the same IP address when the router has a password so that other computers can't connect to it, we both have ZoneAlarm security suite and Virgin has it's own security.† Is it possible for someone to get round all this and hack into our computers?† If so why?

Lizzie

ps.  Or am I just a bit paranoid and it was the router which got muddled when my OH just pulled the plug on it and then plugged it back in and it hadn't got rid of our IP addresses before we both logged on again so it seemed as if they were duplicated.

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Online [Ray]

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 16 April 11 15:10 BST (UK) »
Hi

The answer to your title question is "almost certainly not".

I'd be more worried about the reason behind you "continually" dropping connection, and then the "what I usually do is".

You are indeed correct that the ip address clash is as a result of one/both m/c being left attached or not detached properly. Properly re-cycling the router normally re-attaches each device with a separate ip address. From a clean reboot of the router, each m/c would normally get a different ip address as and when it powers up and asks for an ip address from the router (on a first-come first-served basis)

A way to stop the clash is to assign permanent (and different) ip addresses to each/both machines so that they always get the same address each time and therefore never clash.
Once you understand what is involved it is fairly simple to carry out.
Post again, asking for advice on this and I (or a number of others) can help.


"Stop the Drop"
I assume your laptop is w/less and the signal from the router is about as strong as it can get where you normally sit?
There are a number of ("interference") reasons why the signal would then fluctuate and then drop. The easiest way to cure that is to "install" a w/less repeater, ie another aerial on a l-o-n-g(-e-r) network cable from the router and position the repeater closer to you / more direct signal route.


Ray
"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

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Offline LizzieW

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 16 April 11 15:29 BST (UK) »
Thank you Ray, at least it's reassuring that our computers are not being hacked into.

My laptop has a wireless connection, the router is next to my husband's PC upstairs and my laptop is usually downstairs.  The study/bedroom is virtually over the front door and you come in through the front door, turn immediately left into a through room and I sit at the back of the room about 20ft from the front door at most.

I usually lose the connection if my husband is doing his bridge scores, or bookkeeping for the bridge club and another club he belongs to.  It doesn't make any sense to me but it seems that if he is using Excel and doing calculations I lose my connection.  I never lose the connection if he's not using his PC, even if it is turned on.  As I said, usually, all I have to do is disconnect from the router (a Belkin) and then re-connect.  I've just checked and the signal strength at the moment is showing as excellent.  Of course OH is not on his PC.  Perhaps I'll check the signal strength next time he's doing something other than surfing on his PC.

I presume when you talk about installing a w/less repeater with a longer network cable, you mean the repeater will be joined to the router by the cable.  To do this, I'd have to run the cable down the stairs etc.  Or did you mean something else.

Sometimes I work in the study on another desk, but it's a bit cramped if I'm doing family history and need papers around me.

Lizzie

Online [Ray]

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 16 April 11 15:52 BST (UK) »
Hiya

Sounds like he's front top, you're back rear (if you pardon the expression)
So that's worst case scenario?

There are a number of considerations for a "poor/erratic" signal ....
(some more serious than others)

* thickness of walls and direction
   (If the signal is going thru a 12inch wall at 45 degrees, that's 18inch ish)
* thickness of OH (belt size)   ;D
* metal office furniture (draws/doors) open, blocking the signal direction.
* position of office chair ......
* Fone/tv/radio/stereo that is only on when he's there.
* OH puts his can of special brew next to router, or on top.    ::)


Yes, a repeater is cable-based. I'd be tempted to run a cable into/across loft to rear and place the repeater above your head. Don't forget power.
(I have a trad semi with side garage. Router same position as yours.
Cable from router to garage, repeaters front of garage and rear.
It's wonderful like yesterday sitting on the patio attempting to assist another rootschatter.)

However, a repeater and cable does cost money.

Prob. better to sort out the ip address clash first and see what happens.
(see next post)

Ray



"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

Online [Ray]

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 16 April 11 16:04 BST (UK) »
Hi

I assume that your router is setup to allocate ip addresses automatically (using DHCP) and allocate them as follows..

Router ip 192.168.1.1 the most common default
(other routers may be 192.168.1.2 or .2.1)
OH and yourself prob then get one of the next two eg .1.2 and .1.3


If you change the allocation so that
LizzieOH gets ip 192.168.1.33
Lizzie      gets ip 192.168.1.44
then you will (or visitors) probably never clash.

It would seem easiest to force just one of the two m/cs to obtain an ip address like the above just to prove the theory. (as the other machine would always get .1.2)

Have either of you the knowledge to change the router setup?

Ray
"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 16 April 11 16:22 BST (UK) »
OK, we can rule out metal furniture, it's all wooden apart from the base of his chair.

He never listens to radio or stereo, (and I mean never) hasn't even got one in his study. †I'm the one who listens to the radio and if I'm not in he doesn't turn either TV or radio on, just reads - well he does that even if I am in. ::)

Only has a glass of water in his study, which usually just stands on the desk - he's on some tablets that make him permanently thirsty, he's like these kids you see around, he's always got a bottle of water with him when he goes out.

Thick waist - well yes that's correct.

I don't think we'll be running cable up into the loft etc. †There's no power in our loft. †Not easy to do what you say either, our loft (well the roof) is a funny shape. I think it's called a hip roof which means there is barely any room to stand up apart from right in the centre. †We have a small detached house and all four sides of the roof slope upwards to the centre. †We don't have any high gable ends to the house. †Hope you understand that.

Lizzie

Offline LizzieW

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 16 April 11 16:23 BST (UK) »
OK, I'll read your next post and get back to you.

Lizzie

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 16 April 11 16:37 BST (UK) »
OK.  The gateway is 192.168.2.1, OH has 2.3 and I have 2.4.

Looking at OH's computer it shows the connection is

OH --> ? (Unknown)
                    |
                    |
Liz -->      Router --> Gateway --> Internet

whereas on my laptop it just shows Liz ---> Router ---> Internet

OH can probably change any set up if necessary.  I only use computers, he knows a little about them, and if in doubt 'phones one of our sons.



Online [Ray]

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Re: Are my and my husband's computers being hacked into?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 16 April 11 17:17 BST (UK) »

So we've ruled out re-modelling the house.

We (I mean you) will need to gather ...........

* router make/model (so we can ascertain detail from online manual)

* user id and password to the router (don't post these)
(nowadays the original is on the (under)side of the router itself)
"admin" and "password" is a good guess, if you haven't already changed it.

* MAC address of your laptop wireless kit
in the format 00:00:00:00:00:00 (with/without : )
ControlPanel / NetworksharingCentre /
Selecting the "connection" should give you the "detail" then physical address

If you post 1 and 3 above we can then check what manual to see what's next.

Example router change, once logged in, on a newish Netgear goes something like ......
"LAN Setup"
then adding the mac address into the ip allocation table

(one I did earlier allocating my networked HDD to a static address)
Address Reservation
     #    IP Address    Device Name            MAC Address of hdd
    1   192.168.1.168   Iomega-Storage1   00:D0:B8:0C:D6:FD

then apply.

R
Have to leave now, unfortunately, but will check back in the morning.
 


"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).