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Laptop Security

03/20/2010 10:06 PM

Here's the deal. I work in the plants. People come and go in my shack at work. A couple of times, I've come back from the field to find my desktop job folder deleted. I recovered everything but I want to know if I can record the action in the room with the built in video recorder when I'm away, and have it not show on the screen while it's recording. That way, I can look at it later. I didn't think I HAD to lock it just to step out for a few, but apparantly, I do. In case I forget, it would be nice to know who is messing with my computer. I'd like to think that maybe I just made a mistake, though I don't think so, but twice?? Quite frankly, I'm ticked.

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#1

Re: Discreet video from my laptop

03/20/2010 10:36 PM

A quick google search will show lots of results like this that will show you how. There is also software that will record keystrokes and capture a screenshot every so many seconds and everytime someone clicks on something. I like this one, and have used it myself.

Drew

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Discreet video from my laptop

03/21/2010 7:59 AM

Thanks, will check it out. I appreciate the help.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Discreet video from my laptop

03/21/2010 11:00 PM

Can someone spy on your computer from a remote location? I mean, (example): If I have your e-mail address, can I use it to spy on you? I have always wondered about that. Sometimes my computer make funny noises, even when it's off. Sounds like some kind of morse code. It comes through the amp. Is this something I shouls worry about?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Discreet video from my laptop

03/21/2010 11:18 PM

Hackers can do some pretty awsome things, but if your computer is completely off, and you hear a morse code sound from your speakers, it is probably a mobile phone causing interference.

There are some ways a computer can be remotely started, but I think it is in the bios. I don't think changing that setting in the bios is common in virus intrusions, plus I think that is only through a USB port (vaguely remembering reading something about that). Anyway, the chances there are minute.

As for spying when your computer is on, you would have had to install some type of software or malware that allowed remote access to your webcam. Again a minute possibility, they would need to have some specific reason to target you with that type of direct hacking. If it was done automatically with a virus or malware the perpertartor would have more video feeds than they knew what to do with. So unless a hacker knows there is something they want to see through your webcam, chances are small. Unless someone specifically wants to spy on you (girlfriend suspecting cheating?) you should be safe.

They would need more than your email address, but with that they could track down your IP address.

I hope I haven't made you more suspicious than before. If you are very concerned, unplug desktop and keep laptop closed when not using.

Drew

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#5

Re: Laptop Security

03/21/2010 11:19 PM

Does your laptop have a webcam? I think there is software around that will turn it into a motion activated camera.

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#6

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 12:05 AM

From previous experience:

- A Smith&Wesson or Ruger, your chioce

- Something to do with claymore's

- Islamic justice

I would be beyond ticked. One of the baby cams from Costco would probably suffice..

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#7

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 12:08 AM

Console Recorder software from Longwatch (www.longwatch.com) will record EVERYTHING that happened on your computer--the images and keystrokes. You can replay exactly what the screen showed to the villain and what he or she typed in to mess up your system. If you install a video camera in the room, it will record that, too, and put it all together in an historical record with timestamps. It may also be able to record the feed from the monitor's built-in camera. I dunno about that one. Good question to ask Longwatch.

The console recorder software is used to reconstruct events in a process plant--like, when the batch reactor blew up, what did the operator see on the screen and what corrective actions were taken? It also ties in data from the process historian and video cameras around the reactor, so it reconstructs EVERYTHING--video of events leading up to the explosion, real-time data from the process, what the operator saw, and what he did about it. So it should be able to handle your problem.

They offer a free demo period, so maybe you can get a copy of the software as a demo for your plant, and use it to catch the evil people. Then (hint, hint), convince your management to buy the system for use in the plant.

Say, come to think of it, the only piece missing from the Longwatch system is: Who was at the HMI when the batch reactor blew up? Maybe you have the answer.

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#8

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 2:41 AM

hi Igotmine,

I like SlowOldPoop's post, as it directly answers your question with a solution that's new for me.

OTOH, you really have 2 approaches to this situation:

1. Punitive, and

2. Preventive.

Catching the vandal and reporting him to the proper authorities, or facing him yourself would fall under punitive. Sure, it'll make you look cool and smart for having such a tool on your machine, but it won't be good in the long run because the culprit will only hate you for it - he might even try something more nasty.

Preventive measures would be, IMHO, reporting the incident to your superior. vandalizing other employees' work, I'm sure is a serious infraction of company policies. your superior should be the one to take the effort to discover the culprit, or make it plain to everyone that such deeds won't be tolerated and will be meted out with appropriate punishment. It is then that you suggest SlowOldPoop's solution. I believe this approach would be the best, as it will inform everyone that there is someone among them who likes to vandalize (as a prank?) other people's work. This will result to vigilance, and probably expose the vandal / prankster earlier than you'd expect, even without any investment.

BTW, make it a habit to lock up your machine. paranoia, in this case, is better than melancholia over lost work.

just my 2 cents.

-- langyaw

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#9

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 2:51 AM

Simple solution and totally effective-

1-Set up your laptop to only use either fingerprint (if your computer has sensor) or a smartcard or password for access

2- Set up you laptop so that whenever the lid is closed, it goes into 'STANDBY' mode, which will enable very quick recovery after you open the lid

3- Close the lid every time you have to leave the computer. Restart is just open the lid, hit the start button and swipe fingerprint or insert smartcard after you open lid and before hitting start button or enter password after hitting start button.

If you use a smartcard, another option is to require the smartcard to be in place for ANY action or input for the computer. Then, if you have to leave, remove the smart card and the computer will be a big paperweight until you return and re-insert the card.

As an alternative, you can set up access limitations wherein only administrator can change file status- To do this, Go to CONTROL PANEL and click on "ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS". When open, click on "LOCAL SECURITY SETTINGS" and then click on "USER RIGHTS ASSIGNER". At the bottom, click on "TAKE OWNERSHIP OF FILES AND OTHER OBJECTS". This will put all files under "Administrator" control exclusively. No one else can close, open or erase any file.

Then, all you have to do when you leave is "Switch Users" from Administrator to Guest or some other name. As an alternative- login as yourself, assuming that you do not have Administrator privileges for normal activities, and switch user to "Administrator" if you need to shut down or open or save a file, then switch back to a non-Administrator user for normal operations.

Either or these actions will fully secure your computer, and be relatively to initiate and/or work with.

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#10

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 3:14 AM

Guess I have to assume this is windows machine.

There a few methods to deal with these type issues and they are built into windows:

1. Setting your file access permissions

1 a. Surreptitiously connect an external speaker an mount outside the shack, in "Sounds" create an audio profile to play when certain actions are initiated like open file or delete

2. Creating password protected acct's

3. Not sharing files

4. Using a free access monitoring utility " AccessChk " available at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb664922.aspx

or

Keeping pertinent files on a portable disk and keep that with you.

Of course you want the individual to believe they are still causing you trouble because they will screwup eventually.

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#11

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 6:52 AM

Assuming it is "someone" else; consider their motivation.
(i.e. Telephone numbers were "disappearing" from my web
pages (????) it was the pc software, and not "someone" else.)

Then, either it is a very poor taste "joke" to delete your work
or, someone who wants you to appear incompetent. A person
who wants your job? Someone who wants to "get even" maybe?
Or perhaps a superior who wants an excuse to get rid?

I would reflect on your aims well, and be very careful how you
proceed. Even as a prank, the person may have a mental problem.

Take care.

jt.

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#12

Re: Laptop Security

03/22/2010 2:03 PM

Google "Surveillance Cameras."

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#13

Re: Laptop Security

03/23/2010 6:48 PM

this will work for you as long as your computer has a built in camera.

http://www.gotchanow.com/videosurveillance/g30f.html

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#14

Re: Laptop Security

03/29/2010 11:01 AM

Why don't you just password protect your logon, so no one can get on your system???

They open, it asks for a password, they don't have it and go away!!!

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Laptop Security

03/29/2010 10:56 PM

google "ophcrack"

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