1. anolinde

    anolinde New Member

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    Is it possible to hack into someone's computer remotely?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by anolinde, May 2, 2017.

    Hi,

    So I have close to zero knowledge about computers, but am thinking about having my protagonist hire someone to hack into the antagonist's computer and wanted to make sure it is possible. Actually, I want it to be a 2-step process. First, to have the hacker find out who the real culprit is by tracking him down through his anonymous posts on heroine's Facebook -- is that possible? Then, upon finding out who the culprit is, the hacker proceeds to hack into the guy's computer remotely and access his files saved on the computer and finds out what the protagonist needs to find and maybe even retrieve it -- is this possible? I have a feeling that it is, but want to be absolutely sure.

    I don't really need to go into details for my book, but if someone could also explain briefly in layman's terms HOW this is possible, I'd really appreciate it! Sorry if my questions seem dumb :( Thanks so much for any help, information, tips, etc! :)
     
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  2. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    Most of the time, whenever hacking is involved in a story, it really isn't realistic anyway, so on one hand I wouldn't worry about realism. If you truly want to make it as realistic as possible, then some of what you have here is realistic to a degree, and depending on how it's done. Simply turning on your computer and saying "I want to hack this person" isn't going to get much done. Also, anonymous facebook posts are pretty damn hard to get identities from...anonymous is just that, anonymous. That being said, there's certainly was you could lure, or trick, someone hiding behind their computer.

    Phishing is always an effective tool. The person hiding behind their anonymous account still has one weakness...themselves. Getting them to click on a random link or download something could work, but that's also assuming this person is not too savvy overall. Finding out their IP address alone would help a hacker a lot, finding out their email would be about as good. If they're protected behind firewalls and antivirus it gets tricky, but those things are not impenetrable if you have the skill and knowhow. I am not a "hacker" or a software expert myself, but I do know that once certain things have been breached, it gets easier, and the easiest thing to defeat is the user. The most skilled hackers on the planet would agree that people's carelessness is the most effective weapon to use.

    Yes, it is possible to remote into someone's system, but they first have to allow you in, whether they realize it or not. A certain virus attached to a download, or a phishing email that opens a backdoor into their PC, these things will gain the hacker access to that computer. This is why it's so very important to only open emails you trust are safe, and to have your antivirus scan all run files first from sources you aren't sure about. If someone skilled is actually targeting your PC, then it gets harder to maintain security, because they're going to be throwing things at you that look innocent, when they aren't. Clicking on it is all it takes, and then it escalates from there unless you know how to stop them. However, if there's no power to their PC, then it doesn't matter how skilled you are, so you have to make sure that person is never suspicious of anything they downloaded or did.
     
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  3. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    Is it possible? Hah! The scary part is its SIMPLE!
    Give this lil' video a gander and enjoy never trusting your microphone or webcam again.

     
  4. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    Well, no. It's always possible to remotely access a computer no matter what the user does to protect oneself. But you're otherwise mostly correct in your reply.

    Anolinde, remotely accessing a target system is the usual approach to begin with.
    Yup. If you want a real-world example, read this article:

    Urgent warning issued over popular Facebook status update game
    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/urgent-warning-issued-over-popular-12976476

    Yup. Heck, if your target is sloppy enough to use a wifi router without securing it, then in some situations you could forego hacking altogether and just snoop some shared folders using Windows Explorer. Some people soemtimes mess around with their directory security settings and will unwittingly make them open for the world to see.

    Right here. Enjoy.
    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/hacker.htm
     
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  5. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    Geeze. I had a heck of a time just posting that following server errors.
     
  6. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I would still think you'd need to have an IP address or something. Just an anonymous post on facebook won't do much unless you can find a way to discover that identity, right? Once the IP is discovered, then it becomes easy, but first you have to get past that part I would think.
     
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  7. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    It depends on what you want to do. If your target finds a way to your system, then you can exploit them on their way in. In that case, you'll have the IP address, but you didn't need it to get started.

    Some IT conventions have people handing out flash drives with their products. And sometimes they'll have a payload for corporate targets that copy files from their systems and email them to you. In that case, you only need your email address or whatever. But yeah, that has happened and that's how some companies do espionage.

    Yeah, you usually need the IP address, but that's easy. All your target has to do is visit a website setup to capture an IP address, or the hacker accesses the website's server and logs, for starters.

    Also, people can be at the mercy of their wireless routers. An experienced hacker doesn't always need an IP address, just the right tools and skills and to be within range, and a router that isn't set up correctly or has a recently discovered and unpatched exploit.

    There was word going around that government agents would intercept postal packages with flash drives ordered by their targets (usually terrorists), they would take them apart and install a transmitter, then return it to the mail and send it on its way. So, there are lots of possibilities for anolinde.
     
  8. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I've talked to guys like this who are paid to do data forensics. They're sort of counter-hackers. They follow up after you've been hacked and track down the culprit.

    Yes, you can easily be hacked remotely.

    Here's an idea for you . . . Have your hacker set up a honeypot website and he lures the target to it through a link through Facebook. The mark signs up for something on the site and enters a password and login. Since most people reuse passwords, the hacker takes the password the fellow enters, does a hash lookup of it in encrypted form, deciphers it easily (because the mark's a dope), uses the mark's IP address (logged when he connected to the site) to connect to the mark's home router, opens it with the same password and then browses through his home devices. There's an easy approach for you.

    These guys are awesome. They're so smart. I don't know know if you've ever been around someone who is truly a genius, but when you're near someone like that it's a strange feeling. You feel very small. You can tell they're thinking ahead all the time . . . humbling, I guess. They had stories about robbing banks, stealing credit cards, busting predators, stealing kids from the hospital nursery, etc. They get paid to do this stuff. Pen testers, they're called.

    (I should mention that the hospital kid was just a doll. They had to prove they could gain access and steal it. Then they train the staff so that it never happens for real.)

    I once asked the head pen tester there if he'd ever read The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll, and he said it should be required reading in schools. He wanted new recruits who had that sense of curiosity. That was the most important quality of a hacker, he said.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The problem in regard of anonymous facebook messages is that if the malicious messager has any sense at all they'll have used a public IP like a coffee shop or similar to post them - so there's no sensible way to trace them apart from the old fashioned PI route of questioning staff etc, and if he picked a busy venue that's likely to be a waste of time too.

    In Criminal minds of whatever they'd probably check the coffee shop IP logs then hack the CCTV to find their unsub - but that's mind blowingly unbelievable.

    Even assuming he didn't use a public IP the other option for him would be to use an anonymiser like hide my ass...

    End of the day tracking someone through a fake facebook account is easy if they are stupid... its damn near impossible if they arent, so it depends on how tech savvy you want the antag to be
     
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  10. Comatoran

    Comatoran New Member

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    I'm not sure if your writing style is anything like mine, but if you like to inject a bit of humor, have the hacker get into the computer and files really easily because the target used a bad password. Like, their name or something. This has the added bonus of being extremely realistic: Most modern encryption is good enough that you could never brute-force a solution, at least until quantum computers are a thing. The human mind, however, hasn't gotten a security update for the past couple thousand years or so.
     
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  11. Nightchanger

    Nightchanger New Member

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    Possible. You deduct the anon user's Facebook and posts and look for similar info on other sites. Police agencies use this method all the time.
    Then when it comes to hacking remotely you need to make sure he inserts a script that allows it to be done. Either by a trojan or by a backdoor vulnerability.

    Though there are plenty of more info on it. You don't need to skim it. This is a very simplified version. And there are many methods. I'd suggest for you to consult a pen tester for that matter. This is after all your story.
     
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  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Yep, gonna have to get the particulars from someone in advanced computer
    science and all that jazz if you really want to know how it can be done though.
     
  13. joe sixpak

    joe sixpak Banned

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    The average person can be hacked easily.

    Aa few who know how to protect the computer may still be hacked if they are careless
    but they would have to unwittingly cooperate>

    It is possible to ARCHITECT then engineer design and build a totally secure computer
    but NSA would not allow that and the antivirus industry would fight it and put out fake information to kill its viability.
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    How ?
     
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  15. joe sixpak

    joe sixpak Banned

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    ==========
    You can read magazines like 2600, or go to hacker conventions, and even find some information in cyber security textbooks.
    Google will likely turn up more ways than you can find sticks to shake.
     
  16. jdearman777

    jdearman777 New Member

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    You can learn anything from the web even how to hack into computers .....fun eh? ;-) (not that I'd ever do that of course)

    here's some helpful links for your research

    https://null-byte.wonderhowto.com/how-to/hack-like-pro-spy-anyone-part-1-hacking-computers-0156376/
    http://www.hacktweaks.com/how-to-hack-remote-computer-using-ip-address/
    http://www.wikihow.com/Hack-a-Computer
    https://breakthesecurity.cysecurity.org/2010/11/how-to-hack-some-other-computer-remotely-using-their-ip-address.html
    http://picateshackz.com/2015/01/how-to-hack-remote-pc-using-ip-address-simple-steps.html
    http://moonkinghackersclub.com/how-to-hack-a-computer-remotely-metasploit-tutorial/
    https://www.welivesecurity.com/2013/09/16/remote-desktop-rdp-hacking-101-i-can-see-your-desktop-from-here/
    http://www.hackmac.org/tutorials/remotely-control-a-computer-a-basic-ssh-tutorial/

    How to hack a computer from a remote IP port
    http://kalilinuxfans.blogspot.com/2013/06/hack-remote-computer-via-ip-and-open.html


    https://www.hackingloops.com/software-to-hack-computer-remotely-rat-remote-access-trojan/

    Hope these help

    Look over some of the hacking club websites and they have some great info there

    Just dont think of hacking my pc or i'll hunt you down ;-) j/k
     
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  17. preston_ralph

    preston_ralph Banned

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    Yes, you can remotely hack someone else’s computer or pc. Go for the following website [link deleted by moderator as it had nothing to do with hacking]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2019
  18. DPena

    DPena Member

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    Just make stuff up using the typical Hollywood keywords: hack, backdoor, trojan, thumbdrive, etc.

    Accessing someone's computer remotely would require a script running on their machine to allow the hacker access through security loopholes. This script would either need to be downloaded unwittingly using a trojan attached to a file, or installed deliberately on their machine via a physical media like a thumb drive. That trojan will then send out a ping, or "message" and wait for an answer, or it can be programmed to connect to a server on the interwebs the next time the user is on the net, uploading information about the machine. The hacker then logs in to a system and the screen splashes with a bunch of fancy interface graphics that would never actually exist in reality, but looks good on tv. The hacker then says "I'm in" and magically knows everything about the person from the time they wake up in the morning to what kind of sugar they put in their coffee.

    There. I've just described every Hollywood hacking scene in the history of ever. My point? You don't really have to make sense, and if you really don't want to bother with it, make the machine some kind of advanced tech that doesn't exist. Then you don't have to explain anything.
     
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  19. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Contributor

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    Modern systems are fairly robust. They?d have to click a malicious link or run a program that they shouldn't be running. A home router isn't going to let any remote computer even talk to one on a home network without it connecting first.
     
  20. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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  21. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Banned Contributor

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    Okay hackers are criminals. Hackers are always after something specific such as credit card numbers. If I was going to hack someone I don't think I'd go over the internet at all. I might install a little ghosting program. Maybe something to copy their keyboard buffer if they're into online shopping and everyone is.I'd save its inside another file such as CDG that has lots of room and then copy that, who would want to CDG file? Here is lots of ways to do it that have nothing to do with the internet. No firewalls or any of that BS.
     
  22. Sayr56

    Sayr56 New Member

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    Generally speaking, hackers invade other people's computers, first crack the login password, or change the password.
     
  23. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    It's probably a lost cause by now, but the word "hacker" didn't use to mean that. Hackers were those who thought of clever ways to manipulate cybercode, but their intentions were benign. They themselves referred to the criminal element as "crackers."

    I've thought it a shame that a great word got debased so quickly. Here's the definitive version of "hacker" from the most respected source of computer lexicography:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/H/hacker.html

    (Please note that the criminal sense of the term is only the eighth one listed.}

    From the same source, a more extended (and quite entertaining) explanation of how the term came into use:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/meaning-of-hack.html

    My feeling is that the people who best have the right to determine the definition of a word are the people who use the word professionally. But, as I said, it's probably a lost cause by now.

    WARNING: This referenced site can be extremely detrimental to your store of spare time! It's an outgrowth of the old Jargon File and lists hundreds of terms mainly familiar to computer people. More than that, it's a splendid example of how the English language itself adapts to new circumstances and new needs. Once you start following links, you may find that hours have passes. You have been warned!

    OK, you don't believe me. Well, this might get you started:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/M/magic-smoke.html
     
  24. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Member Supporter Contributor

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    Most of the answers above have strong merit. So by now you know that what you’re looking for is feasible, not terribly sophisticated, and unfortunately common.

    A couple of questions:
    1. How much time do you allot your white-hat hacker (real term)? If the protagonist gets “some guy she knows who knows computers” to come over for an hour and devastate the computer of some guy who said nasty things about her on Facebook... well, not terribly realistic. But if he’s got days to work with the situation, and she’s really damn cute and hovers over him while he’s working, feeding him Coke and Doritos the entire time... more realistic.
    2. How sophisticated is the antagonist? As several people above suggested, most people are dumb, and it amazingly doesn’t take a significant level of sophistication to put up significant barriers of self-protection on the Internet. Most people, however, don’t. They buy an ad-ware infected PC because it was cheap and fast and looked cool, and they used to be really into World of Warcraft, but that got lame at around level 150, and now they spend most of their time arguing with people on the Interwebs. These folks can be socially-engineered (another real term) pretty easily. Look up terms like “incel” or “redneck” and you’ll see what I mean. If they’re making threats against your heroine on Facebook, they’re probably in the “lots of powder and not much ball” category (muskets, people!). Have White Hat poke at them a bit with a virtual stick, they’re going to snap at it, then use their phrases (people commonly use catch phrases) to Google for other places those phrases show up. One of them will have a name attached. This is a semi-realistic and not terribly detailed approach; believable.
    3. What’s the goal of the hack? Digging into their computer, finding personal files, planting stuff, deleting stuff... all very realistic. Getting at a password file is less realistic, though not impossible. Setting up a “man in the middle” situation is feasible if your White Hat is a pen(etration) tester as suggested above or a grey-hat (skates the edge of the law, sometimes crossing the line, mostly for kicks; rarely does serious damage), but that takes either preparation (he got a hack elsewhere and showed up prepared, because damn it, she’s REALLY cute, and he MIGHT have a chance if he plays this well) or sophistication (he can suss out the system, bang out a script custom-written for the target system, and drop it in place in twenty minutes or something). Using that, and time, they could gather information on the guy, including passwords, and do more damage. But you have to decide what damage you want to do and how feasible it is given the access developed.
    From there, you know where you want to go with the story. But be sure to answer those questions, if only for yourself, so you can make the situation sound realistic.

    NOTE: I’m not suggesting I support the semi-misogynistic mindset I outlined for White Hat, but it’s a fairly realistic description.

    Cheers.

    JD
     
  25. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    There is, however, a simple and sure-fire way of preventing your computer from being remotely hacked.
     
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