Can I trace a hacker?

June 1, 2011 at 00:20:55
Specs: Macintosh
Two days ago someone hacked into my computer. Here's the info:
1) I have a Mac.
2) My wireless connection is password protected, and I have not logged into a public wireless network in quite some time.
3) Within the course of two hours, they logged into my facebook, gmail and yahoo (which I dont use my yahoo account hardly ever ever ever) and changed all three passwords so that I could not log on myself. I had recently changed the passwords, and no one else knew them. The passwords were also all different.
4) They posted a private photo that only existed on my hard drive to my facebook page, pretending to be me. Wouldn't be a big deal, except the photo was a nude taken for an art photography book by a friend of mine, and wasn't one I wanted to be seen outside of the publication of this book. No one knew this photo even existed. They posted the photo saying, "Few things first, 1) I lost a bet, 2) Only a few of you can see this photo and it will only be up for a short time, and 3) Please leave your comments below." They then "liked" and commented back to everyones responses.
5) When I found out and finally got into my account to delete the photo, they kicked me out of my account and changed the password again.
6) I changed my router password, and all my other passwords. Also downloaded Norton for Mac and turned on every possible protection. Virus scan found nothing.
7) NO other account information was compromised. They did not get into my bank accounts.

I dont think I know anyone with the skills to do this themselves, but the attack feels very personal. Is it possible to track a hack/attack such as this? Where should I be sure to report it? Do I have an legal recourse?

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June 1, 2011 at 05:10:47
"Do I have an legal recourse?" Ask a lawyer this question.

As far as the rest goes, it sounds personal, not financial. My first guess is someone knew or shared information from sitting at your keyboard. Second guess - Information can be also be gained by "sniffing packets" sent to the internet.
You use wireless networking, it could be anyone within reception distance. Especially if encryption on the router is disabled. Who setup your wireless network? If they entered the password, they would have access (or shared it) until you changed that password. Access could have been hacked, too! Do you have file sharing enabled on your computer? One computer on a network doesn't need sharing enabled unless you have a file sharing application running. Kazaa (music) comes to mind. There are others.
We can't point the finger, but we can give you questions to ask. Tracing would be difficult due to the nature of the signal sent. It goes in all directions for some distance. A laptop carried will show you your signal strength as you move around your neighborhood.
We can help you lock down the router. ;-)
I wouldn't accuse anyone - burden of proof. Don't want to alienant friends. Someone will brag or say something. Keep your ears open. Don't jump to conclusions.

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June 1, 2011 at 11:53:51
I live alone and dont share my computer, so no one could have gotten the info that way. I set up my wireless myself, and put a password on it. I dont have file sharing on my computer either, although I dont know how to turn it off if thats just an allowed setting that I needed to turn off. I dont use Kazaa or any other program like that. There aren't any other computers in my network that I know of. How do I lock down my router? I certainly can't accuse anyone because I have no idea where to even start!

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June 1, 2011 at 18:41:24

Those are the setting changes to make, applying to all models of router.
You'll need your owners manual to locate items within the router setup menus. There are settings that have to match the computer and the router. If you change one (router) and not the other (computer), you cannot make the connection. ** Network name and encryption have to match.**
If you limit the initial changes to item #2, #4, and #6 in the howto, you shouldn't loose connection. Those changes are in the router setup only. They do not effect your computer settings at all. It limits connection. At this point they would have to imitate your hardware to get access.
If you are comfortable with changing the network name, #3, do that. When you change it in the router, the computer will loose connection. The computer will have to locate and reconnect to the network. You may have to type it in if broadcasting is off (#4). Follow it with item #4 then #6. Be sure to use your wireless mac address and the mac address for the wire network card too for item #6!. You should see them in the router log if you have connected with the cable and wireless, and the log is on.
#3 - Choose a network name similar to the rules for password. Use a cap, lower, num, and special character if it will allow. You can see the name in the router if you connect with the cable and still not broadcast it. Handy when you miss a character or forget.

That's a pretty good start.

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