Hardware security compromise.
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  1. #1
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    Hardware security compromise.

    Greetings,

    I have information about a potentially dangerous security breach / issue.

    Although this might not be a traditional issue for you guys here i need to ask somewhere for some guidance. What i have witnessed is the possible "hacking" of some phone line hardware on a telephone pole. I'm not too knowledgeable about what would be going on inside that box but i imagine it has a bunch of wire routers on it and something to do with the internet signals. However, let me explain my story.

    I live in a pretty rural area on the west coast, not the boon docks but not a typical urban suburb. Last night around 12:40PM i heard my dog barking and woke to then hear a truck parked outside my house which was running. I thought it was my son driving up to visit my house at night (he does that sometimes and i go yell at him for showing up so late) so i went out there with my dog to yell at him only to find that he is not there but that there is a comcast truck parked by the phone pole with a man standing outside of it putting on on a helmet and gloves. I walk up to him and ask "what are you doing?" and he looks at me and then turns his head away and says "just working on the wires"... He then walked away, picked up his "orange cone" and then got in the car and drove away.

    I have security cameras on my property due to some events around the neighborhood. So i went in side and watched the truck drive away down the road and stop. I could hear it idling. and stopped.

    Now, all of this doesn't sound strange but there are some personal details which give me cause for concern. A next-door neighbor of mine has been harassing me and recently (calling the cops saying i have a meth lab and am growing marijuana / manufacturing drugs) i had taken her to court for an anti harassment order which was served...
    Any ways, when i initially approached the Comcast truck at night i was thinking that it was weird they were outside at this time of night and then when i saw the man look at me i realized that he was a local man that lived a few miles away and then recalled that he is the boy-friend of the woman next-door. Immediately i was curious as to what might be going on and had a fear that she was getting him to do something which i don't understand to the phone lines, thus put me at a security risk.

    When i heard the car idling i looked out my window and could see the woman next door in walking around frantically with the light on talking on a cell phone.. I thought it was her talking to him so i turned off all my lights to pretend like i was sleeping and waited.. Sure enough 5 minuets later the truck comes back and sits outside, but not at the same spot, for about another 5 minuets and then drives away.

    The next morning i called Comcast right away and asked if they had any service calls or if any work was being done at the location, when i mentioned that it took place at 12:00 the customer service woman told me she needed to transfer me to a supervisor. That supervisor told me that they had no records of any work being done there or scheduled to be done there for sometime (it's just a grey box on the telephone pole about 2.5' square), she recommended that i call the police.

    The story only gets weirder at this point but i will save the rest of the details unless asked...

    The main thing i noticed is that today my internet is constantly saying "web page cannot be displayed" and i am also getting message on the browser that says the connection is being used at another location (i'm currently at another location using a different computer & internet). When i pick up my phone to talk in it there is a sound in the background like a 56k modem (u know what i mean?)... the days before last night nothing like that has been heard.

    Does anyone have any help or suggestions as to where to go to check if something has been done? when the police came they blew me off and told me that they have "never had problems with that woman" and they kept interrupting me and not letting me speak my case, changing the subject and asking about the woman's ex husband John (who used to live there too)... The sheriff hardly ever made eye contact with me and browsed around saying subtle things like, "people do things you would never expect"... He then went outside saying he was going to call Comcast and came back saying he spoke with the head of their scrutiny department which told him "they have trucks going out all hours of the night"... and he repeated this too me and pretty much blew me off.

    any help?

  2. #2
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Welcome to AO.

    Go out there, and shoot the thing with a shotgun. Then comcast will come fix it.

    Kidding of course. --

    I would press comcast. Ask to speak with someone in charge of security, and tell them you have reason to believe that someone was tampering with their equipment. Don't mess with the first tier tech support, if nothing else, get a supervisor, and possibly work your way up from there.
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  3. #3
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    They guy has obviously switched your line to a dead trunk on the pole. Does your survelance equipment record? Why not just show that to the policemen?

    Also i would be very careful, as you have mentioned she has made false accusations in the past and now they are obviously messing with your internet/phone line be careful as they could be re-routing your connection and using it to access Questionable content on the interwebz under your IP.

    Personally i would pull the phone wire either from the poll or from were it meets your house, then call up comcast let them know you got a phoneline down and get them to send out a tech.

    If the guy has indeed messed around on the poll box, then the new tech would spot straight away and it will get reported.

    when your pulling the line don't cut it with scissors etc as you don't want a clean cut, you want it to look like something snagged it like a passing truck etc and that is what pulled the wire.

  4. #4
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    *Shifts eyes in various directions looking for a quick escape... just like that cop and all those other completely random people you turned to*

    What you need is someone who is specificly paid to pretend to care about you and your problems. Someone more usefull than a psychologist but also has more leeway with the law than a prostitute.

    Errr... they're called lawyers.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    The main thing i noticed is that today my internet is constantly saying "web page cannot be displayed"
    That is odd, as you usually get "cannot connect to server", and that is what I would expect if your connection was hosed, or down. What browser are you using, and what operating system? What you are reporting sounds more like malware, so run your AV, Malwarebytes, and Spybot S&D.

    Then get Winsockfix and LSP Fix and run those.

    I know it is a pain in the ass, but it is the quickest way past the flowchart chasers in level one support.

    If that doesn't work.....

    At present your Service provider is Comcast and they have a contract and service level agreement with you. Just tell them you have an internet problem and your phone is acting strange.......could they send an engineer?

    They will soon know if someone has messed with their kit, and act appropriately. And the Law pay far more attention to big corporations than us guys.

    And the lady will be guilty of contempt of court for violating a court order.........well, she would be over here.

    Always be last to go in with the lawyers...............they are expensive!!!

    INCIDENTALLY:

    I don't know US telephone systems, but over here when you have problems with either your land line or internet you frequently have problems with the other; so the noise on the phone might just be that your line pairs are having problems?.

    Good Luck!
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
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    And the lady will be guilty of contempt of court for violating a court order.
    For all you know it would be completely seperated from his case... all because of your inane and child-like advice.

    A service provider, the police, and random people on the internet will not stack cases for you. This is what a lawyer is for.

  7. #7
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    Yes thanks for the advice guys.

    In truth i actually wrote this message for my mother. I am not... my mother... i believe. But regardless i am simply telling the story which she has told me.

    I evaluated her story and considered the recent drama that has been going on their immediate region ( i live away from her ) and it felt very suspicious. nihil, your advice is taken fine but i have managed my mothers computer for she is very new to them and there is no malware, to spyware. She uses firefox.

    Getting past the tech support is the least of my worries. I need to find a way to test to see if there is something connected to the computer or some how interfering with the internet.

    here is the special thing though. I dont have comcast internet or phone! I have a different provider (not verizo)... wait a minuet i'm writing for my mom agian, lol.. i mean SHE has a different provider then comcast.
    But i do believe that comcast owns most if not all of the infrastructure around these parts, so the other provider most likely works through something owned partly by comcast or verizon... Not sure.

    Basically, this dude was up in a small grey box near 1am at night and drove away and came back.. + my mom's story. trying to find out who i need to contact to "test" if anything has really been tampered with, but i dont trust comcast becasue all the dudes around here know each other and it might as well be the same dude who did it who "inspects it"... or the one who does might be friend's with him.

    Basically i want to know more of what he could have done or how to catch them in the act of trying to tamper given the nature of the situation.

    Who knows...

  8. #8
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    nihil, your advice is taken fine but i have managed my mothers computer for she is very new to them and there is no malware, to spyware. She uses firefox.
    Oh, crap. Here it comes...
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  9. #9
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    lol what? the Firefox haters?

    I have used her computer shortly before the incident. She mentioned that it had never happened before.

    I use chrome.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Oh, crap. Here it comes...
    Don't encourage them.

    Quote Originally Posted by kmenex View Post
    lol what? the Firefox haters?

    I have used her computer shortly before the incident. She mentioned that it had never happened before.

    I use chrome.
    I use ie7, Doesn't really matter what browser that is or isn't being used. If she's running as Administrator or likes to click on anything that pops on her desktop or send/recieve those malware riddled e-cards or help some poor nigerian down on he's luck you''ll get your machine infected.

    your mother to get in contact with her Interweb / telephone provider/s and let them check it out.

    If she's still paranoid then obviously a few phone calls, personal visit's to lawyers should get something straightened out.

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