Hacking into an apartment complex's security system

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Cyber Curious, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. Cyber Curious
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    Cyber Curious Registered Member

    Hi. I'm new to the forum and I have a very unusual queston. But let me start from the beginning.

    Like many people, I did not know that one should create an administrator's password to log into one's computer after booting up. Therefore, for quite a while, I would only go straight to using my computer after booting up. Eventually, I started to have some really strange problems with my computer and eventually went to one of the computer help forums.

    The computer help forum that I went to told me that not having an administrator's password was a very serious sercuity breach for my computer and told me that I needed to create one in additon to getting rid of any malware infections that I might have had.

    Well, after many scans, etc., I believe that I eventually got rid of any infections which my computer may have had. I even got a "clean bill of health" from a site that analyzes hijackthis reports.

    But here's the question/situation: I live in an apartment complex that has an automatic locking door where the tenets can remotely open the door for visitors via their telephone. Also, there's a closed circuit security camera in the foyer that is connected to the tenets' television sets, and for tenets who have cable television(like myself), the view of the closed circuit security camera in the foyer is hooked up to one of the unused cable channels in the system.

    Now I could be wrong, but I'm thinking that if the closed circuit security cameras in our building are also connected to our cable television system, which also includes that system's high speed broadband internet cable service(which I also have), is it possible for a hacker to hack into our building's security system via the cable line if that cable line was compromised via a compromised computer?

    And the reason why I ask is because around the same time that my computer was doing all sorts of strange thing, my apartment building's security system had gotten hacked into and our automatic door was neutralized for a while and eventually some computer technians had to come out and work on the computers in our apartment complex's offices to fix the problem.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  2. Joeythedude
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    Joeythedude Registered Member

    Its an interesting question.

    My guess would be no.

    It would depend on how exactly the TV cable system is linked to the internet cable system...

    Also , the question would have to be asked , why would hackers go to that trouble for your building :).
  3. MikeBCda
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    MikeBCda Registered Member

    Somewhat off-topic, but there's a similar system in my building. Apparently there's a mixture of media systems involved ... video, obviously, comes through the cable company's line, but the intercom, buzzer, and unlock-signal all operate through the phone. I've been told by the super, however, that the last three run through a separate routing from the "regular" phone lines and are operated by the cable company on lines leased from Bell. We'd had enough security problems here that a couple of years ago they took out the mechanical locks on the entranceways and replaced them with electronic locks activated by a card. So I'm not particularly concerned with the possibility of being hacked -- as Joey pointed out, who'd want to anyway?

    I've got a different problem -- any time someone buzzes us, it partly resets my router-modem which then drops back to ethernet mode, from which it has to recover to DSL and internet status (I'm on DSL/PPPoE, if that makes a difference). I do have the usual lowpass filters on all the extensions used for voice.

    I asked the management office if they'd find out from the security company what I can do about that -- almost everyone, including my ISP, agrees that a proper filter on my computer's line would probably do the trick. But they must have asked the wrong question, because when I checked back later I was told "We can't afford to replace the whole system".

    Any good guesses as to what kind of filter would most likely be useful?
  4. axial
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    axial Registered Member

  5. MikeBCda
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    MikeBCda Registered Member

    Thanks axial, but after looking at the link it's just an ordinary low-pass filter to prevent the computer from interfering with phones, faxes etc. on the same phone line as the computer. And as I'd noted, I've already got those on all the phones. Around here, most providers throw in at least a couple of those as part of the DSL setup package.

    What I'm looking for is something that works the other way around, to prevent whatever from interfering with my computer, specifically the router-modem. By sheer inference and Occam's Razor (simplest possible solution is the most likely to work), with no technical info, I'd guess maybe a high-pass filter on the computer's outlet, but haven't tried yet or even gotten anyone to confirm it's a reasonable blind-guess.
  6. Cyber Curious 2
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    Cyber Curious 2 Registered Member

    Hello, all. Sorry about taking so long to get back to this thread, but I forgot my recently created email address :oops: and had to create a new email address and new Wilder's account.

    But the way that the tv cable system is linked to the internet cable system is that both cables originate from one cable coming from the wall and a two-way splitter is connected on that cable, and from that point, there are two cables coming from the splitter....one connected to the television and the other connected to the computer.

    And as far why would a hacker go to that trouble for my building...well, I guess for the same reason why hackers go through the trouble of hacking and ruining computers and all the other mischeif that that the create. That's just what they do. And if my computer was vulnerable to the point where the hacker could access the internet cabe line and also understood how to access my apartment building's security system via the compromised cable line, then why wouldn't he or she(actually, are there female hackers?) take on that challenge?
  7. MikeBCda
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    MikeBCda Registered Member

    Most definitely yes.
  8. Cyber Curious 2
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    Cyber Curious 2 Registered Member

    Does that mean that the answer is still no?

    Also, I wanted to mention that our apartment building's office had a couple of computer tech guys fixing the office's computers for a couple of days because of a virus, which was the culprit that caused the automatic doors to malfunction.

    And of course the virus probably originated from the office computers, however, since all of this occurred during the same time that I discovered that my computer was seriously vulnerable, and which wasn't too long after our building's new camera/video/door system was installed, I couldn't help but to wonder.

    Also, from the lack of responses in this thread, I am going to conclude that either my computer's vulnerability had nothing to do with the virus which caused our door system to malfunction....or people reading this thread cannot conceive how a tenent's cable internet computer vulnerability could allow a hacker to pass a virus through the cable and into the apartment's office computers, targeting the apartment building's automatic door system. Therefore, I'll just leave it at that.
  9. Cyber Curious 2
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    Cyber Curious 2 Registered Member

    It's strange how we don't really hear about them. ...Just the guys.
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