can the system administrator access my local files?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by newt, Aug 23, 2004.

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  1. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    it all probability, this matter might have been asked already, but bear with me please, i'm don't know where to look for the answer.
    my office computer is connected to a lan network. can our systems admin. access the files in my computer without me knowing it? :mad:
    what are the telltale signs that my files are being accessed? :(
    is there any way to prevent it?
    thanks for the assist. :)
     
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    If you are on a business network, file sharing is probably on. Anyone can look at your files unless you disable sharing.

    Here is a link to explain file sharing on XP.

    File sharing permissions
     
  3. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    Sorry,
    but usually, yes they can ! unless you disable the sharing as mentioned by ronjon
    (if you have the rights to do so)
    Beware ! probably they can also see what's on your screen. :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  4. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    thanks guys.
    file sharing is disabled for all my files; i hope this will prevent unauthorized access to anybody. :)
     
  5. sureshot69

    sureshot69 Guest

    One thing to also consider, as Fire-Ant mentioned, is many work places now use keyloggers to keep an eye on all your activities, and there is not much you can do about it. But if you know about it ahead of time you can at least keep yourself out of trouble.
     
  6. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    thanks sureshot69.
    yup, i also thought of that.... i usually sweep my computer using spywareblaster and spybot.... so far, they have not detected any.
    i tried installing a keylogger at our computer at home, it was detected when i did my regular scan.
     
  7. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    newt,

    It depends how knowledgeable the admin is and what the company policy is.
    Basically, a knowledgeable admin that has physical access to the computer can access pretty much any data stored on it, deleted emails, visited websites, etc.
    Even encrypting your secret files is not enough, because they could easily plant a software keylogger or hardware keylogger and get your passwords. They even make regular keyboards that have hardware keyloggers that are concealed inside. Totally undetectable unless you dismantle the keyboard.
    Turning off file sharing will protect you from casual coworker snooping, but not from the admin who could get into your computer after you leave work.
    It may not be fair, but they paid for the computer and your time, so legally they could monitor almost everything while on company time.
     
  8. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    newt

    thanks Devinco...
    i agree with you, in principle though.... m actually using a laptop so the hardware keylogger is probably out of the question.....what i'm pananoid about is the systems admin. abusing this access rights (snoping without any authorithy from his superiors or management)... unfortunately the IT head is sometimes clueless with what is happening in his shop... this is what scares me.... it is as if you have one one loose spy running the network...am working on some confi projects which even they should know about.... will appreciate any suggestions.... o_O thanks for the assist! :)
     
  9. Newkid

    Newkid Spyware Fighter

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    Hello Newt,

    As Devinco says that it's all depend upon the knowledge of your admin. If he is knowledgeable then he can trap all your small and large activities without your knowledge. Morever, now days most of the MNC( Multi-National Company) wants to know what exactly their employee's is doing in office hours, if it's the case then you can't say that it's illegal because he is doing his job.

    If your admin is really smart then he/she can easily code (mostly in VBS) very small script and execute on your machine which time to time traps your activity and send to him by intranet email. I met one victim at WS who had more or less same issue like you have..

    With Thanks !
    Newkid !
     
  10. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    I don't wnat to make you lot frightened,
    but if the administrator has programs like SessionWall (abirsoft),
    installing proggies isn't needed :eek: :eek:
    Just filter the packages and let the program do the work.
    Several years ago it was already possible to capture packages and
    remotely view internet pages or read the mail in realtime. :oops: :oops:

    In time programs have evolved.

    Beware, be very aware :eek: :eek:
     
  11. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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  12. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Re: newt

    Okay, a hardware keylogger implanted in a laptop would be unlikely (though not impossible). As Fire-Ant said, they wouldn't even need a keylogger. Just like your ISP records everything you do online (except SSL), the Admin controls how you connect and can similarly monitor things.
    In fact he is watching you read this very message at this very moment. :eek:
    Sorry, I had to say that. :)

    It's kind of like having the Gestapo looking over your shoulder.

    There really is not much you can do. They paid for your time so they basically own that time and everything you do.
    Maybe you could find out the company policy about employee monitoring. But simply asking about that may raise questions about you.
    You say you are working on confidential projects which the admin already knows about. So what's the problem? If you are not doing anything wrong, then there is nothing to worry about....almost.
    If the admin has an axe to grind and is working against you, there is not much that can be done.
    Personally, I would be more concerned with backstabbing coworkers that want to get ahead....you know who I'm talking about. They are more likely to snoop through file shares and simpler methods, so turning off file shares would be good.
     
  13. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    If you're afraid of people sniffing throug your work,

    try using a usb-stick that is visibly attached to the front of your pc.
    Store the confidential files on this stick.
    The led will probably flash on access. ;)

    If you're not working on those files, someone else is.... ;)

    After work hours take them home... :cool:

    If you have the possibillity to work with VM-Ware:
    the combination with a USB-stick works very fine.
     
  14. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Fire-Ant,

    Are you referring to this? VMWare
    Would that help to isolate the laptop from the admin?

    The USB drive is a good idea. Unless they have keyloggers or other rootkit like monitoring software installed. Then they could just monitor what is on the USB drive whenever it is connected. You could put it in though only when you need it.

    newt could also isolate the laptop from any connectivity during confidential work. That means physically unpluq the lan connection and/or phone line, unplug/remove/disable any WiFi adapters and bluetooth adapters.
    If you are really paranoid, you could put a piece of black tape on the laptops IR sensor to prevent line of sight IR connectivity. This would prevent real time monitoring from outside the laptop, but would not prevent monitoring from within the laptop like keyloggers and such.

    Even this could be circumvented by simply placing hidden video cameras aimed at the monitor and/or keyboard.
    newt can do some things, but is basically up the creek (slang) as far as privacy from the admin is concerned.
     
  15. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    thanks guys, that's what i plan to do, save my files in a usb-stick. likewise, i remove my laptop from the lan when i don't need the connection.

    btw, sorry for the typo errors, the phrase "am working on some confi projects which even they should know about." should actually read "am working on some confi projects which even they should NOT know about." The notwas ommitted.
    Thanks again for the assist.
     
  16. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    Hi Devinco

    Are you referring to this? VMWare => Yes :cool:
    I love this program. At home I manage my bank account from within a virtual machine with a modem connection. So it only exists when I need it.
    The VM runs independently from the host machine.

    Would that help to isolate the laptop from the admin? => Yes :cool: :D
    If you want you can start a virtual machine without the network adapters.
    since it is on the local machine, it will be dificult for the admin to see what is happening, unless a remote viewing tool is installed on the host PC.
    The Virtual machine's HHD will be inaccessible for the admin !

    Hi Newt,

    I already thought that the NOT was missing.
     
  17. newt

    newt Registered Member

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    thanks Devinco and Fire-ant.... i think i will consider using a VMWare... from what you described, i think its worth a try.... :D
     
  18. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    If you plan to use VMWare, make sure you have lots of memory.
    It will significantly increase performance.

    Plug-in the USB after you have started the virtual machine.
    That way the host machine will not see it, but your VM will ;) ;) ;)
     
  19. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Fire-Ant.

    That is cool. :cool:

    It seems like Microsoft's Virtual PC.

    How would you compare the two?
    Have you tried both?

    I wonder if this could be used to confuse installed rootkits so they couldn't monitor you?
     
  20. Newkid

    Newkid Spyware Fighter

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  21. Fire-Ant

    Fire-Ant Registered Member

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    I have both, but I prefer VMWare, because it's better when tweaking the VM.
    (and it's not microsoft......) ;)
    I have no idea about the effect on rootkits, but if you suspect one on your system:
    At sysinternals (www.sysinternals.com) download (free)
    Process Explorer v.841 from the utils-page and run it. Most hidden proggies will show up here ! :D
     
  22. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Newkid.
    VMware supports more MS OS than MS!! :D

    Thanks Fire-Ant.
    Process Explorer is a great program.
    I don't think I have a rootkit, :eek: but it never hurts to check!
     
  23. terrypratchettfan

    terrypratchettfan Registered Member

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    If I use my own laptop on a network, will security programs in the network detect sites I have visited at home using my own Internet connection, and, if so, how can I avoid this?
     
  24. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    If it is a computer you use at the workplace, supplied by the workplace and used both at the workplace and home, yes.

    If it is your personal computer only, I don't see why they would let you hook it up to their network. Seems risky to me.

    Anyone else?
     
  25. terrypratchettfan

    terrypratchettfan Registered Member

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    The computer is my own personal laptop, and the system admin let us hook them up, and I have disabled file sharing, removed registry usage tracks using Spybot and deleted cache and Index.dat files. Will they still detect the visited sites?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2004
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