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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Has my MacBook Been Hacked?

Has my MacBook Been Hacked?
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westminster
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Feb 24, 2008, 10:40 AM
 
I need some advice!

While I was listening to Itunes, I suddenly heard in the background someone typing! I now have the feeling that a hacker somehow got access to my laptp (Mac Book Pro)! How do I find out? Can someone get access to my in-built webcam? Somehow very worried about that!

Please help!
     
naphtali
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Feb 24, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
How often has it occurred? Once? More?

Do you use video-conferencing applications (iChat, Skype etc) often, or leave them open while you work?

I know this sounds silly, but are you new to your MacBook Pro, such that it might alarm you that your keyboard makes as much noise as it does when you type?

Or perhaps it's a case of bad audio recording - artifacts in the sound that resemble typing?

Or how about environmental noise?

It's not quite likely that you've been compromised that way (certainly haven't heard any such case). But one way to check would be to open see what applications are active
  • Cmd+Tab to bring up the application switcher and see if you have any applications that might use your webcam
  • Or, more definitively, open Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor for a more complete list of running processes and see if there is anything suspicious.


(And you've definitely posted in the wrong forum, so you can probably expect to be moved to the MacBook section.
     
MarkLT1
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Feb 24, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by westminster View Post
Can someone get access to my in-built webcam? Somehow very worried about that!
For the web cam, the green "cam active" light is on a hardware switch, such that there is no software override to turn it off. In other words, if the green light is not on, the camera is not active. If the green light is randomly coming on, you might want to be a bit more worried.
     
Big Mac
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Feb 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
 
Can someone change the title of this thread? It's bothering me quite a bit.

Thank the mods!
( Last edited by Big Mac; Feb 24, 2008 at 01:52 PM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
hedmisten
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Feb 24, 2008, 02:53 PM
 
I would say that it is unlikely to be hacked to the point of you hearing the hacker type. I've done some monitored hacking for security purposes for larger corporations and I would definitely make sure that my keyboard or microphone was not being broadcast while I hacked. Check your music, especially if it is downloaded through a third party app. It could be that joe blow was recording the song to share on his computer mic while typing. Make sure it was not just the song. Let us know if you hear it anymore.

Hunter
08 Whitebook 2.2 2.0.120.
     
mduell
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Feb 24, 2008, 04:10 PM
 
How do you hear someone typing on your computer?
     
ghporter
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Feb 24, 2008, 07:21 PM
 
Title fixed. As mduell says, what do you mean by "I suddenly heard in the background someone typing!"? The possibility of someone actually invading your computer while you're using it is infinitesimally small, unless you've opened a very large door and basically invited them in, so what exactly you're reporting and what is going on in the background as naphtali asks are very important questions.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
wataru
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Feb 24, 2008, 07:34 PM
 
You think you got hacked because you "heard someone typing?" That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
     
amazing
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Feb 24, 2008, 09:19 PM
 
What you heard was hard drive activity, either some indexing going on, writing to disk, or something else. It has a staccato tempo and sound. Under the right circumstances, it can sound quite loud.

Nothing else, no hacking.
     
himself
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Feb 24, 2008, 09:23 PM
 
Do you have Safari (or some other web browser) running in the background? I've been startled by some of these newfangled flash-based advertisements that play audio... I'm willing to bet that -- or something similar -- is the cause.
"Bill Gates can't guarantee Windows... how can you guarantee my safety?"
-John Crichton
     
westminster  (op)
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Feb 25, 2008, 08:21 AM
 
I heard someone typing as being connected to another computer. I was not connected to Skype or MSN messenger, but there was someone in the background, typing, as if you where talking via skype and someone types! Sorry I caused some confusion by my posting.

@himself: yes, I use safari! Probably it really just was a flash-based advertisment.

Thanks everyone!
     
Gankdawg
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Feb 25, 2008, 11:14 AM
 
ummmmmm.......restart?
     
anthology123
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Feb 25, 2008, 05:12 PM
 
Doubt if it's a hacker. They like to come in stealth, not be noticed, so any hacker that would let audio come in from their location to yours and broadcast it on your speakers, is well, either an arrogant or stupid hacker. And there are very few of the latter.
     
Eriamjh
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Feb 28, 2008, 08:08 AM
 
If you hear heavy breathing when you are using the computer naked, then you should worry.

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
ctt1wbw
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Feb 28, 2008, 09:34 AM
 
Have you checked the... children?
     
imitchellg5
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Feb 28, 2008, 12:19 PM
 
Maybe somebody behind you is typing? Or Spotlight's still indexing the HD?
     
   
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