Author Topic: A question about hackers  (Read 2717 times)

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Offline Melissa

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A question about hackers
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:22:48 pm »
I keep getting phone calls from shady and random companies asking for a "Mrs Hardwicke"- not my name- and I am ex directory. I just got one  a few minutes ago and blew my top demanding who gave them my number and got the ambiguous response that my number and name ( the mysterious Mrs Hardwicke) were on a website with phone numbers. The idiot would not tell me the name of this website. I am at a loss as to how this can happen as only my close friends and family and employer has my home line- and I have never typed the number into order forms online or anything else online. My internet and phone company are at a loss as to how this keeps happening either and are powerless to stop it.
Anyway, this idiot got my Grandad's old police whistle down her ear and told NEVER to ring me again.
You Linux guys are IT experts- any ideas as to how this has happened? Anyway to track this shady website that has my number?
I am now also getting innundated with credit card junk mail as well. I have a mind to send them something nasty in their pre paid envelopes.
In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?

Using two computers- Peppermint on old HP laptop and Mint on new Dell netbook.

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 04:11:26 pm »
Once your details are out there it's very hard to do anything about it except to tackle each 'phone call as it comes and by preventing tracking of your web habits. Data about previous owners of your property will still be in use and I used to get lots of 'phone calls for the deceased previous owner of my home.  As for junk mail: don't get mad - just recycle it.
To give you an idea of just how your information gets around, try using a Mozilla-supplied Firefox Add-on called Collusion (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/collusion/).  The description says:
“Collusion is an experimental add-on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.”

As you visit web pages, you will be astonished how many companies are tracking you.  Once you are convinced, my advice is to remove the add-on as it does slow down your computer. 
The next thing I did was to install two Firefox Add-ons:
DoNotTrackMe  (https://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php)
MaskMe   (https://www.abine.com/maskme/)

DoNotTrackMe blocks almost all tracking except for things essential to the website being visited.  An icon appears on the Address Toolbar that displays unobtrusively how many organisations are tracking you on each web page – I've blocked a total of >5000 attempts in the last month.  Even LinuxForums is tracked by Google Analytics and three social media sites. 
MaskMe is a great way of providing fictitious (but working) Email addresses, for example when ordering something on-line.  You can manage all your fictitious addresses and delete any that send you spam, or simply if you feel like it.  The demos shows you how it all works and I use it frequently.
Both services are free, although there are other, paid-for, services if you need them. 

Hope this helps a little. 
[Edit: Of course tracking does not reveal your identity - just targets web advertising - but stopping it provides a warm feeling]
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 04:30:58 pm by Keith »

Offline Melissa

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 07:36:19 pm »
Wow Keith they are awesome thanks! Just downloaded them. I hate these intrusive control freaks and love that I can stop them tracking me. Brilliant! Can this be downloaded on Microsoft also? Was just thinking of my Mum.
In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?

Using two computers- Peppermint on old HP laptop and Mint on new Dell netbook.

Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 08:41:55 pm »
As long as she uses Firefox .. yup.

[EDIT]

Be aware, not all tracking is necessarily a bad thing .. this site uses Google Analytics for things like tracking what search terms people visiting the site are entering, so if necessary I could write a tutorial which helps both searchers and hopefully this sites ranking, etc.

It does NOT allow us to track your movements around the web.. just gives us useful anonymous data on visitors to THIS site and the search terms (and possibly links) that brought them here, but ONLY those search terms, no others.

The facebook and google+ buttons were requested, and are only AFAIK tracked when clicked (by them not us).

In the right hands, tracking of anonymous data isn't a bad thing .. but like everything else it'll be abused by some.

As pointed out, the analytics data is anonymous .. and is NOT where your name, address or phone number came from.

But by all means, feel free to block it :)

--
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 09:11:20 pm by Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec) »
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root'

logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 08:43:15 pm »
You beat me to it!

Offline SeZo

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 09:02:13 pm »
Quote
I keep getting phone calls from shady and random companies asking for a "Mrs Hardwicke"- not my name- and I am ex directory. I just got one  a few minutes ago and blew my top demanding who gave them my number and got the ambiguous response that my number and name ( the mysterious Mrs Hardwicke) were on a website with phone numbers.

They got A number but not YOUR number (unless you provide them with details of your identity as a result of that call).
Just because your number is ex-directory that does not mean that it cannot be obtained or indeed generated.
There is also Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Dunno how effective it is though.
As a rule we DO NOT answer ANY calls unless it is from known sources.
Callers are invited to leave a message on the answer phone. You be surprised how few does that. :D

Offline salparadise

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 06:02:53 am »
You're wasting your time with "do not track me" plugins and "ooh, I'm so safe now" plugins. All they do is raise a large flashing light above your head that says "cooee, I'm over here, trying to hide".

Even if you successfully avoid tracking cookies, your ISP is bound, by law, to keep a track of all the pages you request and visit. Those records have to be kept for 5 years and are viewable by anyone with Government permission (or access to ISP servers via NSA backdoors).
Computers are not entertainment devices into which surveillance-ware has been added. They are surveillance devices with entertainment things added to disguise them.

Just accept it - if you use the internet, everything you do is known. If you have a bank account, mortgage, landlord, any kind of medical records, etc, you are known. If you give your phone number only to friends, who is to say they haven't been hacked? All State agencies sell your data to private companies. You are a commodity to be traded.

There is no privacy, there is only bravery.

Seek the truth.
Speak the truth.
Love everyone.
Until the day you die.
What else is there?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 06:12:57 am by salparadise »
Be silent, or say something better than silence.

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 12:45:21 pm »
Re SeZo's mention of the Telephone Preference Service:  I've found that it does have some useful effect but as it's not obligatory for cold-calling firms to use it, the less considerate, pushy calls are the ones we are left with.  Overall, I would say that my unwanted calls have reduced by about 80%, which is definitely worth having. 

The MaskMe Firefox Add-on also is definitely worth using as one can stop unwanted spam from a company to whom one has supplied a temporary email address simply by deleting it.  Who cares if they keep sending to it? - it's not there any more.  No doubt some email providers offer such a service, but mine doesn't. 

Offline Mad Penguin

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 01:06:21 pm »
IMHO TPS is a waste of space as it only applies to callers trying to call you from within the UK .. so international spam shops call centers don't have to pay any attention to it ... and these (for me) seem to make up the majority of time wasters callers ..

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 04:23:52 pm »
It's true about the UK bit, so perhaps you've just been unlucky, or perhaps you are more widely known than most of us.  I receive about one automated, international, spam call per year.  Perhaps I ought to get out more. 
Anyway; it's all about personal preference, and TPS certainly won't increase telephone spam. 

Offline Mad Penguin

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2013, 09:21:46 pm »
Interesting ... you register with an online service and leave your email address plus phone number, and remain confident it won't increase the spam you're sent ??

These numbers are available to UK spammers, they need to be so they can make sure your number is not on the TPS do not call list, before they call. Do you not think this list will be a valuable resource for spammers based outside the UK who are not subject to TPS rules?????

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2


Offline Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2013, 09:52:19 pm »
Good point.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root'

logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 10:33:03 pm »
Good point about the phone number.  All I can say is that It made a very big difference to the number of cold calls I received - from several a week to several a year.   Perhaps the TPS checks the bona fides of participating companies. That would be worth checking. 

I'm not sure what you mean about "leaving my Email address with them".  The TPS doesn't collect Email addresses (hence the name).  I give my Email address to only those organisations (such as this Forum) that I trust.  If I buy on-line, I use MaskMe to provide a unique, temporary address that I can delete any time I like.  So if a supplier spams me I can choose to:
  • accept it (e.g. a radio spares supplier of interest to me)
  • unsubscribe or
  • delete the email address
I guess from the tenor of your post that you have not tried any of these methods, but since taking these measures I have no significant problem with 'phone or Email spam.  What more can I say?



Offline Mad Penguin

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 03:10:00 pm »
TPS does collect email addresses, which it then uses to send you reminders every 12 months, which is the length of time a TPS entry lasts unless you renew it. I don't know if there is an option for them to call instead of emailing, but given the context I feel this would be counter-productive (!) This is the last email I had from them for example;

Code: [Select]
Return-Path: ctps@mpsonline.mx00.com
Received: from mail.linux.co.uk (LHLO mail.linux.co.uk) (193.111.184.12) by mail.linux.co.uk with LMTP; Wed, 1 May 2013 16:12:10 +0100 (BST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at mail.linux.co.uk
Received: from mail.linux.co.uk ([127.0.0.1]) by localhost (mail.linux.co.uk [127.0.0.1]) (amavisd-new, port 10024)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Type: text/plain
X-Mailer: MIME::Lite 3.020 (F2.73; T1.27; A1.77; B3.01; Q3.01)
Date: Wed, 1 May 2013 16:09:56 +0100
From: "CTPS Renewal"<ctps@mpsonline.mx00.com>
Subject: TPS registration confirmation
Message-Id: <20130501150956.901FE2F0AB8@mail2.mx00.com>

Thank-you for renewing your Corporate Telephone Preference Service subscr=
iption.  Your details will be held for a further 12 months.

Many thanks

The TPS Team
My point is that once they have your email address, it'll be kept somewhere on a database with your phone number. Whether this email address is then redistributed I don't know, but looking at the list of public bodies supplementing their incomes by selling personal contact details, I'm afraid nothing would surprise me. Most recent things I've seen is that council's are selling off details of local people for £5 a shot ...

Offline Keith

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Re: A question about hackers
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 05:00:40 pm »
Now you're beginning to worry me. 
I have not had any emails from them but, upon reflection, I seem to remember that I filled in a form when they first started the system, and posted it.  Years ago. 
The date on your example is May this year.  Do you subscribe to the service?  It would surprise me in view of your comments.
By "subscription" I presume they are not charging you?  But they have to get an income from somewhere, don't they?  Which means.....

This has started to interest me.  I'll come back if I find anything of interest.
Many thanks for the info.

 


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