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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:05 PM   #1
bungiefan89
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iMac back from Apple Store after repair... tapped?

A few weeks ago, I noticed some corruption in the screen of my 27" 2011 iMac. I have Apple Care, so I took it to an Apple Store and they took it in for repairs, completely replacing the screen with a new one.

I took the machine in to their store on Monday, and they called me Tuesday morning saying they were done with repairs. I wasn't able to pick it up until Friday, but now my iMac is back with me with a brand new working screen.

After this whole procedure (where I left my entire computer in the hands of other people for about 5 days) I'm a little spooked at the possibility that someone may have tapped my computer or taken some files from it.

I know it sounds a little silly, but I've read news stories about some guy who fixed people's Macbooks and made it so they would constantly spy on the users with the built-in webcam. I'm also a bit concerned about the fact that for all that time they had access to my hard drive, which contains quite a few sensitive files and password information on it.

I guess what I'm asking is... is there anything I can do to make sure nobody took information from my harddrive or in some way or another put at tap on my computer while it was sitting at the Apple Store for 5 days?
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:08 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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Check the Console for hints for activity during that time period.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:12 PM   #3
ratfink
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Assuming you gave them an administrator account to login, which I think is common practice when getting a repair, there's nothing you can do to be sure they haven't copied files. Checking the console would tell you if they logged in (and didn't delete the logs), but that is to be expected if they want to verify the system works after it was repaired.

As far as picking up on any monitoring software that was installed... sure, there are tools you can use to detect rootkits and keyloggers, but you'll need to learn a lot about computer forensics to make use of them. If you're worried, do a backup and clean install. Then just reinstall whatever apps you use and restore data like bookmarks and address books (not binaries).

It's very common practice, IMHO, for employees at big box retailers to do a search for nude pics on any system that comes in for repairs. It's also possible at an Apple store. But honestly they are the last place I'd expect it to happen.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:18 PM   #4
Peace
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If your that paranoid just reinstall the OS and change all your passwords.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:21 PM   #5
maflynn
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If your that paranoid just reinstall the OS and change all your passwords.
That's the safest and most complete solution to the OPs question. For nothing else it will give him peace of mind. I highly recommend that the OP has a backup of his data though
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:34 PM   #6
OLDCODGER
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This is the very reason why I run my OS and Apps from an external Firewire drive, with my data on yet another ext drive. The relatively slow boot-up is irrelevant, since I rarely reboot/shutdown.

Last edited by OLDCODGER; Jan 5, 2013 at 05:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:37 PM   #7
spartacvs
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Just do a clean install if you're that worried.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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This is the very reason why I run my OS and Apps from an external Firewire drive, with my data on yet another ext drive. The relatively slow boot-up is irrelevant, since I rarely reboot/shutdown.
How often do you have to give your Mac away?

I only had to do that once in 8 years with 5 or so Macs.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:43 PM   #9
OLDCODGER
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How often do you have to give your Mac away?

I only had to do that once in 8 years with 5 or so Macs.
How many times have you used your home insurance?
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:45 PM   #10
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How many times have you used your home insurance?
Zero? I think I am not getting it, but then again, it is not my forte.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:53 PM   #11
OLDCODGER
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Zero? I think I am not getting it, but then again, it is not my forte.
One takes out insurance in the hope that it will never be needed, but is there just in case. I don't know when/if my Mac will fail, but I won't be able to take action after it fails.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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One takes out insurance in the hope that it will never be needed, but is there just in case. I don't know when/if my Mac will fail, but I won't be able to take action after it fails.
I understand, that is why I make backups. And if you have that concern (tapping or snooping while in repair), then that is a valid choice of yours to boot from an external HDD or SSD. I just never came upon someone doing that regularly.
I booted several machines from external drives or my Mac's HDD/SSD for troubleshooting or using that other machines more powerful ingredients.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 06:06 PM   #13
bungiefan89
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It's very common practice, IMHO, for employees at big box retailers to do a search for nude pics on any system that comes in for repairs. It's also possible at an Apple store. But honestly they are the last place I'd expect it to happen.
lol I'm not quite so worried about THAT, but I am worried that someone may have peeked at a particular text document on my HDD that has bank passwords written on it and stuff like that...

And for reference, no, I did NOT give them my administrator password. All they did with my iMac was replace the screen inside the computer, which I don't think they need to access my HDD for anyway.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 06:34 PM   #14
BlazednSleepy
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If you didn't give them your password then you have nothing to worry about. All they needed to do was replace the screen and turn it on to the log in screen to make sure it's working fine.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 06:43 PM   #15
Chuckstones
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Following an advanced replacement. My original imac was picked up by courier yesterday to be returned to apple.
I never did a reinstall as I was assured they would wipe the machine anyway!!

Now I'm crapping myself!
I only spoke to Jimmy Saville briefly in the 70's!!:
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 06:57 PM   #16
Intell
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I feel like playing devil's advocate here. Even if you didn't give them your password, they could have still viewed all of your data. The only way they couldn't have was be using FileVault.

You can always do what I do when I have to reluctantly send in one of my machines. Put in a drive and zero it out. Send it in like that. It usually comes back with a fresh installation of the current OS.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
lol I'm not quite so worried about THAT, but I am worried that someone may have peeked at a particular text document on my HDD that has bank passwords written on it and stuff like that...

And for reference, no, I did NOT give them my administrator password. All they did with my iMac was replace the screen inside the computer, which I don't think they need to access my HDD for anyway.
Bank passwords in a text document on your desktop is a horrible idea, even if your Mac never leaves your home. At least throw that into an encrypted disk image.

They wouldn't need your password, they can use Target Disk Mode to get at your files.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:10 PM   #18
harcosparky
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I keep EVERYTHING external to the iMac except the OS and a few APPS.

Should the unthinkable occur, all that goes in will be the OS and those few APPS.

I do not like depending on the internal drive for anything of significant value.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by OLDCODGER View Post
One takes out insurance in the hope that it will never be needed, but is there just in case. I don't know when/if my Mac will fail, but I won't be able to take action after it fails.
I use the same setup as you do - OS & Apps on an external SSD connected via USB 3.0 for my new iMac. No way I'm going to open that one up to pull a drive.

On my MacPro it is a simple matter to pull the drive, and pulling the SSD in my MBP is not that difficult.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:30 PM   #20
2012Tony2012
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It's not silly to be concerned, never trust anyone with your personal information.

Change everything, all passwords etc and then use disk utility and create an encrypted drive.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 08:09 PM   #21
Brian Y
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They won't have done anything to your computer. A) they don't have time. B) It's more than their jobs are worth to do that (and I imagine they have CCTV on them )
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 11:01 PM   #22
Arman
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Zero? I think I am not getting it, but then again, it is not my forte.
lol. yeah, I'm not following either. If you paranoid about people accessing your data like your roomate then just put a password on your screensaver or something. Unless every night you unhook your externals and lock them away in a safe don't see a reason to do this.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 11:32 PM   #23
2012Tony2012
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They won't have done anything to your computer. A) they don't have time. B) It's more than their jobs are worth to do that (and I imagine they have CCTV on them )
Your comments are full of assumptions!!!
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 11:37 PM   #24
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Your comments are full of assumptions!!!
As is the premise of this thread.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 11:40 PM   #25
shoulin333
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You should check every shiny object in your house i heard there may be cameras in there too. lol

... really you can't worry about stuff like that. If you are really that worried format your machine and re-install OSX
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