a highly confidential divorce document appeared on desk top ... HOW is that possible?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by milligan, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. milligan macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    How is this possible?

    My friend has a macbook and wireless internet at her house.

    She is not connected to any network of any sort.

    Her computer froze. When she restarted it was slow to start.

    When it did re start she discovered a new pdf file on her desktop that had not been there previously.

    Upon further inspection it turned out to be a highly confidential legal document

    an affidavit of a friend of hers messy divorce!

    Is this even possible? It seems it wasn't emailed.

    It is HIGHLY unlikely that anyone else has used her computer.

    Any ideas greatly appreciated!
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Wireless network (not secure) + file sharing permission = potential stuff on your computer

    Or somebody has been using her computer

    Or magic
  3. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Yep. WEP and WPA aren't "secure", either - in fact on LifeHacker there was a lightweight OS that was meant just for breaking WEP keys. WPA2 is probably the closest one can be to having a "secure" wireless network.
  4. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    the wireless is secure

    yes the wireless is secure, ie there is a long and complicated password to access their wireless internet.

    I have no idea of her file sharing permissions.

    The idea of someone using her computer is VERY creepy indeed.
    It implies a break in. Not to mention that very few people would have access to this document (dated just 9 days ago)

    It would be preferable to discover that is was technically possible for a pdf file to appear on a laptop .... it seems like magic, its pretty damn weird
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    WEP can be broken by mortals. WPA on the other hand... well it just requires a LOT of time and effort. Anyway, if you had a freeze with your computer then restarting the computer would have not saved any file location movements and thus reset to a previous file location state. This is the most likely occurrence of what happened. Remember the simplest answer is usually the right one, so don't go getting paranoid that your network is being compromised (though I would recommend changing your wifi password to be safe).
  6. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Hi Gimmie Slack

    sorry not too sure what you are saying,

    I agree the most simple answer is most likely to be the right one.

    So you were saying yes it is possible for a file to appear.

    There is no way anyone could break the password.

    Also no one would spend time on this. My friend is in no way connected to the divorce but she does know the people involved. So no one would spend time getting it onto her computer. It is far more likely to be an accident. But the point being how?
    All people involved are extreamly un computer savy to the best of my knowledge
  7. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Its as close to certain as can be that your friend or her friend did something that put it there (for example, did her friend pop a memory stick in to have a look at it?) and then forgot about it, its easy enough to accidentally drag and drop something in the wrong place. If the FOAF did it maybe she is saying nothing as its embarrassing to admit she used your friends computer without permission and easier to pretend super hackers are watching her every move and that of her friends. User error, compounded maybe by user lying.
  8. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    Did she accidentally drag it to her desktop? I accidentally dragged a thread from Macrumors to my desktop once and I didn't see it until I was about to turn off my computer.
  9. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Yes, I guess the most likely thing is it got there by someone using her computer.

    Its weird though, she lives in a VERY remote area, the document is very recent

    and confidential, so unlikely to have been on anyones memory stick except the very expensive lawyers!

    She could have accidentally dragged it from mail. except she has no mail with it attached, and neither should she as its not something that should have been sent to her.
    Its pretty weird!

    Oh another thing, perhaps not related but happened at the same time.

    Her wireless internet became much better! The house is big and old with very thick walls so it meant having to stay in 2 rooms for internet.

    suddenly she can access it from the other side of the house!!!
  10. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Or the FOAF's memory stick:) I'm presuming the FOAF been to your friends house recently? Or scarier, does your friend think not, but does the FOAF have a key? And perhaps a broken computer?
  11. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009

    yes, the more you say it, the more this seems to be most likely, because the girlfriend of the guy getting the divorce was in the house recently.
    Though not seen on the computer!

    So it seems this is more likely the answer rather than it magically appearing
    from the lawyers office!
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    does she chat online with this friend? using ichat or skype or any one a number of IM chat software? A lot of those can be used to transfer documents too If she and her friend had left a chat window open after chatting, and people do that all the time, then the friend might have later sent it to her by accident, putting it into the wrong window by mistake, and neither of them might have realized it until your friend found it downloaded to her desktop later after the crash.

    ah! the plot thickens! was she there with the guy getting the divorce? perhaps she had a moment of access to his thumb drive and snuck off to use the computer to do a little spying? if so, perhaps failed to realize she had copied the file to the desktop? or perhaps she put a copy there intentionally so somebody would find it and read all the bad stuff about her bf's ex?
  13. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    yes its a case for Miss Marple I think!

    I will get more details from my friend as to who was where and when!
  14. mantic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2007
  15. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Simple lesson, particularly with OS X . . . the weakest link in Apple's security system is keyboard access.
  16. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    So, chances are she did this to email it somewhere rather than look at it because if the bf let her look at it, why wouldn't she wait until later at his or her house rather than on someone elses computer and in enough of a rush to leave the evidence behind! Ahah !!!

    If your friend doesn't use a web mail service, check to see in the browser history if any have been accessed that she wouldn't use - like Yahoo, Hotmail, Google. She could also check her outgoing Mac mail as well.

    "Come Watson, the plot thickens !"
  17. milligan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009

    Got it!

    Thank you everyone for your help.

    No the lawyer is not hacking into my friends computer.

    Yes! The girlfriend of the guy getting the divorce did borrow the computer
    and was sending the document by email and somehow left it on the desktop
    then she forgot she had borrowed the computer!

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