Connected to suspected scam network

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by nitrusoxide, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. nitrusoxide macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    Hello. This is my first post, so please let me know if this isn't the correct location for my question.

    Well, I did something stupid the other day. I was at Borders in the cafe and was trying to find a free WiFi signal so I wouldn't have to pay TMobile. I saw one called 'Free Public WiFi' and I guess my sensible side was taking a bathroom break or something because I clicked on it right away. I connected to it and realized it was listed under Computer-To-Computer networks. My sensible side came running back and I quickly disconnected and turned my AirPort off.

    Is there a way to check to see if my computer has been compromised? I'm fairly new to Macs so I'm not sure if there's a SOP that I can follow to help see if my Macbook is OK.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  3. nitrusoxide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #3
    I'd say for about half a minute. I don't think that's enough time to do any serious damage, but I'd still like to check my computer out just in case.
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Well, there's no magic check to see if you've been compromised. That would kind of defeat the purpose of hacking if it was easy to figure out you've been there.

    However, it's HIGHLY unlikely that within 30 seconds someone managed to compromise your computer.

    It would probably take them that long to figure out it was a Mac and to run the appropriate scripts to try and take over your box.

    If you think you've been compromised, the ONLY safe thing to do is to erase and install the OS again, or restore from a backup that existed before the possible compromise.
     
  5. nitrusoxide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    Yeah what's keeping me from really worrying is that I have a Mac so whatever scripts or programs they might have been running probably wouldn't work.

    Thanks for the reassurance. I guess I'll be a little more careful in the future.
     
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #6
    I'd be more concerned about what you were doing while on the network. This type of "scam" usually sniffs traffic for usernames/passwords that may be sent in plain text or may capture traffic for later decrypting...
     
  7. nitrusoxide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #7
    I didn't do anything while connected. I connected, realized it was probably a scam, then disconnected. I'm more concerned with something being automatically installed on my computer or something. Or being at risk when I connect to any other WiFi networks.
     
  8. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #8
    As far as I'm aware, there aren't any loopholes in OS X which allow such a thing to happen without user participation (ie, a trojan).


    You'd know if something had happened, you would have been asked to install it or something...
     
  9. admiraldennis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    "Free Public WiFi" is the unexpected result of a somewhat-buggy feature in Windows.

    The ad-hoc networks you saw were actually other people's laptops -- connecting to them would have done nothing. It's not a honeypot network or an scam. You have nothing to worry about.
     
  10. nitrusoxide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #10
    Really? Wow, I had no idea. That puts my mind at ease, thanks.
     
  11. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #11
    As others here have already pointed out, Mac OS X is not Windows.

    In any event, Mac or Windows, in order to get onto the other box, a means has to be provided. Now, in the case of Windows, there may be multiple ways this could be achieved, but in Mac OS X, unless the other person knows a user account on your machine to use AND knows the password, there's really nothing for them to do.

    And not meaning to be critical, but... how is it you do not know Mac OS X is more secure than Windows, seeing as how you apparently switched? What was it you switched for?
     
  12. nitrusoxide thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #12
    I know that Macs are more secure than Windows, but not any specifics of how they are so.

    I was a hardcore PC guy, but then got older and got bored with them. I wanted a new toy so I got a Mac.
     
  13. japresl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #13
    are free wireless networks not a safe thing? Should you not connect to a network offered by places like Borders??
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    This depends entirely on your level of paranoia.

    No, they are not "safe". They are unmanaged and open to everyone, regardless of one's nefarious tendencies.
     
  15. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #15
    If it makes you feel better you could have been just as bad off connecting to it if it wasn't a computer-to-computer network. If your computer could have been compromised it could have been done if you had connected to a router instead. Who else was on that router? You don't know. You might as well be directly connected to them.
     

Share This Page