How to keep a check(read spy) on a PC using my MB?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ImNoSuperMan, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    I m currently using a netgear WGR614v5 wifi router at my home. I access net through it`s wifi on my MB and my office staff PC is connected to net using the LAN port on the router.

    Now I want to keep a track of whatever is going on this PC using my MB through this router. Whatever is accessed on net should be reported to me there n then. I also want to access the PC`s hard drive without any need for passwords from PC side, whenever I wish to.

    Which software should I get for this. This is really serious and I wont mind paying upto 50$(maybe more) for the software required. But if there`s a freeware available for this job, then I`ll definitely give that a try first.

    And in case it`s not possible to get it done on OSX then please tell me bout the XP options available.

    Thanx in advance.
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Apr 27, 2006
    I'm not sure your router has one, but most have an admin panel. My router's admin panel has a page which shows in/out ips, domains, and filenames. Check the manual? Otherwise, you could look for some sort of "spyware" which would save its own of incoming/outgoing network taffic. They also come in a couple of flavors, some of which record keystrokes..ect. If you want to block sites from your staff PC, that's also possible. Tools>>Internet Options>>Content or Security (can't remember which) and block sites.

    As for access to the drives, you could just turn sharing on the PCs drive. Then all you have to do is turn Windows File Sharing (smb) on in your Mac's preferences panel. Once you've done that, its a case of clicking on Network in finder and mounting the PCs hardrive.

    EDIT: Just had a thought, if you want to watch LIVE screen activity on your Mac, you could install a VNC program of some sort. Look up VNC on Google.
  3. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Also, there are many PC key loggers, both soft and physical. They can save a special hidden, and/or encrypted file to the PCs HD, that you can read later. The physical ones store the strokes in flash memory, that you have to upload later. Most people don’t know about routers logging ip requests and routing, but this monitoring feature can be virtually disabled if a person uses a portal service that makes their browsing anonymous. What you will see is a set of address that are similar, or the same. If you were to trap the data, you would see a set of encrypted instructions as to what sites the person want to see, and a return of encrypted data back that contains the site. But this is expensive, and leaves a trail. Spy ware programs can also see some VNCs, VPNs, keylogers, etc… FYI. Some physical firewalls will also thart your efforts. Some physical firewalls will also thwart your efforts.

    Some legal and ethical concerns (really just to bring up debate. I think you stated your purpose well. I don't doubt the need.):

    In short, contact an HR specialist before you embark on this.

    If you’re an employer, at least 2 states require that you let employees know that they are being actively surveyed at. Most other states allow companies to add it to the had book, and some allow the assumption that an employer will monitor their own resources with out haveing a policy.

    Parents and guardians can monitor their kids, but you really don’t have any rites with the rest of your family, unless they are incompetent.

    If the person you do this to is at any time a government employee while using the PC (lets say an , then you have just committed a felony (separate to violating any number of wiretapping and surveillance laws. Government employees are basically chattel for all intents and purposes, and some odd laws apply.) Also, if your state does not have specific laws concerning electronic surveillance, the person(s) you servile may sue and win damages. You are generally going to loose a jury trial, because nobody likes to be spied on, legal or not.

    What this all comes down to, is even if your right, and prove some sort of crime, you may end up being wrong. So, for example, you prove that your spouse is cheating on you might end validating their arguments or end up in trouble because you use illegal means to get the evidence. There are gray areas, and ultimately, lawyers can argue anything.

    If you are using this for an experiment, depending of the experiment, lack of full disclosure may prevent publication. While this may lead to a bias or adversely affect the experiment, lack of full disclosure can, for some human subject experiments, may put you in a world where you won’t get published. (I can’t see why this would be the case, but I also don’t know if your running an experiment.)

    Any way, I won’t harp on the ethical issues. You are likely doing this for very good reasons and have thought about the morals and ethics that guide your behavior. I just mentiond them because I thought it might cause a debate.

    What do you think is going on with the PC or the employee?
  4. ImNoSuperMan thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    thanx iDuck and Eniregnat for your responses.
    Yes the router does have this feature. Actually I got this idea of spying only after I saw a log of recent websites accessed from my Mb and the staff PC while reconfiguring the wireless router. But it`s presented in a really cumbersome manner. I have to copy the name of the url from the admin panel and then go to that add in order to find out what was going on that PC.

    Nothing really serious. I just wanted to get the spyware installed to make sure no one is wasting time over the net by chatting/surfing pr0n,playing solitare:eek: , or anything else One is not supposed to do in office hours.

    My first idea was to get that software installed on the PC and and show it off to my staff, so that they know I can check them whenever I wish to without even being physically present in the office. That wud`ve been more then enough to make sure no one wastes any time and sticks to his job only. There is no point in giving them a chance to do something they arent supposed to and then punishing them when they are caught. And if something gets really serious then I`ll have to fire him as not doing so will put bad example for the rest of the staff. As they say Prevention is always better than cure.

    But now I m not sure if I should tell`em or not after reading your post. Afterall it`s my PC, my office, they are working for me. i dont think I will get in troble once I`ve already told them that the office PC is always being watched by me. But why take any chance.

    I think I`ll go for an even simpler way out. I`ll just put a video camera in the office. This way they`ll know i m watching them and wont waste any time and concentrate on work only. Also after taking a look at all the VNC softwares available, I m really confused which one is better. It`ll be such a hassle to install them on the PC. I`ll just turn on File sharing in case I need to access any data on PC HDD.

    Anyways, thanx once again for your replies.
  5. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    Use a RAT (i.e. Trojan) such as CIA or Beast. Google it carefully and ye shall find.
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    hmmmm.....employees who feel trusted and valued are going to do a better job for you than employees who feel that they're not being treated as part of the team

    if you want good employees you're going to have to treat them with respect or you're not going to get respect in return
  7. Mojo67821 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2006
    Big Brother! Viva la revolucion!
  8. applebum macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2003
    I have always wondered about this employee mentality. Is the work getting done properly, on time, and efficiently? If so, what does it matter if they play solitaire, or surf the net?? If the work is not getting done (and you are giving them ample time) then there is obviously some goofing off going on.

    Employees need breaks and some down time. Sometimes they can be more efficient if they stop thinking about work for a minute or two.

    You obviously know whether the work is being done or not, but you can figure that out without spying. Other than the pron aspect, is it really that bad if employees do some non work activity at times?

    Of course, this is just my opinion.
  9. wxboss macrumors member


    May 13, 2006
    Jax, FL
    I can see the OP's need for this. I work in a pretty big company, and they have the pcs locked down tight when it comes to Security. Webamail sites are blocked, no IM clients allowed and certain other popular non-threatening sites are disabled as well.

    It's not that the employees can't be trusted per say, but that their computers could be compromised bringing down the entire network (yes they are Windows machines, and our network has been down for days at a time).

    Protecting a companies virtual assests, data and information is more important than surfing the Net at work. That's what a home pc is for, IMHO.
  10. jblock macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2006
    A clearly written Internet and e-mail access and usage policy, given to every employee and supported by monitoring software if you choose, is the most respectful way to deal with this for employees and the employer.
  11. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe

    Wow, and I thought my office was strict! I'm glad I don't work there! :eek:
  12. applebum macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2003
    You're not posting this from work are you? :eek: :D
  13. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC

    Evil vikas soni, couldn't you just put a proxy in place to block certain web URLs and ports? No need to monitor, just block it all together.
  14. ImNoSuperMan thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    I dont actually need to monitor everything going on the PC. As you can see I m opting for a simple Video Camera in the office instead. I m not evil. I dont really mind if they spend some time doing such stuff. but atleast they should know that they are watched. I might not even turn on the camera for even half an hour a day. I dont have that much time to waste. This is only to ensure that the office discipline is not compromised.

    Thankfully my staff doesnt think like you and is pretty happy working with me. I m sure they`ll understand. And just in case I sense that they are not exactly happy with it, I might discard the idea altogether. I have that much understanding with my staff.

    I do agree with you but me, as an employer, too needs some kind of assurance that works going on as it should even when I m not present in the office. This is just kinda preventive measure. Why give anyone a chance to go wrong at the first place. BTW I dont really mind if they take some time off to relax, but what I wont accept is that they do so thinking I dont know and try to fool me.

    On an average, about twice a week I give half(sometimes whole) day off to an employee without any pay cuts if he has a good enough reason for it(I mean some emergency, or something which cant be postponed till tomm). Yes, no pay cuts at all. They dont ask me for it. But most of the times i dont cut their salary out of my own will. All I want is that they tell me bout the situation. And never even once I`ve rejected any such request.

    So I guess i m not that EVIL a few of you are thinking.:eek: The only reason i m doing this is to atleast have the option of checking/spying on the staff in case I smell something fishy in the future.
  15. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    I'm just saying that there are some things that need to be taken care of 9-5 M-F that I use the web for. If my employer didnt allow me to take care of some personal things during business hours, I would have a very hard time working there. I feel like I'm much more productive when I can take a 15min break here or there when I feel I need it without having to worry about whether I'm being watched or if I'm going to get fired for it. But thats just my $0.02 I guess.
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Personally, I think you'd be better off setting reasonable performance goals and ensuring that they met them. If they can do so while browsing the web four hours a day, who cares? They would have met your agreed-upon goals.
  17. celebrian23 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    Under the sun
    If you insist on this spying stuff, I think you should tell them about it.It's not fair to them if they don't know what you expect- that they are on task and you'll be watching to make sure they are on task.
  18. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    This reminds me of a Daily Show feature, what I remember is the title:

    O Big Brother, Where Art Thou?

    I don't know why, I just thought it was funny. Unless you live somewhere where they didn't release the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
  19. Goliath macrumors regular


    Jul 28, 2004
    A supermarket I once worked for had large amounts of fresh meat produce going 'missing'- far too much to attribute to customer theft. It was decided that the only explanation was that staff were stealing.

    So without anyone being informed "spy" cameras were installed in staff areas- turned out the night crew were helping themselves to juicy steaks, lamb etc and using the canteen facilities to cook their 'stolen' goods.

    All members of the night crew were hauled before management and shown the footage and summarily dissmissed- however the company didn't have a written policy informing the workers they could be subjected to covert video survailance and their contracts of employment didn't specifically state this either.

    The workers appealed on the grounds that such evidence was obtained without consent and was a breach of their human rights as set out in The Human Rights Act and was therefore inadmissable.

    At tribunal the covert evidence was eventually allowed and the summary dismissals were upheld- but not without a lot of legal wrangling and the company only just managed to use the footage in their defence
  20. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

    Dec 8, 2005
    The Opium Garden
    Agreed 100% - as long as work is getting done on time, who cares if your top sales person is surfing mac rumors while at work ;)
  21. killuminati macrumors 68020


    Dec 6, 2004
    I agree with a few of the other people here. If work is getting done, who cares if they take a few minutes off now and then to surf the web or check something out.

    Your employees shouldn't be scared to take a break and read the news for a moment. Or look up some information for a family vacation.

    If your employees enjoy where they work and want to accomplish their goals, they will be more efficient than if they don't enjoy it, but they are working 24/7.

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