Was someone trying to hack my wife's PC last night?

I was using my wifes PC last night for the first time in ages. It is hooked up to our DSL connection that has no firewall, and running Win98SE. I had the computer on for about 1/2 an hour.

When I went to shut it down, Windows gave me a message “A file is open for a user” or something like that, and asked if I still wanted to shut down, which I did.

I looked at the DSL modem and there appeared to be some activity on it. I am sure I terminated the executable that I ran on her PC before I shut her PC down.

I’m not too concerned about security on her PC as it is just a fresh, bare install of Win98SE and no other files on it… other than my little Executable so I’m not concerned about any information leaving, but I was curious as to the message I received as I shut down.

You’re right, Derleth, we’re so very sorry, we’ll try to use the correct terminology in the future.

Oops, force of habit.

Anyway, bernse, you probably have File and Printer sharing enabled – it’s under the Network section of the Control Panel. Someone on the network to which your DSL modem connects you was accessing the files that you were thus sharing on that network. If they didn’t have write permissions, there’s not much they can do.

Well, I know I do have sharing allowed on her PC as I do transfer the odd file between the two PCs of ours (only my PC and hers on the LAN) but mine was turned off at the time.

I guess I am wondering if it was someone browsing/opening her files via the net.

Well it’s possible it could be a trojan trying to “phone home”, but who knows. I would do as JRoot suggested and disable filesharing, and download this free firewall, it does the job well.


Go to grc.com and perform the Shield’s Up test. Follow the directions for fixing security holes.

RegisterUK article on a simple exploit of Microsoft’s notoriously lax Windows networking security.

Nice spin, there.

Password-protect your open shares at the very least. A firewall is a good idea, too. If you’re not used to configuring firewalls, I recommend ZoneAlarm. After it’s installed, every time you have network requests, a dialog comes up and asks if it’s okay, or if it should be blocked in the future. A very simple case-by-case approach.

You know, if you’re a little sloppy about the way you pronounce PC, this becomes a much more disturbing question.

Yes, but I already know who that person was.


Actually, um, never mind. I just realized how bad that sounded in conjunction with hack.

Yeah, see? Much more disturbing.

But at least you took it in the spirit it was intended. :wink:

“my little Executable”

That’s so cute! I’ve never heard it called that before.

go get ZoneAlarm, you should probably have it already. it should be a law for broadband users or something…