Wireless Computer Question

I thought I knew as little about computers as anyone in the civilized world but now I think I’ve met someone who knows less.

One of my neighbors, a little old lady who is even older than me is claiming that her wireless Apple notebook has been hacked. Why she thinks that is something she won’t reveal; maybe she got a porno link by mistake but she insists it is hacked. As she described her set up to me she has a wireless modem that is connected to the internet via a cable (our condo association provides basic cable service through Brighthouse)and through some sort of hocus pocus her computer receives a signal from this wireless modem and it used to work perfectly until her computer was allegedly hacked. I told her I had no wireless equipment at all and knew nothing about it but she is convinced I just don’t want to be bothered, which is absolutely true. She is about to buy a desktop computer because “it isn’t wireless and can’t be hacked.” I don’t know who gave her that information; I told her I would consult my experts—so, experts, come to my assistance, please.

Is it even remotely possible that a hacking took place? If it did, is a non-wireless desktop computer safer than a wireless notebook computer? For what it is worth, I think what she is calling a modem is actually a router connected to a modem supplied by Brighthouse—I haven’t seen it nor do I intend to.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I’m no expert but I have heard it is def possible to hack wireless machines in several diff ways.

I have a similar setup to what you describe. I use Bluetooth for several devices and people can tap into their neighbors Bluetooth devices.

Also I have to run Wi-Fi on my modem so I can use the Internet on my phone and Wi-Fi can also be hacked by neighbors. I think they can do that by guessing the name of your Wi-Fi network and also your password. Wi-Fi requires a password.

I think you could get a lot of info from Google by searching for “hacking wireless PCs”

Look at this site:

http://www.wifi-hacker.org/

The people at the site above seem to be advertising that they can hack wireless PCs.

Thanks for your reply and the link. Maybe the old woman is right after all even though she won’t tell me why she is convinced that she’s been hacked.

This is just anecdotal, but my money would be on her having accidentally clicked on a link she shouldn’t have. Not porn, but any number of ads specifically designed to look like information you’re searching for, and it installed some kind of malware which is now interfering with her browser and computer in general. Hacking WiFi is certainly possible, but I think this is far more likely.

If this is true, you can go to her PC and Google for “antimalware”

You will get this link:

http://buy.malwarebytes.org/uk-usd/?sfc=sem-gs_nb_ca_en&gclid=CjwKEAiAw4e1BRDfi7vghaWU9jESJACzo9juvw5cNCzHFDU6i7VhIxki6_4GoxKxIqfeGLS33BjbnBoCHp7w_wcB

There is a free version of this program which removes Malware.

As I recall, the site makes it very easy for you to download the $25 version. But if you persist, you can find the free version which has always worked fine for me.

DO NOT CLICK ON THE $25 VERSION. NO NEED TO PAY FOR THIS.
By the way - LouisB - you said “thank you” and I just want to tell you that “You’re Welcome”.

P.S. You might want to try to Google for “anti malware free version” or “free anti malware”

True story: An elderly lady of my acquaintance recently decided that her computer had been hacked or was broken or whatever, because after she put in her password, she couldn’t get to her “home page” (whatever that meant). Her daughter had to go over to her house to investigate. It turns out that instead of hitting “return” or clicking on the little icon next to the password field, she had decided she needed to go down to the bottom of the page on click on one of those hamburger icons. Why? It’s a complete mystery. She’s been logging into the computer for years now.

If she can’t give you a clue why she thinks her computer has been hacked, there’s a better-than-even chance that her computer hasn’t been hacked. Most likely some program she regularly uses (browser, word processor, game, etc) has been updated and objects on the screen have been moved around or some sequence of user actions has been altered or even that the web site where she plays slots had been taken down and replaced with something else. You really need to look at what’s happening before you can say anything intelligent.

I do not dismiss entirely the possibility that her system has been hacked or has malware, but if you hear hoofbeats think “horses” before “zebras.” And if it really had been hacked, she would probably have told you “OMG! I’m getting dirty pictures” or “The FBI is demanding that I pay a fine” or something like that. The fact that she won’t tell you what she means by hacked mostly likely means she is confused by something that is happening and can’t articulate what it is.

If you really think her computer is being hacked via wifi (which is extremely unlikely), then doesn’t her computer have an ethernet port? So just run a cable from that to the router.

And I hate to tell you this, but wifi pretty much comes as a standard feature on almost any computer you can buy today. You don’t have to use it, of course, but buying a desktop won’t eliminate wifi. Sure, desktops come with ethernet ports, too, so you can run a cable from the desktop to the router.

But in any case, eliminating wifi isn’t going to make any computer malware-proof. In fact, if I were investigating malware on her computer, the wifi connection would be the last place I’d look.

Thanks for all the responses; somebody told the lady in question about the Geek Squad so I think maybe my troubles are over and her’s are just beginning.