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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a very basic computer question..I was wondering if there is any form of "switch" that would go between the high speed cable modem and the wireless router that I use for my desktop that would allow me to just disconnect my computer from any internet even when the p/c is turned off?

I have not had issues..got good security software and my computer is just for play...not for business, etc...but I've heard that some folks have gotten hacked or virus access via the cable even when the computer is turned off.

As you can see...I'm still in the dial phone days and plan to stay there...the question is more for information than for any action on my part...

I'd think if I were not on a wireless router I probably could accomplish the same thing by just disconnecting the high speed modem from the computer and then hook it back up the next morning...
 

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I found this on the internet.

Hacking a turned off computer

In general, typically, the answer is "No."

Your PC is off; it's not doing anything. Unless you've taken some extra steps, the PC will not be able to be restarted and hacked from outside if it's been turned off; even if you leave it connected to the internet and to power.

The exception to the rule (and the reason it's not a black-or-white answer) is there is a feature in the network adapter that, when enabled, allows a PC to be remotely turned on and booted. So, in a scenario like that, if the PC has been configured to respond to that request (the remote power-on and the remote boot), then the PC could be turned on remotely.

If at that point the PC did not have appropriate security software installed (say it was not behind a firewall and it did not have anti-spyware, anti-virus... the firewall being the most important part of that equation), then conceivably, it is possible that the PC could be hacked remotely from being powered off.
 

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Is your computer hooked to the wireless router by Ethernet cable or or wireless. My desktop has the ethernet cable hooked up but my tablets and cell phones are hooked up wireless. Even if wireless a hacker shouldn't be able to penetrate the firewall on the wireless router.
 

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Your setup is like this?
Internet---cable modem---wireless router
where "---" indicates a wired connection (via network cable)

If so, you can just unplug the cable connecting the cable modem with the wireless device. Note that this will disconnect internet access for all devices connecting via the wireless device.

One security action you can take is to ensure that you are not using the default administrator account settings for either the cable modem or wireless device; the default admin ID and password would be absurdly easy to find with a simple Internet search. (You may need to find a reliable techie-sort to do this for you if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.) The reason for this is that if a bad guy gains access to either one, they can turn off any security settings, including the firewall in the cable modem, thus giving them access to everything connected to the Internet via that device.

(It's generally known within the IT community that any device connected to the Internet will be scanned by bad guys seeking access within an hour of it being connected... Relying on "security through obscurity" these days is beyond foolhardy - it's like leaving your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition in a bad part of town with the rationale that "nobody would want to steal it".)
 

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The easiest thing to do is unplug the carrier cable from the router or disconnect power. No cable or power, no connection. Just for the record, a skilled hacker can gain access to a router and send a "wake" signal to computers on a home/office network. As long as your computer is connected to a power source, it is never truly off. I kinda miss the days when off really meant off.
 

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Some of these guys are really good. My internet went down, all devices(4) couldn't access it. Finally got Century Link out and somehow the password on the wireless modem got changed. Tech said he never saw that before. So how the hell did someone gain access to change that????
 

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It's called "war driving" a play on words from the movie War Games where the kid had an auto dialer to find computers hooked up to a modem. Hackers use special software loaded on a laptop and drive around scanning for networks to exploit. There is a lot of information in a data packet, they use it to figure out what brand router you have (among other useful data) and use software tools to break in and gain administrative control. Once they have that you are dead meat unless your computer is hardened.
 

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Check out Gibson research for information on security issues. If you're serious about internet security encryption is the only way to go.

Our wonderful Constitution ignoring Congress is passing yet another bill circumventing the 4th amendment by burying CISPA in the appropriations bill. Thus holding essential services hostage to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the input...now to just carry it a bit further....some of my software has regular updates and I think many of those come at night...if I have the modem unplugged so it's all a dead soldier....will things like Windows,etc come back and try and update later or do I have to go to a manual update schedule?

Thanks
 

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Most anti virus programs check for updates almost every day to keep up with the latest threats. So no worries there unless you have automatic updates turned off. Most other programs like Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat will just plug along until you try to open a file created with a newer version. If your Adobe apps are not updated regularly and this happens you will be prompted to download and install the newest version. One way or the other your apps will let you know if and when you need to take action to effect an update.
 

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As some have said, the absolute best security is to un-plug the power to the modem. The easiest way to do this is with a power strip that has a switch on it: just turn off at the switch for the night, then turn back on when you're ready.

If your computer has wireless capability, make sure that is turned off, too.

If you're running Windows and it tries to do an automatic update overnight, you'll get a message on the screen indicating the failure and usually an option to "try again".

There is also a setting somewhere called "wake on LAN" or something similar (depending on your version of operating system) that you can turn off. It is usually under the "power" options.
 

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Having the whole setup on a power strip is about safest. Most all programs will update when started or running. Still follow proper shut down not just kill power.
 

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Some of these guys are really good. My internet went down, all devices(4) couldn't access it. Finally got Century Link out and somehow the password on the wireless modem got changed. Tech said he never saw that before. So how the hell did someone gain access to change that????
Somebody drove thru your neighborhood "war driving." They found you router wide open.

It happened because whoever installed your router initially probably didn't change the default password on the wireless router and it was still set to the typical "Admin" as user and the password was "password'.

Unless you and the Centurylink person changed that, it could happen again.

Many of the newer routers now come with more secure, longer, non-obvious passwords.
 

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Quite a few are talking around it but the main point is do you actually
power off your computer? Many have theirs set up to "go to sleep" rather
than actually shut off.

If it is "sleeping" then anything coming in, directed at your computer,
will "wake it up" and let people get to the firewall. If you firewall is
configured tightly, they will not be able to get to anything in your
computer.

If you do a true power off, then . . . no . . . access is possible, until it is
turned back on.

Updates:
Updates to your computer are queued up waiting for your reply, UNLESS
you have updates set up as auto, where the update process is run without
telling you each time.

Just remember, power off = NO electrons to run the computer.
Switches or disconnected power plugs assure it is OFF.
 

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Unplug the modem... That's where the internet comes into the house. Cut it off at the source.
I agree to modum connection no hacking. I leave my computers on all week and just shut the modem off. I have a power distribution unit hooked to the battery backup that has on/off switches for the monitor, modem, scanner, printer, speakers and computer. It sits under my monitor so is out of the way. I just throw the modem and monitor switches when I leave at night. I found the power unit at Goodwill for $5.00 It also has a master switch that shuts the power unit down. I'll try to get a picture of it and attach it to another post so you see what to look for, when I get in Monday.
 

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Somebody drove thru your neighborhood "war driving." They found you router wide open.

It happened because whoever installed your router initially probably didn't change the default password on the wireless router and it was still set to the typical "Admin" as user and the password was "password'.

Unless you and the Centurylink person changed that, it could happen again.

Many of the newer routers now come with more secure, longer, non-obvious passwords.
Password was both small & cap. letters plus #'s
 
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