Technology scare at home

09Sep05

This weird and scary thing happened last night. Around 11 p.m. my husband who was browsing on the net received an SMS saying – your data folders are visible on my computer – please protect your data. Captain Desai. Or some such thing. Initially dismissing it as spam, my husband messaged back saying who is this – it was a Bombay mobile number.

Captain Desai called back saying he could see a couple of our work folders on his computer. And he read out file names. And asked my husband, you work with ** don’t you?

A complete stranger. And he had access to our computer. And our mobile number.

After a long chat with him, this is what we found. My husband had shared on of his work folders between our desktop and his laptop last week when he was working from home – and we used our Sify connection to access the net from both.

And this had been shared across the Sify network. Essentially, anyone connecting to the net through Sify broadband could have seen the folders. (I am always ready to expect the worst from Sify, but this?)

Samaritan Desai was shutting off his computer when he saw the message – …will affect other users on this network. Concerned about these “other users” he had no clue existed, he looked and found our computer. And found a few old Orange bills stored there. And found our mobile number. And let us know.

So, Captain Desai, many thanks to you. If you ever read this…

And the more worrying aspect about security – or the lack of it that technology brings with it. I cannot describe the feeling of vulnerability which overtook us suddenly and forcefully last night.

My geek (and other :)) – blogger friends out there, I look forward to your thoughts on this one.

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