TUCoPS :: General Information :: snooping.txt

Data Snooping: The Right Way

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			)  Abstruse Authors of Merca  (
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			 Data Snooping : the Right Way

				    Lee Day

Data snooping is a popular passtime among personal computer users in North
Merca.	A data snooper may be defined as one who examines friends' personal,
private data while they are not looking.  Most users could probably be labeled
data snoopers at one time or another.  The problem is, many friends are made
aware of data snooping activities on their system, either by catching the
snooper in the act, or by finding traces of an invasion.  Therefore, some
public education is necessary to ensure the continuation of this enriching

During a "local" snoop, one must be on the alert for the return of the data's
owner.	If the snooper hears the return of the owner, he should act quickly to
appear innocent.  Here are several methods :

1) Set up a multi-tasker, and switch to an innocent partition.	Caution :  The
   owner may notice a lack of memory, or may switch to the incriminating

2) Call a memory-resident pop-up screen.  Programs such as BOSS-SW.COM zip a
   bogus spreadsheet on the screen.  Problem :	you may have a hard time
   explaining your activity, particularly if you are using the owner's computer
   and he does not have a spreadsheet program.

3) Turn the screen off.  Not very effective if the owner turns the screen on

4) Reboot.  This may be accomplished by "accidentally" tripping the power
   switch, or making an excuse for rebooting, such as a need for "fresh RAM".

If the owner has keen eyes, he may thwart a snooper with a time/date stamp.
Some programs automatically create or update files during execution without the
user's permission.  The snooper's best bet is to avoid these programs, or
write-protect the disk.  A hard disk may even be write-protected with the use
of a trojan horse detector called "BOMBSQAD", which prompts the user for
instructions every time a disk-writing attempt is made.

If a time-date stamp is actually updated, and looks suspicious, the snooper may
change it using Norton's utilities, or a special date-changing utility.  He may
also delete any newly created files.  Of course, a data snooper should NEVER
modify the owner's files.  This would be the equivalent of cutting the balls
off the gander that laid the goose that laid the golden egg.  Surely the
snooper would gain much more from repeated instances of data snooping than a
few moments of revenge or tease.  Remember :  Data snooping can be an
enriching, exciting activity, if approached with an attitude of maturity.

)	       Written by Lee Day for Abstruse Authors of Merca 	      (

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