Addicted to Spying

The eblaster on my laptop wasn’t the first, or the last method my ex used to feed his compulsion to play Peeping Tom.

I’ve been told that diagnostics indicate that there was most likely another similar software installed before hubby brought out the big Spectorsoft guns. An Onstar concierge once teased me about the number of times I’d called to have my door locks opened, or to help me “remember” where I parked my car…and I’d only called for the first time right then…

Then there was Flexispy on one cell phone, SpyBubble on the next. (Look those up! Terrifying capabilities, and they were available 4 years ago!) Add the occasional car I don’t recognize tailing me until I pulled into the nearest police department…hell yeah I’m paranoid! But I’ve been paranoid and right!

So after the eblaster and creepiness and petition for divorce, I did what any smart woman would do: I ran home to mommy and daddy.

And it crept up on me so slowly that I was stunned to turn around one day and see a very familiar elephant in the room with me. He was doing it again.

He knew where I was, all of the time. He knew if I made plans to go somewhere overnight, out to lunch with a friend or talked to an old boyfriend.

I couldn’t figure out how…it wasn’t just from internet activity. I changed phones a couple of times, using the opposite of the fancy android models, going with a decidedly not-smart phone, with no internet or apps. That didn’t seem to help. I had my car inspected for tracking devices, and finally just quit driving it.

For the last 2 years, I had just about convinced myself that he had somehow installed something on my moms computer, maybe my phone too. My parents and I live in the sticks, on about 1,000 acres. You can’t see the house from the road, and there aren’t any neighbors or buildings even close.

Because we live in the boonies, we use a verizon wifi jet pack to access the internet. And slowly our billed monthly usage crept up to over 30 gb per month – with no netflix or other streaming media coming in. Unplugging the wifi and taking the battery out didn’t lessen our bandwidth use.

In December 2013, my moms computer died, after months of error messages telling us that we were showing two devices with the same IP address, the Blue Screen Of Death constantly, our online passwords being changed by unseen forces.

For 10 days, December 5 to the 15, we were without a computer. The wifi sat with its battery out, for lack of a device to bring the internet to. On the 16th, dad brought home a shiny new computer. Untouched, untainted, uncompromised. Mom fired it up, connected the wifi…and within an hour, on what was only the 6th day that month we had connected to the web, we were getting text messages from verizon that we had exceeded our data plan. Another hour later, we had used our first overage of 2 gb in addition to the 26 gb on our plan.

If I was creeped out by purchased, mass produced software, that was nothing compared to what a private investigator friend told me: our bandwidth use wasn’t because, as verizon claimed, we had programs running in the background or were streaming video IN. We were streaming something OUT.

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18 thoughts on “Addicted to Spying

  1. Okay yeah dude was a major stalker and crossed a few lines monitoring your families computer, he must of had money or you married him before you knew what you were getting into. Definitely didn’t love him. Truth of the matter is though if you ain’t got anything to hide who cares let him monitor his little heart out if it gives him the extra piece of mind knowing he’s got nothing to worry about. Anyone that worried about what he might see on your phone obviously is doing something they don’t want him to see. You probably feed his addiction by switching phones and running to the police acting as if you were indeed hiding something from him. Partly your fault if the both of you were still together. Not so much your fault if you were split up.

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    • Okay obviously the both of you were separated. I just read a few of your earlier posts. I apologize for not getting all my facts straight before commenting. Did you really make the comment “It doesn’t matter if he thought you were cheating, or if you really are cheating.  The spyware is a crime.  Cheating is not.” On your “Something’s not right post”. He caught you cheating. Told the court how during the divorce hearing. He won the hearing and now you’re doing everything you can to get him back. If he cheated on you, you’d take him for everything he’s got. Cheating is a crime when you’re married. Probably best he got out when he could. He wasn’t stalking you he was proving that you were doing him wrong so he could get out of the marriage without getting any more hurt then what he already was getting. Bought you the laptop? New phone? He had money only reason you were with him. Technically he was spying on his own stuff. Check the receipts. Did you buy it or did he? I’m done reading your rants. Doubt this will get posted but you should hear it, you’re not fooling anyone with this poor attempt to get back at your ex husband. Cops aren’t fooled either.

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    • We were still together when he started the spyware. I tolerated the tracking on my car, my online accounts being accessed and my texts being read for exactly the reason you said – I wasn’t doing anything wrong. We had already been in marriage counseling for his numerous affairs. A year later, we separated because he refused to tell me the truth about why his family wanted him out of the family business (embezzlement, if you must know. So if you think this is about me hitting the divorce lotto, you are mistaken).
      After the separation, his stalking escalated. Knowing we were filing for divorce, he managed to also install a similar program on my mothers computer.
      After the divorce was filed, he continued to read my text messages to me, verbatim. At this point I threw a fit. And my cell phone off of a bridge. In one of his drunken stupors, he brought me the eblaster disc and the login info to uninstall it. I chose to simply pack the disc and laptop away. Just in case..

      The laptop was community property. Anything saved on it would have been fair game. My private password protected accounts, however, were not. He accessed them from locations other than my laptop, and printed out about 9 pages of my email to use in “evidence” in our divorce – which he stupidly sent from his attorneys office to mine, proving his guilt very nicely. I will publish photos of that “evidence” for you ASAP. It consists of Facebook private messages from my sisters boyfriend, a gay male friend, and spam from places like getitonwithhotchicks.com which of course prove my sociopathic lesbian tendencies.
      He continues to engage in this spying behavior, from renting cars to follow me (I guess so I never know what he’s driving) to having installed something that is even now streaming data out of my house. (That is going to require a professionals help to find. I’m not buying a freaking bug sniffer)
      I will not get any kind of settlement or judgement from the criminal trial. Any fines he may be assessed will be payable to the court. If I were to file a civil suit, the maximum award would be $10,000. Which would likely not cover the legal fees I would incur.
      What I have to gain from the criminal case against him is peace. Cooling his jets safely behind bars for 2 to 20 is all the reward I need.
      I approved both of your comments, because I am trying to be fair. But I am not going to get into a debate about why he was entitled to terrorize me because we were married for 8 years, or because I should have allowed criminal behavior if I had nothing to hide.
      As a side note, he didn’t enter any of the evidence he collected from my email in divorce proceedings. One, because there wasn’t anything proving bad behavior on my part. Two, because he knew it was illegal on his part. I did not bring it up in court. This wasn’t why we were getting divorced. But I filed the criminal charges a year before the divorce was final. The two were unrelated legal issues.

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  2. Can you advise of how to ask/find out from your cell carrier, how the data plan got so out of hand? I’m having the same problem – never using my cell outside of my home wifi. Incredibly LARGE outrageous bills have been incurred. Baffled! Now I’m wondering if this was/is the case for my soon to be ex (who happens to work at the largest software company in the world, and has many techie friends who’d help him out). Need to know how to find this info out, from my cell carrier! Please help. He’s known my lawyer convos before they even get to his lawyer. And much more. I don’t believe I’m paranoid. It all makes sense after reading your post. Those $450 cell bills were not affordable or justified. Can’t really argue with the carriers. And how freaking scary!!! You poor thing, I feel bad for what you’ve been thru.

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    • I’m so sorry, that feeling of someone peeking in your window is creepy. If you will send me an email to kellymterry@aol.com I will send you my phone number and try to help you narrow down the possibilities.

      In the meantime…I have cell and wifi through verizon. Despite what the media claims the providers can access, the worker bees don’t have that kind of security clearance.

      1. Change the default password on your wifi.
      2. Don’t save any of your passwords on your devices. Actually type them in every time (which won’t help with a keylogger…)
      3. At least temporarily, don’t use home wifi for your cell phones.
      4. Unplug, and remove the battery from, your jet pack or wifi unit when you aren’t actively using it.
      5. Eliminate or disable programs that run in the background and access the internet whenever you are connected. (Turn off automatic updating)
      4. Install a good (norton, mcafee, avg) antivirus and run it. If you already have one installed, check to see what programs have been allowed to run as exceptions to its blocked applications.
      5. If you locate a program or device that should not be there, don’t touch it! Leave it alone and call law enforcement. Specifically ask for someone from their cybercrimes unit.

      That is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start.

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  3. hey, i am a 17 year old boy who likes computers, and i can tell you from what I’ve learned, is that knowledge is power. I started my “hacking skills” by hacking wifi (just so i could use my iTouch everywhere) and with that i noticed how easy that was. i downloaded a copy of Backtrack Linux (free BTW) with which i could break into all my neighbours wifis in tree minutes.

    the point is, which came to my advantage is that the more i learned to hack stuff, the more i learnt to PREVENT the hacks so when i started securing my Wifi connection i actually found a random guy using my faster wifi (which was luckily just for gaming LOL).

    maybe you are not intrested at all in anything about programming and hacking, but if it is by wireless the way this guy spies on your stuff, here are some tips you could google and achieve with ease:

    Log into your router settings: (just google “setup [ROUTER BRAND AND MODEL HERE VERIZON]”
    it lets you configure your password, your access point name to broadcast and other stuff.
    inside the settings this is what you want to do

    setup a WPA or a WPA2 password

    the only way to hack this is with

    a WPS attack, so DISABLE WPS function

    a dictionary attack (try random words hoping one is your pass)

    so if your password has a few numbers and words to remember you should be good with that.

    i.e. An0nymousW1f1 <— unlikely to be on a dictionary… unhackeable

    *********TIPS******

    make this changes using someone else's computer or in a new one so no hacks can track your settings.
    disconnect your router from the internet, (like if you don't pay for a long time) and do it with a wired connection to the router.

    if you feel you need help, or if you think is too much you can call someone to do it for you as long as you trust this person. also here is my email talomora_ at hotmail.com

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    • Thank you John Paul! I totally agree that knowledge is power. The very places that show how to “hack”, by their nature also show you how to counter that knowledge

      Super important was your comment about using someone else’s computer to make password changes. I’d like to add that if a keylogger is what you suspect is being used to break your passwords, go into your accessibility settings and use your mouse to “type” passwords on the onscreen keyboard. (That will make sense when you go into the accessibility settings!)

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  4. Wow. Kelly, you’ve been through a nightmare. Your ex has some issues that might not even be successfully dealt with no matter the amount of therapy or psychotropic medications. I can give you a couple of hints of how to deal with the spyware he’s loaded onto your computer and your parents’ computer.

    First, download AVG, which is a spyware detection software. It’s great at picking up the most popular penetration detection software. Hackers love to use Metasploit, but AVG will find it. If it’s there, or a similar software, there are things you can do to get rid of it. First off, Metasploit comes with its own key logger and rootkit. The rootkit is really, really good at hiding and can usually only be found by comparing lines of code from your infected computer with lines of code from an uninfected computer. There is a company down in Florida, Cyber Investigation Services run by a guy named Bruce Anderson. His guys are ex-military and ex-law enforcement. They will find the rootkit and remove it. This is going to cost you about 5K.

    Next, if you are living within the confines of civilization again, drop Verizon. I think probably every communications company has black hats within their IT department, and you ex could be getting help from them to keep himself in your system despite your best efforts. Get yourself a business account with Comcast or another provider–their business services usually have their own IT department, which makes it more difficult for your hacker to get his usual help. You’ll get a new IP address, which is good. Add a heavy-duty, heavily encrypted firewall and have it ready to go before you put your new IP address to work.

    I have lots of other advice, and I’m in the process of writing a book about our experience at being hacked. Bruce Anderson says we’re the third family in America to experience such an intense, complete hacking, but it sounds like your ex is trying to do the same to you. Write me at the email I’ll give you below, and I’ll give you my phone number or you and I can simply correspond by email. I think I can give you enough information that it will enable you to get him out of your digital life. Not much I can do about your being followed, but it will certainly make it harder for him when he doesn’t have access to your plans, emails and cell phone.

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    • I appreciate your advice!! And that you took the time to stop and try to help. I cannot count the number of times that someone – even friends and family – told me to just deal with it…If I wasn’t doing anything wrong, what did I have to worry about? Kinda like the mindset many have regarding NSA and other Big Brother naughtiness: Eventually merely observing isn’t enough, and sure as shit, my ex started tilting at windmills and stirring long-empty pots because he could.

      Now…eBlaster is particularly malicious, because it mutates upon installation. And it mutates differently every time (or enough of the time to make things difficult). Only the fact that my hubby got trashed and gave me the actual install disc, made it possible to pull up the admin functions…which I left for law enforcement to do. Surprisingly, I didn’t care to see what he’d installed at that point. I already knew that my computer (and Android phone) were somehow compromised and I was scared of my own shadow.
      The software on that particular Android phone wasn’t obvious til much later, when I was checking the SD card on a burner computer, and found the awesome number of screen shots that his little app was taking per minute, and storing on that SD card until i connected to the internet and it could phone home to dump the temporary files. The HUNDREDS of screen caps were still waiting on that card, because I yanked the battery out of the phone and never used it again.

      PRESERVE EVIDENCE WHENEVER POSSIBLE. It may mean that you relinquish your snazzy new smartphone, or irreplaceable documents and photos on your computer, but you will get over it, I promise. Your Digital Peeping Tom will be far more frustrated than you, when you close that window.

      Before my experience with my ex being able to listen to anything within whispering distance of my phone’s microphone, or see anything the camera could see, or leisurely monitor my texts, browsing, and GPS coordinates, I had an early iPhone.
      I hated the first 2 iPhones, but damn if I didn’t go back to them. I will complain loudly about all of my apps having to come from the Apple mothership, and about mandatory updates that seem to exist solely to foil unauthorized charging cables, but as long as I keep my phone physically out of his grubby hands, he can’t sneak an app onto it in a transparent pixel of a photo, or a document that “needs” to be downloaded for me to view it. And I have had to carry on firm but honest conversations with my 9 year old daughter about why she can’t bring anything from her dad’s house to ours, and why if she takes something (especially something with batteries) from my house to his…well, that’s where it will live from then on.

      I like to pretend that the days of being followed are over, but he shows up disturbingly near me (3 hours from where he is supposed to be) just enough to insure that my parents and boyfriend know where I am all of the time.
      The funniest thing that has happened in the aftermath of eBlaster, is that I’m less concerned about my privacy than ever in my life. I’ve always heard that if you have something a thief wants, they’ll find a way to take it. The same applies here. I’m far more concerned about the safety of my loved ones and myself than I am protective of my email. I have Find My iPhone set up so that my boyfriend and family can locate me instead of worrying. My best friend and my sister have all of my passwords and login info to everything, so that they can lock stuff down if I am not near a computer, and so that they can dissolve my digital footprint when I die. My boyfriend knows my passwords (I made them something HE could remember)and pin codes to everything…which freaks him out, because he was my friend through almost 3 years of hell before that brave beautiful man convinced me that it wasn’t MY hell.

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    • Wow mom. That is pretty harsh…Wait – you aren’t my mom! See, we use our real names and normal email addresses for this blog, because WE don’t have anything to hide, and are trying to help other people to at least stay strong.

      I like to think that you’re probably actually my ex, or someone as stupid as him. Go troll elsewhere.

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    • I don’t even think that it’s that he has mommy issues, or had a bad adulthood (everyone blames it on their childhood, but honestly, nothing has been your parent’s fault for years). I think he just has a combination of a God Complex (Let there be light. I will control everything!) and serious self doubt about the size of his weiner. 🙂

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  5. My boyfriend decided it would be smart to do the same thing to me. He put a keylogger on my Android, took months and two phones to realize it was in the sim-card and transferred no matter where I went. I finally got SIM card forensics and found this “.w_droid_spk”. If you happen to see that you have an Android keylogger. This one specifically http://remotekeyloggers.net/keylogger-for-android-pc/ and if you see that running in the system tree you can remove it easily if the stalker didn’t change the default settings. 3 keys that have to be held down for 12 seconds at the same time. Pound, Star and 9. I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out and I hope it helps someone.

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    • Thank you!!! Most of these malicious small weiner programs (look at the stats…almost always men installing them) have a soft key way into the adminstration functions…just be warned that the manufacturer periodically changes the key to protect their product from unintended discovery or removal.

      Good point, by the way – I’ve focused on the evils of moving an SD card or files, or data, from one terminally infected device and popping it into the shiny new one….usually making life much easier for your hacker, seeing as how we’ve now moved exactly what we were running from… But you made a really important statement “it was in the SIM card”.. Yup, for those who don’t know it, those little plastic chips hold a lot of info in that gold square. It used to be, years ago, something like the last 50 text messages and a shocking amount of call history. as well as some basic boot information. I can only imagine what they are capable of storing now!

      I’m even less enthusiastic about iPhone after my most recent “upgrade” – not nearly enough storage, and I can’t just pop a 32 gig micro SD in a handy access door. BUT, on a scale of 1 to 10 where “1” was me feeling like I was was wearing a wire FOR my ex to tune in to with the Androids, and “10” would be him in a nonresponsive, vegetative state somewhere that the grid hasn’t been to yet….I do generally have a moderate sense of peace and control, and that I’m hovering at about an “8” and enjoying stretches of time when I feel unviolated, as opposed to living at DefCon 3.

      Oh….and the email account that I am pretty sure he still monitors….that’s the one that this blog feeds into, as well as the address i use to enter contests, request info from schools, for government grants, insurance quotes, and use for Candy Crush requests and notifications. 🙂

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  6. Interesting, I am/ was one of those boarder line snoopers never got to the point of installing software though did think about it. Basically I recently discovered something that happened a long time ago, I forgave her but I guess it has caused me to be a little snoopy. Anyway not saying u cured me but you have given me a good pause for thought as I don’t want to go down the road ur ex went down, so thank you for sharing

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    • I never expected that I could talk someone out of using these types of programs, so thank you so much!! And enjoy the view from the high road 🙂

      My two thoughts on your situation: first, once you start peeling, you it’s hard to stop.

      Second – if you don’t trust her before cyber spying, nothing will change by tapping into her email. My grandmother used to say “if you look for something, you’ll find it” What she meant was, if you go through your husbands wallet, you’ll find a phone number. If you think he’s cheating, nothing will convince you that the number is innocent.

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