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I am new to linux, a total noob to be exact. I am using ubuntu 14.04.2 I am having a problem with people at school who have somehow hacked my computer. I have formatted my hard drive 3 or 4 times already but whatever they have put on here will not get erased. In fact this is the reason I switched from windows to linux. I thought that whatever exploit they used was windows based. Somehow they are able to monitor my activities in real time, even when I am not connected to a network. I have even tried disabling networking but it is no use. I constantly hear them making comments about what I am doing and it is driving me crazy. Help please!

  • Without networking, no one can see what you're doing. How do you know they are seeing what you do? Are they telling you? – TheWanderer Apr 27 '15 at 23:41
  • @Destro Have you enabled sharing your workspace ? or they have done ? – E_Angel Apr 28 '15 at 0:00
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    If you have unplugged the network, then it isn't coming from your computer. They must have a spy cam in your dorm room or something. – psusi Apr 28 '15 at 0:26
  • I agree with psusi. If you sill want to wipe your hard drive though, first boot from Live Media and then follow askubuntu.com/a/17650/205638 – TheSchwa Apr 28 '15 at 0:42
  • @Zacharee1, Well I hear them when we are in lab. its a relatively small lab. I hear them commenting on every little mistake I make. Sometimes I make mistakes on purpose to hear if they are still watching. When I am on the network I know they can see. It's how they see what I am doing when I am offline that really kicks me. – Destro Apr 28 '15 at 2:41
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It is literally impossible for them to be monitoring your computer screen via the OS in real-time if you are not connected to the network. I go through some possibilities below.

Delayed Logging

They could be logging everything to a file somewhere on the computer and then uploading the log when the computer returns to the network. This is the common practice with keyloggers.

If they are making comments in real time this cannot be the case.

You are Still Connected

You could still be connected to the network even though you think you aren't. Perhaps you only disconnected ethernet but are still connected on wifi. Or perhaps they have hijacked your network manager to always stay connected. You can make sure this isn't the case by physically disconnecting your ethernet cable and wifi card.

This is very unlikely since you said the problem persisted from Windows to Linux. Assuming they have infected your computer with some virus, the hack must be below the operating system, and thus running at a privilege higher than the kernel. If this is the case, you are dealing with pro hackers, and "wiping" the hard drive might not remove the hack; depending on the attack vector they could have told the hard drive never to overwrite those sectors.

Button Camera

They could have a spy camera somewhere watching what you do.

Check your laptop, work area, and person thoroughly for anything resembling a camera. Also try covering different areas with paper to see if this stops them.

Direct Observation

Someone could be looking over your shoulder.

This could be the most likely option. It sounds like you are in a rather small work area. Perhaps someone is simply looking directly at your screen.

  • ok I see. If they do have something installed on my computer, would it appear on the system logs? – Destro Apr 28 '15 at 22:31

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