"john ha" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> Hi, I accidentally left my router unsecured for a couple of hours.
> I also left my laptop on during this time,
> connected wirelessly to the unsecured router.
> My question is, can a hacker in my apartment complex
> who really wants to, connect to this router and
> hack into my laptop's hard drive and steal/transfer files?
Is the laptop logon passworded?
Is the computer's software fully updated?
> I have not shared any folders.
> I am wondering if they can hack through Vista file sharing,
> to access folders that aren't even shared.
There would have to be an exploit of an unpatched vulnerability.
> If so, how long would it take them to hack in if they wanted to?
If they have pre-existing knowledge of your computer's unpatched
vulnerabilities, seconds to minutes. If not, having your router, they
can see to it that some or all of your web surfing uses their website as
a proxy webserver. They can throw all kinds of exploits at your browser
(and other software accessible through the same vector) and compromise
your machine - or supply a fruadulent online banking site for you so you
can give them your credentials the next time you try to go to your
legitimate banking site.
> (I have since secured my router after leaving it open for two hours,
> but am asking this question for peace of mind. :sick
You're probably okay.
It won't hurt to scan your computer for viruses and other malware.
Sorry to add fuel to the fire, but it may be worth noting that the alley
in back of your apartment complex presents a more likely wireless "war
driving" hacking opportunity than does the likelihood you have hacker
neighbors. I have access to one of my neighbor's (don't know which one)
wireless routers. If I were a malicious hacker, I would *still* go war
driving rather than mess with a local neighborhood machine.