How they hacked my MacBook in Vietnam
How They Hacked My MacBook
In July 2010 Hong and 7 sat in my office in my house in Vietnam and 7 invited me to come hang out with her, her husband and all of Hong and 7’s friends in Macau. Being bored out of my mind in Vietnam, I happily accepted the offer and went there 2 weeks later. 7 insisted that I stay at her house which she just got that was a serious upgrade from a 2 room shithole she previously lived at, to a 34th floor Luxury Condo with a view of Macau. I now realize that the reason 7 upgraded her living situation so dramatically was because the Hoa Hao wanted her to have a place where Westerners could stay so they could have access to their computers as they slept or went to a nightclub. To entice the Western guy to accept her gracious offer to stay at her house, 7 needed to upgrade her residence to desirable place or risk her guest opting for a hotel instead. I remember how 7’s Husband John faked as though he was sleeping when it was time to go to the disco, his face looked like he was forcing his eyes closed but I didn’t think anything beyond that at the time because I thought everybody was my friend and stupidly trusted all of them. I didn’t figure out that they hacked my MacBook until months later when I was reading system event logs in the console and noticed the date and time my system was accessed as root was when I was at the Disco with all of the girls and 7’s Husband was at the house with my suitcase and computer. That very same night at the Disco was when they tested my bravery by having two guys come start a confrontation to assess if I would stand up to them or be scared. They were gathering this information to decide if they would be able to extort me through fear in the future, which they tried to do by having the Macau Triad Boss’s Wife attempt to sleep with me but I didn’t take the bait. I think the plan was to say that the Macau Triad Boss found out I slept with his Wife and that they think they can negotiate a money payment to prevent him from killing me.
Back to how they hacked into my MacBook. A Mac is extremely easy to hack into if someone has physical access to your computer even if they don’t have the install DVD. All a person needs to do while the computer is restarting is hold down “Command-S” until you see text scrolling through the window. This boots the computer into single user mode. Then, at the Localhost% prompt type
/sbin/mount -uw /
You will then see various services starting up. When the Localhost% prompt reappears, type
It will then ask you to type the new root password twice. After entering the new password twice, type
Then they can login as Root and make changes to your computer and you will never know unless you read the console logs. They eventually hacked every computer and mobile device I had and even added a boot image to my RAM that took precedence over the default boot image and automatically changed any settings I changed back to the settings they wanted i.e. Make the Hard Disk viewable by everybody, automatically sync my hard drive with a remote server etc….. They even hacked my power supply on my computers and used UPS ( Uninterruptible Power Supply ) software that would shut off my computer so it wouldn’t turn on again if I cut off their access as I tried to fix the security hole. This is getting into stuff that I don’t totally understand other than general theory but the possibilities are endless and they even had it so a reinstall of my operating system didn’t change anything because they hid malicious code in the first 63 bits of the hard drive that isn’t touched during an operating system install.
My Hoa Hao Criminal Wife kept a “universal rf usb keyboard emulation device” handy that would execute code when plugged into my usb port that would share my entire hard drive and allow guest users to access the computer remotely.
Without getting into the advanced hacking, here are a few basics for the Mac. If you’re worried about such things, then you’ll want to use a combination of File Vault, a firmware password, and a case lock to minimize the chances that your machine is accessed. The only way to boot into single user mode or boot from a DVD when you have a firmware password in place is to take the computer apart, pull out the memory and replace it again, thats why a case lock will give you the added protection to prevent this. I also suggest spending more time securing your Mac by following the NSA’s guide to securing your Mac. That PDF can be downloaded at Hardening Tips - National Security Agency
To learn how to protect your Windows Computer, see the information at Protect Windows