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View Full Version : What are some ways a stalker could use modern technology against my leads?



The_Ink_Goddess
07-16-2016, 08:30 PM
Hey, guys! So this idea, in its simplicity, has me stumped. It's a dual POV and timeline YA contemporary:

Slightly after modern day: a lonely agoraphobic befriends a reclusive architect after a break-in; she and her family rent out a flat in the architect's super secure mansion. She finds out that the previous occupants (the architect's family) were murdered in a possible home invasion. The mansion is supposed to be very secure and technologically advanced, particularly when it was built, which is modern day (basically, today), in which the architect's teenage children are tormented by a stalker who is watching…and listening.

Now, I am pretty young so I am quite familiar with all the normal things "kids of today" use online, and the house will be bugged and have a nanny cam. I guess I'm asking some of you evil geniuses to brainstorm some other, creative ways how this could be used against my MCs. As it's meant to be right up "to the minute", and I actually envisage the first timeline (#1) occurring just outside today, so feel free to be creative. :) (Also, let me know if you're not comfortable with me 'lifting' your ideas for my WIP.)

Thanks!

cmhbob
07-16-2016, 08:42 PM
Any device that has an IP address (and any device that can be viewed/controlled via the internet has one) can be hacked. There are more than a few sites listing nannycams, etc that have never had the default password changed, so they're publicly viewable. A Google search will show you what I'm talking about.

So that's the easy thing: that the installers never changed the passwords, and your stalker got them and is listening in. Or maybe your stalker was part of the install crew, and added some cameras no one knows about. Then you could have the stalker email video clips of the family to the family, and have them start freaking out about where the clips are coming from.

There's a house here in the US where strange things like that are happening. Check out The Watcher House. (https://goo.gl/hxNXsN)

I'm a little confused by your second paragraph. You say the architect's family was murdered, then you say "the architect's teenage children" are the victims of the stalker. Was only some of the family killed?

The_Ink_Goddess
07-16-2016, 09:04 PM
Any device that has an IP address (and any device that can be viewed/controlled via the internet has one) can be hacked. There are more than a few sites listing nannycams, etc that have never had the default password changed, so they're publicly viewable. A Google search will show you what I'm talking about.

So that's the easy thing: that the installers never changed the passwords, and your stalker got them and is listening in. Or maybe your stalker was part of the install crew, and added some cameras no one knows about. Then you could have the stalker email video clips of the family to the family, and have them start freaking out about where the clips are coming from.

There's a house here in the US where strange things like that are happening. Check out The Watcher House. (https://goo.gl/hxNXsN)

I'm a little confused by your second paragraph. You say the architect's family was murdered, then you say "the architect's teenage children" are the victims of the stalker. Was only some of the family killed?

Thank you! Yes, the entire family except the mother, the architect, is murdered. But the MS is set in dual timeline. One timeline is "after" and is told from the POV of the architect's new tenant. The other timeline is "before" and told from the perspective of the architect's children, prior to their murders, in the epistolary (?) format of their texts/e-mails, as the tenant reads through them and reacts to them, and attempts to solve the crime. The architect's children slowly realise they're being stalked by someone, and the tenant begins to fear the stalker is back.

Whoop. What a mouthful. Does that make sense?

waylander
07-16-2016, 09:20 PM
Being talk of at the moment is 'the internet of things'. Household devices which are net-enabled and thus hackable: fridges, oven, central heating etc. These could all be messed with by your stalker.

GeneBWell
07-17-2016, 02:06 AM
Here's how I could see something nasty getting into the system:
1. Teen wants to watch latest episode of some super popular TV series but they don't get that channel so the teen goes out to pirate it off the internet
2. Not wanting their piracy discovered by others in the system the teen decides to use a private laptop or something that they connect to the WiFi
3. The stalker (knowing the teen's likes) has hidden a nasty program in the video files for that show that are available on pirate websites
4. As the private device the teen is using doesn't have the same kind of network security as the main house system the virus is able to use the laptop/whatever as a sort of incubation place that allows it to find ways around the defenses of the house's main system through the WiFi.

Not only is this a 'ripped straight from the headlines' kind of deal (people hide all kinds of things in pirate torrent files) but it also can add some drama when the teen realizes that their inability to resist the urge to keep up with their favorite show ended up costing everyone their safety.

James D. Macdonald
07-17-2016, 02:18 AM
Rather than hiding something in a torrent file (which would require the wicked stalker know in advance exactly which (of potentially hundreds) of basically identical files the teen will go for, why not the tried-and-true spear phishing? That's worked against adults with sensitive jobs who should have known better.

Williebee
07-17-2016, 02:19 AM
It's going to depend on just how tech savvy the stalker is. And, how much money the stalker has access to.

Anything IP connected thing can be used. ANY Smart device they come near could be impacted (like at stores they visit.) Any device you wish to put in the house (whether their own or delivered to them) could be effected. Like a stick camera in a sympathy bouquet, for example.

The stalker could make messages print out on an IP connected printer in the house.
Could make lights go on and off.
Make the stereo or radio play specific messages. Or at full volume at odd hours.
Relay through the phone or computer and make prank 911 calls, or order food to be delivered. "I know how much you like Jade Palace's egg rolls."
Make the game console shut off and leave a message to "Get your beauty rest. You've got a big day tomorrow."
Have groceries delivered with the message, "I saw you were low on milk."
Any security or laptop cameras could be accessed. "Wear the blue dress. You seemed so happy when you tried it on."
Or shut down the car when they try to drive away.
Fire up the stove, choke out the pilot light and then turn the gas all the way up.

GeneBWell
07-17-2016, 02:27 AM
Rather than hiding something in a torrent file (which would require the wicked stalker know in advance exactly which (of potentially hundreds) of basically identical files the teen will go for, why not the tried-and-true spear phishing? That's worked against adults with sensitive jobs who should have known better.

Hmm, true. But I think it could still be presented as reasonable in the book if you had a single site that was the most popular place for torrents and the stalker messed with the statistics to show their torrent as being the one with the highest seeds. Most pirates search for the video they want by title and then sort by highest number of seeds to make sure they get good download speeds.

James D. Macdonald
07-17-2016, 05:31 AM
How about the kid's school puts up assignments at Homework Hub (made up name), which is ... less secure ... and the malware is injected there?

Emermouse
07-17-2016, 06:30 AM
I'd say could have her hack the webcam and create revenge porn, but given that these are kids, that may be a territory to stay away from. But stalker could find a way to send email threats from their IP address to the school principal and things could get rough from there.

Snitchcat
07-18-2016, 09:08 AM
Why not just a push upgrade for a smartphone app (really popular game, perhaps)? Then once upgraded, auto-pushed to all devices on the house's wifi network.

oceansoul
07-18-2016, 02:31 PM
If you want ultra-modern, you could use references to walking-internet-games like Ingram or Pokemon-Go? There have been lots of incidents in the news the last few weeks!

spork
08-04-2016, 09:16 AM
If you want ultra-modern, you could use references to walking-internet-games like Ingram or Pokemon-Go? There have been lots of incidents in the news the last few weeks!

I was thinking the same thing. Maybe have one of the teenagers play some type of game with GPS so that the stalker can follow them outside of their house. This might tie in with why the architect is now a recluse who doesn't want to go outside.