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Could someone be using my line?

Dalesman
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Registered: 19-09-2014

Could someone be using my line?

We have a rural holiday home where a router is always on to support an IP camera, so we can keep an eye on the place. The camera has been off-line for a couple of days, so I rang Customer Support this afternoon to check the connection.  They reported the connection was currently OK, though it had dropped and reconnected a couple of days ago.  OK, so maybe there's a fault with the camera, which I can investigate at my next visit.

Here's the strange thing:  Customer Support added that the usage since reconnecting was >2GB, which seems odd as the place is unoccupied.  The camera is off-line and we have nothing else connected.  I'm pretty sure the camera doesn't use anything like 1GB per day anyway.  Is someone hacking our line?  When I tried to confirm the usage via View My Usage, it says "there is nothing to report at the moment", which is even more confusing.

Something else has been puzzling me for a while.  A single phone line from the telegraph pole connects to a BT junction box on the wall of our property, and the house next door has a line running into the same junction box.  Is this usual?  Could they be using our line for data without me knowing?

I'd be grateful for any expert insight into this.

18 REPLIES
Gel
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

That could happen if they tapped into an unsecured wifi; assume yours has security set up, possibly
including MAC restriction too?
198kHz
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

If I've understood recent reports lately, IP cameras are one of the prime targets of hacking for the purpose of using it as part of a botnet system.

 

http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2016/10/inside-the-machine-uprising-how-cameras-dvrs...

Not young enough to know everything
Dalesman
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Thanks Gel and 198K for those replies.  The router does of course have wireless security, but is not MAC restricted.  Could be done, but would inconvenience legitimate guest users with phones etc.  Hacking of the IP camera for use in a botnet is alarming - can it be prevented?

noddy8
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Gel
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

In case it is adjoining property, suggest regularly changing your router p/word. Presume this could be done remotely.
If usage immediately drops after you change that may prove where leak is.
Dalesman
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Thanks again for the replies.  Router and camera passwords can be changed next time I visit  - Netgear routers do have remote access but this is disabled by default, I think.

Rather than the router being insecure, I'm more suspicious of the way that a single phone line to my property is split at a junction box on my wall so as to run a line to my neighbour's property.  Is that "normal" BT practice or could my neighbour be using my landline?

And does anyone know why Customer Support is telling me that my data usage was 2GB in the last 2 days, but View My Usage says "sorry, there's nothing to show"?  Should I report this as a fault to PN?

Gel
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

If the junction box is at a point easily accessible, it could be tampered with.

Re Data Usage problem PN may respond too; I get mine at this URL:
https://www.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php

Equally if your phone line is with PN (& BT as I recall), going online you can see itemised list
of recent calls which would clarify matters.
PN URL for itemised calls:
https://www.plus.net/plustalk/index.php?page=wlr_calls_made

 

On Netgear routers, see recent post I made in Routers thread, as issued by Netgear.

If your phone line has been hijacked either PN or BT (if with them for phone) should be concerned when you report, even Old Bill as that's theft. Oh no, Police too busy to deal with thefts as I recall!

SpendLessTime
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Dalesman
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Registered: 19-09-2014

Re: Could someone be using my line?

Thanks, our Netgear routers are not one of those model numbers, fortunately.  I'll report to PN that View My Usage doesn't seem to working on our account.

I could do with an ex BT engineer to tell me whether BT would ever split a line between two properties, as ours appears to be.

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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Dalesman wrote:

I'm more suspicious of the way that a single phone line to my property is split at a junction box on my wall so as to run a line to my neighbour's property.  Is that "normal" BT practice or could my neighbour be using my landline?

My daughter's drop wire runs from a box high up on the wall of the house next door.

Also from that box runs a drop wire into next door.

The box is fed by a wire from a telephone pole some 40 yards away so seems to be normal BT practice.

There are other properties in the area supplied in the same arrangement.

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Product of the Tyrell Corporation
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Re: Could someone be using my line?


Strat wrote:

The box is fed by a wire from a telephone pole some 40 yards away so seems to be normal BT practice.

 


Yep, it's called saving money.

Dalesman
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Re: Could someone be using my line?

Thanks Strat and Mook, this arrangement seems OK in that case.

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Re: Could someone be using my line?

I'd suggest changing the account password and then asking Plusnet to kill the ppp session which will ensure the router is disconnected from the internet until you visit and put in the new password. If usage is then still logged you can raise that as an issue that Plusnet need to investigate.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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MrSilver
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Re: Could someone be using my line?


Dalesman wrote:

Thanks again for the replies.  Router and camera passwords can be changed next time I visit  - Netgear routers do have remote access but this is disabled by default, I think.

Rather than the router being insecure, I'm more suspicious of the way that a single phone line to my property is split at a junction box on my wall so as to run a line to my neighbour's property.  Is that "normal" BT practice or could my neighbour be using my landline?


 

 

 

Yes this is normal, you will have a pair to your house, they will have a pair to theirs, which is why they have a different phone number that rings when yours doesnt etc.

Its unlikely they have hacked it though, to do that they would have to re-wire (easy enough) and that gets them the raw DSL interface to the network. To exploit they put a VDSL router on it to get sync to the exchange and now they need your plusnet username and password to get authenticated onto the network.

 

Do you use powerline adapters ? I've seen them 'bleed' into neighbouring properties, if you have one from the router to the camera, neighbour does the same but the adapter near their PC hooks onto yours not theirs and now they are using your bandwidth (which is why you should encrypt your power line adapters!)

My money is on botnet though!

 

>> And does anyone know why Customer Support is telling me that my data usage was 2GB in the last 2 days, but View My Usage says "sorry, there's nothing to show"?  Should I report this as a fault to PN?

I think I read somewhere on one of the other threads this was a known issue that was down due to some of the network issues. the fact it says nothing to show does not mean there i no traffic!