Salander’s hacking program

Can a hacker find a way to “hack into”read a Word documents on someone else’s computer (similar to what Salander did to Blomkvist)?

Posted by Gary_Edmunds in Neew York City , 17 September 2009

By Editor

19 thoughts on “Salander’s hacking program”
  1. Let me answer that in a way that isn’t too geeky.

    If your PC is connected to a network (like the Internet) without a firewall or router… yes, it is possible.

    Posted by CW ,

  2. also in theory you could use somthing like a key logger to simply watch every keystroke made on that particullar computer, the problem with this is it requires the program being installed on the computer you intend to monitor so you would have to get through the security first by eithr having a legitemate password or hacking there particular network

    Posted by benwashere ,

  3. firewalls are really the first line, and often the last one as well, of defense. If it is breached, anything can be possible.. Salander’s “Asphyxia” program would essentially copy over an entire harddrive’s content (including system files) to a similarly formatted drive on a server somewhere. Whenever there is a change on the victim machine, the program would just sync/update the change on the remote machine. This way, she wouldn’t have to keep hacking into Blomkvist’s machine (as there would be times when it would be switched off, and a computer needs to be on, or at least wired(ethernet) to be hacked) Now, Salander could just remote log in (like screen sharing on the mac) into the remote machine and browse it. Asphyxia would get activated when Blomkvist switches on his computer and send a notification indicating his login.

    This long process later, Salander could just log in to Blomkvist’s computer’s clone and work there..

    Posted by ajsingh in New Delhi ,

  4. Hmmm, I remember wondering about the time Erica decided to turn off her computer int “the cage” and meanwhile Sallander and/or Plague are looking into the whole network at the news office. Wouldn’t Erica’s computer have to be turned on to to this?

    Posted by Kathryn in Canada ,

  5. If you google ” Asphyxia 1.3 ” you get all those things about suffocation and 1 thing about an actual hacking program. Is it fake? I don’t want to install it because maybe they’ll hack my computer or whatever, I don’t know, I’m not an expert :p

    Posted by 666 in Leeuwarden ,

  6. It’s not fake, it’s fictional. There’s a difference. I’m sure Asphyxia 1.3 is the real deal — authentic punk rock mom.

    Really? Here’s the clue — don’t install anything that you don’t understand. If it’s free, you’re the product. This goes for Facebook to that smack the guy at the metro’s offering you. The first one is always free.

    That you’re asking if it’s safe to istall means you wouldn’t know or even know how to know. So maybe it’s time to start educating yourself. Get some basic skills to pass the Comptia A test. Learn some basic security tools. Build a lab so you can install something like Asphyxia 1.3 or any other grade A horse manure from the web and see what it does. How many processes does it spawn? What ports does it communicate on? What sort of packets does it send out and receive?

    Posted by Veikku Poikka in DisneyLand, Las Vegas ,

  7. My opinion as a professional security consultant, is that a programme such as “Asphyxia” is not at all practicable. I don’t see any reason why anyone would use the programme. Transferring the whole hard disk seems useless when we have VNC (just google remote VNC) and other command line options. I don’t really know about Sweden, but in Denmark anyone would notice immedeatly and suspect maliscious activity if their internet slows down significantly. Remember, to transfer a whole hard disk takes a lot of time and bandwidth too.

    Posted by Jaska Wirman in Coppenhagen ,

  8. At the beginning of the movie, Lizbeth breaks into the building and cuts and splices an Ethernet line(probably the main one going back to what ever medium they use to get the network connected) And installs a wireless router(if she was using a VNC this step would not be needed). Thus given they are like most business and use a network firewall instead of individual ones(cost effective) she may now find his computer that is sub-client-ed into the network. She installs any phantom RD software on the network, from here terminal then plugs in the assigned keycode to the terminal she wishes to watch. Bam! She now has a third party view(and control if she wanted) to what ever is going on, with that computer.

    Unrealistic: Unless she was bouncing it off a satalite or had some technology that I have never heard of personally(doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist) she would have to be in close proximity of the building to get access instead of her apartment which is never stated the distance from the targets building.

    Posted by Outcast in Kansas ,

  9. You guys, they explain this in the book and if you do your research, it’s not that difficult of a thing. What they’ve got is a hardware solution for not only sniffing packets, but basically torrenting an entire machine to an empty VM on a host somewhere. Once the physical machine is captured, not only can lisbeth use vnc and rdp or a web remote protocol like Citrix to watch the machine in real time. Any changes made to the physical machine are synced to the vm clone. Later she can use the vm at her leisure with no risk of detection. It’s not a bad idea…just has a significant setup cost in terms of time…and of course someone might detect her hardware in the buildings network closet..

    Posted by Jer in Madtown ,

  10. hi. I am an IT security consultant and I can safely say that everything in the book is fiction. It’s obvious that Larsson did little or no research into hardware security which is why his ideas in the books are so vague.

    Posted by Marty in San Francisco ,

  11. I’m on the third book.. think salander is great and would love more knowledge of hacking any pointers…

    Dave you just did what???

    Nick/Manchester

    Posted by nick/manchester in marple ,

  12. hi guys, i’m Morocco; yesterday i have completed watching the trilogy of Larsson’s masterpiece on Film 4 “Eutelsat 28A – Astra 1N/2A/2F 28.5/28.2° East “. and i have kept thinking of getting those hacking tools on my computer. ANY HELP PLEASE TO DOWNLOAD THEM. Best regards

    Posted by nightmare seeker in Morocco ,

  13. I think Salander’s Palm was a simple gadget but she uses Eudora, and PGP encryptation. Hostile takeover in Asphixia maybe could not be done.

    Posted by guim_freitas in Anápolis – GO ,

  14. “Unrealistic: Unless she was bouncing it off a satalite or had some technology that I have never heard of personally(doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist) she would have to be in close proximity of the building to get access instead of her apartment which is never stated the distance from the targets building.”

    Unless she was using some other aspect of the wireless “router”. Let’s remember that consumer grade network devices are multiple devices combined into one. Your everyday wireless router is a router, a switch and an autonomous access point. She may have been setting up port forwarding, a static route or perhaps it is serving as a VPN endpoint for her to connect into.

    Posted by c3lt1c in SJ ,

  15. In the discussion after Vanger reveals his info on Wannerstrom in the first book Lisbeth says she “MAY have something Blomkvist could use. I took that to mean she had to check up on something to know what she had. I thought maybe she had a hard disk (or some other hardware)in Wannerstrom’s bldg or some such.

    That may have been just in one of the movies– I’m too lazy to go look at the book, at the moment.

    Posted by turtle in California ,

  16. Jaska – There are several products commercially available such as Amazon S3, Apple’s Time Machine, as well as open source methods such as tar and dd, that can backup and archive in the background or when the computer is not being used. Yes the initial archive takes a long time but after that, it’s only backing up changes and goes faster. Upload your victims hard drive and you’ve got an archive that you and any partners can go over at your leisure regardless of whether whether the victim is online as you would with VNC. There are other advantages as well but for an investigation, that’s one of the biggest.

    Posted by WannaBe in Burg ,

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