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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Possible Lawsuit?

Alright, here's the story:

I still live with my parents, and I run my business (website design for now) out of my house on MY computer (no one elses, in my room, my cable, etc) and my father comes in here occasionally (username is my real life name) and checks eBay, etc.. Now, I set my password so he couldn't log in anymore until I found out the source of the recent spyware, whether it's him or my friends who come on here to sites such as NewGrounds, thecrims, possibly porn ( ) and such, so only I can log on to my computer. Now, my father called up a guy from a computer service place in downtown where I live, who came out (didn't document the house call, recieved no payment so no receipts) and attempted to "hack" my password by using a program he has, in attempt to recover my password to tell my father. I did not have anything to do with this, I did not authorize my father to do so, I did not authorize the service man to do so.

Now, here's the thing that makes me want to file a lawsuit: He completely formatted my computer, and reset an administrator password and did not tell me, or ask me, if he could do so. By him doing this, I lost every website I had (both my 2 and a couple of client's that were all in the works), however SileStudio was nearing completion. I have no backups, no FTP, no nothing to recover any of these sites which were altogether worth about $1,000 to $3,000USD. He completely wiped out over 200 hours of work. However, I have not talked to the service man (he is the owner of the company and a friend of my father's), and I have no real physical proof. My father did tell my mother and my grandmother that he was having this guy attempt to do this, and my father also told my mother that he failed his attempt and screwed up my computer. My mother asked my father if he asked me if it was okay, and he told her no.

Could I sue this guy for my time and my projects, not to mention the hurt it put on my reputation as a business... So could I also sue for, what would you call it, emotional... That isn't a word I would like to use, but if need be I will use it. He knew it wasn't my father's computer, as when he went to the sign up screen it is obviously my name, and I am the only user on the computer.

If he gets ****ty with my, I will just ask him if he knows so much about computers, why wouldn't he just F8 at start up, go into safe mode, and go into my administrator account (the password on it didn't change, and my father knows my commonly used passwords, so he could have gotten in), but instead he just went and screwed up my business, and my 3 clients, which their sites were all due within the next week or two, and there is no way I can create even a half-assed dynamic website for all 3 of them in that time, nor do I think they will buy the story, even if it is true... and word of mouth goes a long way in this small town, as I was mainly doing small business to get my foot in the door.

What do you guys think? Should I sue him? Or should I just go to a lawyer, and explain my case? Or should I just drop it and lose about $1,500?


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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:16 PM
 
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Did he format your hard drive or just delete your profile? Is Windows the only thing left on your PC? No programs you had installed? I have software I use to reset passwords in NT OS's if you need to reset the admin password on your PC to allow you to login as the admin and change your user rights level to admin since he didnt tell you what the admin login is. I dont know why he would format your PC without salvaging your personal data, that crosses all boundaries. There is no way to gleen a windows password in NT, you can blank it out or reset it to what you want by directly editing the SAM database but passwords are encrypted. Be sure he formatted it before you do anything rash.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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It all depends on what your father told him. If your father indicated in any way that the computer was his or part his, your case is against your father. I would think that the computer guy could sue your father for any damages awarded to you, since he was invited by your father to "work" on your computer under the pretext that it was your fathers. Some other things to think about are, do you pay rent to your parents? Depending on previous case law in your state your father may have a right to access the computer and your room.
My advice would be to explain to your father the problems you are having. Ask him to not use your computer unless you are there. If that doesn't work, buy a cheap used computer for him and get him access through netzero or earthlink or some cheap dial-up. You spend $300 and don't have to worry about spyware or your dad using your computer. Your dad thinks you are the greatest kid in the world for getting a computer and the internet for him. You could also move out on your own.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JMVorbeck
Did he format your hard drive or just delete your profile? Is Windows the only thing left on your PC? No programs you had installed? I have software I use to reset passwords in NT OS's if you need to reset the admin password on your PC to allow you to login as the admin and change your user rights level to admin since he didnt tell you what the admin login is. I dont know why he would format your PC without salvaging your personal data, that crosses all boundaries. There is no way to gleen a windows password in NT, you can blank it out or reset it to what you want by directly editing the SAM database but passwords are encrypted. Be sure he formatted it before you do anything rash.
Completely formatted.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fergyflyer
My advice would be to explain to your father the problems you are having. Ask him to not use your computer unless you are there. If that doesn't work, buy a cheap used computer for him and get him access through netzero or earthlink or some cheap dial-up. You spend $300 and don't have to worry about spyware or your dad using your computer. Your dad thinks you are the greatest kid in the world for getting a computer and the internet for him. You could also move out on your own.
So on top of losing $1,000 to $2,000 and reputation, I also have to drop $300-$500 for a new computer?

Also, he didn't ask to "fix", my father and I had a fight, and he told me "well I know a buddy of mine downtown can hack in and find out the password, he has a program so just don't worry about it". I just shrugged it off, because I thought he was either bluffing, or I knew they couldn't get it if they tried... But I didn't think they'd go to the extremes of formatting my computer.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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Completely formatted.
Well, sorry to hear that. I dont know what to tell you. I can tell you that I know you are really upset right now but I dont think you want to go down that path with your dad. Nothing good will come out of it, absolutely nothing.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JMVorbeck
Well, sorry to hear that. I dont know what to tell you. I can tell you that I know you are really upset right now but I dont think you want to go down that path with your dad. Nothing good will come out of it, absolutely nothing.
Well if you mean lack of communication with my dad, it's already there. My mother and I are moving out sometime within the next month...
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GTO For Life
Well if you mean lack of communication with my dad, it's already there. My mother and I are moving out sometime within the next month...
Oh man. Thats a mess. Sorry to hear that dude. Good luck to you and your mom. Get yourself a laptop, keep it with you and use an online backup service like X drive to store your web projects. Good luck man.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah thanks. It will be so much easier once we're out of tihs hellhole. I've been looking at another Alienware, I currently have a desktop and a server from them... Both work great. I would build one myself, but through Alienware I have, erm, *cough* hookups *cough*.

I think I will still talk to my mother's lawyer, and all in all, I will contact the guy and offer a settlement otherwise I will take him to court... Maybe he will get scared and pay a settlement at worst.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 10:42 PM
 
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Who owns the computer? You or your father? This could make a huge difference.

Not sure if you can sue the guy that hacked the computer. But I know you can smack your Dad around for letting him. Well, as long as you have another place to stay, that is!

Seriously though, that sucks and not sure what you can do about it, except get through it and start all over!
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