Help changing internet password

Hi

I think someone's hacked my optus internet account because lately my internet has been running slow and i think ive been using up more downloads then i should. I've also tried powering off my modem for a long time (1 hour) to see if my ip will change but it stays the same, i think this is because someone is using my account and keeping the connection alive.
So I want to change my internet password. I've tried changing my password on the optus site but i think that only changes my email login password because shouldn't my internet stop working, and my modem ask me for a new password, because how does my modem know what the new password is? I've rang optus and i think the guy was trying to say if I change it on the site it changes everything so i don't know.
Any advise would really be appricated.

Thanx,
Tristan
social_suicideAsked:
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems EngineerCommented:
Not up on Optus, but from their site they seem to be a cable service.  If so, you do not need an internet password, although your email does need to authenticate with the pop and smtp servers...

And, if you are cable or dsl, then the chances of getting a new IP address just by powering off the modem are slim.  These addresses are 'leased' and usually stay with the owner..  That is, unless the DHCP Server at the NOC needs it, and you have released it..  In other words, if there are more subscribers on the network than IP addresses to hand out, then as soon as one is released, it is given to another which has sent a DHCP Request.  For instance, my connection is cable, and I get a dynamic IP address from my provider's DHCP server...  You would expect this address to change over time, but I have had the same IP address for over 2 years...  

One reason a connection can run slow is the amount of users sharing the same line..  This is how broadband cable works.  Another reason could be your own system.  Have you run your spyware software?  Cleaned out your Temp IE cache?  Check for any Trojans that could be eating up your bandwidth?  Done the regulare system maintenance?

All things to consider..

FE
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems EngineerCommented:
BTW:  I doubt seriously whether anyone has 'hacked' your account..  That would be at the bottom of the list of any concerns I would have..  Just thought I would mention it..

FE
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social_suicideAuthor Commented:
Thanx once again for your most appreciated help Fatal. I already knew most of that and spware scans have already been done. I think the spyware scan done the trick. My internet speed seems to be back to normal and i didnt release that my ip dosnt always change when my modem is powered off for a long period of time. One more thing though. If someone was stealing my internet account, would changing my ip loose the attacker from targeting my internet?

Thanx,
Tristan
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems EngineerCommented:
Well, here is the thing.  By stealing your account in the way you describe, the thief would have to have your IP address mapped to their modem's MAC address, and specifically to your internal device (your computer or router) that holds the IP address.  The protocols that provide for this only allow one device (in the world) to hold that IP address, therefore my earlier statement regarding my doubts that this could be the issue.  Years and years ago (*grin*) before I really got into this work (networking), I would have thought the same as you are in this situation, but this is virtually impossible.

So that would leave me to believe other things are taking place here.  When bandwidth starts getting eaten up for no apparent reason, the most common cause is one of the things we discusses above (spyware/trojans/virii) but it could be that you are experiencing a DOS or DDOS attack from outside your LAN.  This is also doubtful, as any attacker would probably not see any benefit to targeting you specifically, but it is a more likely scenario than the one you are mentioning here.

Now, here is a scenario I would buy into in your case.  Say, if you were running a Wifi network, and a hacker tapped into your Wifi and used it to connect to the internet.  In this case, the traffic on your LAN (your modem) would definitely see in increase, and your security severely threatened.  They would virtually steal a Private IP address from your Access Point and the effects would be as you are describing.

Hope this eases your worry.  If you really want to see what is going on in your LAN, you could get a packet sniffer such as Ethereal, which captures packets and allows you to view them in real time.  Most good network admins have this installed on their laptops so they can investigate their networks.  It is a free, open source application, so you may want to ck it out.  (It can be a little tough understanding the results, so you will have to do some reading first, but not too much..  :)

FE
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems EngineerCommented:
I was just reading an article and thought it would apply nicely to your question...  This may explain why I am a little dubious to the question of someone stealing your service..  As you can see, this can only be accomplished using a very in-depth method....  and the thief would have to have physical access to your equipment  :)  

Fake MAC's - By changing the cable side MAC address (often also the serial number) to that of another user (possible someone paying for premium service), the user will be able to effectively steal that users service. Two CM's online with the same MAC is not possible for an extended period of time, and will be logged at the CMTS. So the MSO may track this down fairly easily.

How would a user be able to change the cable-side MAC? One way could be to use a debug shell-enabled CM as described above. Another way could be to remove the non-volatile memory on the PC board holding the MAC address, and reprogram it. This does require special equipment, but in many cases an electronics hobbyist can easily do this. Most modems (if not all) will have a way to program the MAC address during the manufacturing process. This may be using an In-Circuit Tester (ICT) with a bed-of-nails fixture for the specific CM, it may be through the debug shell (that is then disabled before shipping) or some other approach.  

The key here is, that the number of devices to look for is fairly small (flash or eeprom devices). Finding the MAC in the content of the storage device may also be fairly simple, as the MAC address is normally also shown on a sticker at the back of the CM.
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Fatal_ExceptionSystems EngineerCommented:
Thanks, hope you got it resolved..

FE
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