Ubuntu: Have I been hacked by the NSA or something?



Question:

So I have specifically NOT done an update for a while. I skype with my daughter daily and use Ubuntu 12.04 (I think it's .04 but definitely 12). After every session I used to go to file system/tmp and there would be the video file labelled as out.mpg. I would then cut this from there and store it in another folder where I save our chats.

Today, the tmp folder was no longer there. I did a search for it and found it in a completely different directory, one whose name made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I found it here: home/PlayOnLinux's virtual drives/e_/dosdevices/c: and in this folder was a lot of stuff labelled as windows and windows based things.

I found other files that seem to be windows related and I am no programmer but I know I didn't install wine and I didn't install the latest updates for about a month now in fact I specifically have not done so, so why would the whole nesting of my tmp folder suddenly be in a location that as far as I know never existed before today?

even freakier, I took some screen shots (not sure how to append the images here [I am a neewb at anything technical on Ubuntu]) and now that I went back to check the path again for writing this, the tmp folder is once again back under it's usual place.

I mean...WTF??? There is also a folder called dosdevices and files called playonlinux.cfg playonlinux.log etc. Obviously Playonlinux seems to me to be some way to access Linux from a windows based machine?

What the hell is going on. Can any of you help with this? I can e-mail screen shots of some of the code in the files too or send the files (if they are still going to be there) I know this makes me sound like a tin-foil hat conspiracy whack job, but this is just strange!


Solution:1

No, based on what you're saying, I can tell you that this is certainly not because you've been hacked by NSA. :)

You seem concerned about finding Windows-files and that PlayOnLinux might be some kind of trojan horse used to access a Linux computer from Windows? That's not the case. PlayOnLinux is a tool that is used to simplify the use of Wine, which in turn is way to run Windows applications on Ubuntu, or GNU+Linux in general.

The most likely explanation is that you've downloaded the Windows version. In that case, it makes perfect sense that its files will be stored in the location you specified. Afterwards, you've probably installed the Ubuntu version, which would store its data in /tmp. Then you've simply run the "wrong" version of Skype and the files will have ended up in a place you didn't expect. If you search for Skype in Dash, I would expect that you get two icons for it, but since I haven't tested, I can't say that for sure. If you do have both the Windows and Ubuntu versions of Skype, then I recommend that you remove the Windows version.

Please do install updates. Ubuntu is safe and secure, but only as long as you install updates. It is quite important. In this case, however, nothing in your answer seems suspicious in any way.


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