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Please help with tracking running processes on my system.


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#1
Golden Butterflies

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So, long story here, but my neighbors run an open network. They have given me permission to use it, and even after I discussed securing the connection they decided that wasn't the option they wanted to take. Turns out, they also allow other neighbors to jump on the network, under the same rules that nobody hog too much bandwidth. It isn't my place really to point out that they should be more conservative of the small amount they have, and that's something for another topic entirely really. I just don't want to see their generosity become a case of "no good deed goes unpunished" and whatnot.

Basically, I've noticed odd activity on the network. I was advised this is possibly normal on an unsecured network, and noticed that the activity stopped for a few days. But now it's back, and it still feels as if it's directly related to whether I'm connected. I just connected tonight, and the full amount of bandwidth was available. I browsed a few pages, nothing that intense on bandwidth, then checked about thirty minutes later. It had gone down 50 entire megabytes. Now it's dropping at least one MB per minute, and doesn't seem keen on leveling out. I'm freaking out here, because like I said I'm afraid it's directly related to when my system connects.

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but please indulge me here. I won't be comfortable until I can determine with relative certainty it's not on my end. Right now, the usage has gone from 250 free MB to 130 free MB in under an hour. Well over 100 MB gone, and still counting. So if this isn't just odd behaviour caused by my neighbor's insistence of keeping the connection open and someone abusing the privilege of using it, then there's something majorly wrong with my system. Hence I'd like to know.

Is there anything I can run to determine what processes are active on my system, where they originate, and if they're allowed access to the internet? Additionally, how would I go about figuring out if a process is malignant?

Oh, and my system runs on Vista Home Premium (32 bit), if that makes a difference.

ETA: I disconnected for ten minutes just now, and found out it had dropped another 20 MB during that time yet has now settled down at 101 free MB. So I'd love to know if it's possible to have some kind of nasty on my system that would continue running within the network after wireless connection is severed. (Is that even possible?)

And my apologies, but I recall there being an "Am I infected?" forum at one point but couldn't find it tonight. Please move this if I just overlooked the forum and it's better suited for there. :blush:

Edited by Golden Butterflies, 20 November 2011 - 10:14 PM.

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#2
Akabilk

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Is there anything I can run to determine what processes are active on my system, where they originate, and if they're allowed access to the internet? Additionally, how would I go about figuring out if a process is malignant?


To see what is running on your PC, go to Start / Run / type in msconfig / click on Services tab / tick hide all Microsoft services.

Have a look if there is anything there you don't recognize. If there is copy it down on notebook and copy and paste in your next post.

Now download the free version of Malawarebytes: http://www.malwareby...lwarebytes_free
Install and update and then run a scan. If there is anything nasty on your PC it should find it.

Have you scanned your PC with your anti-virus program? If not, do that too.
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#3
Golden Butterflies

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First of all, thank you very much for replying! :)

From what I can see, there's nothing that shouldn't be installed. I'm a little shocked at how much stuff HP keeps running in the background, but it all checks out when Googled to ensure it's related to something I have enabled in my system. Good news, I would guess.

What about my browser and stuff like that? Would those kind of things count under Microsoft services even though I use Firefox, and therefore be removed from the list by checking that option? I ask because it didn't show up, and that does leave me wondering if perhaps something I don't want could be running hidden as well. (Sorry, like I said, I'm paranoid.)

I have Malwarebytes installed already, courtesy of the last person who did a bit of maintenance work on my computer. Should I run a quick scan or full scan?

ETA: Also, I hate to admit it but I don't have an active, updated av program so no I haven't done a scan. I have AVG installed, but the last time I tried to run it, it nearly brought my (already damaged, awaiting replacement) hard drive down. But then, I don't think that's the program's fault so much as the whole issue with virus scans requiring prolonged access of most areas of the drive.

Edited by Golden Butterflies, 21 November 2011 - 12:50 AM.

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#4
Akabilk

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What about my browser and stuff like that? Would those kind of things count under Microsoft services even though I use Firefox, and therefore be removed from the list by checking that option? I ask because it didn't show up, and that does leave me wondering if perhaps something I don't want could be running hidden as well. (Sorry, like I said, I'm paranoid.)


No don't untick Firefox or it will not run. It is not a Microsoft process and nor is antything else still remaining after ticking "hide all Microsoft Services".

If you have a factory set-up HP PC, like all other manufactures they load the operating system up with "junkware" (also known as "bloatware"). A lot of that rubbish can be uninstalled.

Basically, anything that says HP under "services" that is there can be unticked which will disable it and any/all HP services or programs can be safely uninstalled in "add and remove programs". Just keep any service you think you would really like to keep.

As for AVG- while your in msconfig click on "start-up" tab and untick anything AVG (this will disable it next time you boot.
Now reboot / go to add and remove programs / uninstall anything AVG / reboot.

defrag. your PC.

Now download Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE): http://windows.micro...ity-essentials. Install /update/ run a scan. It will take some time so take the dog for a walk and smell the roses.

I have Malwarebytes installed already, courtesy of the last person who did a bit of maintenance work on my computer. Should I run a quick scan or full scan?


Run a full scan.

Edited by Akabilk, 21 November 2011 - 01:16 AM.

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#5
Golden Butterflies

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My apologies, I don't think my wording made much sense now that I re-read it. I didn't mean to suggest unticking Firefox, I meant to ask if it's normal that Firefox didn't show up at all on the list even though I had it running. I was wondering if ticking 'hide Microsoft services' somehow kept it from showing, even though Firefox isn't a Microsoft program.

I've already gone through and deleted the bloatware I didn't want or need, back when the computer was young. But that's very good advice, either way. I do want the things it has running at this point, as they're associated with the quicklaunch, wireless assistant, and stuff like that. The things I already decided to keep. I guess I just didn't realize how many services would be associated with those things.

Before I go through with uninstalling AVG and proceeding with that section, I'd like to ask why this is suggested. I know I've read in the past about some anti virus programs becoming defunct and no longer reliable sources of protection. Is that the case for AVG?

And I'll get to running the full scan with MBAM as soon as possible.
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#6
Digerati

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my neighbors run an open network. They have given me permission to use it

Your neighbors do not have the right to allow others who are not residents of their home to use their network. In the United States, gaining access via a neighbor's Internet access is illegal and is called "theft of services".

According to the Terms of Use you agreed to abide by when joining, note item 3.p. says,

The posting of links or references to warez or any other type of illegal software is strictly forbidden. By doing so you risk having your user account terminated without warning. We will NOT help anyone we suspect of having obtained their software or services illegally.


And further seeking of help to conduct this illegal activity, or any further providing of help [Akabilk] for such illegal activity will result in permanent banning from this site!

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