is my pc being hijacked?

  sminky pinky 09:36 25 Aug 2004

i have recently used the shareaza p2p network for downloading some files. each time i virus check before opening. however, i keep thinking my pc has slowed down and get paranoid when the hard drive starts spinning for no reason.

i run windows xp, have norton antivirus 2003, a firewall router and run spybot. both spybot and norton show my pc is clean. is there another way to check to see if anything is there.


ps. i have stopped using p2p.

  xania 09:47 25 Aug 2004

When you stop using software - even when you uninstall it - its amazing how much junk is left. Using XP, you can go back to the set-up just before you install p2p. Then you'll have your system as if you'd never had p2p. However, a word of warning, no matter how fast your new machine is, its amazing how it soon appears to slow down. Its not - you're just getting used to the speed. Try going back to a slower PC - you'll soon find out.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:00 25 Aug 2004

You have more chance of hitting the Lotto than your computer being hijacked. However you need to get rid of all the crud so download RegSeeker click here and delete all it finds (don't worry it saves the deletions as a file. make sure that you go to histories and delete EVERYTHING in explorer URLs and index .dat).

You then need to download CCleaner from click here. Delete all that it finds and there will be a lot.

Your computer will run a lot faster.


  sminky pinky 10:28 25 Aug 2004


i am running the clean up programs now to see if that works. will keep you posted.

out of interest, how would you know if some one has taken over your machine to send out spam then?


  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:38 25 Aug 2004

Sending spam through host computers is the 'in thing' in various articles. It is also something that is quite rare. Your machine would not be taken over in the sense that someone is mooching about your files but a hosting script would be placed on your computer. This would not affect the running of the computer but could be used as a 'stepping stone' for spam.

As most large spammers use servers in third world countries that need foreign currency, which are also dirt cheap and reliable I could never understand why they would want to use someone's computer that may only be on for a few seconds. Like many things about viruses, hacking and Internet security there is an awful lot of supposition and hype based on a tiny amount of instances.

If you start getting shed loads of mail saying that you are a filthy spammer and questioning your parentage, you may assume that someone is using your computer as a server...unlikely although it is fairly easy to use one to help in DNS attacks if one's AV is out of date.


  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:42 25 Aug 2004

ps...use Regseeekr to clear the registry entries as well as the histories....


  Kate B 14:23 25 Aug 2004

one of my brother's machines was used as a spam server after my sister-in-law downloaded some apparently totally respectable shareware. My brother is a network/unix/linux guru for a big bank in the City so if it can happen to him, who keeps a very sharp eye on his machines, it can happen to anyone!

  sminky pinky 15:28 25 Aug 2004

i cleared out 760 mb of stuff through ccleaner, didn't feel brave enough to do the registry with regseeker. i'll ask my brother who's an engineer for that.

thanks for the stuff about hijacking. you read about it in the press so much you assume it's really common.

i've got an adsl broadband connection, which as opposed to dial up, is more difficult to see when there is traffic going through your connection. dial up shows as a winking icon in the corner.i think i need to swot up on it a bit more...

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:40 26 Aug 2004

Regseeker will keep a backup copy of registry deletions in case you need to go back. I have never needed to.


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