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View Full Version : OT Unwanted download & dial-up behavior



Orrin
05-07-2008, 07:25 PM
This morning I discovered this computer was in the middle of a download of an Adobe Reader software update. At least, that's what the dialogue box told me. As things turned out, I'm beginning to wonder.

First of all, I never gave permission for nor asked for a software update.

Secondly, the on-line connection did not display usual the two-monitor icon that indicated send-receive activity. It seemed as if a dialer other than my usual one had initiated the connection.

Thirdly, now when I go on-line, when the remote computer "wakes up," my software does not connect. Instead, I get another window that I've never seen, before. It is a DOS window with the caption "After Dial Terminal" and it displays this text:

"Welcome to 3Com Total Control HiPer ARC (TM)
"Networks That Go The Distance (TM)

"login:"

The download of the so-called software update was interrupted when the dial-up connection was somehow interrupted. When I re-connected the "After Dial Terminal" displayed. Apparently, the "update" is not responsible for it.

Does anybody know what has happened and what is going on?

Thank you.

Orrin

PTSideshow
05-07-2008, 08:37 PM
Don't know if this has anything to do with your problem. But this and the fact that the arcobat deleted all my old outdated pdf editing and composing software. when it it did an update telling me I will have to order current software. I removed all of their software and now use another one and the edit software which I like.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16464910/
is the link to the news article on them.
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
Is the other PDF software.
:D

PS you have to disable the auto update feature in any and all software manually.

Al Messer
05-07-2008, 08:38 PM
I do not know much about computers, but it sounds to me as if someone has invaded your space. Have you run your anti-virus program since this behavior started?

Lew Hartswick
05-07-2008, 09:44 PM
I highly recomend Zone Alarm, you can tell it what programs you
want to let connect to the net. I let AVG do it's thing every day
automatically and when that cursed MS pgm wants to update I just
tell it NO!. :-)
...lew...ps. I did let Adobe update no problems.

Evan
05-07-2008, 10:25 PM
Sounds like a trojan horse dialer to me. Watch out, you could be presented with a staggering phone bill. The way the hackers make money on this is to route your connection to the internet through a 900 number that bills dollars per minute. The Adobe update was merely taking advantage of an open connection.

I recommend you dial up by clicking the dialup connection in the networking window in control panel, update your antivirus software and disconnect. Pull the plug on the phone line and scan your system. If your antivirus software doesn't find anything or doesn't even work properly the safest thing to do is to do a clean reinstall of Windows after backing up your personal files.

Orrin
05-08-2008, 01:38 AM
Thank you for your replies. I appreciate your willingness to lend a hand.

I've had Zone Alarm on this computer for years. I'm running Norton AV, have downloaded the updates and have done a complete system scan.

I also did a print screen of the DOS window and sent it to my ISP. I'm wondering if they are implementing some sort of new software that I've not been warned about.

Evan, your suspicions echo mine. I'll keep after this until I find some answers.

BTW, I HATE automatic software upgrades that don't ask permission from the user. Countless times our computer grinds to a crawl and we can't be certain what is going on. The only thing we know is there is a horrendous amount of "traffic" through our connection. We have no way of determining if it is legitimate or nefarious.

Regards,

Orrin

Swarf&Sparks
05-08-2008, 07:55 AM
Can adobe and get yourself Foxit reader.
Fast and free
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php

Evan
05-08-2008, 08:54 AM
I should point out that Zone Alarm won't stop a dialer program from initiating a dial up connection. That isn't the same as a program trying to use an established connection which is what Zone Alarm is looking for. The same applies to antivirus software unless the dialer is a known malicious program. There are plenty of legitimate dialers in use to access porn or corporate networks.

J Tiers
05-08-2008, 09:26 PM
There may be a point in your using Spybot Search and destroy to check out the system. There is a new version now, and it looks for a whole lot more differnt items, some of which ARE dialers.

Orrin
05-08-2008, 11:51 PM
Part of the situation has been explained. The DOS screen was being generated by the ISP's Linux terminal software.

The unexplained things remain: Why did the auto download of the Adobe Reader update change the configuration on my computer?

Oh well. The whole episode turned out to be harmless enough.

I'm going to look into Foxit Reader.

Tx, all, for your assistance. I appreciate your input.

Best regards,

Orrin

gnm109
05-09-2008, 01:02 AM
Part of the situation has been explained. The DOS screen was being generated by the ISP's Linux terminal software.

The unexplained things remain: Why did the auto download of the Adobe Reader update change the configuration on my computer?

Oh well. The whole episode turned out to be harmless enough.

I'm going to look into Foxit Reader.

Tx, all, for your assistance. I appreciate your input.

Best regards,

Orrin

I'm just curious, do you leave your computer on when you aren't using it?

I'm afraid to do that for fear someone could use my machine for a terminal.

Glad that you didn't lose any data.

darryl
05-09-2008, 01:47 AM
'do you leave your computer on'- interesting question. I've been told don't shut it off, the hard drive will last longer. Wel, if I left this one running for more than a few days, it would be quite a slug. I elected right from the beginning ('96) to shut it off every night. I've never had a drive fail, only fill up to the point where it's unusable anymore. I've had windows problems of course, but restarting often resolves these. Not always- we've all been there-

The worst 'hardware' problem I've had is the backup battery going bad. Now this could be a consequence of shutting the thing off all the time, but I'm not so sure. The computer would have to be taking over the job of powering the memory any time it was powered up. Maybe it does this, but it would also then be raising the voltage on the memory b+, which is to say it would tend to be charging the non-rechargeable backup battery, and at the same time would be removing the faulty condition that this computer develops when the backup voltage is low. This it doesn't do- I can have the computer on and running, and it has gone into a condition from which the only escape is a re-instal of windows. Replacing the battery has resolved the problems 3 times now.

As far as unwanted dialers, etc, I've had my share, but I'm also doing now what many of you would consider completely taboo- I don't run any virus software, firewalls, zone alarm, anti-spy ware- nothing of the kind. I do not use ms IE or mail programs, and I know for fact that has saved me a lot of grief.

If I ran my new computer this way, with xp and on the internet, I'd probably have all kind of nightmares. I mainly use the new box for photo manipulation, with no internet connection to the world, so here I sit- in front of the old box with dial up and a cheesy dell monitor that's getting weak. It keeps on going, and going, and going-

Orrin
05-09-2008, 10:02 AM
I'm just curious, do you leave your computer on when you aren't using it?

I'm afraid to do that for fear someone could use my machine for a terminal.

As a rule, we go off line and shut down our computers every night. The exception was when this all took place. It was my birthday and because of all the distractions the computer was left running, but off-line. The next morning I discovered it was halfway through a seventeen megabyte download, something that would take many hours on our dial-up connection.

I can only conclude a dialer was automatically activated.

Regards,

Orrin

interiorpainter
05-09-2008, 10:23 AM
Control alt delete will give you a popup menu with a status of all the things your puter is doing.
Highlite the item you want to terminate.

Evan
05-09-2008, 01:40 PM
Unfortunately, it is easy to hide things so they don't show in task manager. To really see what is happening you need better software.

Fortunately, such software is actually available from... Microsoft. They can't really take credit for it though. A couple of years ago they made an offer to the guys at Sysinternals that they couldn't refuse and they joined up with Microsoft. They must have negotiated an unusually good deal because they retained the right to distribute all of their very clever utilities for snooping into the Windows system.

Get it here. Download and run the file in the zip folder, no installation required. It makes zero changes to your system and nothing can hide from it.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx

They even retained the right to continue to distribute the Blue Screen Of Death screen saver. :D Don't worry, it's harmless but it will scare the sheet out an IT guy the first time he sees it...

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897558.aspx


[edit] To make sense of what is going on in Process Monitor begin by selecting only "Show Process and Thread Activity", second icon from the right on the toolbar. Turn off the others to start with.

interiorpainter
05-11-2008, 06:56 AM
Thanks for the nice tip.
It is hard to keep your puter clean, even on "normal" sites.