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Post by TABwebmaster » 11-11-2005 07:54 PM

I'm starting this thread with the hopes that we can all help each other with any tech-related problems.

Mind if I start? A friend recently sent me an 8-port KVM switch (for those who don't know what that is...it's a switch that you plug your monitor, keyboard, and mouse into and then each of the other ports you run cables to each of your computers so you can share the one monitor, keyboard, and mouse). It's a TK-801R from TrendNet. I've tried everything to get it working and I don't see anything on my screen. Nor does my keyboard work. I can't really tell if the mouse works because I can't see it on the screen. I've already called TrendNet and they told me to try hooking up one computer only which is the first thing I tried. I had already tried everything they told me except trying it with another monitor, keyboard and mouse. That will have to wait until I can take this into work because I don't have a spare monitor.

I have been using a Linksys 2-port KVM switch for about 2 years and I have never had a problem with it. Now I have more machines and I'd like to get them all on this 8-port KVM switch.

If anyone has an idea what I could try I'd appreciate it.

My second to last option will be to try it with another monitor when I get to work Sunday. My last option will be to ship it back for a replacement.

BTW...I have a Compaq FS740 monitor and a standard PS/2 mouse and keyboard.

Thanks!

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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 11-11-2005 11:14 PM

Some switches just don't work. I have always used the Starview switches at home and at work, but the little 4-port I use in my home studio has one quirk.

When booting a Win2k box with Intel 2.4gHz, I always get a keyboard error which I have to press F1 to bypass. If another computer is selected during the boot, the Win2k machine will boot just fine.

Two things to look for. If you have any adapters that can mess up the switch. If the switch is powered off a wall wart (power cube), check to make sure the power is stable and clean.

I also found that some of the wireless keyboards and mice will output noise at times, which the swich perceives as a "wait", so if you have wireless you might want to try disconnecting it and see if the ghosts go away.

Finally, sometimes cable routing is crucial. A cable going past a monitor or another electrical connection can cause the switch to hang as it sees something on that input it doesn't know what to make out. In my case when I put a "sniffer" on the line, having the keyboard cable near my HP 22" monitors caused random ^ characters to be sent to the switch. I had to move the cables around to the side to fix the problem.
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Computer Security Issue - Help!

Post by SetiCruncher » 11-22-2005 12:01 PM

O.k. Tech Guru's I come begging for your help.

My computer runs 24/7 and I suspect it has been compromised. No obvious signs that it has been successfully hacked just subtle issues:

- My mouse pointer will from time to time suddenly jump across the screen for no reason
- My homepage changed one night from English to French
- a New empty folder appeared in my favoties list last night that I did not create.
- I've lost the ability to save things to my secondary HD (mind you it is 92% full)

Just subtle things.

My system sits behind both a router and a software firewall (Zonealarm - up to date with no changes to settings. Nothing connects out without my permission). I've installed all the latest Microsoft updates. Viral scanners show my system clean. Adaware and Spybot search and destroy find nothing. I even ran Root revealer to try and find hidden root commands, again my system is clean.


Any Idea's on what else I might try? Or am I just losing my mind?
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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-22-2005 04:13 PM

Boy, that sure blows SetiCruncher. I'm not a Guru by a longshot but I may be able to help. If you have 2000 or XP you might try Microsoft Anti-spyware. It helped me out in a big way awhile back. My IE had been hijacked and that got me back in control of it.

Being behind a router, a NAT router I presume, you should be fairly safe unless you stumbled upon a trojan that's opened it up for you via a backdoor. That's why I suggested MS A-S. Zone Alarm is useless if you have a trojan. Trojans defeat your security first thing. i.e. - your anti-virus, software firewall, etc. from the inside.

What happens when you change your homepage back? Does it stay after you reboot & restart IE?

Try MS Anti-spyware and see if that finds anything. Make sure you update it's definitions before you scan. You might also try an online virus scanner like Panda or Housecallor the one offered by Trend Micro.

But the first thing I'd do is ditch IE for Firefox. Image
IE is a vulnerable, unsecure browser and the target of ALL the baddies out there.

I have a few more ideas if you need them but this should be a start for you. Sorry about your problem & hope I helped.

Image

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Post by SetiCruncher » 11-22-2005 04:35 PM

Thanks for the reply Dale. I'm downloading the MS anti-spyware .exe as I type.

Once I catch a change in my system (new folder, change in Home page) and correct them they don't seem to revert back. So thats a good sign.

I'll put my system through the paces you recommended and keep you posted if I find anything.

Thanks again.
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Post by TABwebmaster » 11-23-2005 02:15 AM

Switching to Firefox is one of the first things. You will love it, I guarantee that. You can import all of your "Favorites" from IE when you're installing or after.

In addition to the things Dale has said I would download and run SpywareBlaster
I run SpyBot S&D, AdAware SE, and SpywareBlaster and have never had any problems except for an occasional tracking cookie from real.com or some other non-critical site. Dale highly recommends Microsoft Anti-Spyware and I do to. I don't use it anymore but I'm trying to eek out every little clock cycle for BOINC/[email protected];)

If you switch to Firefox let us know how you like it.

I don't think your problems are all that serious if, when you change them back or fix them, they don't repeat.

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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-23-2005 02:44 AM

Yes, I forgot about spyware blaster. Prolly because it's a one time thing. You run it and it changes some settings and files that makes your PC immune to some spyware attacks. Update it once in awhile and you're good to go.

Yes, using Firefox will make almost all your spyware issues moot. I believe the current stable version is 1.0 something and is very nice. Version 1.5 is going to be out very soon. I've had 1.5 RC1-3 installed for a month or so and have no problems with it. I love the shiny black skin for it called Black Japan. Slick.

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Post by SetiCruncher » 11-23-2005 06:06 AM

Thanks for the replies guys, I've downloaded and installed SpyBlaster as recommended, all protections are enabled. thank you.

Although IE is my primary browser I've had both Mozilla and Firefox for sometime now and I do love them, they are great browsers. They are much more secure, I really should start using them more primary browsing.

MS Anti-Spyware did Identify a little program I've had for the last couple years (Messenger Plus) as spyware. I've never had issue with this little MSN add-on but to be safe I've removed it from my start menu to limit its activity a bit more.

Online Anti-virus scanners find my system clean.

Whatever my problem is/was so far I've come up empty handed. Hopefully with the addition of MS anti-spyware and Spyblaster the security hole has been plugged.

Thanks for the input guys. I'll keep you posted if I have anymore issues.
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Post by SetiCruncher » 11-25-2005 03:16 PM

Looks like my security Woes continue, despite multiple viral and spyware scans showing a clean system.

- This morning I removed a new network that had been added to my Firewalls trusted zone. After years of my firewall only ever recording a single network access (My ISP), this morning I removed a "New" network. A 127.0.0.1 Loopback. Apparently there are several worms that establish such a loop and exploit the system by remote access. Yet my computer continues to come up clean after multiple scans (Housecalls, Microtrend, Grissoft, adaware, spybot, spyblaster, MS Anti-spyware, and root revealer.)
- As of this morning my Firewall settings had been altered to allow my word processor access to the internet. This has since been corrected.
- My mouse continues to jump across the screen on occassion for no apprent reason.

I'm out of ideas. :confused: My router appears to be working perfectly. Port scans from GRC.com shows my machine in perfect stealth. My machine will no longer run 24/7 until this issue is resolved and will be offline when I am not available to police it.

Anyone have any other idea's? I'd rather avoid reformating if possible.
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Post by TABwebmaster » 11-25-2005 04:00 PM

Are you running Windows 95, 98, or ME? Or Win2000, NT, XP? Are you completely up-to-date with Windows Update?

What are some of the programs you have installed on your system? Sometimes a piece of software sounds cool so you try it out. Come to find out much later that the software came bundled with another piece of software (which can sometimes be malicious). If there are any old programs on your machine that you no longer use I would definitely recommend cleaning house. Start off with just the ones you don't use any longer and go from there.

If you have Windows XP I may be able to log into your machine with Remote Desktop but I've never used it from home before...only at work. It seems pretty simple. If I can look around at some of the programs you have installed maybe I can fix the problem. I'm going to try it from one machine to another here at home since I now have two machines with XP and see how it goes. I'm thinking that the fact I have a dynamic IP will prevent it but like I said I've never tried it from home.

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Post by TABwebmaster » 11-25-2005 04:17 PM

Nevermind about the Microsoft Updates...I missed that in your first post.

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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-25-2005 04:41 PM

Anyone have any other idea's? I'd rather avoid reformatting if possible
Backup your data and reformat would be my best advice at this point. With 98 I did that twice a year, at least. Usually not due to bugs or trojans but it would just run better pruning my registry regularly and getting rid of the dead wood. With XP I only do this about a fourth as much but I've heard from someone I trust that's fairly security savvy that there are way more nasties on your system than any AV program can find and they find their way onto your system at will..and not yours, heh.

Just curious, you don't listen to cds or play DVDs on your PC do you?

My only other guess would be weirdness caused by some RAM going bad? But that usually shows up as boot failure, program and system crashes and other more random appearing events. Not writing files and folders to your HD and opening back doors.

Your router isn't wireless, is it? WEP protocals aren't very secure..aren't secure at all to the right person. A back door being added since your scans and other actions taken by you to secure your system says to me that it's a reaction to those efforts. If you do have a wireless router Steve Gibson has done two very good Security Now podcasts on securing those in the past couple weeks. You might give those a listen. Again, much luck to you.

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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-25-2005 04:47 PM

Hi Mark. I'm pretty sure dynamic IPs are static for awhile unless you reset your internet connection on your DSL or cable modem through most ISPs.

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Re:

Post by Methos » 11-25-2005 11:05 PM

Hello SetiCruncher and everyone,

I am far from being a wise man of computers so i just wanted to add my two cents of things that have worked for me to flush out the gremblins that can hide in your computer.

You could try running your AV program with your system restore turned off to help flush out anything hiding in your system restore and also depending what version of windows your running(or whatever you use) you can go into windows and turn off the option to hide hidden files and folders to try and flush it out also.

You can also download and try running CW Shredder and also Hijack this and run the logfile option only and check it for any out of place files and if any are found then do a scan and save log file and post it on a spyware forum and they can tell you what belongs and what does not.
Last edited by Methos on 11-25-2005 11:08 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SetiCruncher » 11-26-2005 11:25 AM

Thanks for the replies folks,

I've started removed non-critical bundled software and no longer run 24/7, so far it seems my woes have taken a temporary, hopefully permenate, break.

To answer some of your questions, I'm running windows XP SP2 , fully updated with all patches and sitting behind a hard wired NAT Router (no wireless here, I don't trust the secuity of wireless).

Thanks for the remote access offer TAB, I'll keep that in mind in case things get worse.

So far it seems the issues I have corrected have not returned. (false sense of security? :rolleyes: ) Hopefully the problem was hidden in a piece of software I've removed.

I'm going to do this slowly over a few days to try and identify the offending program (if thats the problem). I'll remove one, wait a day or two to assess my system then remove another, hopefully this way I can identify the offending software and help others by preventing them from installing it.

Thanks again folks, you guys are great. I'll keep you posted.
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