What programs are running in the background?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Stan L. write s:

" Dear Dennis,

A few days ago, I was using my computer when all the sudden, I noticed that some program decided that it wanted to access the Internet. I tried to cancel the request to connect to the Internet, but the bugger kept coming back asking for a connection. I then decided to try the "3 finger salute" by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL at the same time to bring up Task Manager, but no programs were listed here that seemed to be "out of the ordinary" that might have been attempting to access the Internet.

Is there a program which can run in the background, keeping track of who is making calls to other programs like the dialer? Or, does it already exist in W98SE? "

My Response:

I don't know of any programs that specifically watch for an Internet connection -- incase of a similar situation to yours -- but I *do* know that there are some programs which will tell you what is running in the background. In fact, this was discussed in a previous newsletter (NTFS Alternate Data Streams). A quick recap:

" ... Visit SysInternals.com and get Process Explorer. Snippet from the web site: 'Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.'

Visit DependencyWalker.com and get Dependency Walker. Snippet from the web site: 'Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module / program (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module. Dependency Walker is also very useful for troubleshooting system errors related to loading and executing modules' ... "

If anyone knows of a sleuthing program that specifically watches the Internet for "naughty" programs which are attempting to "call home", please feel free to email me.

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