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Distributed computing without your knowledge
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Thread: Distributed computing without your knowledge

  1. #1
    nfallon
    Guest

    Distributed computing without your knowledge

    I'm not sure how many people use applications like Gnucleus, LimeWire, Gnutella, etc but this may be of interest. This morning my nephew called me to come over and look at his system. It seems that it was running slow when hewas the net. He has a Windows box and had a program called Gnucleus installed on the system. Gnucleus is a Gnotella type program. During setup it just goes through a simple install and says that it is only installing Gnucleus and nothing else. I went into the configuration section of the program and found a checkbox that was checked that said to allow this system to participate in Gnucleus distributed computing. As soon as I unchecked the box the internet speeds came back.

    I'm amazed that companies are resorting to this. They are not asking if they can do it but just use your system and leave it up to you to stumble across it.

    Neil

  2. #2
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    It doesn't surprise me. I installed a Mahjongg game from E-games on a Win98 box on my network once and all of a sudden my Linux firewall/router would start connectioning itself to the internet in the middle of the night. I had it set to connect on demand. It was pretty easy to track down the spyware the game had installed from the denied packets coming from the Win98 box in the firewall logs. Like your problem the installer said nothing about this being installed.

    Just think of the number of peolple out there who know nothing about what is installed on their computers.

    Jim H

  3. #3
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    You have probably heard the name Zone Alarm before. It's the name of one of the most popular free firewalls on the net right now. Funny thing is... it allows your computer to connect to a zonealarm server and transfer system information to the company. My friend who runs windows, runs zonealarm for its features, and then a smaller firewall to block zonealarm. It tries to connect a couple times a day as far as I remember him saying.

    The benefits of open source are quite evident to us, why not anyone else?

  4. #4
    nfallon
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    I think even open source may have the same type of problems. LimeWire on Windows has a feature that says

    "If your computer has a fast ethernet connection, LimeWire may act as an ultrapeer for slower users. You can disable this if needed."


    I'm sure the same thing exists in LimeWire for linux. I don't think that these companies would modify their product from one platform to the next. I may be wrong though. I think Aragorn may use LimeWire for Linux and maybe able to tell us if that same feature is there.

    Neil

  5. #5
    Aaron_Adams
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    I agree that it can still happen, but atleast you have the comfort of knowing it's going on with open source. In that case it does give a warning. But with things like "KaZaa" and ZoneAlarm, that don't even mention it anywhere, there's no real way to tell for sure what's going on. Just like with the Windows operating system. If you want to see something really crazy regarding Windows, go to http://www.fuckmicrosoft.com/content...en-files.shtml
    and read through the instructions. That's quite a bit of private info that they are storing there...

  6. #6
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    I agree it can also happen with open source, but it would not last for long. With the source code available someone would notice it real fast and complain. Something like this would suffer from the "slashdot" effect" very fast.

    Jim H

  7. #7

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    Limewire for Linux does have that feature, the newer versions anyways. That is why I found an older version and stuck with it. I don't like other peoples downloads routing through me... :-/

    Aragorn
    If you give a man a fire he'll be warm, if you light the man on fire he'll be warm for life.

  8. #8
    JimH
    Guest

    Re: Distributed computing without your knowledge

    I came across this article this morning. Titled "Spyware, In a Galaxy Near You : >

    The latest scandal over so-called spyware involves a mysterious and particularly insidious program that tracks your surfing, delivers pop-up ads and could even collect your credit card information.

    You may not have heard of the VX2 Corporation, but if you've downloaded Audio Galaxy lately, VX2 may know a lot about you.


    And it gets even more interesting.

    But that's not all it does. According to VX2's own privacy policy, "VX2's software also collects some information from online forms that you fill out."

    The policy statement assures users it has engineered the program not to collect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers. However, "if such data were -- despite VX2's best efforts -- ever inadvertently collected, VX2 would immediately purge such information from its database."


    Oops. >

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology...,49960,00.html

    Jim H

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