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How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Part of a Botnet? 491

ashraya writes "My father (not too computer literate) has a desktop and a laptop both running Windows in his network back in Hyderabad, India. I set up a Linksys router for him to use with his broadband service. For some reason, he reset the config on the Linksys, and connected it up without wireless security, and also with the default admin password for some time. As you would expect, both of the Windows computers got 'slow,' and the desktop stopped connecting to the internet completely for some reason. As I logged in remotely to 'fix' things, I noticed on the Linksys' log that the laptop was making seemingly random connections to high-numbered ports on various IPs. I did an nslookup on the IPs to see that they were all either in Canada or US, with Comcast and other ISP addresses. Is that a sign that the computers were in a botnet? Are the other hosts part of the botnet too? (I have since rebuilt the Windows hosts, and these connections are not happening now. I have also secured the Linksys.)"

Comment Re:Have done some extensive testing... (Score 1) 357

"One final note -- please don't leave your USB stick inserted in the PC as you power it off! USB ports supply power and use a FET device to control that power. When you turn off the PC, the gates float and significant leakage current goes to the USB device. Some of the cheaper USB drives lack a key resistor that bleads this current away and protects the flash memory chips. This leads to data corruption. I have seen the FTL break in such sticks simply by doing POR on the PC."

With that said, those of us that always leave our SDHD cards in our netbook's card reader, even after powering down: Are we in danger of data loss from a similar manner as described above?

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