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Philip G Hunt

Warning about VLC player

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38 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

My current fave Paint program is Paint.NET, which is what I use for all of my Cakewalk themes. Light, simple, all the features I need in a pixel editor.

I've checked them out before and I just checked them out again. The site looks like a malware attack just waiting to happen that's why I have never downloaded it. 

I never ever click on those big green buttons that say 'Start' or 'Download'. When you hover over them it's a massive link that starts out with googleadservices embedded in it and hundred or more miscellaneous characters. I have never clicked on one of those links. I've read a lot about it and have read that it's great, but I refuse to download from one of those links. It even has a link embedded in the link button at the top that says 'adchoices' when you hover over it. That just scares the living daylights out of me.

Is there a clean way to get a direct download to it?

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2 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

but the reality is it's extremely rare to get a virus on your PC now days

Agreed. With the software (and hardware) protections on modern PC's, the majority of infections are likely caused ultimately by human error; either carelessly downloading software from unverified sources, clicking links or opening attachments in emails, or following the instructions of "Roger" (with a heavy Indian accent)  who calls and says he's from "Microsoft Tech Support" and needs to access your machine via a link on "AnyDesk.com".
I have an older mother and I've seen all of these first-hand 😬

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1 hour ago, Philip G Hunt said:

Sound to me like one of the mods has piggy backed on your internet connection and might be using your computer as part of a hive.

That's exactly what it feels like.

1 hour ago, Philip G Hunt said:

Have you run a speed test? Checked all the non-microsoft running processes accessing the internet?

Yep. I just did it again with Vortex and Fallout New Vegas minimized and the forums up. I'm running 31 Down/ 22 Up which is faster than what I pay for. But whenever I try to load web pages now I have to wait for ever for the graphics to load. Downloads will start out ok, then significantly drop or stop all together. It started shortly after installing Fallout 3 a month or so ago but in order for it to even boot I had to install an older Direct X version and then for the some of the script extenders for it to work through Vortex Mod Manager I had to install some older .net versions. I did the .net stuff and the mods at the same time so I don't know what caused it. If it is something malicious it's pretty sneaky because Windows and Malwarebytes hasn't caught it.

The claim to fame with The Nexus Mod site is it thoroughly scans all the mods for viruses. You can even pay for faster downloads and better mod searches so if I did get something from them I'd be pretty angry with them. If they are going to ask people for money and claim to be virus free they should be doing a better job of it. Most of those mods for the Fallout games are 10 + years old and you'd think they would have cleaned them by now.

Something happened though that's for sure. 🤬

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2 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

Something happened though that's for sure.

Are you cozy with Windows' Resource Monitor? Open Task Manager, click on the Performance tab, and down at the bottom, there's a button for Open Resource Monitor.

It lets you see in detail what processes are hogging CPU, memory, disk activity and, network traffic.

When I first installed Windows 10, I ran it and saw that Windows Defender was scanning every disk read in real time, which led me to figure out how to exclude directories from being scanned (also how to turn off that realtime scanning entirely, but that's another story).

It also led to my discovery that on playback, Cakewalk streams every audio track in the project as long as any of it is in a clip, regardless of mute status. I found this out after a friend had done over a dozen takes of multiple mic'd drums. I saw that all 60 or so files were being read even though their lanes were muted. The only way to stop it is to archive your unused takes (or delete them). That can add up to a LOT of disk read activity. I've been advocating for an "archive take" feature ever since.

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Just a small FYI on this going out for the Deals thread. I trust cclarry to post legit links. He only looks at the good links and I appreciate his work on that thread.

Having said that, you still gotta be careful. If someone posts a link there to check out a plugin and you suspect it,  go to the source of the sale from a legit browser.

I have started using duck duck go more lately, but really I think it protects your tracks more than anything. 

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On 4/8/2022 at 7:00 PM, Starship Krupa said:

https://www.dotpdn.com/downloads/pdn.html

Or if you prefer to check out the top level website (which is kind of amusing how much it parties like it's 1999):  https://www.getpaint.net/index.html

Those are the links that I was talking about. When you hover over the top 'dotpdn' link and do a search for the file that you are actually downloading you get hits as it being a malicious file. I downloaded it and sent it to two online virus checkers and they say it's clean. The other link is the one I was talking about that has a several hundred character link so you really can't tell what exactly you are downloading or clicking on. That's why I have never downloaded it. But if that's where you get it from and have never had any trouble then I'll check it out. It has to be better than MS Paint. LOL :)

I used to use Paint Shop Pro by Jasc. They had a free version iirc. They must have or I wouldn't have used it. Or it was dirt cheap. I really don't remember, it's been well over a decade since I last installed it. That was a really great program but I stopped using it when Coral bought them and started charging a ton for it.

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On 4/9/2022 at 9:52 AM, Tim Smith said:

Just a small FYI on this going out for the Deals thread. I trust cclarry to post legit links. He only looks at the good links and I appreciate his work on that thread.

Having said that, you still gotta be careful. If someone posts a link there to check out a plugin and you suspect it,  go to the source of the sale from a legit browser.

I have started using duck duck go more lately, but really I think it protects your tracks more than anything. 

Something changed in the last couple months in regard to 'safe' browsing, at least on my system. I've been using Brave with Duck. A lot of web sites flat out won't work now. I'm forced to go over to my totally unsecured Chrome browser now for several sites. One good example is, the dotpdn download link I was talking about in my last post in this thread won't even show up in Brave. I have to pop over to Chrome with no extensions. Facebook is another huge problem. It's how I stay in touch with family back home and it's pretty much unusable in Brave now with ad-blocker extensions. I was using an ad-blocker for Youtube that had a ton of nice features and it just disappeared and a totally new stripped down version with a watermark on the video's just randomly appeared one day. They must have updated it and started charging for the extra features or something. That's fine as long as I don't have to suffer through all the ads. And I wouldn't even mind that but there are way too many. It makes watching a lot of content unbearable. I have gotten tons of invaluable information from Youtube. They are the only streaming service I am considering paying for that I can't get on sale for pennies a month. If you use it as an encyclopedia it is well worth the money they want to remove the ads.

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10 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

Something changed in the last couple months in regard to 'safe' browsing, at least on my system. I've been using Brave with Duck. A lot of web sites flat out won't work now.

Wow, I think I may have started using Brave because of your endorsement of it. I do see the page o'gobbledygook sometimes when I click on the results of a Google search, but I read up on it and Brave does that because it doesn't like Google Ad Services or something. Other than that Brave seems to be working quite well for me. Sometimes I have to tell it "shields down," so that I can get an ad-dependent site to let me aboard, but that's about it.

It does sound like something unsavory crept onto your system, but I have no idea what could be done other than what you've already tried. The idea of getting web cooties that Malware Bytes can't handle is unpleasant.

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@Starship Krupa

I'm leaning more toward it being the extensions and/or the .Net Framework versions I had to install and not actually the browser that is giving me grief right now. IOW I think I would be experiencing the same behavior if I had those same extension in Chrome.

I've been checking out the resource monitor very closely. My system is still running lean and clean. When things won't load on web pages I'm showing 0% network activity. Unless I'm reading that wrong that means the connection isn't responding and it's not that something else is using it dragging it down. I really don't think I have anything malicious. I think it's some sort of conflict with all the different .Net Framework versions I had to install. But unfortunately a lot of these older things I'm running won't work without them.

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fwiw, i use (for years now) firefox with these addins: noscript (the most important one), adblocker ultimate, and privacy badger

good luck finding the culprit

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On 4/12/2022 at 12:02 PM, pwalpwal said:

good luck finding the culprit

Found it! Sort of.

I got a notification that Windows 10 downloaded some updates just a little bit ago and prompted me to install and reboot. I rebooted right away and poof everything is back to normal. This is why I just let Windows do it's thing now and don't worry about keeping my PC/DAW off the net. Just letting it do it's thing has actually helped me far more times than it has hurt me. I can only assume that when it did it's updates it fixed whatever happened when I installed all those .Net Framework versions but it's all back to the way it was now.

Reminds me of Christmas vacation and Eddie's daughter. Going from memory here IRT his daughter Ruby Sue .... "The girl falls down a well, eyes go crossed. Get's kicked in the head by a mule, they go straight. I don't know." and he shrugs his shoulders and walks away.

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