Seti/Boinc is spying on me.

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Bruce
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Message 5810 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:22:24 UTC

Hi, I am delighted to contact a human being. I installed seti at home a long time ago and have tried to find it and uninstall it as it interferes with other work I am doing. My email has changed in the several years that have elapsed since I volunteered use of my PCs to SETI. I have asked to opt out but have no help with that. Your program is running very much like a virus in the background of my PC and interfering with my use of the machine.

I note that you are still accessing my PC. I have withdrawn my permisssion and have asked for help in resolving this. I contacted Lebofsky and he basically said there was nothing for it.

I reloaded my hard drive and put data files back on my PC but your viral program got in anyway. I am sorry to have wasted days of work. I did my best to get rid of SETI.

The solution is simple. I provide you with information, aside from extinct email addresses which no longer work, that demonstrate that I do indeed own this PC,and you shut down my account and no longer use my property. This is a fair deal. I had sympathy with the objectives of SETI but have no regard for people who use others property after permission is withdrawn. No, means no as they say in cases of rape.

It seems I am unable to remove the software and you are depriving me of a part of the use of my property. I am asking you to stop this as soon as possible. Please do so or I shall be compelled to take legal action under the laws regulating interstate communications.

I would prefer to resolve this amicably. It is within the power of your staff to accomplish this. If you decide not to do so, I shall file a federal complaint about your program as a violation of the applicable federal laws. I have spoken to an attorney already. She has advised me that I have two possible remedies that can be pursued simultaneously. The first is a class action suit on behalf of all the parties who have the same problem as me. The second is a federal criminal complaint. The two are not mutually exclusive.

This is not a threat to any participant in this forum. It is a statement of fact. You may delete it if you choose. I am not writing idly. I have offered a means of resolving the problem. This is entirely within your capability. Should you choose to ignore this request, I will regrettably, have no alternative but to view this as a deliberate attempt to deprive me of use of my property and will take legal action.

Being a reasonable person and quite aware of bureaucracies, I will allow until October 31 for a response. I am making an offer I consider it entirely reasonable for you to return full use of my PC to me in a bit over a month and no longer record any "activity".

Sincerely,

Bruce Cottingham
(You have my contact information and I do not wish to make it available to the world more than you have already done.)


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Message 5812 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:29:21 UTC

Sir, if you have BOINC running on your PC(s), you can uninstall it through Add/Remove Programs in Windows.

If you still have Seti Classic running, you can delete the whole program and directory.
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Bruce
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Message 5813 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:32:26 UTC

I tried it and it doesn't work. Seti doesn't show up on any scans of my PC. It does seem to communicate a great deal each day and slows the performance and causes crashes. I need to get to the source of the matter and get to the root of the problem. Seti is not in any directory under a search of directories but still is communicating with Berkeley. I have searched all files, hidden and otherwise.
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Bruce
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Message 5814 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:37:52 UTC - in response to Message 5812.

Sir, if you have BOINC running on your PC(s), you can uninstall it through Add/Remove Programs in Windows.

If you still have Seti Classic running, you can delete the whole program and directory.

The program is not visible under any scan or look I have done. I reformatted my C and D drives and reloaded data files only as well as essential software such as printer drivers. I scanned those files looking for SETI and didn't find it. I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

All Boinc or Seti has to do is to retireve some contact information and we can close this issue by shutting down communications forever. They have so far ignored me. I am saying, we need to talk.

There are several thousand people who have had similar problems with seti and boinc. It is a fair sized class of people who are reasonably computer literate.
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Bruce
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Message 5815 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:39:53 UTC - in response to Message 5812.

Sir, if you have BOINC running on your PC(s), you can uninstall it through Add/Remove Programs in Windows.

If you still have Seti Classic running, you can delete the whole program and directory.


The directory is not visible and I have full rights, I think to this PC. What I would really like is an answer from a real human being as to how to close the account. It is really that simple.
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Message 5817 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:49:11 UTC - in response to Message 5814.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?
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Bruce
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Message 5818 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:54:31 UTC - in response to Message 5817.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?

I have changed browsers since installing Seti at home and never did such a thing.
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Bruce
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Message 5819 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:57:30 UTC - in response to Message 5818.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?

I have changed browsers since installing Seti at home and never did such a thing.

I am absolutely certain. I did no such thing. This seems an exercise in futility.
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Bruce
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Message 5820 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 19:59:11 UTC - in response to Message 5817.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?


I have jumped through these hoops before. You are still using my PC without my permission. I went through some of these with Lebofsky who told me archly, "We don't have funding for support personnel."
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Bruce
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Message 5821 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:04:07 UTC - in response to Message 5817.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?



Well, I am tiring of all this fun. You have my complaint and what it would take to rectify the situation. It is fairly simple. It is up to you folks. The ball is in your court as it were. You also have my email address and other contact information. I will be logging off as it seems that we are not going anywhere.

There is a deadline for any communications and that is October 31, 2006. Do what you wish until then and if you can resolve it, that would be nice for me to have my PC back. If not, I will follow up.
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Message 5822 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:06:58 UTC
Last modified: 28 Sep 2006, 20:07:17 UTC

Hold on, I am not using your PC.

But let's start at the beginning. What exactly did you install at the time?
Seti Classic?
BOINC?
When was this approximately?
Where did you download it from?
How many PCs did you load it on (if network) and have you gotten rid of it on all those?
When you made a backup, did you omit that the BOINC/Seti directory needed to be backed up?
Have you run an updated Anti Virus program? (AVG is free)
Have you run an updated Anti Spyware program (Spybot, Adaware, Hijack This)
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Bruce
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Message 5823 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:07:04 UTC - in response to Message 5817.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Seti site?



I have printed off this exchange as I am certain that it may prove useful. I have also captured earlier communications. Enjoy and please answer but not on this board. I will require an answer directed to me. Preferably in hard copy.
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Message 5824 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:09:06 UTC - in response to Message 5823.

The problem with that is that I do not have your email address...
I only moderate this board.
I am not privy of email addresses.
So if you want further answers from Berkeley, then you can wait for ages. They don't read here that much.
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Jim K
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Message 5825 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:16:22 UTC - in response to Message 5823.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to Set and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Are you sure you didn't set a preference in the bookmarks or favorites in your browser(s) to check for new updates of the Set site?



I have printed off this exchange as I am certain that it may prove useful. I have also captured earlier communications. Enjoy and please answer but not on this board. I will require an answer directed to me. Preferably in hard copy.



Which computer are you referring to?

Computers belonging to Bruce Cottingham

HOME PARTICIPATE ABOUT COMMUNITY YOUR ACCOUNT STATISTICS


Show: All hosts | Only hosts active in past 30 days
Computer ID
Click for more info Rank Recent average credit Total credit CPU type Operating system Results Last contact
39891 1 30.64 63,253.59 GenuineIntel
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.53GHz Microsoft Windows XP
Professional Edition, Service Pack 2, (05.01.2600.00) 8 27 Sep 2006 10:43:26 UTC
40990 2 0.00 44,965.56 Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz
Pentium Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition, Service Pack 1, (05.01.2600.00) 0 4 Jul 2005 3:38:18 UTC

The acct on the Seti server can not be deleted, all you need to do is uninstall Boinc from all computers and that is it.......
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Message 5826 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 20:45:32 UTC

If you do not have a BOINC folder (usually under C:\\program Files\\) or a BOINC in your Add/Remove programs and you do not have Seti Classic installed on your PC, then you should check where the access information is coming from yourself.
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Message 5828 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 21:33:05 UTC

As you have been told by Matt Lebofsky:

1. ALL communication with Berkeley starts on the user's PC. So Seti isn't contacting you. Your computer is contacting Seti, and you aren't sure why.

2. There have been viruses/worms that install SETI@home (under a
different name) on infected systems. Maybe this is what you have.

Re-read my post here, install he programs and check what the outcome is. You may even post your Hijack This outcome here, so I or others can check it.
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Pepo
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Message 5830 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 23:20:15 UTC - in response to Message 5814.

Sir, if you have BOINC running on your PC(s), you can uninstall it through Add/Remove Programs in Windows.

If you still have Seti Classic running, you can delete the whole program and directory.

The program is not visible under any scan or look I have done. I reformatted my C and D drives and reloaded data files only as well as essential software such as printer drivers. I scanned those files looking for SETI and didn't find it. [...] I have tried all the usual means of deleting programs.

Dear sir, I'm afraid you have probably the Seti.B - an BIOS virus making itself resident in the CMOS memory - therefore it could not be revealed by usual means. It masquerades itself as Seti by connecting their site, to hide its real nasty work.

I do see that I am still transmitting data to seti and when I look at computer usage, I see evidence of the same. [...] All Boinc or Seti has to do is to retireve some contact information and we can close this issue by shutting down communications forever. They have so far ignored me. I am saying, we need to talk.

There are several thousand people who have had similar problems with seti and boinc. It is a fair sized class of people who are reasonably computer literate.

Until the Seti-representatives will respond (hopefully soon - cause they are really busy with the project aspects), for these skilled users (as you noted) it should be no big problem to block the used communication ports to SETI.

mo.v
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Message 5831 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 23:26:06 UTC
Last modified: 28 Sep 2006, 23:31:55 UTC

Hi Bruce

If your computer was trickling data up to the SETI server, I would expect to see some recent credits here

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/dev/show_user.php?userid=1650

but there's nothing. On the same page, if you click on 'computers', you'll see that no computer is registered under your name. Unless you originally registered under a different username?

Have you got a round boinc B icon in the system tray of your screen (bottom right alongside the clock)? If you have, you can right-click on it and then select Exit. This will stop both boinc and SETI running (but won't uninstall it).

If we want to stop running a boinc project like SETI, we can't just say to any of the people involved 'I withdraw my permission'. We have to uninstall boinc ourselves. None of the people at boinc or SETI can do this for us. Nor can the servers. We are in charge of our own computers and we uninstall programs ourselves.

You have been getting excellent advice from people who know what they're talking about. Posting a HijackThis log would be a very good idea.

You could also click Start > Search > For files and folders > All files and folders > then type in 'boinc', and tell us what comes up in the window.
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Message 5832 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 23:47:58 UTC - in response to Message 5831.

If your computer was trickling data up to the SETI server, I would expect to see some recent credits here

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/dev/show_user.php?userid=1650

but there's nothing. On the same page, if you click on 'computers', you'll see that no computer is registered under your name.

That's not that simple, there is no crunching project coupled with BOINC message boards and thus no computers are here :-) Take a look here to see what you are looking for.

Have you got a round boinc B icon in the system tray...

Sure not (see my previous explanation ;-)

Mr. Bruce, are you aware of project names like Einstein, Large Hadron Collider, Rosetta, World Community Grid etc.??

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Message 5833 - Posted: 28 Sep 2006, 23:48:08 UTC
Last modified: 28 Sep 2006, 23:49:06 UTC

I doubt that it's a BOINC version, but classic SETI.
Apparently, some people wrote a 'virus like' version, and released it onto the net to infect unprotected computers.
This would then run under a different program name, and appear on SETI classic under the user name of the writer, thus appearing as another of 'their' computers, and generating more credit for them.
Which is what, I think, Pepo is talking about.

edit
Who has just beaten me to it. :)

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