I've got a P4 3.06 GHz computer with Windows XP and a 500k broadband Internet connection. Everything was fine until a couple of months ago, when the Internet would become painfully slow, and pages which took a second to load up before would take minutes, often needing to be refreshed several times. I assumed that this was probably spyware or a virus, so I ran scans in both normal and safe mode with Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, AVG Anti-Virus and a variety of other tools found on the net. I have also followed 2 guides on cleaning my system of infections, and have updated every Windows update I could find, to no avail. I also telephoned my ISP twice and both times they reported the connection was fine.

After more pondering and research I downloaded a utility called Network Traffic Monitor, and I saw that on average the computer was sending approximately 20 kb/s to somewhere - bear in mind this was with absolutely no applications running. There are no background programs running which haven't always been there, and neither ZoneAlarm nor Kerio seem to be able to a) block this outgoing data or b) simply detect the source or the destination, or what it contains.

I don't know much about the subject, but I think that possibly someone may have remote access to the computer, and using this to send spam? That's about the only rational explanation I can think of, but I still have no idea how to stop this access or how to stop all this data being sent. If anyone can help me out with this then it would be very much appreciated, as I am very much at my wits end!

Your computer could be hijacked. What I would suggest at this point is making a backup of all your data, not programs, as they might have been replaced by Trojan Horses, and then reformatting and reinstalling Windows. You could try a few other things, but if you think you're being hacked, this is the only way to stop it.

Completely agreed with Joeprogrammer.

Moved to corect forum.

Hmm, I feared as much :( thanks for clearing that up anyway.