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Ramblings on discoveries in Task Manager

GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon

Sub-title: I don't like hidden peer-to-peer file sharing.

 

Recently I used Windows' Task Manager to look at the processes running on my system. I saw more svchost.exe tasks running than I'm used to. I started up Microsoft's Process Explorer (found at Microsoft's Sysinternals website downloads) and found one svchost.exe running a service called "Akamai Net Session Interface (Akamai)".

In researching this I found a new directory C:Program FilesCommon FilesAkamai on my hard drive. Not recalling installing anything called Akamai and not liking having something on my system running without my specific permission I looked further into this. What was found in the Readme.txt file in this directory included the following:

"This file describes the Akamai NetSession Interface.

The Akamai NetSession Interface runs as a service to manage downloads and to

let you manage the download process. It was installed on your computer when you

downloaded content that uses the service to provide secure, high integrity

downloads of large files.

The NetSession Interface supports downloading from a central source and between

peers. When peer-downloading is enabled, your computer can serve as an upload

source for other computers -- without adverse impacts to your computing.

Peer-to-peer downloading can provide faster, more effective downloads.

The NetSession Interface contains no adware or spyware, is safe and secure,Akamai Net Session Interface

uses minimal resources, and provides you the ability to manage and control its

actions, including the ability to uninstall it if you do not want it on your

computer."

Apparently a program I installed recently also installed this peer-to-peer file sharing program on my system. The Readme.txt file gave further instructions about uninstalling the Akamai Net Session Interface so I uninstalled it.

Upon running a certain program again I later found the Akamai Net Session Interface had been reinstalled and was running again. I don't like having peer-to-peer file sharing programs constantly running on my system so I set about doing something about this.

It is also possible to stop the file sharing by running C:Program FilesCommon FilesAkamaiControlPanel.exe and unchecking the option to share files. The problem with this is the file sharing service is still running and still taking up system resources.

The important stuff

Long story made short. Every time you run a certain program, it also insures that the Akamai Net Session Interface, a peer-to-peer file sharing service, is also running. Shutting down this program does not shut down the Akamai Net Session Interface. Uninstalling the Akamai Net Session Interface will only cause it to be reinstalled the next time you run the program. Shutting down the Akamai Net Session Interface has to be done manually. The way this is done is with a small .bat file. The one I created is as follows:

1. Start up the Notebook program.

2. Type/copy the following 2 lines of text into Notebook:

cd C:Program FilesCommon FilesAkamai

admintool stop

 

3. Save this file with a .bat (NOT a .txt) file extension somewhere handy. I named mine "Stop Akamai.bat".

 

Now after I run a certain program and shut it down I also run the Stop Akamai.bat batch file to shut down this Akamai Net Session Interface. This insures my bandwidth isn't being used by some third party to perform services for themselves.

This works on Microsoft Operating Systems. Apple OS users are on your own. Linux users have probably already taken care of this.

Tagged:

Comments

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon

    Update:

    This peer-to-peer file sharing process Akamai Net Session Interface also starts up when you start your computer. I haven't found how to prevent this start-up from occurring yet. Your bandwidth is yours, not theirs.

  • KarmondKarmond SydneyPosts: 5Member

    Akamai is only required when using the launcher, it you run the client directly Akamai isn't installed/started. Of course when you need to patch you'll need to run the launcher again and thus Akamai, but overall it's easily avoidable.

    That said, I too am quite annoyed that this was running in the background without my knowledge.

  • IchmenIchmen Winnipeg, MBPosts: 1,228Member Uncommon

    does the program actually use your bandwith when your not using the pc??

    you say its a 3rd party P-P program tied in with the program your using. BUT when your serfing or gaming does it use bandwith or just system resources?

    while im dead set against anything installing and running without my OK.. least of all one that starts it self up and runs.. i just wonder if its accessing the net while your gaming or if its like gamegaurd and just sits idle..

    the reason i ask is, some of those p-p programs can be accessable to hack/virus attempts if they are pinging out from your pc.. NOT saying its or that its open to that use... but its not impossible

    CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
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  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     Oh the possibilities, interesting stuff.

     So other than the unwanted memory usage, they are basically leeching away bandwidth from anyone who has used their product to help distirbute it to others, without anyone willingly agreed to this.

    That's what i've gathered from all of this, but if that is indeed what is going on, then surely it must be in some sort of terms of service document. Either way you've made me quite paranoid now haha, will be checking my task manager more frequently that's for sure.

  • KarmondKarmond SydneyPosts: 5Member

    Ok I've got a better batch solution here that I just whipped up if anyone wants it. This is assuming you're using Windows 7 or Vista 64 bit, if you're running 32 bit just remove the ' (x86)' stuff (including the space)

    Steps

    1. Go to the start menu and type 'services.msc' (no quotes) and press enter.
    2. Double click 'Akamai NetSession Interface' in the list, this will open up the properties.
    3. For the 'Startup type' option select 'Manual' from the drop down list. This will stop it running at startup.
    4. Press 'Apply' then 'OK.'
    5. Close the services window.

       
    6. Right click your desktop, then select New >> Text Document.
    7. Open the new file with notepad.
    8. **NOTE** I've removed some of the text from lines 4 and 5 for potential NDA reasons. Just look up the primary shortcut for the application and use that location.

      Once again this is for 64 bit systems, if you're using a 32 bit OS remove the ' (x86)'



      Copy and paste the following into the text document:



      @echo on

      cd C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesAkamai

      admintool start

      cd C:Program Files (x86)**** ************ ***************

      *******_***.exe

      cd C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesAkamai

      admintool stop

       
    9. Save and Close.
    10. Rename the document 'akamaistartstop.bat' (no quotes) or something similar (needs to end in .bat though)
    11. Move the .bat file wherever you want. (I moved it to the main directory of the program)
    12. Right click the .bat file and select 'Create shortcut'

       
    13. Right click the shortcut and select 'Properties'
    14. For the 'Run' option, select 'Minimized'
    15. Press 'Advanced...'
    16. Check 'Run as administrator' then press 'OK' (this will just make it so you only get a single UAC popup instead of three).
    17. OPTIONAL:

      Press 'Change Icon' and use any icon you want (like the icon used for the application).
    18. Press 'Apply' then 'OK.'
    19. Done!

     

    Okay, now what these steps do is firstly stop Akamai service from running in the background at startup. Secondly it creates a shortcut and batch file that starts the Akamai Service, runs the launcher, then stops the Akamai Service once the launcher closes.

  • PhryPhry OxfordshirePosts: 7,754Member Rare

    If you have a router with SPI, most do these days, then you can just add Akamai to the blocked sites,keywords, should kill it dead i think.

  • KarmondKarmond SydneyPosts: 5Member
    Originally posted by Phry


    If you have a router with SPI, most do these days, then you can just add Akamai to the blocked sites,keywords, should kill it dead i think.



     

    General problem is that Akamai is required for the launcher to work. You can run the client without the launcher, but that only works so long as you don't need to patch.

  • PhryPhry OxfordshirePosts: 7,754Member Rare
    Originally posted by Karmond

    Originally posted by Phry


    If you have a router with SPI, most do these days, then you can just add Akamai to the blocked sites,keywords, should kill it dead i think.



     

    General problem is that Akamai is required for the launcher to work. You can run the client without the launcher, but that only works so long as you don't need to patch.



     

    I dont know what it is your running tbh, but from what i've read (googled!) akamai doesnt sound like a safe piece of software, so all i can say is that its definitely going on my blocked list just as a precaution....

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 11,063Member Rare

    Pando was the first one i noticed that seemed to always be on my machine ,even when i deleted all the files including the game.Most of the F2P games use this method,very sneaky.Was more a huge concern before i raised my bandwidth limit as i was using up my total bandwidth every month.This actually no different than the way Torrents work,witch is why i don't use any torrent software anymore.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Phry


    If you have a router with SPI, most do these days, then you can just add Akamai to the blocked sites,keywords, should kill it dead i think.

     

    That only keeps the process from communicating to the web. It will still be running on your system taking up resources, about 18MB total for me, and attempting to connect to the web and thus taking up CPU cycles.

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wizardry


    Pando was the first one i noticed that seemed to always be on my machine ,even when i deleted all the files including the game.Most of the F2P games use this method,very sneaky.Was more a huge concern before i raised my bandwidth limit as i was using up my total bandwidth every month.This actually no different than the way Torrents work,witch is why i don't use any torrent software anymore.

     

    Yup. It isn't the main reason I posted but I was aware some people pay by the gigabyte for their web access when i did create this.

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ichmen


    does the program actually use your bandwith when your not using the pc??
    you say its a 3rd party P-P program tied in with the program your using. BUT when your serfing or gaming does it use bandwith or just system resources?
    while im dead set against anything installing and running without my OK.. least of all one that starts it self up and runs.. i just wonder if its accessing the net while your gaming or if its like gamegaurd and just sits idle..
    the reason i ask is, some of those p-p programs can be accessable to hack/virus attempts if they are pinging out from your pc.. NOT saying its or that its open to that use... but its not impossible

     

    This peer to peer process is by default setup to start sharing files 3 hours after the program it was installed with is started. It will continue to share files until you shut your PC down or shut the process down. There is no available option to stop the use of your bandwidth without shutting down the process as I have described. There is also no option to limit it's bandwidth usage if you do want it to run. So, yes it is using your bandwidth 3 hours after the original program starts to send shared files to other computers with no easy built in way to stop or opt out of that usage. You have to use the "admintool stop" command every time to stop it.

    Karmond's solution is a more elegant one than mine. Mine is more like that "Whack a mole" arcade game.

     

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,667Member Uncommon

    One more suggestion. Let the creators of the original program you installed know about your feelings about this hidden peer to peer file sharing they are allowing. They have a feedback and suggestions section in their forums. All posts are manually moderated before being publicly posted though.

  • KarmondKarmond SydneyPosts: 5Member
    Originally posted by grunty


    Let the creators of the original program you installed know about your feelings about this hidden peer to peer file sharing they are allowing.



     

    I sent them an email yesterday and got a written response. I avoid those forums like the plague, 600 character limit and up to 5 days waiting for your post to be moderated essentially makes it impossible to communicate in any reasonable fashion.

  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 1,082Member Uncommon

    Glad I saw this thread, I've also recently found this bit of software that I never consented to putting on my machine. I'd been wondering how it got there, now I know! There should have been a notice about it before install.

    Lego is definitely cute (I'd love to know their plans for the game going forward how big, how many "zones", etc).

  • lukeaaa1lukeaaa1 Waco, TXPosts: 10Member

    Well I guess enough people complained, because they added a topic about Akamai to the Beta Forums.

    <~~>
    This is the end of my post.

    <~~>
    No jk, this is.

  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Brandon, FLPosts: 3,649Member Uncommon

    Think it only fair to include the link to Akamai's FAQ:  http://www.akamai.com/html/misc/akamai_client/netsession_interface_faq.html

    Just saying...

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

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  • KarmondKarmond SydneyPosts: 5Member

    Originally posted by lukeaaa1

    Well I guess enough people complained, because they added a topic about Akamai to the Beta Forums.

     People found a way to uninstall it and stop it reinstalling while still allowing the patcher to work.

  • jeanmarie2jeanmarie2 pgh, PAPosts: 8Member

    zentia is hiding a nasty win 32 downloader and virus plz get this crap out of your computers...when i realised the connection between this nasty virus and zentia i tried to uninstall it and when i click the uninstaller 263 uninstallers opened..all of my programs started running and if i didnt have yrs of experience at removing nasty malware(from Downloading stuff) i probably wouldve had to reformat. i went into safe mode and got every bit of this crap out of my pc and ill never run another game by this company again...the game maybe somewhat fun but i was cursing cleaning my pc at 2 am so be forewarned no amt of free junk ina beta is worth taking this piece of crap game or any game by this company...

  • darkraptordarkraptor Wheeling, ILPosts: 178Member

    if akamai wants to use your bandwidth, then they should pay you for it. Really. Otherwise, they're exploiting their users. Putting it into the EULA is not an excuse.

    /rant

  • neorandomneorandom bev hills, CAPosts: 1,681Member

    name a modern mmo that doesnt install and run a background patcher, cmon, o wait there arent any, my bad.

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