My computer is being locked randomly
June 21, 2007 6:16 AM Subscribe
Windows XP Pro randomly being locked by unknown users. Is my computer being hijacked?
posted by bristolcat to Computers & Internet (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I recently moved halfway across the country and my company kept me on staff as a telecommuter. I brought my work computer with me and connect to their network via a dedicated VPN.
During these last three months I have experienced some odd behaviour with my computer. About two weeks after I set up shop here is when it first started. I was actively working on the computer when everything would suddenly start to shut down and the default blue CTRL-ALT-DEL login screen would appear.
It read: "This computer is in use and has been locked" and then listed computername\guest. It gave me an opportunity to put in my username and password, but I never could get in. I would have to hard boot my computer. Just when I got freaked out enough to call IT, it mysteriously stopped.
Now it's happening again. Sometimes I'll come into work and it's happened during the night (such as last night). I've only been here for a half hour this morning and it already happened while I was in the middle of drafting an e-mail to IT. Things are a little different this time, though. It appears to be adding Windows users. They are usually nonsense names ending with a dollar sign. Today when it locked it displayed computername\xiake$. Indeed, there are several new accounts under control panel. My fiance deleted most of them but a few remain that we weren't sure about, such as "admis" and "HelpAssistent" (sic). Also now I am able to login from the locked screen whereas I wasn't able to before.
I am not running a screensaver and when I did, it was not password protected. I'm on XP Pro. I'm running Norton Antivirus but no firewall (as the request of IT for purposes of the VPN I suppose). AdAware found nothing. There is no consistency with anything I'm doing or running when it happens. It seems completely random. I always turn the VPN connection off when I'm not here.
I hope someone here has an idea what's going on and if I'm at risk. I have recently paid for items with credit cards on this computer and checked my bank accounts. This is starting to freak me out a little!