Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

A Heads Up about Random Alpha / Numeric file names.

To Begin with, I apoligize that I am not addressing directly the post(s) that I first read on this. I did not mark them and have been busy on numerous unrelated things, as I am sure many of you are also. I am hopeful that the people that can use this will read this post.
I see many asking about files that they have found on their hard drives, in the registry, and/or in the running processes in task manager. Most of the files in question are random alpha - numeric files. Following is an oberservation of these after many years working with computers.
On the hard drive as well as in the registry, there are many files of seemingly random Alpha -Numeric characters. This is not so unusual as MicroSoft seems to be fond of encoding and referencing many of their and "others" software and links this way. Why this is, is a question for MicroSoft. The point here is that seeing this type of file, or reference to a file or function is not unusual in windows. However there are exception to this.
First, if there is a file in the processes list in task manager that is a " Random " Alpha - Numeric file, it is more than likely a file that you want to get rid of. Even MicroSoft will normally identify a file in this list by name or function. ( I.E. System, SVCHOST.EXE, or other specific type. ) If you have a file that is none specific ( AAe4376FGT5.* or something like this ) then it is more than likely a parasite. These can be Ad-ware, Spyware, Viruses, Trojans, or even Bots. The people that write these things use random A-N characters for many different reasons. The hardest to identify are the BOTs. ( Bot's are programs that are loaded onto your machine without your knowledge, with the purpose of using your machine for other purposes. These include, not limited to, DOS attacks, Information gathering, and/or planting other BOTs or AdWare/SpyWare on another machine(s) ). Most BOTs are on broadband links, but a dial-up or slow DSL and such are not a guard against such programs. If you find one of these types of programs running on your machine, it is generaly advised to remove it.
What to do? Well if you see one of these in your " Processes menu ", Get more information on it. If it shows little or no info, then delete it. If it shows that it is in a " *.*\Content.IE5 SubDirectory " remove it. These directories are provided by MicroSoft, but exploited by many who would keep their wares hidden. Be aware that there are many of these directories.
If you see such a listing, then use a program such as CCleaner. ( it is an example, not an only one ) It may not show you the exact directory but, if you see any directory under "\*.*\content.ie5, then allow it to remove it. Then use any good program such as " Registry Mechanic or Registry Booster" too remove the links in the registry. You may have to enable " View All Files " in Windows Explorer, including hidden and system files. NOTE: Any files under the content.ie5 files will not show up in windows explorer without special consideration. However, Programs like cclean will do this for you.
For more info on this, please post back and I or any of the knowledgeable people on this site will try to answer your questions.
I hope I have helped. John.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: A Heads Up about Random Alpha / Numeric file names.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: A Heads Up about Random Alpha / Numeric file names.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -

In reply to: A Heads Up about Random Alpha / Numeric file names.

Most BOT file names will not be found in a search field as the people who control the bots work hard to keep them " Unknown ".

Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Interesting Heads Up. Thankyou, Kwajling (John)! :D

In reply to: A Heads Up about Random Alpha / Numeric file names.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.