I signed up for Sky By Broadband today in the hope that it'd have some good movies that I could watch. Turns out it doesn't - all it has is the same stuff that circulates on Sky Movies, and since I have Sky+ I can already record those to watch whenever I want. Looks like I don't need the whole Sky By Broadband experience.
Which is just as well really. I just tried to start my development web server that sits on port 8080, and it didn't work. It gave the ridiculous error:
ASP.NET Development Server failed to start listening on port 8080.
Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted
That's ridiculous - it's started every other time without problems, and I wasn't running another instance of it.
Except for once the error message from a piece of Microsoft software was actually right. There was something sitting on port 8080. A bit of digging with some SysInternals tools told me it was a nasty little Peer To Peer (P2P) sharing application (called KService.exe) from Kontiki that Sky By Broadband installed.
I can't find a way of turning off the Peer To Peer sharing, and even uninstalling Sky By Broadband didn't get rid of the beast. That's annoying.
Now normally I try to be a good internet citizen. If I download something using BitTorrent, I leave BitTorrent open for a while afterwards to continue to share the (often very big) file and to help reduce the load on the primary servers. So normally I wouldn't object to the same thing happening here with Sky By Broadband.
However, there's no choice in the matter here, and most people aren't even going to be aware it's happening. The only thing most people will see is that their internet connection is suddenly a bit shittier than it used to be, and they'll probably just blame BT or their ISP. There's no control over what is shared, or how much bandwidth this malware saps.
On the plus side, Kontiki have some instructions on how to uninstall the malware.
On the minus side, the instructions are just plain useless when all they say is to use Add/Remove Programs and the Kontiki malware doesn't even show itself in Add/Remove Programs.
I think I'll manually uninstall the KService nastiness and give Sky By Broadband a wide berth. I don't care whether they declare what they're doing in the Terms & Conditions, I don't like them installing a nasty Peer 2 Peer applications on my machine and then making it hard to remove.
Just so you don't all think I'm just a miserable old curmudgeon, I'm not the only one who isn't too happy about the Peer 2 Peer aspects of Sky By Broadband. So there are at least two of us now.
I think I'm lucky they chose port 8080. If they hadn't I mightn't have noticed for quite a while. Now I'm scared for all the people who won't notice they're now running a server...
UPDATE (10 minutes later):
Well, the manual uninstall seemed to work. For those of you in a similar position, here's what I did:
- Went into the Services applet (Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Services) and stopped the KService service. I also set it to Disabled.
- Opened Regedit, went to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run and deleted the entry for 'kdx'.
- Still in Regedit, went to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Services and deleted the entry for 'kdx'.
- Deleted the entire folder where KService was installed (in my case 'C:\Program Files\KService')
- Restarted the machine.
It all seems to have worked OK. Use these notes at your own risk though - I take no responsibility if it turns your PC into a smoldering lump of plastic and metal.