Recently, my computer has been calling out to IP address 22.214.171.124. What is 126.96.36.199? I have NO IDEA.
Even better, it's a Java.exe process that is doing the calling. But, that can be ANY Java program. What could it be? I didn't want to give Java free reign to run over my firewall, but maybe this was an important process?
In comes Process Explorer, a SysInternals program now available through MicroSoft (which has devoured SysInternals). This will tell me what the parent program is.
So who is the culprit? None other than Digsby, my all-in-one chat app. But what the hell is Digsby doing calling Java programs to call seemingly random IPs?
It turns out, they are experimenting with distributed computing (like the Folding@Home project). Except they forgot the part where they ask your permission first.
The official solution is simple! Just open Digsby, go to Help -> Support Digsby, find the Help Digsby conduct research option and click disable. Intuitive!
Yeah, the average user is going to figure that out. There's nothing in the TOS or FAQ about it. They are just secretly using your computer cycles for their own gain, without asking you if you're cool with that.
Dirty pool, Digsby.