Pretty much almost every night now, but not at exactly the same time, I wake up to a video playing on my computer. In the middle of the night, I'll hear noises, go to the computer room and there will be a video playing inside the Windows Media Player. I turn it off, then nothing.

I chalked it up to the cat stepping on a specific key and never thought anything of it. The only odd thing was that it was always the same video (out of a couple of .avi videos on the desktop). The only other suspect I thought about was my ex-wife, but then, it's kind of ridiculous for her to sneak into my house to turn on a video, then leave. Right?

Last night, I stayed up late reading a book sitting on a couch next to the computer. All of a sudden, out of the blue, at around 1:30 am, the video started playing—just like that.

I checked the process list, ran anti-virus, checked for malware—nothing suspicious. I checked scheduled tasks—nothing there but various Google updaters. I searched the keyboard for electrical shorts that might cause this—but it seemed in a relatively good state.

What could be possibly be causing this problem? Should I call the Ghost Hunters?

EDIT: One other thing I remembered that may be related. Sometimes, the monitor is in sleep mode and all of a sudden it will come on, even though there was no mouse or keyboard activity.

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    Rename the video and see if it still happens? – Scott Chamberlain Sep 28 '11 at 19:16
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    I blame it on Paranormal Activity! :) – Mayank Sep 28 '11 at 19:24
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    I take it from your ID "AngryHacker" you may have friends, whom would think setting up Task Scheduler to do something like this every night would be funny, maybe? – N4TKD Sep 28 '11 at 19:28
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    maybe a background executable (that doesn't register as malware) is doing it, check the task manager and kill all what doesn't belong – ratchet freak Sep 28 '11 at 19:33
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    My guess would be a malware or rootkit that your software hasn't detected. This happened to me from a shareware site I downloaded a file from once a couple years ago. It installed a hidden background process that played an ad video at completely random intervals. – BBlake Sep 28 '11 at 19:53

First, remember that one antivirus would only catch specific codes, that are somehow spread and have being analyzed and had a signature created. Yes, there is the heuristic mode, but it's not 100% garantee. So, having a program that was made to bother you by running itself at some specific (or random) time wouldn't be difficult.

Then, assuming you don't have any scheduler running, etc:

Do you have some firewall configured in your router / modem / adsl ? You could verify it, or even program it to disable all incoming and outcoming conections from midnight to some specific time. Or you could generate some log and verify if there is any open connection, or someone trying to connect to your computer. Perhaps you have someone connecting to your computer, through some backdoor.

And finally, the best solution, I guess: reinstall your OS, from scratch, and reinstall your applications.


An additional step: If you know the file name of the video, scan the registry for that file name. Delete any entries referring to it.

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