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Windows 7: Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet

13 Oct 2018   #11
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I think something might have messed up your Winsock. Resetting/Repairing/Reinstalling Winsock2 / Testing for - Microsoft Community

Your router or DSL line may be going South like I said.

Just as a precaution. Run Herdprotect portable. If it finds anything research it. Herdprotect uses 68 anti-virus engines and can find false positives. You may need to run Herdprotect twice. Download Portable herdProtect Beta

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2018   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

Okay, can we try to put a bit of order here, and eliminate a few hypotheses one by one ?

1. Router troubles

I have now reset the router, and upgraded the firmware. Doesn't that eliminate the "hacked router" hypothesis ? I mean, even if it had been hacked, it's now un-hacked, right ?

"Router going South" : what does that mean ? A router is a miniature computer with no moving parts, right ? So either there's a software problem with it (and it has been corrected with the step above, right ?), either it's not working at all, correct ? How can mere usage of the router degrade the quality of the DSL connection over time ? Bear in mind this is a spanking new device (2 years old, that's spanking new in my book), it's ventilated, and it gives off almost no heat at all.

Can we rule out the router ?

2. Malware search

Herd Protect turned up a few alleged PUPs in stored software I never use. To give you a hint, one of them was the https extension for Pale Moon. Most probably, all of these were false positives. I nevertheless deleted the bunch.

One file remained "to be analysed" in the cloud, but Herd Protect never got to "analyse" it, despite multiple runs.

I made a Microsoft Security Essentials full scan a few days ago. It took 20 hours, and found nothing.

ADW Cleaner by Malwarebytes turned up some unsignificant things, possibly false positives as well, deleted as well anyway.

Can we now eliminate the malware hypothesis ?

3. DNS troubles

My beloved Windows Network Diagnostics utility keeps throwing the stupid The DNS Server is not Responding line, when I summon it to restore the Internet connection that Verified by Visa has just shut off ; but isn't that just another way of saying : it does not work, and it might be a DNS problem, or a million other things ? Also, the split second it throws that message is precisely the time when it restores the connection, so that "error message" is not really reliable, right ?

Can we rule out DNS issues ?

Before that problem arose, I had planned to change my DNS server. Might that help ?

4. Quality of the DSL phone line

Here are some more data :

Smokeping from California

Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet-smokeping-california-overview-15-oct-18.png

Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet-smokeping-california-detail-15-oct-18.png

Smokeping from Kansas (or Virginia -- says both)

Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet-smokeping-kansas-overview-15-oct-18.png

Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet-smokeping-kansas-detail-15-oct-18.png

I don't have the slightest idea what the above means, but we know my phone line is not very good.

The media in my country just reported that all the private ISPs complained about the state operator neglecting the maintenance of the copper phone network on which it has a monopoly. Now that might explain the fall in figures I wrote about.

However, it remains to be told how 6 miserly ASCII characters, pertaining to a 2FA code, can overwhelm a so-so DSL connection to the point of shutting it off, while huuuge websites can be browsed with no particular sluggishness.

What lies behind that tiny click on the OK button of Verified by Visa, which is sooo difficult for the Internet connection to manage ?

5. Winsock troubles and associated Windows malarkey

I went through the Microsoft Support link you gave me. This Samhrutha G guy there points the OP to another thread, which has a manual diagnostic for Winsock integrity, and remedial actions.

The remedial action is the famed netsh winsock reset command, which I have already applied countless times.

I nevertheless went through the diagnostic steps. The diagnostic failed (if the advice is correct !), but the remedial action did nothing, just as it did nothing before (nothing durable, anyway).

The alleged Winsock corruption diagnostic comes from a list of items under System Information / Components / Network / Protocol being incomplete. The list should allegedly have 10 items or more, but I have only 8. This is bad, according to the Microsoft Support article (which does not pertain to Windows 7).

However, another poster (an MVP, no less) says his Windows 7 64-bit has the same 8-item list as me, and everything is normal (I'm on 64-bit, too). Added to the fact this is a piece of advice referring to another piece of advice, given by someone else, and that it's in fact meant for Vista, not 7, but it's just supposed to work as well for 7, according to the guy Samhrutha G who did not give the advice in the first place, I'm inclined to take the whole thing with a huge dollop of salt.

My Windows install is not in a nice shape, that's for sure. It misbehaves in all sorts of ways (slowness, etc), but then that's the nature of a not-just-made Windows install, isn't it ?

Any ideas ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2018   #13
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Okay, your router is most likely fine, if it was hacked it's gone, no malware it seems. So moving forward I'd say your Windows installation is corrupt in some fashion. Have you tried a sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt? If it fails to fix anything, you may need to do a repair install which means you need a Windows 7 disk for the current version of Windows 7 you have. Especially troubling is that you now say there is slowness and what have you which is defiantly not normal.

Your smokeping results show packet loss to your router which does indeed mean you have a bad line. Whether this is the reason to your 2FA issue I don't know. I do have my doubts.

1) What does safe mode with networking do?
2) Do a sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt. If fails, repair install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2018   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
Solved - Internet cabling was bad

I wanted to report back on the situation, and thank you, F22 Simpilot, for your help. The issue has now been solved, and the Internet connection was at fault.

Incidentally, I ran scannow, and everything is fine on that side. Tutanota disconnecting itself, when I was trying to send mail with only tiny attachments, had nothing to do with my side. Tutanota assistance finally told me that it was a bug on their side, and that it has been corrected.

I did two things :

1. Sent my router away from my desk, to the other side of the house, next to the phone plug, and replaced the 15 meter, unidentified phone cable running the distance, by a certified, Cat-5e, 100 % copper Ethernet cable by Monoprice. The ADSL filter moved away from my desk to the wall phone plug.

This put an end to Verified by Visa disconnecting the computer from the Internet. It also increased the connection speed, as shown in various measurements, although it wasn't yet perceptible.

2. Changed my DNS server from default (presumably, my ISP's) to Cloudflare This boosted speed a step further, and this time, the difference was obvious to the naked eye (and it was reflected in figures, too).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using 2FA to verify a Visa online transaction cuts off the Internet

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