I have recently seen this problem as well. We create Flash/AIR applications that pull files from our servers, and about every other day we see an IP
address "go nuclear", circularly fetching one or more URLs for a minute or more. It creates thousands of requests during that time.
It's very easy to create a "legitimate" looping network request in an SWF with only a few lines of code. It's really up the the developer... do you know the source of the SWF/app that produced the problem?
The source of our problem seems to be a bug in the Actionscript Timer object. See me entered jira bug:
If a timer malfunctions in this way (for our apps, only under certain extreme fringe environment cases... there are only a handful of cases out of millions of requests), URLs are fetched as fast as Flash Player/user's system/network allows.
I just saw it happen again. Firefox 3.6.9 was running with 3 tabs pointing to these forums. Adobe flash player was taking a significant amount of CPU time and the local area connection status screen showed outbound packets by about 100,000 per second being sent. This took the entire network down again.
I'm not aware of any SWFs on these forums, but maybe there is an unseen one. What's the URL in question? Does the problem resolve by closing the browser/page, or do you need to force-quit flash player? Maybe Windows 64-bit/32-bit browser/flash plugin is part of the problem. It's not a virtual machine, is it? We caught the problem once using a virtual machine.
Can you put an HTTP debugger (Fiddler, Charles, etc) on the box in question? If the problem shows, you can see for sure which SWF is causing it.
I am not a flash developer so some of the best ideas may not be possible to test. Closing the browser page didn't solve the problem. Only way to fix the problem was to CtrlAltDel and kill the Adobe Flash Player from there. Once I did that, it was immediate cure for the netword.
I can't say for sure that this browser never went anywhere other than these pages, because the Adobe Flash Player was loaded. I believe that Hotmail may have been used before the Adobe Forums. I may have gone to a page that triggered it. Another possibility, could Adobe Flash Player have been compromised. I am doing virus scans to see what I can find.
It's funny that Flash player persists in your task manager after closing the browser. Normally Flash Player only shows up in task manager if it is opened directly, which is not the case for the browser plugin. Maybe that's just the way 64-bit XP works, or possibly there was some other SWF open outside of the browser, which would be strange if you're not a flash developer.
I think Flash Player being compromised is possible, but is less likely than simply a bad SWF session. I'd try to go through your history from that day to replicate the problem to find the bad SWF.
Yes, sometimes Flash Player doesn't close down when Firefox is shut down. I didn't find any gremlins on my computer during virus analysis, so can't comment on that. I suppose I could find the problem site and SWF, but since I didn't develop it, my concern with Flash is that it can get into such a snit, that it can take down an entire network and not just a computer.
My concern is summarized this way.
1. Was there something else on my computer that caused this problem. (virus etc)
2. If it is Flash causing this problem, perhaps Steve Jobs concerns with Flash were legit?? (I see Apple has backed down)
3. Grandma certainly wouldn't have been able to resolve this issue, and most computer users would have blamed their ISP since their internet was down.
4. How is the average computer user to deal with the complexity that these new technologies sometimes dump on them?
5. Are we headed to systems that are so complicated that these type of isses become more and more common?
The answer to both problems is NoScript. Check it out, it's free, it works in Firefox, and it will nearly eliminate most of these problems you're having.