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Silent MFC application

How can I make my MFC application so that it does not show up in the task bar or the task manager. I'll give ALL my points (600) for a sample application that really works.
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lucidity
Asked:
lucidity
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1 Solution
 
Tommy HuiCommented:
You can not make an application hidden from the task manager of Windows NT 4.0. However, you can make it hidden from the taskbar by creating a hidden main frame window.
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
I know it is possible to hide it from the task manager.

but how do I make a hidden main frame window?

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Jackie071497Commented:
Check the Mike Blaszczak's Sample Programs.
There is one sample called STEALTH.ZIP
It is written by VC++ 5.0

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Jackie071497Commented:
This was asked a few weeks ago (in the windows topic area) and Mike (the author of stealth) responded (he is an expert).  He said there are some problems with the stealth.  It was written prior to windows 95 and does not work as well as it should now.  He said he would probably rewrite it to use the WS_EX_TOOLBAR style instead of a hidden main window.
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nietodCommented:
thanx for the code, It does hide the app from the task bar but still appears in the task manager. If anyone can help me hide it from the task bar I will give them the rest of my points, if not I will give the 200 to jackie.. thanx in advance
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
You said that it hides it from the task bar, but then ask for help in hiding it from the task bar.  What's the deal?

You can't have an app that doesn't appear in the task manager list. (The security problem should be obvious.)

.B ekiM


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mikeblasCommented:
sorry, I meant to hide the app from task manager. I know it can be done.
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
Can you name an app that does it?

Your only hope is writing a service, which is very different than an application.

.B ekiM

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mikeblasCommented:
One possible way is to create a thread in an other application with the 'createremotethread' call.
You can for example open the explorer process and create a remote thread that will load in you mfc dll.
This will hide it from the task manager. (of course, if someone closes the explorer, your application will go down too.)

To hide it from the task manager, look at the stealth.zip sample
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rcabanieCommented:
CreateRemoteThread() is insane: you can't control the life of your thread.  When the app terminates, so goes your thread. You'll leak any shared resources you've acquired.

.B ekiM
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mikeblasCommented:
then what do you suggest, nobody seems to have anything better
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
Why is it insane if you use it in combination with the explorer process?
This process will be alive as long as the user is logged in.
Since your app will run entirely in a dll, the DLL_DETACH will be called when the host application quits. This will enable your DLL to clean up...
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rcabanieCommented:
It's too late to clean up, if the system is shutting down before you get your DLL_DETACH notification. Performing heavy shutdown in response to DLL_DETACH is a bad idea, anyway, and likely to cause the system to deadlock.

Invasively injecting a thread into a process that you didn't, yourself, write to expect such attached threads is nominally a path to disaster and foolish at best.

The simple answer is that you can't create a process that safely doesn't show up in the task list. It just makes sense: would you want to have such a process on your machine? Are you writing a virus or trojan horse?

.B ekiM


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mikeblasCommented:
You're right. The only reason for such a process is a virus.

I was wrong saying you should respond to the DETACH. I meant that any statics in your dll will be destroyed when the host process exists.
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rcabanieCommented:
There is another reason for such a program, I am working on a security VxD for files in Win32. I would need a program always active (never able to be forcably closed) to communicate with the VxD).

So.. got any other ideas? I was thinking that I could go in and remove the process name from the task list or something to that effect, is that something that can be done?
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
There is another reason for such a program, I am working on a security VxD for files in Win32. I would need a program always active (never able to be forcably closed) to communicate with the VxD).

So.. got any other ideas? I was thinking that I could go in and remove the process name from the task list or something to that effect, is that something that can be done?
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lucidityAuthor Commented:
The task list is the least of your worries.  Just because the program doesn't show up in the task list doesn't mean it can't be terminated.  A user could use PVIEW.EXE or TLIST.EXE to kill it.

If your security scheme is dependent on an application always running, your security scheme is hopelessly flawed.

.B ekiM
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mikeblasCommented:
Tlist and Pview read the registry for a list of applications, I do plan to somehow maskout the Name in the list of tasks. and further to that, if the exe is stopped all access is also stopped, the exe is simply to user interface to the VxD services anyway.

while we're on this topic, I am trying to get some of the TList.exe code to compile in a dialog based app (generated by app wizard) I can't seem to get the right compiler settings to make it work. have you ever done this?

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lucidityAuthor Commented:
Good luck with your project.

.B ekiM
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mikeblasCommented:
Good luck with your project.

.B ekiM
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mikeblasCommented:
if you ever find anything let me know
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