Ok, call me paranoid, (because I AM), but I'd rather not post a list of all the processes going on, on my computer... On an open forum.
I can tell you a bit of what I have learned. I'm not so convinced that my computer is 'owned'... Except for weaknesses in firefox.
First... the clicking sound.
I discovered that it was sounds associated with a "chat" that was running on a forum I am a member of. I didn't authorize the chat. I didn't sign in. Etc. It just automatically ran, and the sounds seemed to have a 'human' "ryhtym", because in essence, they did. It was the sound made when someone posted. Irregular intervals, etc.
I tracked it down, and turned it off.
The rest of the problems...
I have figured out that they happen only when on some new web page that I have never visited before.
Usually a "news" page. As in owned by the press, a newspaper, telivision, etc.
And usually the freezeup that cannot be ctrl-alt-del 'ed out of, (HAVE to do a hardware reset.)... Happens when I have ok a video to run, then have put it on hold, (to watch the rest of, later), and gone to some other page.
Since it never seems to happen while I am on the actual page, (and even if it did, the cursor moves, but nothing else works, so I couldn't "investigate the cause" anyway...), I have never been able to figure out exactly what it is that is causing it.
My gut tells me that my computer itself is not "owned". But that it might as well be, if all I am doing is running firefox, and in essence, my firefox is "Owned" from somewhere outside my machine. With all the things that firefox can do on your machine. Browse files, upload/download, etc... (One of the problems I have seen, is occassional HUGE uploads and/or downloads... And NOTHING is running that should be doing that. (Firefox is always running, but I didn't authorize any uploads or downloads.) I do not have any program anywhere enabled for automatic updates, or any other reason for unexpected uploads or downloads.) Add stuff I don't readily understand... Seems to me your computer can be made a zombie of, even if actual control of the computer itself, (root), cannot be achieved...
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)