Ray is the person who most commonly answers technical questions around here, and I don't think that he's been on the board since you asked your second question. As to your first question, maybe he doesn't know the answer.
Now for my try:
The combination of your problems looks VERY suspicious. I've never heard of Windows Genuine Advantage checking a system without explicit permission, and it's odd for your machine to say that it's trying to hook up to a server without your knowing the reason. (This could happen, though: even aside from update checks, and so on, many programs use local servers without the user's thinking about it - database programs, security filters which work through local proxies, etc.)
It sounds to me like the most likely explanation is that you have at least one malware infection.
My $0.02: You should check your system with at least two WELL-KNOWN, REPUTABLE malware checkers. "Spybot Search & Destroy" and "Lavasoft Ad-Aware" are possibilities. (Back up your system files before making any major changes, though.)
I hope that you are using a firewall, do not surf the Web using a Windows Administrator account unless you have some reason to do so, and take other normal security precautions.
If you don't mind my asking, what anti-virus software do you use, if any? Some provide protection against other kinds of malware also, and some don't.