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Show ALL Forums  > Technology/Computers  > IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing      Home login  
Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing -->
Joined: 3/27/2001
Msg: 1
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage ChangingPage 1 of 20    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

90% of visitors to dating sites are running some form of spyware.

Download the following products and run them, you are infected if you get popups, or your homepage changes/ can't be changed.

1. Download Spybot (This is completely Free)
2. Download Ad-Aware (This is completely Free)
3. Microsoft Anti Spyware (This is completely Free for now)

Is your computer infected? IF you are even reading this chances are 95% yes.

1. Strange Icons Appear on desktop
2. You get popups.
3. You have a toolbar installed that isn't from yahoo, google or msn.
4. Weird links start appearing in the text of webpages, and when you click on them you get sent to other sites.
5. You can't change your homepage.
6. When you type in the name of a site incorrectly it takes you to some search site you have never heard of.
7. Your computer is REALLY slow when surfing.
8. Anything that claims to be a "internet accelerator" aka webhancer, netsetter, marketscore etc.
9. Add remove programs contains programs like bargin buddy, popup, search assistant etc

Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 2
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/24/2005 8:06:03 AM
(HTML links here done with BigFish permission)

Microsoft Anti Spyware XP/2K Only (This is completely Free for now and will stay free after the beta testing is done.) This has been reviewed recently as being one of the best out there but still *only* 63% effective by itself. PLEASE use multiple scanners!

Your spyware/anti-virus protection is only as good as your last update!

Everyone should also be running the free, well-reputed SpywareBlaster from JavacoolSoftware. Install it, run and update it weekly, and "Enable All Protection". It's pre-emptive and keeps tons of junk from ever installing.

For those not running XP/2K, JavaCool also has SpywareGuard - not as exhaustive as the MS program but it does provide heuristic, real-time protection.

Also, has a good little quick online scanner and a "Spyware Block List", a small file that you save to your computer, right-click and Merge into your Window's registry (all versions). It, too, works a bit like SpywareBlaster by blocking spyware. Bookmark the site and use both occasionally.

Remember, to avoid any form of spyware scanner that advertises itself in the form of popups or those banners that tell you that you are already infected. It might be right but scare tactics denote a shady product. Throw the product's name into Google and look for reviews. Some free ones actually get some spyware and *install* others!
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 3
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/24/2005 8:11:32 AM
(Editing kept chopping off 2nd half)

I'd also recommend Firefox browser. It's growing in popularity and will eventually attract more attention. Until then, it's a ton more secure than IE. You can also get extensions for it for added functionality (I have a translation module, spell checker, page reloader, ad blocker, etc).

Lastly, if you haven't been there lately, get your Windows Updates caught up. Off the record, if you're running XP, I'd recommend installing your Critical Updates one at a time and noting which one is going in. This way, should the update be incompatible with your system, you'll know which one to avoid. (Rare but I've seen it).

Nice point, Ex. Problem is that most of that junk gets installed alongside of other softwares and most of my customers are oblivious that it's ever been put on.
Joined: 1/23/2005
Msg: 4
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/25/2005 6:06:54 AM
a certified cisco network instructor advises the following combination....

AVG by


and Zone Alarm

they are all free... and no one he knows that is running them simultaneously has had any issues...

as an added precaution... a physical firewall is also helpful... although that is not free, they are coming down in price.

As was mentioned before, though... you have to make sure that you keep it all uptodate... which if you allow them to do so automatically, is not difficult....

The other thing is never mind the settings which only check executables... check everything on the puter... If the scan is done when you are not using the puter... It is cheap insurance.

AND you occasionally find things that are not supposed to be there.
Joined: 2/25/2005
Msg: 5
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/25/2005 12:30:27 PM
Thank you for all of your information on spyware. It was very helpful for me.

Great forum.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend.
Take care,
Joined: 3/27/2001
Msg: 6
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/25/2005 11:58:45 PM
Norton is a piece of junk. They strip out anything that looks like advertising or javascript etc. Good many sites you go to you can't use half the stuff because they have stripped it out for you and you don't even know its gone.
Joined: 3/27/2001
Msg: 7
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/26/2005 9:13:53 AM

avast from awil is real good anti virus protection. its free. it will take care of all the trojens and worms i`ve seen and i get alot of them just from this site.

You can't get anything from plentyoffish, its probably just a lame program reporting cookies as virus's.
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 8
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/26/2005 10:01:29 PM
I find that Microsoft's Anti-Spyware software, along with an updated virus protection works just fine.
The key to avoiding exposure/keeping privacy is to use precautions far more secure than this.
Contradict yourself much?
In a recent test, MS' Antispyware only spotted 63% of spyware on test machines. It's one of the better ones out there, but to accept it as being "enough" is naïve. You espouse yourself as an expert but complain that Spybot is too tricky. They're all about the same at that level. At some point the novice has to trust the source telling them what to remove and what to keep. It's no different, really, than from antivirus software. Either you trust 'em or you don't. Read my first posts in this thread for some trustworthy options to keep yourself better protected.
(Note: Since it was intended as a spyware thread, I stayed off the topics of hardware & software firewalls, valid A-V software and such.)

I've been using MS' software since the day it came out. Can you tell me wherein I would find its registry cleaner options? I'll be dàmned if I've ever seen them.

I'll let "Admin" tackle the accusations that PoF is trying to infect you.
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 9
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/26/2005 10:28:15 PM
Big difference between running multiple real-time A-V and running concurrent spyware scanners. Apples - Oranges. If you actually work with computers then you should understand the difference (I'm wondering why you'd have to go in to a place monthly to do a defrag when it's dead easy to automate. Oh, "easy money."). The worst you'll get with concurrent scanners is false positives as one reports something the other missed (MS doesn't report cookies, for example).

The whole point of this thread is for those who are not novices an avenue to provide those who are novices sources of trustworthy information. Please don't discredit those few softwares which have been lauded as the Best of the Best. As I said before, people have to simply trust their software that it is looking out for their best interest and that what it is recommending is, indeed, the best course of action. People do that everyday with their AV and don't think twice. My own customers have no problems accepting that software that I have recommended to them is safe for use. It's one of the reasons they pay me. Not one has ever called me up later to say "Is everything on this list safe to remove?". They just trust.

People *should* be running multiple (trustworthy) spyware scanners. Period.

1.a MS Antispyware (XP/2k) for real-time coverage, set to scan daily
1.b or SpywareGuard (98/Me) for real-time coverage
2. Spybot, updated and run weekly
3. AdAware, updated and run weekly
4. SpywareBlaster, updated and run weekly (spotting a pattern yet?)
5. Hardware firewall (router)
6. Software firewall (i.e. ZoneAlarm/Kerio). XP's is not enough.
7. Firefox browser to replace IE
8. Thunderbird for email if you're using OE (more secure + spamfiltering)
9. Windows Updates kept up to date. (Ignorning the globe by the clock doesn't help you)
10. Antivirus software. If you like Norton, keep it. Otherwise AVG & Avast work very well. (Keep an eye on AVG's updates; sometimes buggy - I prefer Avast because of that)

Don't think I missed anything there. (I'm very familiar with MS' RegCleaner but that wasn't how your post read.)
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 10
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/26/2005 10:36:55 PM
"Anyone who knows anything about computers knows that in order for you to gain this information, something has to slip in for the information. Spyware gathers this information and more." in reference to how PoF has identified that 90% of visitors are running spyware.

Nothing has to "slip in" to gain information. By hitting a web page, you have already given them tacit permission to run scripts/java/ActiveX/etc. Your browser bends over and identifies itself. Head over to and take their "Shields Up" test. Pages can get TONS of information about your computer - there doesn't have to be anything nefarious or suspicious in their intent.
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 11
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/27/2005 5:06:51 AM
PTMY, this is a forum for the 'average joe' user -- running through a proxy server isn't usually an option for him/her. If you need a place where you can try to impress the techies, try experts-exchange.

SpywareGuard's coverage of startup/script issues is a bit more comprehensive than Spybot's Teatimer program due to its heuristic nature. While you could run both on top of each other, I think most would find answering two sets of questions for every change a bit tedious.

Those are called "vulnarability tests"? Good to know. I'll try to remember that.
Joined: 2/25/2005
Msg: 12
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/27/2005 6:12:26 PM
If I can get my computer fixed and lunch, I would all that having a fabulous day...
Joined: 3/27/2001
Msg: 13
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/27/2005 8:08:08 PM
Lets keep things simple, most users can barely turn on thier computers and use email. It may seem strange to us, but that is the way things are. 11% of users have funwebproducts spyware installed, along with search assistant and websearch toolbar. They blame us for trying to infect them when all we are doing is displaying a warning....
Joined: 12/11/2004
Msg: 14
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 3/29/2005 12:58:06 PM
first I would like to say thankx big fish, for helping us all out, Here is a tip that can't be left out, if a pop up tells you to download something that you did not click download to should not be downloaded and no do not install it. also if an E-mail is not from someone you know then delete it it's junk, it can have spywear and virus on them e-mails.

I clean up a PC that had 100% of it's 2.6 P4 intel chip used at boot up just to run spywear. the guy had 122 major spywear on it, with in 5 minutes I had it down to 26 programs running, and it was already 1000% better, then I got spybot off here and deleted the rest but 7 where left that I would need to pay to get deleted, atleast he can use his pc. another was 1066 spywear detected. nice of them to do so, but the worst was one taht said ask you network admin to remove this softwear when it was in admin access lol. that is just so stupid... well windows is full of bugs. and many lame kids to make bots, to what end? to know what you like so they can show you there sites? let's be real if you need porn sites your a target for spywear, if you use Kaza sucker, and if you use IE for the net then your asking for it. Fire fox is decent, I use Netscape, and I have not had probs since it has pop up blockers built in...

Joined: 10/8/2004
Msg: 15
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/1/2005 11:25:31 AM
I agree good forum.

I will try to keep it simple but I hope my imput will help most of you.
Now I am not claiming to be a expert here so don't bash me .
I run a number of program's to keep this junk off my computer and find that my system run's fine.
For those of you that are on shaw cable they have a new Antivirus, spyware and firewall program that can be found here

Also here is a good site to see how well your firewall is working it scans to see if you have any ports open along with good info on protecting yourself.

Another good program that I did not see mentioned is a2

I myself have used all programs mentioned on this fourm and find them all to be very good.Except Norton AV don't like it don't use it.

One more program you may want to use is RegScrub v3.2 for XP it can help clean your registry (caution for the novice PLEASE READ ALL HELP before using ) I find it very easy to understand and it is a great program to keep registry from being clutterd.

Also for those that don't know make sure to defrag your system at least once a month.

Well I hope this helps and happy surffing and fishing.
Joined: 2/25/2005
Msg: 16
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/4/2005 9:46:21 PM
Thanks to everyone for your advice. Computer is running well now. Definitely happy.

Take care,
Joined: 3/11/2005
Msg: 17
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/6/2005 11:21:41 PM

Well I am happy I am running on a Mac and simply perplexed by the lengths you all have to go to keep your systems clean in the world of microsoft and PC's.

My Mac is supposededly not immune but it is harder to target the Mac OS, and I just do not get the problems you all seem to have.

Only thing buggy I've noticed lately is the display of text portions of POF profile pages don't display quite right or align when viewing. But I think that's an interface discrepancy

I was concerned a few months back when my nieces computer became so infected, that she lost her drive in the attempted fix, so I started looking into it and found a site called Spywarriors that was all free and documented much of the same recommendations given above......oh they also have forums where they offer very specific technical advice for users to help get rid of what might been installed, how to trouble shoot for specific virus's and how to keep your machine safe once it has been cleaned.

It seemed like a very well run site totally devoteed to dealing with these issues, plus they keep an ongoing list of free utilities and comparisons on their effectiveness and use, constantly updated.

Incidentily does anyone have any info on MySpace being guilty of these trojan installs, their site seems a little buggy to me.

Oh the only add blocker I use is an oder shareware program called WebFree it works pretty good and the shareware license is only $20, in case other Mac users need one. I don't think it runs in Mac OS X though but maybe another version does.
Joined: 7/6/2004
Msg: 18
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/12/2005 11:01:26 AM
this is for windows xp

heres how i get rid of spyware if i have a highspeed connection that is always connected


run hijack this, see what problems your comp has using hijack this, you have to import
the hijackthis logfile to

then check your host file, xp is C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc

host file is where all thsoe annoying redirects are

then boot your computer into safemode with networkihng

run the liveupdates for microsoft antispyware then run antispyware with full system scan

typically this would take care of the problem with spyware, but you can also run adaware
after that

also clear out your internet explorer cache,delete temporary files, check your downloaded
program files

uncheck enable third party browser extensions, enable install on demand, and put a check
into use tls 1.0

take your computer out of safemode with networking, now that should fix all the problems

o ya, also delete the restore points and recreate them causea spyware hides in there to.

o ya, also disable all spyware startup items and spyware services

if your running any os other then xp, and you got spyware,

i can help you with that to, but its a bit more tricky
Joined: 6/4/2004
Msg: 19
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/13/2005 2:51:24 PM
I have been trying to find a free good a popup Block.the best Popup blacker out there by far is EarthLink Toolbar It Block every pop up other there.It also has a The toolbar blocks spyware and pop-ups, .And the best thing about it free for all Internet users
Joined: 7/15/2004
Msg: 20
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/23/2005 9:23:41 PM
I have been a computer tech for a loooooooooooooooong time... Here is some free advice...

Adsgone 2004 - Not free... but is cheap and will shut down a TON of popups, and you can add new ones that aren't on their list, or just crap you don't want to see... I recommend it highly, and use it all the time... the only glitch? Occasionallyif you are surfing a lot and are into... um... less than reputuable areas, you can get bombarded with enough popups that it will lock that instance of IE...

On top of the other fine programs mentioned... Black Ice Defender, also not free but again, cheap at twice the price... tons of bang for your buck...

Ad-Aware - Free for personal use, does an excellent job...

Spy Bot SEarch and Destory - great program, be sure to update and USE the inoculator.

CWShredder - Free... gets rid of coolweb and coolsearch bar... about the only thing that will do it too...

Oh, and a GREAT program - HiJack This - User beware, this is an ADVANCED tool... when in doubt don't... but it digs into places that a lot of the others miss.

For the IE users out there... Here is a way to clean up your machine and make it work faster... Right inside IE... Under TOOLS on the menu there is an option there called manage add-ons, go in and look around... KILL ANYTHING you don't know where it came from or don't use or don't want... Close all instances of IE and fire it up again... can you say 300%+ improvement?

Lastly... if you are having a lot of trouble getting stuff off your system... reboot into SAFE mode... Reboot your machine and when you first see the windows logo hit the F8 key... when you get into safe mode... THEN run your adware/spyware stuff... since you load next to nothing in safe mode... none of the files will be locked...

And while you are in safe mode... do a search of your hard drive... look for backweb... and kill every single thing you can find that relates to this... get it all OFF your system...

Reboot and have fun...

Also... if you need help... holler at me... I am always willing to help... but do remember that my time is somewhat limited... but I will try to help best I can...

Safe Surfing..

Dragon Rider...
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 21
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/24/2005 7:29:57 PM
DragonRider, you've got to remember that *tons* of people aren't running WinXP SP2. Thus, the "Manage Add-ons" option is only for a portion of users here.

Also, while Safe Mode is definitely the best way to start your removals, those running ME/2K/XP would also need to be temporarily deactivating System Restore to have maximum effect.

Personally, I'd be careful with telling people to arbitrarily "kill anything" they don't recognize. Better that they make notes of what they don't recognize, try googling it, and _just_ deactivate those things they don't recognize. That gives them the option to restore functions when/if they find they've turned off something they need or want.

For the same reason, I'd be cautious about telling people who aren't comfortable with what they're doing to run HijackThis *unless* they've got some good resources for getting help analyzing their logs. There are some great, dedicated forums for this purpose.

Lots of very good information appears in the first page of this thread. Might want to give it a read through.
Joined: 7/15/2004
Msg: 22
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IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing, etc
Posted: 4/24/2005 7:37:14 PM
I did read the first page, and thought I added cautions to the whole HiJackThis... (and did add that I would be willing to help if they needed... HJT is a great program, but all the really GOOD stuff... you can shoot yourself pretty quick)

As far as killing things, I think where I put that, they can't do any harm to their system... I will have to re-read it... Looking at it... the kill comment was for the Manage Add ins... nothing you do there is permanent you can always turn it back on... it does NOT rid your system of anything... so I stand by it... if you don't recognize it don't use it, kill it... I think the only thing that shows up in there that might be an issue is the Java JIT compiler, and it will usually reinstall itself at need... so in general no harm done... I went in there and found 27 things loaded, most were NOT something I did, I shut them all down, page load went from 90 second to about 2... the desired effect...

Yeah, forgot to remind them to disable system restore... duh... you get used to doing things and forget the extra steps... my bad...

I thought the Manage-Add-ins came with the Latest of IE not XP sp2... I may have read that update wrong, if so, I apologize... I will have to go back and check...

Dragon Rider...
Joined: 4/9/2005
Msg: 23
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing
Posted: 4/25/2005 5:25:41 AM
The comment below was forwarded to me so I asked a good friend who is employed by Microsoft if it was true and I am posting his reply verbatim.

All messenger programs have a program called Alexa. This you will see in the fine print. They mine your computer of all info. Hackers silently come in usually with viruses and use your computer.

Is this true?

No, that is not accurate.
Alexa is a search feature that usually gets installed by users without their knowledge. It will come with other controls or software. It is not included by default in any of the major IM software. That includes AOL and MSN Messenger.
It might be in some of the others because they are free software and rely on funds from other software that piggy backs on their installation. Trillion is probably a good example of this.

To Admin: Am I correct in assuming that your IM program is free of these "search features"?
Joined: 2/22/2005
Msg: 24
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing
Posted: 4/25/2005 8:47:19 AM
The IM at this site is not an IM "program"; nothing was installed by PoF in order for it to function here, and it doesn't function with any other site, or when you're not on PoF, etc. It works by using Java (a supplementary language that is usually pre-installed by the user or with their operating system). When you start the IM here, you don't have to check off a user agreement or anything which, I believe, would be a requisite for getting any of Alexa's crap onto your system.

If you have anything by Alexa on your computer, it's safe to say that it's not PoF's fault.
Joined: 3/14/2005
Msg: 25
IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing
Posted: 4/27/2005 8:01:44 PM
if your running windows 03 you can detect spyware . you have to do the following < need to set secuirty on the admin lvl to detect incomming ips. then you have to setup i honny pot so that server is not open that your not open . easy way to way fix the open problem . turn ip ports . 1500 500 450 300 off . keep 310 open for windows-update . problem is with doing this is you need to run linux with windows 03 on differtn drives use a usb drive if you want so linux can block any incomming traffic to the server. IE linux black box. thanks james
Show ALL Forums  > Technology/Computers  > IMPORTANT --> Spyware - Popups, Homepage Changing