scumware utilites (revised) - CNET Viruses & Security

"Using Spybot - Search & Destroy to remove Spyware from Your Computer."

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1. You may experience any one or more of the following symptoms when deceptive software such as spyware or unauthorized adware is installed on the system, [Q827315]:

? When you start your computer, or when your computer has been idle for many minutes, your Internet browser opens to display Web site advertisements.

? When you use your browser to view Web sites, other instances of your browser open to display Web site advertisements.

? Your Web browser's home page unexpectedly changes.

? Web pages are unexpectedly added to your Favorites folder.

? New toolbars are unexpectedly added to your Web browser.

? You cannot start a program.

? When you click a link in a program, the link does not work.

? Your Web browser suddenly closes or stops responding.

? It takes a much longer time to start or to resume your computer.

? Components of Windows or other programs no longer work.

WARNING: As always, make sure every utility you use is fully updated. In addition, if you've never been through an eradication process, you're in for a surprise.

2. First, please read the article concerning "Unsolicited Commercial Software."

3. Second, perform as a minimum the first five items listed below. And note, there may be enough intrusion to cause all kinds of frustration in getting these programs to install and then clean a system. If there is a huge amount of cleaning to perform, limit the amount removed at one time and run the program again. If the programs don't install correctly the first time, uninstall from the Add/Remove applet in the Control Panel and install again.

Note: If you try using CWShredder, HijackThis, as well as Spybot S&D, Ad-aware and several other anti-spyware utilities and a trojan is installed which prevents their running, download PepiMK's "CoolWWWSearch.SmartKiller" removal tool, uncompress the zip file and run the program. In fact, this is the very first thing I would do anyway.

Caveat: Problems connecting? Try the "Computer Cops" site and find the files in question.

a. "Housecall."

Note: If Housecalls doesn't run for whatever reason, you might as well abort and go to the next and try this site later.

b. "Adaware." Your attention is invited to "Unable to Log On To Windows XP After Removing wsaupdater.exe."

c. Spybot S&D:

Note: Receiving an error "SO Exploit: . . ." (data source object) caused by the active secutity setting "Download unsigned ActiveX controls", it could be set to "Disable" or "Prompt" or ignore the produced error.

d. "CWShredder v2.14."

e. "McAfee AVERT Stinger."

f. "Hijack This" .

CAVEAT: Read the precaution concerning the subject of Hijack-This at that site.

Note: Posting a log concerning #f should only be at the direction of a forum moderator IMO. For your reading pleasure, "Hijack Removal." In addition, you may find the site "Help2Go" informative concerning certain problematic items and receive recommendations but use their suggestions with caution or else. . .

4. If there is later problems with IE then download and use "IEFix" - a general purpose fix for Internet Explorer (Win 98/ME/2000/XP), which performs certain actions explained at the Web site, among which it:

a. Registers Urlmon.dll, Mshtml.dll, Actxprxy.dll, Oleaut32.dll, Shell32.dll, Shdocvw.dll, [Q281679].

b. Refreshes Internet Explorer using IE.INF method. Note:

? "Unable to Install Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP (Q304872)"

? "How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP (Q318378)"

c. Initiates "SFC /Scannow" (Win2K&XP), [Q310747].

5. The article [Q320454] discusses and contains information about the "Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer" tool (MBSA) (click to see a screen shot) that centrally scans Windows-based computers for common security misconfigurations and generates a "report" (click to see an example).

6. "ShieldsUP" is the Internet's quickest, most popular, reliable, most powerful, complete and trusted free online Internet security checkup and information service where at this site you can check your system for vulnerability and begin learning about using the Internet safely.

7. Supplemental reading:

a. "Setting Up Security Zones."

b. "Chapter 27 - Security Zones."

c. "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2."

d. "Basic Spyware, Trojan And Virus Removal."

e. "Removal Instructions for . . ." is a helpful site that will be helpful in your learning more.