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Viruses and Browser Hijackers: Here we go again!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Seems like every few months I end up formatting
    my computer because of some virus that has
    attacked my system.

    I've come to accept it as this is such
    a huge Internet site that all the elements
    I deal with (including email) I am prone to
    such attacks.

    I run Norton AntiVirus, which for the
    most part, prevents any serious attacks.

    However...

    Yesterday I got hit with one of these
    dam hijack programs. It placed all sorts
    of SEARCH and ADULT icons on my desktop
    as well as totally taking over GOOGLE.

    I used PEST PATROL to remove the elements
    of the hijack worm/virus, but now my computer
    no longer can access GOOGLE.

    Question....

    I am getting a new computer within a month.

    What program can I install (on top of an
    antivirus) that will sit in my taskbar and
    continually monitor my system from spyware
    and browser hijack attempts?

    With 2GB of ram on board, I'll run a slew
    of software if it means my next computer is
    most likely NOT to be sabatoged.

    I know nothing is foolproof, but I could use
    your recommendations in getting as close to
    foolproof as possible.

    Thanks, guys!
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Well-Known Member

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    Spybot Search & Destroy offers a monitoring program that sits in your taskbar and checks everything out. It's worked pretty well for me.

    For your current situation, you might look into downloading Hijack This which is a great utility. Make sure you read up on it before using it though.
     
  3. Don Peskin

    Don Peskin Well-Known Member

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    I agree, Spybot is very good. The program that is memory risident is call Tea Timer. To get to it you have to open the advanced portion of Spybot, If I remember, it's under the Tools menu, if not just keep looking around. It took me a while to find it.
     
  4. RichP

    RichP Well-Known Member

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    You "accept" it only because you probably haven't known a computing experience without viruses or trojans.

    I've never had any viruses or any trojans or any hijacks in the last 5 years of using 4 computers every single day.

    You could have the same. Get a Mac.




    [​IMG]
     
  5. Dave_Olds

    Dave_Olds Well-Known Member

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    Spyware Blaster is a program that will not remove but block and refuse installation of spyware & hijackers....That in combination with Spybot is the best of both worlds....Yahoo has a toolbar that is convenient and has a spyware tool withing it - you can run the spyware easily from IE.

    FWIW, I started using Mozilla and these problems have become nearly nonexistant....I am not an anti-IE whatsoever....I just tried it on a recommendation for something to try....I use it on all my computers now and I am quite pleased...I basically like the layout and the fact you can open tabs (multiple sites in one browser window) and the way it handle the favorites, downloads, etc....But there seems to be some other advantages as well....
     
  6. Mary M S

    Mary M S Well-Known Member

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    Rich,

    I'm so fed up with my PC's I'm considering.

    But I have issues now with very old versions of Excel which I use heavily and have many files stored in (too many to migrate to something else)

    As it is, - just to get a 2000/1? Excel program to see work I did in 95 Excel, I have to run it through a computer with Excel 97? Mixing up my years without looking at the software. But basicly I have 3 generations and the oldest cannot be read by the most recent version I own without running it through the middle era software which reformats the bytes without destroying them.

    I have read (years ago) that trying to run MS Office suite through Mac's was a nightmare to migrate.

    Has this situation improved? I have to use Excel.

    didn't mean to hijack (ugg that word) the thread with my own question.
    Ron: here are some links which might help your google issue:
    http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article04-107
    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=314825
    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=319661
     
  7. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Well-Known Member

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    I have to ask: what do you use for browsing? IE?

    You should read this: Follow the bouncing malware

    This will give you a good idea why IE should be avoided at all costs.

    Personally, I use Opera and have NEVER had any of these issues. Same would go for Firefox.

    -Christian
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I use Firefox.

    Two days ago, for the first time,
    I used IE because Firefox was blocking
    a pop-up.

    That was exactly how the virus/worm
    was planted.

    Will never make that mistake again.
     
  9. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Well-Known Member

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    Ron:

    I too had a nasty browser hijacker that tried to change my home page and put some unsavory items in to my favorites. Though I normally use Firefox, have to use my IE in order to access my work Outlook Webmail. When I opened an email, which was a pop-up, it would trigger the hijacker. I finally removed it using, of all things, Microsoft's beta spyware program. Hmmmmm.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Used Pest Patrol and the hijack worm is gone.

    Michael, like you, it only took ONE attempt
    ing using Internet Explorer to cause catastrophe.

    I hate that browser! Thank God for Firefox.
     
  11. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Well-Known Member

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    In all fairness, you can raise the security settings on the IE browser to make it at least a great deal more resistant than it is out of the box. That said, I do prefer an alternative browser myself.

    Nothing replaces vigilance though; Firefox is now at 1.0.2 because there have been security holes in it that needed patching. Staying current with patches is an absolute must.

    One thing you really must have is a firewall, too. The best choice is a dedicated hardware firewall; take an old PC, put in an extra network card in it and install something like IPCop or Smoothwall Express. Very easy to do and makes directed attacks from the outside in very difficult indeed.

    After that, with a software firewall on your workstation, good antivirus software and antispyware to round it all off, you really have to try in order to get hit with something nasty.
     
  12. Pamela

    Pamela Well-Known Member

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    Mary-
    I work on a Mac and frequently send files back and forth between Mac and PC without problem. I am always sending Excel files back and forth.

    Office runs great on Mac (it has improved leaps and bounds). Have someone with a Mac see if they can open it up. You can email one to me if you want.
     
  13. Greg*go

    Greg*go Well-Known Member

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    Michael,

    Microsoft's AntiSpyware has been getting great reviews. In April's PCWorld, they had an Spyware competition. Although the Microsoft oen wasn't able to be tested in the process since it came out after the contest, they did report that it was one of the best programs.

    I've also used it, and it had worked wonders, especially when cleaning a system with that, Spybot & Adaware.
     
  14. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Well-Known Member

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    From "Follow the bouncing malware" [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Why isn't this illegal? I recently picked up something called aircity.exe and I couldn't get rid of it. I started a thread about it a few days ago. It was there twice on my start menu and when I tried to end the process nothing happened. It didn't seem to be doing anything bad but I did not want it, I did not ask for it, and I couldn't delete or uninstall it. In my attempts to get rid of it I fouled up Windows and had to reinstall. I'm not a big fan of the government meddling in everything but I wish they could at least pass legislation requiring these spyware/malware a**holes to provide an easy uninstall.
     
  15. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree on the firewall. If not a hardware firewall, definitely a software firewall. I've been very happy with Sygate. It does a very good job alerting users to programs trying to install themselves on the computer.

    Far as AV goes, I'd seriously recommend dumping Norton. My own personal experience previously posted here is that Norton is often a step behind...virus' got on my system and Norton alerted me to them after they had gotten in. I had one that shut down access to Norton's site. Their removal utilities are few and far between, and often inferior to those offered by Grisoft or Trendmicro. I haven't had one virus or worm since switching over to AVG by Grisoft. Trendmicro is also excellent.

    Firefox helps too as already mentioned, and Adaware and Spybot make a pretty good combo at removing spyware/malware that do manage to get on your system...

    I passed on Microsoft anti-spyware program. It gets good reviews, but is slated to become a subscription service from what I hear...I draw the line at paying Microsoft to remove the spyware Microsoft itself is largely responsible for. [​IMG]
     
  16. Glenise

    Glenise Well-Known Member

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    I agree Microsoft anti-spyware should be included with windows or at least bundled with it on a separate cd.
     
  17. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Well-Known Member

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    Your proposed "at least" solution is far too kind and gentle. The spyware/malware a**holes would take it as legal permission to install their garbage on your computer ([​IMG]) -- and if judges agreed with this, such a law could eliminate your chances of winning fraud / trespass / computer breakin lawsuits under existing, more generic laws. (There are already spam e-mails claiming that spam is "legal" because the e-mail includes (bogus?) REMOVE addresses.)

    It would be like replacing the laws against rape with ones saying that rapists could begin the criminal act, as long as they provided "an easy uninstall" of their "equipment" (:b).
     
  18. Greg*go

    Greg*go Well-Known Member

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    But I don't think MS has directly answered the question yet, so who knows for sure?
     
  19. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    PC World, in a recent "Anti-Spyware Shootout", named "CounterSpy" from http://www.sunbelt-software.com/index.cfm the clear winner.

    Here's the link to the PC World article:
    http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/artic...,119572,00.asp

    I've been using it since that article appeared, and have been very happy with it. It contains both a resident portion and a scanning portion. With the combination of these two elements almost every known malicious spyware can be totally expunged. (And the system automatically updates itself to stay current.)

    The resident portion blocks all attempts to hijack the browser, and also monitors the four main "auto-startup" areas of Windows in order to block recognized SypWare routines that attempt to add themselves to those lists.

    This allows the "Scanning" portion of the system to locate and effectively delete SpyWare files and registry entries. (In many cases these files CANNOT be deleted if they have associated processes running in the background, which would be the case if they had been allowed to add themselves to the Windows "Start Up" lists.)

    In addition, if the SpyWare is already running as a background task, in many cases the scanning portion of CounterSpy can terminate that process and then continue the cleaning.

    It's not perfect (no anti-SpyWare software is), but it's pretty darn close!
     
  20. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I've read differing statements about this. It's funny that MS hasn't announced their intentions one way or the other.

    I doubt it will be totally free for the personal user, but I could see Microsoft offering it up the same way Adaware does it...personal and pro versions with some optional pay service for expanded utilities.
     

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