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May 04, 2004, 09:49 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
Thread OP

SpyBot and Google Toolbar: A One-Two Punch for Windows Malware


Windows malware (spyware/adware) has started to become an epidemic of sorts in recent months. The FTC has recently been giving this some attention and I'm seeing more and more of it as a full-time computer consultant. If I come across a machine that looks to be severely infested (Hotbar and other search bars in IE and Outlook), I take the following steps.

1) Download and install SpyBot Search and Destroy
  • Launch Spybot in Easy mode from the Start menu
  • Click on Search for Updates and select all of them
  • Click Download Updates
SpyBot will install the updates and restart itself. At this point, you can click on Search for Problems to begin the scan. You'll see a list of problems appear as it finds pieces of spyware and other junk. Once it has finished, do the following:
  • Click Fix selected problems to begin the removal process
  • If SpyBot asks if it can load before Windows starts, say yes. Reboot your machine, wait until it scans, then click Check for problems. Remove anything else it finds.
  • Click on Immunize on the left hand side.
  • Under Permanent Internet Explorer immunity click on Immunize. This will prevent the malware that SpyBot just removed from coming back.
  • It's also recommended that you install the Bad Download Blocker as this prevents most malware installations from installing through Internet Explorer.

2) If you still have symptoms of adware then it's time for an uppercut in the form of Ad-Aware. I've seen it catch a few things SpyBot hasn't as it's updated more frequently. It doesn't immunize, though, so I only use it when there's a particularly evasive piece of malware. Ad-Aware is very effective if you keep it updated and is a little easier to use.


3) Now that your machine is running lean and clean it's time to squash popups once and for all. Go to http://toolbar.google.com and click Download Google Toolbar. It will walk you through the process and appear under your Address Bar in Internet Explorer. Keep in mind that it must be showing to block popups and that it keeps track of them with a counter in the middle. Here's a shot of mine:



Have fun!
Last edited by Awakened; May 04, 2004 at 10:10 PM.
May 04, 2004, 09:58 PM
All your base are belong to us
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awakened
...Download Google Toolbar...
Install a cookie blocker, and you might be surprised to find that Google Toolbar is spyware! It phones home to Google regularly for a cookie.
Latest blog entry: I'll be glad when this is over.
May 04, 2004, 09:59 PM
-+- PhlatBoyz -+-
kram242's Avatar
Google Tool bar works great i have been using it for months now, with great results!.
May 04, 2004, 10:09 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Mike
Install a cookie blocker, and you might be surprised to find that Google Toolbar is spyware! It phones home to Google regularly for a cookie.
Yes, and it tells you this in the installer. You can turn it off if you wish, but I certainly feel confident that Google isn't selling this information or using it for any sinister purposes. A small price to pay for the wealth of functionality it adds to your browser.
May 04, 2004, 10:14 PM
All your base are belong to us
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awakened
You can turn it off if you wish...
How?
Latest blog entry: I'll be glad when this is over.
May 04, 2004, 10:22 PM
Nimble with Gimbals
Thread OP
May 04, 2004, 10:27 PM
Registered User
In addition to the two mentioned programs, HijackThis will identify problems such as homepage/searchpage hijacking. I have found some problems all three could not fix, and had to get a patch to fix it specifically. Check out the new Netscape 7.0... It has pop-up blocking built right in. I am using it more and more in place of IE
May 04, 2004, 11:00 PM
Another vote for Netscape 7.X. It's popup blocker hasn't let a single popup through since I've installed it .

And it's not an add-on.

FWIW, M$ will be (2 years later) catching up with Netscape this summer by releasing a Service Pack for IE that adds a popup blocker into the browser.

Rick
May 05, 2004, 09:01 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Love spybot - I use both Google Toolbar and Netscape. I love Netscape. Sorry IE - they have you beat on this last release. I runs faster for me too. Not one pop-up.

Mike
May 05, 2004, 09:11 AM
I'm having pretty good results using Google toolbar, adaware, and CWShredder (kills those that try to change your homepage).
Jun 01, 2004, 08:40 AM
Registered User
Are there any free spyware / ad ware removers out there that work well?

If not free then what is the best for the money?

I am having a real problem with a slow system and pop ups right now.

I have downloaded a couple and run the scans then try to remove and that's when they ask me for money. No mention of it before this. This type of business practice I don't like.

Thanks
Jun 01, 2004, 08:47 AM
Mitch G's Avatar
The two mentioned above, Spybot and Ad-Aware are free.


Mitch
Jun 01, 2004, 08:49 AM
Registered User
For some reason when I try to download spy bot I get some sort of error message. Something about a CGI problem. Could it be something that found its way on my computer that won't let me in?

Thanks for the quick reply. Joe
Jun 01, 2004, 02:53 PM
-+- PhlatBoyz -+-
kram242's Avatar
Hey Joe I was having the same problem and I installed the free google tool bar and it works great! something you might want to try.
Jun 01, 2004, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Okay, I was finally able to get both ad aware and spybot. Hopefully this will stop those popups.

I already have the google tool bar with pop ups blocked but somehow they get by. I have pop-up blocker disabled on RCGroups so I can open up PMs while browsing. This is where they started popping up then.


Thanks, Joe


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