I never realized what a problem
spyware and hijackers were until I had my browser hijacked by "isearch"
and had to re-install my operating system. I talked to some people
about what happened to me and several of them told me they are having
the same types of problems that I had. Slow browser response, home
page reset and loss of toolbar controls were some of the problems.
They didn't know it but they have been hijacked, too. I have
always been skeptical of downloading free programs from the web but
after the problems I had, I took the chance and was very happy
with the results of the downloads on this page. I have safely downloaded
and installed the following programs from this page, AD-AWARE,
SPYBOT SEARCH & DESTROY,
SPYWAREGUARD and SPYWAREBLASTER,
and I have run http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/BrowserSecurity/
(jasons-toolbox is a manual system
check, not a program). All of the
above programs downloaded and installed with no problem and they are
easy to use.
SO, HOW DID I GET INFECTED IN THE FIRST PLACE?
To add to Tony's excellent advice above, you many find the additional programs and Security Sites helpful in malware prevention and removal:
7. Two free programs available to remove spyware from your system:
Download, Update and Scan with Adaware (get the free edition). Update the program before scanning (do NOT skip this step. A short tutorial I have included to help with instructions)
Download and install Adaware
Adaware Tutorial Updates & Scanning
Reboot your PC after scanning and cleaning with Adaware
Download, Update and Scan with Spybot Search and Destroy. (Be sure to Update the program first)
Download and install Spybot Search & Destroy
My very short Spybot Tutorial to set up and scan the first time
A more comprehesive Tutorial by the Author of Spybot Search & Destroy:
A Special Tool for Coolwebsearch and it's many variants is CWShredder
Just download it, unzip it and click on it. Hit the *Fix* button to run it.
Alternate download for CWShredder at Major Geeks site:
OR download it here
See also this full article by the Author of CWShredder
The CoolWebSearch Chronicles, The story of a thousand hijacks
8. Scan for Viruses and common trojans online and free
Panda's Active Scan
Trend Micro (PC-cillin) - Free on-line Scan
RAV Antivirus Online Scan
eTrust AV web scanner (Computer Associates)
9. If you still have problems and think you are infected after following the various scans and help above...... get HiJackThis (another free program & diagnostic tool), and post your log back here in a new topic. We can recommend what to *fix*
Download *Hijack This!*
Alternate download for HijackThis at Major Geeks site:
Unzip, and save to it's own folder on your hardrive. Then, doubleclick HijackThis.exe, and hit "Scan".
When the scan is finished, the "Scan" button will change into a "Save Log" button. Press that and copy & paste its contents here. Most of what it lists will be harmless or even essential, don't fix anything yet. Someone will be along to tell you what steps to take after you post the contents of the scan results.
10. Some Security Sites worth reading and bookmarking for reference and to help you get started in your PC Security.
Home Computer Security
Protecting Your Home Network
Home Network Security
Malicious Code Propagation and Antivirus Software Updates
National Institue of Standards and Technology
Computer Security Resource Center
Stay Safe Online
Protecting Your Privacy & Security on a Home PC
IE-SPYAD: Restricted Sites List for Internet Explorer
Working with Internet Explorer 6 Security Settings
This post has been edited by Hunter on Apr 2 2004, 07:48 PM