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Homepage Hijacking and pop-up blocking

gijoecam

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OK, here's the scoop. My fiancee's PC has been surfing the 'net via broadband for three months unprotected (and against my protestations, but since when does she listen to me anyways??). She's running Win XP Home, using IE. Well, as I predicted, her computer got infected.... spy-ware, malware, and trojan horses up the wazoo.

So, I tried installing Norton Internet Security. The scans found 36 different problems. Once those were cleaned, I was still getting pop-ups here and there directing me to an anti-virus/anti-spam (an was clearly spam-ware) program web site. Also, when opening IE, the home page started as about:blank, then redirected to another site. Finally, I was getting an occasional pop-up from another program trying to install itself.

Well, I went through and manually disabled a bunch of garbage in the startup file, and went through the registry as best I could to remove the remaining spy-ware entry, and that seems to have fixed all but two lingering problems:

First, the home page is premanently set to about:blank. If you use a shortcut to open IE that links to ANY other web site (e.g. yahoo or google) IE opens with no problem and takes you right to that site. However, if you attempt to go to the 'home' page, it defaults to about:blank and that starts a couple of pop-ups going for the anti-spy-ware again. Also, I cannot change the home page in IE in her user profile or mine as something has that feature locked-up. It'll allow me to make the change, but it doesn't save it.

Second is the pop-ups. I've got Norton Internet Security's ad-blocking running, IE security set to high, privacy set to high, and IE pop-upo blocking turned on, and I still get pop-ups. How is that possible?

I've run Hijack This and cleaned everything that isn't essential (that solved a lot of problems Norton didn't). I tried running the scan from Kaspersky, but it wouldn't let me run it while booted in safe mode.

I'm completely lost. A clean install is out of the question as she never received the system restore discs or the OEM install disc with her machine. Am I SOL? What else can I try?

Thanks, gang!

-Joe
 



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Howard

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I would download 'Spybot search and destroy' and 'Adaware SE' both of which are free and run those (after updating). Also look for Add Ons in ie (tools\manage addons) and disable anything that looks wrong.
 






gijoecam

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Oh, yeah.... forgot to mention those two too.... Spybot and Adaware both come back clean as well.

I'm already hooked on FF... I use it at home. Can't convince her it's a better (and safer) way to go.

-Joe
 






churd69

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gijoecam said:
Oh, yeah.... forgot to mention those two too.... Spybot and Adaware both come back clean as well.

I'm already hooked on FF... I use it at home. Can't convince her it's a better (and safer) way to go.

-Joe

I had this exact same problem, I did what was mentioned earlier in the thread and nothing worked. I had to reformat the hard drive in order to solve the problem.

-Rich
 






gijoecam

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Update: Good news! Just for shites and giggles, I downloaded the latest version of AdAware, added the latest updates, and re-ran the scan. It found 40-some new files that it hadn't found before. Wiping out all that junk took care of all the lingering issues. :) :) So, now, it's coming back clean with Symantec, AdAware, SpyBot S&D, and Hijack This. I think I've found my winning combination. :)

Thanks, again, guys!

-Joe
 






exploded99

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Take a look at sandboxie. You run your browser from within sandboxie, and if any of that crap tries to install, it will execute in the sandbox. All you have to do to get rid of it is clean the sandbox.

Been working great for the last six months on my machine. Zero viruses or anything.

Free for 30 days, then you will get a nag box once per day when you boot up.
 






Gimp

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For Future Reference:
CW SHREDDER works pretty good at finding and removing browser AND desktop hijackers.
 






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