Skip to comments.Breaking, Entering Your PC (Windows Scumware And Parasiteware Alert)
Posted on 11/26/2004 11:49:59 AM PST by goldstategop
The site has multiple forums for various computing problems, but the overwhelming number of inquiries in the last year has dealt with spyware, which on the site has a variety of less neutral names, "scumware" being one of the more polite. Scumware had been an epidemic; in the last year it grew into a pandemic, said Steve Wechsler, one of those drawn to Eshelman's site.
Wechsler was tending bar at a public golf course in South San Francisco when he bought his first computer less than a decade ago.
"I brought it home and turned it on, clicked on Netscape and expected something to happen. I still think about how dumb I was," he said. That ignorance makes him empathize with other casual users, people who expect their computers to be tools, not obligations.
The muting of the usefulness of those tools is what motivates him most. "I hate bullies. I've hated bullies my whole life. They prey on people. I'm not going to sit by and do nothing," he said. "It's your computer. They have no right to assault it."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Every box I touched (7 of them) had no less than 100'ish pieces of spyware in them. Each had a couple of virii, and NONE of them had visited windoze update.
I need to stop volunteering - or get one of these:
I know what you mean, I work in systems support and my wife complained to me last month that her new laptop was slow. I loaded a spybot and found over 250. No viruses, I keep nortons on my machines for that.
If you are stuck fixing your relatives' PCs, make sure you download the IT version of SP2 from Microsoft Technet. You can burn it to a CD and easily install SP2 onto multiple XP systems. It is a huge download, but can be a real time saver when working on multiple systems.
bump for later
correcting your link:
You are much too kind! By the way, where do you live?
Heh... I have my handy 'geek disc' with it loaded on it for the one and only XP box I fixed... the other 6 had either WinME (The Mistake Edition) or Win98.
Ummmm... er - Alaska - yeah that's it. On one of the islands.
It's amazing. My kids are reasonably computer literature, but none of them seems to understand updating, either of the operating system or of the various anti-spyware programs I put on their computers.
At least they could clean some of the easy spyware off. The hard stuff sometimes requires messing around with the Registry, which I'd rather they didn't try.
I love your screen name. Read your post.. snickered... read your screen name and laughed out loud. Too good.
thanks for post/article. I join the FReeper list that have been plagued with spyware/virus infections this past few weeks .. all with firewalls; spy sweepers; antivirus; and caution to NOT open anything form 'unknowns"
perps are terrorists & when caught should be handled as such as such = shooting the next day would be a good idea in my estimation
Free Republic is such a great resource and many thanks to everyone here who is so helpful.
I had AdAware 6.0 and had tons of crap the past few days. I got AdAware SE thanks to the suggestions here. I have SpyBot and others too.
AdAware SE clean up almost everything plus I ran a few AV programs. I will probably spend the $26.95 for the yearly pay version of AdAware SE Plus.
Thanks to everyone here. I sure miss Drudge but I got a lot of crap from his web site. I guess he cannot make it just on banner ads.
Knowledge is power all right. I used my superior logic and knowledge to reach the conclusion that windoze was no long worth the trouble. When I bought a mac laptop just for fun and it was so nice to use and easy to operate that when my desktop started to die I just bought a Mac G5 dual processor. I don't miss windoze even a little bit.
I have no virus, spyware, scumware problems whatsoever.
We said GOOD RIDDANCE to MS Windows in my house over four years ago! ...nothing but RedHat Linux, and FreeBSD here.
BTTT for later!
Yep, the best solution to the problem.
Great stuff. Thanks, backhoe.
Your CWShredder link is no longer valid. They were bought by InterMute, and Version 2.0 is freeware, now available here:
Sounds familar. I have two friends (both with MBAs) and when it comes to taking care of their computers they are lost. One I installed adware and he couldn't believe what it found. Then Spybot put him into shock. By the time I was done he thought he had a new machine...repeated with my other friend later that day. Amazing, very smart people but fail to understand what it takes to keep their computers going.
In my state, we can shoot someone for breaking into our home.
My computer is "home".
For some reason, we cannot seem to get anyone interested in prosecuting these vandals. As with spam, the Direct Marketing Association pays a lot of bribes to weaken and neuter the Can-Spam bill, and it would not be surprising if they had a hand in this as well.
That is new info ( to me ) and I appreciate it! Will mull it over. My adventures with hijackers are here:
Thanks for all the great links. BTW your sygate link has a glitch.
Ping to me (another all night computer tune-up)
Thanks for the post. AumHa is wonderful. It was love at first sight.
I can relate to this as spyware has infected my computer and i can no longer get on the internet!Earthlink put forth a valiant effort to assist me with this problem but to no avail.Spyware should be illegal and the companies should be made to pay each individual for its attaching to files and corrupting browsers."IT IS I WHO WILL DECIDE YOUR NEED TO KNOW"!!! I DON'T GIVE A DA#N ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND HOPE IT FAILS!!When this spyware is used it is NO different than a thief breaking into your home and stealing.
A few months ago, I gave my son my "old" computer; a machine that had always performed perfectly for me, and which had a good antivirus program that I kept updated, as well as downloading all of the MS updates and fixes. Last month, they began to complain of it crashing. Then it stopped altogether. I ran AdAware and found over 700 instances of viruses, spyware and other data miners and dirty tricks. But they still had to reformat and reinstall. Files were so corrupted they simply couldn't run. Of course, neither of them ever thought to install any kind of firewall.
SpyBot Search & Destroy failed.
WebRoot SpySweeper failed.
Finally Giant AntiSpyware cleaned it up. It couldn't do it alone, I was busy in Add & Remove Programs, MSCONFIG, and the Registry. It took me 3 non-stop hours to finally eradicate everything (I hope it is gone.).
The bad thing is that my system is patched up, locked down, etc. But it STILL got slimed.
add to that list of spyware cleaners
have seen several pcs this week with "TVMedia", "180 Solutions" and "Network Terrorist" spyware that altho said 'cleaned' by Ad-Aware and Spybot, atill this Giant found more entires...
free to try for 15 days.
I think it is a good one.
Nice info. thanks.
I'm not sure what it is about family dinners and requests to fix computers, but it happened to me too (I suspect when I get the computers, the problem will be with spyware).
"What it does ... The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is it's ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, as long the the entry exists.
You can use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, cookies, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the Server that supplies these little gems. Example - the following entry 127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net blocks all files supplied by the DoubleClick Server to the web page you are viewing. This also prevents the server from tracking your movements.
Now includes most major parasites, hijackers and unwanted Search Engines!"
hahaha. I run about a dozen virus and intruder programs, mostly out of curiousity to see how they work.
Regrettably, sometimes one will find a 'problem' that all the others miss.
Recently, I downloaded a freeware program from a reputable download site: download.com. Only one of the programs I run notified me of a trojan; all the others missed it. I notfied download.com and within a couple of days, they had revised the file with a clean version.
OK I won't bother you with this problem, but seriously is there a good site to get help with fixing the dumb thing?
That's no lie! I got sick of old "friends" calling me for no other reason than because they were too dense to maintain their own stuff.
SO what I did was tell them that if they wanted me to fix their machines, that they'd have to pay me the same rate I charge for freelance work, which is $20 and hour and up. No exceptions.
I've heard the new Mandrake build is pretty slick. Trouble is, I don't have a spare machine on which to play with it. Don't want to mess with a dual-bott, either. I need to find an El Cheapo PC for just that purpose.
If I might interject, one other thing you might find useful is Zone Alarm Pro. You can set it up to block the ports that viruses usually attack, as well as pop-up controls, and lot of other neat stuff. Plus, it can stop a rogue program dead in its tracks from trying to contact its home server. Useful for manually tracking down baddies.
Be careful, though. The pimply-faced, overweight, teenage malcontents (who should be outside instead of pecking away at the keyboard anyway) are working on ways to attack the Mac.
/something of a spyware expert, slightly paranoid, with a penchant for network security ;-D
It's very hard to believe that existing laws don't already provide penalties sufficient to send these sneaky saboteurs to jail for many years. Some tech-savvy state Attorney General could launch a successful political career based on such prosecutions.