Spyware and Adware

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at odd times.
We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least stop at
the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting program and
we found 8 installed programs.

My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have a Mac
and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and execute it,
either on purpose or as an email attachment.

Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using XP SP2
on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I watch
out for other than running unknown programs?

--
Dennis M. Marks
9 answers Last reply
More about spyware adware
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    To deal with issues caused by any sort of "adware" and/or
    "spyware,"such as Gator, Comet Cursors, Smiley Central, Xupiter,
    Bonzai Buddy, or KaZaA, and their remnants, that you've deliberately
    (but without understanding the consequences) installed, two products
    that are quite effective (at finding and removing this type of
    scumware) are Ad-Aware from www.lavasoft.de and SpyBot Search &
    Destroy from www.safer-networking.org/. Both have free versions.
    It's even possible to use SpyBot Search & Destroy to "immunize" your
    system against most future intrusions. I use both and generally
    perform manual scans every week or so to clean out cookies, etc.

    Additionally, manual removal instructions for the most common
    varieties of scumware are available here:

    PC Hell Spyware and Adware Removal Help
    http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml


    Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
    magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
    always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
    allegedly "free" service or product.

    While there are some unscrupulous malware distributors out there,
    who do attempt to install and exploit malware without consent, the
    majority of them simply rely upon the intellectual laziness and
    gullibility of the average consumer, counting on them to quickly click
    past the EULA in his/her haste to get the latest in "free" cutesy
    cursors, screensavers, "utilities," and/or wallpapers.

    If you were to read the EULAs that accompany, and to which the
    computer user must agree before the download/installation of the
    "screensaver" continues, most adware and spyware, you'll find that
    they _do_ have the consumer's permission to do exactly what they're
    doing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, computer users have no
    one to blame but themselves.

    There are several essential components to computer security: a
    knowledgeable and pro-active user, a properly configured firewall,
    reliable and up-to-date antivirus software, and the prompt repair (via
    patches, hotfixes, or service packs) of any known vulnerabilities.

    The weakest link in this "equation" is, of course, the computer
    user. No software manufacturer can -- nor should they be expected
    to -- protect the computer user from him/herself. All too many people
    have bought into the various PC/software manufacturers marketing
    claims of easy computing. They believe that their computer should be
    no harder to use than a toaster oven; they have neither the
    inclination or desire to learn how to safely use their computer. All
    too few people keep their antivirus software current, install patches
    in a timely manner, or stop to really think about that cutesy link
    they're about to click.

    Firewalls and anti-virus applications, which should always be used
    and should always be running, are important components of "safe hex,"
    but they cannot, and should not be expected to, protect the computer
    user from him/herself. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon each and
    every computer user to learn how to secure his/her own computer.


    To learn more about practicing "safe hex," start with these links:

    Protect Your PC
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/default.asp

    Home Computer Security
    http://www.cert.org/homeusers/HomeComputerSecurity/

    List of Antivirus Software Vendors
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;49500

    Home PC Firewall Guide
    http://www.firewallguide.com/

    Scumware.com
    http://www.scumware.com/


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on
    having both at once. - RAH

    "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:0A6C4739-41C8-4B59-B37A-C2E182685690@microsoft.com...
    > My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at
    > odd times.
    > We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least
    > stop at
    > the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting
    > program and
    > we found 8 installed programs.
    >
    > My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have
    > a Mac
    > and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and
    > execute it,
    > either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    >
    > Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using
    > XP SP2
    > on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I
    > watch
    > out for other than running unknown programs?
    >
    > --
    > Dennis M. Marks
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Spyware gets onto your computer because you allowed it to get on. Sorry to
    be so blunt, but that's the truth.

    You need to apply the same common sense on the Internet that you would in
    everyday life. Is somebody offering you something 'for free'? Nothing is for
    free. Do you read an agreement before you sign it? You also need to read a
    software licensing agreement before you accept it. Does an offer that pops
    up on your computer sound a little suspicious? Is there something buried in
    the fine print? Spyware is lurking everywhere on the Internet.

    In short: Always think before you click.

    --
    Ted Zieglar


    "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:0A6C4739-41C8-4B59-B37A-C2E182685690@microsoft.com...
    > My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at odd
    times.
    > We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least stop
    at
    > the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting program
    and
    > we found 8 installed programs.
    >
    > My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have a Mac
    > and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and execute
    it,
    > either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    >
    > Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using XP SP2
    > on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I watch
    > out for other than running unknown programs?
    >
    > --
    > Dennis M. Marks
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:28:25 -0700, "Bruce Chambers"

    > Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
    >magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
    >always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
    >allegedly "free" service or product.

    Actually they can install without your knowledge. Possible new method I ran
    across the other day.

    Flash can grab your mouse as long as you have 'automatically move to default
    button' turned on. I've been smacking a lot more adverting lately which makes
    me think a lot more advertisers are including this tiny function in their ads.
    ie: You're sitting there fixing to hit the next page button, but some flash ad
    as you passed the mouse over it, has nabbed your mouse and as you started to
    hit it, moved it to their 'jump to URL' link.
    Jump to a url isn't the only thing that can be done if you hit the wrong thing.

    Just takes someone intent on invading your machine [see: virus] to create the
    code.
    --
    more pix @ http://members.toast.net/cbminfo/index.html
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Obviously I don't know what mouse software you are using; I use Microsoft's
    Intellipoint. IntelliPoint can be configured to *select* the default choice
    in a dialog box, but it does not *activate* the default choice, i.e., it
    does not automatically click the mouse (or press Enter). Only I can do that.
    --
    Ted Zieglar


    "Husky" <cbminfo@toast.net> wrote in message
    news:he37p0pl8evdkuhhelitvv18rccpchg857@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:28:25 -0700, "Bruce Chambers"
    >
    > > Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
    > >magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
    > >always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
    > >allegedly "free" service or product.
    >
    > Actually they can install without your knowledge. Possible new method I
    ran
    > across the other day.
    >
    > Flash can grab your mouse as long as you have 'automatically move to
    default
    > button' turned on. I've been smacking a lot more adverting lately which
    makes
    > me think a lot more advertisers are including this tiny function in their
    ads.
    > ie: You're sitting there fixing to hit the next page button, but some
    flash ad
    > as you passed the mouse over it, has nabbed your mouse and as you started
    to
    > hit it, moved it to their 'jump to URL' link.
    > Jump to a url isn't the only thing that can be done if you hit the wrong
    thing.
    >
    > Just takes someone intent on invading your machine [see: virus] to create
    the
    > code.
    > --
    > more pix @ http://members.toast.net/cbminfo/index.html
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com> wrote in message
    news:ulLXc1AyEHA.1076@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Obviously I don't know what mouse software you are using; I use
    Microsoft's
    > Intellipoint. IntelliPoint can be configured to *select* the default
    choice
    > in a dialog box, but it does not *activate* the default choice, i.e., it
    > does not automatically click the mouse (or press Enter). Only I can do
    that.
    > --
    > Ted Zieglar
    >
    >

    Do you mean that if I enable that feature on my mouse that I will have to
    get you to click it for me? Do you have a schedule available? Are there any
    other functions we should know about that only you can perform?
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:0A6C4739-41C8-4B59-B37A-C2E182685690@microsoft.com...

    >
    > My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have a Mac
    > and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and execute
    > it,
    > either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    >
    > Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using XP SP2
    > on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I watch
    > out for other than running unknown programs?
    >
    > --
    > Dennis M. Marks

    A good Spyware and Adware F.A.Q.
    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/spyware

    --
    D

    I'm not an MVP a VIP nor do I have ESP.
    I was just trying to help.
    Please use your own best judgment before implementing any suggestions or
    advice herein.
    No warranty is expressed or implied.
    Your mileage may vary.
    See store for details. :)

    Remove shoes to E-mail.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

    >My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at odd times.
    >We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least stop at
    >the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting program and
    >we found 8 installed programs.
    >
    >My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have a Mac
    >and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and execute it,
    >either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    >
    >Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using XP SP2
    >on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I watch
    >out for other than running unknown programs?

    See MVP Jim Eshelman's Spyware pages, starting with
    http://www.aumha.org/a/parasite.htm

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    "The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much."
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Please help me!!!

    I have just run spybot search and destroy to clean up my comp of all the
    nasty gremlins that lurk around. BUT after restarting my comp, I NOW have
    an error message saying THE SPECIFIED MODULE COULD NOT BE FOUND. And not
    knowing to much about errors and other general stuff i am a bit concerned as
    to what i have done. I hope someone out there can help me out PLEASE PLEASE
    PLEASE


    "Bruce Chambers" wrote:

    > To deal with issues caused by any sort of "adware" and/or
    > "spyware,"such as Gator, Comet Cursors, Smiley Central, Xupiter,
    > Bonzai Buddy, or KaZaA, and their remnants, that you've deliberately
    > (but without understanding the consequences) installed, two products
    > that are quite effective (at finding and removing this type of
    > scumware) are Ad-Aware from www.lavasoft.de and SpyBot Search &
    > Destroy from www.safer-networking.org/. Both have free versions.
    > It's even possible to use SpyBot Search & Destroy to "immunize" your
    > system against most future intrusions. I use both and generally
    > perform manual scans every week or so to clean out cookies, etc.
    >
    > Additionally, manual removal instructions for the most common
    > varieties of scumware are available here:
    >
    > PC Hell Spyware and Adware Removal Help
    > http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml
    >
    >
    > Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
    > magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
    > always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
    > allegedly "free" service or product.
    >
    > While there are some unscrupulous malware distributors out there,
    > who do attempt to install and exploit malware without consent, the
    > majority of them simply rely upon the intellectual laziness and
    > gullibility of the average consumer, counting on them to quickly click
    > past the EULA in his/her haste to get the latest in "free" cutesy
    > cursors, screensavers, "utilities," and/or wallpapers.
    >
    > If you were to read the EULAs that accompany, and to which the
    > computer user must agree before the download/installation of the
    > "screensaver" continues, most adware and spyware, you'll find that
    > they _do_ have the consumer's permission to do exactly what they're
    > doing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, computer users have no
    > one to blame but themselves.
    >
    > There are several essential components to computer security: a
    > knowledgeable and pro-active user, a properly configured firewall,
    > reliable and up-to-date antivirus software, and the prompt repair (via
    > patches, hotfixes, or service packs) of any known vulnerabilities.
    >
    > The weakest link in this "equation" is, of course, the computer
    > user. No software manufacturer can -- nor should they be expected
    > to -- protect the computer user from him/herself. All too many people
    > have bought into the various PC/software manufacturers marketing
    > claims of easy computing. They believe that their computer should be
    > no harder to use than a toaster oven; they have neither the
    > inclination or desire to learn how to safely use their computer. All
    > too few people keep their antivirus software current, install patches
    > in a timely manner, or stop to really think about that cutesy link
    > they're about to click.
    >
    > Firewalls and anti-virus applications, which should always be used
    > and should always be running, are important components of "safe hex,"
    > but they cannot, and should not be expected to, protect the computer
    > user from him/herself. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon each and
    > every computer user to learn how to secure his/her own computer.
    >
    >
    > To learn more about practicing "safe hex," start with these links:
    >
    > Protect Your PC
    > http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/default.asp
    >
    > Home Computer Security
    > http://www.cert.org/homeusers/HomeComputerSecurity/
    >
    > List of Antivirus Software Vendors
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;49500
    >
    > Home PC Firewall Guide
    > http://www.firewallguide.com/
    >
    > Scumware.com
    > http://www.scumware.com/
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > Bruce Chambers
    >
    > Help us help you:
    > http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    > http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    >
    > You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on
    > having both at once. - RAH
    >
    > "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    > news:0A6C4739-41C8-4B59-B37A-C2E182685690@microsoft.com...
    > > My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at
    > > odd times.
    > > We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least
    > > stop at
    > > the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting
    > > program and
    > > we found 8 installed programs.
    > >
    > > My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have
    > > a Mac
    > > and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and
    > > execute it,
    > > either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    > >
    > > Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using
    > > XP SP2
    > > on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I
    > > watch
    > > out for other than running unknown programs?
    > >
    > > --
    > > Dennis M. Marks
    >
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.newusers (More info?)

    Hi,

    Is that the full message? Or does it also name the file? If you click ok,
    can you get past it?

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "whirly" <whirly@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:F28BE464-5674-45C7-B2CC-6F7915E2F14E@microsoft.com...
    > Please help me!!!
    >
    > I have just run spybot search and destroy to clean up my comp of all the
    > nasty gremlins that lurk around. BUT after restarting my comp, I NOW
    > have
    > an error message saying THE SPECIFIED MODULE COULD NOT BE FOUND. And not
    > knowing to much about errors and other general stuff i am a bit concerned
    > as
    > to what i have done. I hope someone out there can help me out PLEASE
    > PLEASE
    > PLEASE
    >
    >
    >
    > "Bruce Chambers" wrote:
    >
    >> To deal with issues caused by any sort of "adware" and/or
    >> "spyware,"such as Gator, Comet Cursors, Smiley Central, Xupiter,
    >> Bonzai Buddy, or KaZaA, and their remnants, that you've deliberately
    >> (but without understanding the consequences) installed, two products
    >> that are quite effective (at finding and removing this type of
    >> scumware) are Ad-Aware from www.lavasoft.de and SpyBot Search &
    >> Destroy from www.safer-networking.org/. Both have free versions.
    >> It's even possible to use SpyBot Search & Destroy to "immunize" your
    >> system against most future intrusions. I use both and generally
    >> perform manual scans every week or so to clean out cookies, etc.
    >>
    >> Additionally, manual removal instructions for the most common
    >> varieties of scumware are available here:
    >>
    >> PC Hell Spyware and Adware Removal Help
    >> http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml
    >>
    >>
    >> Neither adware nor spyware, collectively known as scumware,
    >> magically install themselves on anyone's computer. They are almost
    >> always deliberately installed by the computer's user, as part of some
    >> allegedly "free" service or product.
    >>
    >> While there are some unscrupulous malware distributors out there,
    >> who do attempt to install and exploit malware without consent, the
    >> majority of them simply rely upon the intellectual laziness and
    >> gullibility of the average consumer, counting on them to quickly click
    >> past the EULA in his/her haste to get the latest in "free" cutesy
    >> cursors, screensavers, "utilities," and/or wallpapers.
    >>
    >> If you were to read the EULAs that accompany, and to which the
    >> computer user must agree before the download/installation of the
    >> "screensaver" continues, most adware and spyware, you'll find that
    >> they _do_ have the consumer's permission to do exactly what they're
    >> doing. In the overwhelming majority of cases, computer users have no
    >> one to blame but themselves.
    >>
    >> There are several essential components to computer security: a
    >> knowledgeable and pro-active user, a properly configured firewall,
    >> reliable and up-to-date antivirus software, and the prompt repair (via
    >> patches, hotfixes, or service packs) of any known vulnerabilities.
    >>
    >> The weakest link in this "equation" is, of course, the computer
    >> user. No software manufacturer can -- nor should they be expected
    >> to -- protect the computer user from him/herself. All too many people
    >> have bought into the various PC/software manufacturers marketing
    >> claims of easy computing. They believe that their computer should be
    >> no harder to use than a toaster oven; they have neither the
    >> inclination or desire to learn how to safely use their computer. All
    >> too few people keep their antivirus software current, install patches
    >> in a timely manner, or stop to really think about that cutesy link
    >> they're about to click.
    >>
    >> Firewalls and anti-virus applications, which should always be used
    >> and should always be running, are important components of "safe hex,"
    >> but they cannot, and should not be expected to, protect the computer
    >> user from him/herself. Ultimately, it is incumbent upon each and
    >> every computer user to learn how to secure his/her own computer.
    >>
    >>
    >> To learn more about practicing "safe hex," start with these links:
    >>
    >> Protect Your PC
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/default.asp
    >>
    >> Home Computer Security
    >> http://www.cert.org/homeusers/HomeComputerSecurity/
    >>
    >> List of Antivirus Software Vendors
    >> http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;49500
    >>
    >> Home PC Firewall Guide
    >> http://www.firewallguide.com/
    >>
    >> Scumware.com
    >> http://www.scumware.com/
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >>
    >> Bruce Chambers
    >>
    >> Help us help you:
    >> http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    >> http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    >>
    >> You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on
    >> having both at once. - RAH
    >>
    >> "denmarks" <denmarks@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    >> news:0A6C4739-41C8-4B59-B37A-C2E182685690@microsoft.com...
    >> > My sister's computer began to dial onto the internet by itself at
    >> > odd times.
    >> > We finially had to remove all stored passwords so it would at least
    >> > stop at
    >> > the signon screen. AOL recommended using their spyware detecting
    >> > program and
    >> > we found 8 installed programs.
    >> >
    >> > My question is how does spyware get on the computer? I used to have
    >> > a Mac
    >> > and the only way for this to happen was to download a program and
    >> > execute it,
    >> > either on purpose or as an email attachment.
    >> >
    >> > Can programs automatically download and install on a PC. I am using
    >> > XP SP2
    >> > on my machine which I heard greatly improves security. What should I
    >> > watch
    >> > out for other than running unknown programs?
    >> >
    >> > --
    >> > Dennis M. Marks
    >>
    >>
    >>
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