(last updated on 9/22/2008)
You may have recently installed a program that placed what is commonly known as SpyWare or ScumWare on your computer. These programs will redirect your web browser away from a web site you are visiting, or create random popup windows, or even report your web usage to some type of server.
Please visit the following web site to read about ScumWare and how to remove these programs from your computer: http://www.scumware.com
Look under the heading 'Web Surfers' and it will instantly tell you whether you are infected with some type of ScumWare.
You should try the following program called Spybot Search and Destroy:
Another great program is called Ad-Aware that scans your system for these programs and removes them:
Another great program is called Spyware Doctor:
Any of these programs should be able to solve the problem. If one does not fix your problem, try all of them.
Below is how to configure and run Ad-Aware to remove Spyware from your computer.
1.) Download and install, Ad-Aware SE. In addition to the default settings, check these and make any necessary adjustments:
A.) Close ALL windows except Ad-Aware SE
B.) Click on the ‘world’ icon (at the top right of the Ad-Aware SE window) to let Ad-Aware SE update.
C.) Once the update is finished, click on the ‘Gear’ icon (second from the left at the top of the window) to access the Preferences/Settings window.
a.) In the ‘General’ window make sure the following are selected in green:
*Automatically save log-file
*Automatically quarantine objects prior to removal
*Safe Mode (always request confirmation)
b.) Under Definitions:
*Prompt to update outdated definitions - set the number of days
B.) Click on the ‘Scanning’ button on the left and select in green:
a.) Under Driver, Folders & Files:
*Scan Within Archives
b.) Under Select drives & folders to scan:
*choose all hard drives
c.) Under Memory & Registry, all green:
*Scan Active Processes
*Deep Scan Registry
*Scan my IE favorites for banned URL’s
*Scan my Hosts file
C.) Click on the ‘Advanced’ button on the left and select in green:
a.) Under Shell Integration:
*Move deleted files to recycle bin
b.) Under Logfile Detail Level, all green:
*include additional object information
*DESELECT - include negligible objects information
*include environment information
c.) Under Alternate Data Streams:
*Don't log streams smaller than 0 bytes
*Don't log ADS with the following names: CA_INOCULATEIT
D.) Click the ‘Tweak’ button and select in green:
a.) Under the ‘Scanning Engine’:
*Unload recognized processes during scanning
*Scan registry for all users instead of current user only
b.) Under the ‘Cleaning Engine’:
*Let Windows remove files in use at next reboot
c.) Under the Log Files:
*Include basic Ad-aware SE settings in logfile
*Include additional Ad-aware SE settings in logfile
*Please do not check or make green: Include Module list in logfile
E.) Click on ‘Proceed’ to save the settings.
F.) Click ‘Start’
*Choose:'Perform Full System Scan'
*DESELECT "Search for negligible risk entries", as negligible risk entries (MRU's) are not considered to be a threat.
G.) Click ‘Next’ and Ad-Aware SE will scan your hard drive(s) with the options you have selected and clean automatically.
H.) If Ad-Aware SE finds bad entries, you will receive a list of what it found in the window
I.) Save the log file when it asks and then click ‘Finish.’
J.) REBOOT to complete the removal of what Ad-Aware SE found.
2.) Download, install, and update Spybot S&D.
When you first run SpyBot, it will walk you through a Wizard which will perform a few critical functions (making a registry backup, getting the latest updates, etc.).
A.) Perform all of the Wizard's tasks.
B.) On the page that first opens when you start Spybot there is an option to immunize, you should do this.
C.) Scan with Spybot; after the scan is complete, have Spybot fix everything marked RED.
D.) In the immunize section there is also a link to download Spywareblaster. This program will prevent the installation of bad ActiveX controls in its database. Download that, keep it updated, and have it enable all protection.
Do the online antivirus scan.
Update your own antivirus program and run a full system scan with that as well.
3.) Reboot into Safe Mode.
4.) Open Windows Explorer, go to Tools, and in the Folder Options, select "Show hidden files and folders," and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files."
5.) For every User listed under C:\Documents and Settings, delete the entire contents of these folders (not the folders themselves):
Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
Delete the entire contents of your C:\Windows\Temp folder.
Delete the entire contents of your C:\Temp folder (if you have one).
Do a search for *.tmp and delete all entries found.
6.) Empty your Recycle Bin.
7.) Reboot normally.