Sunday, March 29, 2009

I win, spyware loses! I win, spyware loses!

That's what I was singing this morning.

Yesterday, while surfing around, I mis-clicked on one of the ad sites that are on Cute Overload. (Be very, very careful of Cute Overload - the site itself is OK but apparently some of the ad sites are not. I didn't intend to click on it but my touchpad is sometimes a little wonky on this laptop. And DON'T go to "Daily Puppy" - I think that was the source of the earlier highjacker I had, and I know at least one other person who got whacked with spyware from that site).

I got the Web-Of-Trust (and thanks again, Alli!) "Uh Oh, this is a BAD site" warning.

I immediately clicked it off, but not fast enough. It had apparently installed some kind of trojan that started opening pop-ups every time I surfed to a site, and that slowed the browser way down.

Oh crap, I thought, another $80 to get it removed.

But I decided, just on a whim, to TRY updating Spybot Search and Destroy and running it. (I had run it, but without updates, a bit earlier.)

It found 10 pieces of #$(*$&#$#@ spyware. So I told it to remove them.

No more popups! No more highjacking! And my browser is back up to speed.

So, Spybot Search and Destroy: BIG WIN
Trojan Horses: FAIL. (At least for this time. I hate that we have to constantly, arms-race-style, be evolving new defenses against them).

I will admit to doing a Nelson-esque "HA ha" when I saw that Spybot Search and Destroy had successfully removed all 10 items. There's something perversely satisfying about seeing the dastardly beggarly (there are two other similar words I could use there but won't) spyware writers be defeated.


Alli said...

Huzzah!! Death to spyware! :-)

Deborah said...

This was a happy ending to what could have been an annoying and expensive problem to fix. We’re glad that WOT warned you, but the page still had time to install its nasty bits. You can customize your settings on WOT to block red rated sites and stop them from loading in the background.

To access settings, open the add-on and click in the top right corner. Go to warnings and you can adjust the protection levels. New users to WOT can choose the “Maximum Safety” setting.

Thank you for using WOT and sharing it with others.

Safe surfing,
Web of Trust

ricki said...

Deborah (in case you come back here), you are awesome. Thanks for the tip, I will make that change. I don't need to go to unsafe sites, so I'll just set them to block.

nightfly said...

Excellent! Score one for the White Hats.

(w/v - "pridis" - a environmentalist's Tardis)