Cry for help

Something vile and nasty has become my home page

9 messages
20/12/2004 at 18:15
A client emailed me a web site address. I won't reproduce it here - it had a number of funny pictures (mostly cartoons and photographs) including some spoof e-cards. Anyhow the site had a link to another humour-based site which in turn had numerous "pop ups" all of which I closed down pretty much instantly. The next day I turn on my computer and find that my home page has now defaulted to something pretty vile and nasty and I can't get rid of the dam thing. Before I go and throw myself from Tower Bridge (I'd rather do that than report this to our head of IT) any thoughts/ideas/suggestions as to how to rid my computer of this stuff would be appreciated.
20/12/2004 at 18:20
I had some unwanted stuff. What I did was save what I needed on disc and used my programme to return to factory settings (using XB on a Compaq) . I dunno if you can do it but it's just a thought:O)
20/12/2004 at 18:29
Tools - Internet Options - Then you should see a box with the URL of the home page
20/12/2004 at 18:58
It looks like you are a victim of a 'home page hijack'. Use Google to search on those words and pick a few of the options. I would advise using some of the free software rather than editting the registry.

Also make sure you have a decent firewall (Zone alarm is free) and virus checker.
20/12/2004 at 23:31
try Adaware from Lavasoft. Its a free adware remover and very good. Make sure you update it after download.
21/12/2004 at 10:00
You should get a program that guards your registry from malicious programs/sites changing any of the keys. Ad-watch from Lavasoft does this, but I can't remember if you have to pay for that.

Also, you might want to check your IE settings, tell IE to prompt you before running any Javascript or ActiveX controls. If you are on a site you trust, you just click Yes and it'll load the site normally, if you click No then any attempts to alter your system will be stopped.

However, this does not mean that your trusted sites are attempting to alter your settings, it's just that this technology which is used by normal sites for their everyday business is abused by dodgy websites for their own gain.
21/12/2004 at 10:01
Download and run Hijack This. Remove the bits which are dodgy
21/12/2004 at 11:21
Thanks for all responses chaps.

I downloaded "No Adware" and "Alertspy" - Internet Explorer homepage has thankfully defaulted to the factory setting. A few things got deleted and some default settings got restored. On the basis that I intend never (no matter how inadvertently) ever to get myself into this position again (it has actually made me feel ill) I intend to delete both sets of software from my computer – having them found listed amongst my list of programmes might take some explaining.

One problem though – if I right click on the “Start” icon the name of the offending internet site is still displayed (i.e. as “javascript:{…htm’}. Needless to say there is no way I will open it but I can’t manage to find a way to delete it.
21/12/2004 at 22:24
"I intend to delete both sets of software from my computer – having them found listed amongst my list of programmes might take some explaining."

I personally wouldn't mind, there's a lot of stuff about spyware in the news, you could say you just got paranoid. IMO, IT people should put spyware scanners just like they do with virus scanners.

When you say the name of the site is still displayed (when you right-click on Start), is it in the menu that pops up? If so, there's a registry setting you need to delete which I don't think spyware scanners mess with (they have no business with right-click menus). I can dig up the exact setting you need to change.

It might've changed a few other things too. Who knows? The only good way of telling if it has changed anything else is by going through everything on your computer. But that's like finding a needle in a haystack. Or you could check the site's coding, but I doubt you'd want to do that.

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