animation/graphic=hijaked browser


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Old 12-29-04, 08:25 AM
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Question animation/graphic=hijaked browser

I've managed to reduce the problems I've been having on my computer down to one (I think), with some help from people here and by using ad aware SE, Spybot Search and Destroy, and one of the free anti-virus programs listed under the "Essential Free Programs" thread. For the record, I'm running Windows ME with all of the Windows Updates installed (I know, it sucks, hopefully a new computer for me soon, but I want to fix this one for my daughter) on an HP 8756c, all stock except for an added 128 MB of RAM. I have a cable broadband connection through Cablevision "Optimum Online" and a Linksys router.

My remaining problem seems to be that my browser becomes hijacked (seems to load a ton of pages in the background and then becomes unusable) when viewing a page with particular types of animation/graphics, frequently one of the ads on the page I think. It also totally wigs out if I try to use any MSN affiliated page (hotmail.com, msn.com, or the mail page of MSN Messenger). I'm not sure if these are related (possibly because MSN uses a lot of the animation that seems to trigger it?) or if they're seperate problems. Also, I keep having to go into the startup programs and unselecting MSN Messenger in the startup programs section of msconfig (so that it won't start on boot-up), it's listed there 3 or 4 times now, which to to me would seem to be a sign something is amiss.

Anti-Vir program recently found 2 trojans on my computer and seems to have removed them, but now Ad-Aware SE and the Anti-Vir freeze/lock-up when they scan a file "Windows\Update\.cab" (or something very close to that) After finding and eliminating a couple of things a month ago Spybot Search and Destroy doesn't find anything in it's scans recently and does not freeze-up.

So after all that, my question is this. Because it seems to be triggered by pages with certain animation/graphics is it possible I just need to adjust a setting somewhere (in explorer, in ME, in MSN Messenger, etc), might I have some nasty bug/trojan/virus in that file that my protective programs keep freezing up on, or is it possible that it's some other problem (doesn't MSN use something called ".NET 1.1" or something, or an Active X problem -whatever that is- ), that might be corrupted or be a vulnerablility?

Since I'm running, or trying to run, 3 different anti-virus/spyware programs I thought I'd turn to this forum for some help since trying yet another program would seem to produce the same results. Sorry for the long entry, but I figured more info upfront would streamline the process later.

Thanks in advance,

-Matt

P.S. My printer (Lexmark Z51) also stopped working/communicating (not sure if it's hardware or software), probably not related to my other problem, but thought I'd mention it just incase.
 

Last edited by thetick24603; 12-29-04 at 08:41 AM. Reason: added info regarding printer
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Old 12-29-04, 09:27 AM
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First of all, never run more than ONE antivirus program. Remove what you have, choose ONE, and reinstall it.

Then, update it, and run it in safe mode. Safe Mode.

Then, do the same for your adware removal programs, although more than one of those is ok, though I've personally never needed anything beyond Ad Aware.

All the problems you describe indicate spyware/virii.

Chris
 
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Old 12-29-04, 09:43 AM
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to clarify...

...I only have Anti-Vir Personal Edition installed and "running". Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy I only use to periodically scan for spyware/malware/etc. So I don't have multiple programs "running" at the same time. Although, now that I think of it, I have an old Norton Anti-Virus 2002 (in-active, I think, but not sure) that I haven't uninstalled since I started using Anti-Vir PE, so it might be good to get rid of that.

Thanks for pointing that out.
 
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Old 12-29-04, 02:36 PM
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Ah-ha!

By downloading and installing JavaCool's Spyware Blaster 3.2 (found here: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html ) I seem to have solved the problems I was having. The ActiveX controls in that program may have solved the problem I was having. The only side-effect (and that's probably overstating it) is that some ads don't display on the pages that were previously giving me problems, and really, I can't say that fewer ads displaying is a bad thing.

So, if you're having similar problems where your browser seems to get hijacked when visiting certain pages or when a page your viewing refreshes and all that seems to have changed is the ads on that page but your browser still goes wonky, you may want to try downloading that program (it's free) and using their Active-X controls. It worked for me.

Hope this helps anyone who might have been having similar problems.

BTW, even in Safe Mode, neither Ad Aware SE or Anti-Vir will scan past that file I mentioned earlier, but for now at least, my problems seem to be fixed.
 

Last edited by thetick24603; 12-30-04 at 06:46 AM. Reason: more specific info on the spyware remover
 

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