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Have you noticed new toolbars in your web browser that you don't remember installing? Does your web browser crash? Did your default homepage change on its own? Congratulations! You have spyware or adware on your computer. Below you will find information and removal tools to rid you of those pesky programs that less than reputable companies have caused to spread like wildfire on the Internet. Even if you see nothing wrong, you may still be infected because more and more spyware is emerging that silently tracks your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile on you that will be sold to advertising companies without your knowledge. Spyware and adware threats have become common place today, so much so that they have now that they have surpassed viruses as the No. 1 online danger facing computer users.


  • Spyware Information Center   RQdN Awarded Site
      An authority on spyware, adware and malware. Search for information about the particular bug causing you problems. Get spyware overviews, origins, manners of distribution, operations, risk factors and detection and removal instructions. From Computer Associates' spyware and adware division (formerly Pest Patrol).
      http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/

       Enter spyware / adware to search for:
       




    Get more information on these very popular spyware, adware and malware pests:

    Latest Spyware/Adware Alerts

          Spyware

          Adware

          Malware

          Key Logger

          Dialer

          Hoax



  • A Better Internet    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for A Better Internet. A Better Internet usually arrives via a pop-up window and ActiveX download. It also hijacks your browser's error page. Learn how to properly remove A Better Internet from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware uninstalled by using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. In most instances, the removal will fail if one single item is missed and not deleted properly.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Intended Purpose: Delivers pop-up advertisements or hijacks advertisements from reputable websites and replace them with their own.
      Identifying Files: Existence of BI.dll, IEHelper.dll, VX2.dll, TPS108.dll, MSView.dll, host.dll or SiteHlpr.dll in the C:\Windows\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Difficult.

      http://www.spyware-removal.com/betterinternet-uninstall.html
  • Aurora    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Aurora (another piece of spyware from A Better Internet, see above). Learn how to properly remove Aurora from your computer.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements. Slows Internet Explorer and web surfing performance.
      Intended Purpose: Delivers excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Identifying Files: Existence of aurora.exe, aurora-wise1.exe, adbltzun.exe, aurorahandler.dll, Bolger.dll, DrPMon.dll, Nail.exe, Poller.exe, svcproc.exe, or uacupg.exe in either the C:\Windows\System\, C:\Windows\Systems\, or C:\Windows\Systems32\ directories. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Difficult.

      http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/library/aurora/index.phtml
  • Bargain Buddy    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Bargain Buddy. Learn how to properly remove Bargain Buddy from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up ads after clicking on the "search" button of your favorite search engine.
      Intended Purpose: Delivers pop-up advertisements based upon the webpage you are visiting or the terms you just entered into a search box or other HTML form.
      Identifying Files: Existence of apuc.dll, CC_Versn.dll, bargains.exe or adp.exe in the C:\Program Files\Bargain Buddy or C:\Windows\ directories. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/library/bargainbuddy/index.phtml
  • BlazeFind    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for BlazeFind aka IE SearchBar aka Windows SA. Learn how to properly remove BlazeFind from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Adds a search bar to Internet Explorer.
      Intended Purpose: Redirects your search inquiries to BlazeFind.com.
      Identifying Files: Existence of iesearchbar.dll or 2_0_1browserhelper2.dll in the C:\Windows\ directory, or iesearchbar.dll, 2_0_1browserhelper2.dll, 3_0_1browserhelper3.dll, 5_0_1browserhelper5.dll in the C:\Windows\Systems\ or C:\Windows\System32\ directories. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.blazefind.com/index.php?section=help-bar
  • ClockSync    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for ClockSync aka Save! Originally meant to keep your computer's clock in sync. It now comes bundled with the Save! adware. Learn how to properly remove ClockSync from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Redirects. Excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Intended Purpose: Detects visits to known websites and redirects you to a place of their choosing in order to take the advertising and affiliate fees away from the original website or to deliver relevant pop-up advertisements.
      Identifying Files: Existence of sync.exe and uninst.exe located in the C:\Program Files\ClockSync\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.spyware-removal.com/uninstall-clocksync.html
  • CommonName    [ Spyware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for CommonName. Adds a web search tool bar to your browser. Learn how to properly remove CommonName from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. This spyware use two restarting processes instead of one. If one process is killed the remaining one starts it back up again. If uninstalled incorrectly you may lose your Internet connection.
      Symptoms: Adds a search bar to Internet Explorer. Can cause Internet Explorer to crash occasionally with the error message "runtime error" or "illegal operation."
      Intended Purpose: Subscription based. Your Internet search is redirected to a paid subscribers' website.
      Identifying Files: Existence of winnet.exe, comwiz.exe, CNMib.dll or CNBabe.dll in the C:\Program Files\CommonName\Mib\ directory or any sub-directory thereunder. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Average.

      http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/CommonName.html
  • CoolWebSearch    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for CoolWebSearch aka CWS. Learn how to properly remove CoolWebSearch from your computer. We recommend using the CWShredder utility found below to remove the CoolWebSearch spyware. In most instances, the removal will fail if one single item is missed and not deleted properly.
      Symptoms: Hijacks homepage or searches to CoolWebSearch.com, SuperWebSearch.com or other CWS affiliated websites.
      Intended Purpose: Entering any website/domain name into the address bar without a leading "http://" or "www" will result in your search being redirected.
      Identifying Files: Existence of msinfo.exe somewhere on your system. The existence of C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSInfo\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Extremely Difficult. The difficulty of removing CWS from a user's system has grown from difficult in the first variant to virtually impossible for the latest variant.

      http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/cwschronicles.html
  • Cydoor    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Cydoor. Most often arrives with the install of Kazaa which may not function properly if the Cydoor adware is removed. Learn how to properly remove Cydoor from your computer.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements. Homepage hijacking. Slows Internet Explorer and web surfing performance.
      Intended Purpose: To send untargeted advertisements to infected computers.
      Identifying Files: Existence of cd_clint.dll, cd_gif.dll, cd_htm.dll, cd_html.dll, cd_load.exe or cd_swf.dll in the C:\Windows\System\ directory or cd_clint.dll, cd_htm.dll, cd_load.exe or cd_swf.dll in the C:\Windows\System32\ directory. The existence of the C:\Windows\System\Adcache\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Average.

      http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=1472
  • Diablo Key    [ Key Logger ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Diablo Keys. Can be installed remotely or delivered by specific software via e-mail wrapped as a picture or text file which will open after the keylogger has been installed on your system. Learn how to properly remove Diablo Key from your computer.
      Symptoms: None.
      Intended Purpose: The Diablo keylogger runs in the background and will log the key stokes on the user's keyboard and take screen shots of the user's computer monitor. The data, which may contain passwords and personal information, is then stored in log files hidden away on the user's computer or e-mail them to remote locations. If found, the log files may be encrypted and unviewable without a password known only to the installer.
      Identifying Files: Existence of getpage.dll on your system. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.
      Warning: Some users have reported that AOL's spyware detection may hit on a "false positive" for Diablo Keys. Because AOL does not identify the particular file that caused the false positive, we cannot pass along a fix to this problem. It is recommended that you heed on the side of caution and block the item if it appears.

      http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=30945
  • GlobalDialer    [ Dialer ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for GlobalDialer. As with any dialer, this spyware may secretly dial telephone numbers which will be charged to your phone bill. Learn how to properly remove GlobalDialer from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Modem dials-up on its own. Long distance or 900 numbers telephone charges appearing on your phone bill.
      Intended Purpose: To get computers to dial certain predetermined 900 telephone numbers.
      Identifying Files: Existence of the C:\Program Files\GlobalDialer\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.spywareguide.com/product_show.php?id=679
  • Grand Street Interactive    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for badurl.grandstreetinteractive.com. Learn how to rid your computer of this devilish browser hijacker.
      Symptoms: Internet Explorer starts flashing "badurl.grandstreetinteractive.com" quickly and repeatedly in the status bar (bottom left corner) and stops connecting to the Internet. "Internet Options" under the Tool tab in Internet Explorer also ceases to work preventing you from making changes.
      Intended Purpose: Redirects your web browser to various websites selling products of all kinds.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.
      Removal Instructions: Many have reported the following fix has worked for them -- Go to Control Panel > Internet Options, then click on the Programs tab. From there, click on "Reset Web Settings." Click Yes to confirm the reset. Now click the OK button to finish. Proceed to open Internet Explorer. Ta da!

      http://www.nibbleguru.com/probs/100/1694
  • Memory Meter    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Memory Meter aka SpeedBlaster. Most often arrives bundled with the Grokster file sharing program which may not function properly if the Memory Meter adware is removed. Learn how to properly remove Memory Meter aka SpeedBlaster from your computer before attempting to uninstall this spyware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Intended Purpose: Offers to watch your computer's memory (Memory Meter) or speed up your internet connection (SpeedBlaster) which they do, however, they also serve you tons of pop-up advertisement for the favor.
      Identifying Files: Existence of TVMD.exe (Memory Meter) TVTMD.exe (SpeedBlaster) in the C:\Windows\ directory. The existence of C:\Program Files\Memory Manager\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.pchell.com/support/totalvelocity.shtml
  • n-CASE    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for n-CASE aka 180Solutions. Causes excessive pop-up advertisements. Most often arrives bundled with such software as Kazaa, Grokster, Kazaa Download Accelerator, Grand Canyon Screensaver and others. Learn how to properly remove n-CASE from your computer.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements. Homepage hijacking. Excessive General Protection Fault (GPF) errors.
      Intended Purpose: To serve targeted pop-advertisements basedupon search queries and non-targeted pop-up advertisements at arbitrary times during Internet Explorer usage.
      Identifying Files: Existence of msbb.exe in the C:\Windows\System\ or C:\Windows\System32\ directories. The existence of C:\Program Files\nCase\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Average.

      http://www.spyware-removal.com/n-case-removal.html
  • PurityScan    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for PurityScan. Causes excessive pop-up advertisements. Most often installs without notifying the user (a "drive-by download") but can arrive bundled with the Grokster file sharing program which may not function properly if the PurityScan adware is removed. Learn how to properly remove PurityScan from your computer before attempting to uninstall this adware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
      Symptoms: Displays pop-up advertisements that cannot be closed by clicking a "CLOSE" button in the upper right corner of the window (the "X").
      Intended Purpose: To serve excessive non-targeted pop-up advertisements.
      Identifying Files: Existence of mnss.exe or oeet.exe in the C:\Documents and Settings\%User%\Application Data\ directory, purityscan.exe, purityscan2.exe or purityscanuninstall.exe in the C:\Program Files\PurityScan\ directory, or lgnkrv.exe, winservn.exe, wtssvtr.exe or wnscpsvunpacked.exe in the C:\Windows\System32\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=453073488
  • Real Spy Monitor    [ Key Logger ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Real Spy Monitor. Monitor Keystrokes typed, websites visited, windows viewed, program executed, screen snapshots as well as files and documents that you have accessed. A password to the keyloggeris needed to automatically uninstall it. Learn how to manually remove Real Spy Monitor from your computer.
      Symptoms: None.
      Intended Purpose: To log the key strokes on the subject computer and take various screen shots for later retrieval by the installer.
      Identifying Files: Existence of RealSpyMonitor.exe, GetYahoo.dll, ijl11.dll, Plus.exe or WinHook.dll in the C:\Program Files\Real Spy Monitor\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy. Complete uninstall requires password used for original installation.

      http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/library/realspymonitor/index.phtml
  • Starr Pro Keylogger    [ Key Logger ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for iOPUS Starr Pro Keylogger. User installed, most often by parents wanting to look in on their children's online activities as well as spouses looking to discover what their significant other is doing online. If discovered, the Starr keylogger uninstall feature will NOT work unless a password is entered. Learn how to properly remove the Starr keylogger from your computer.
      Symptoms: None.
      Intended Purpose: The Starr keylogger with run stealthly in the background and will NOT show up in the system tray, the taskbar, or task list (seen by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL). It will log the key stokes on the user's keyboard as well as taking screen shots of the user's computer monitor. The data, which may contain passwords and personal information, is then stored in log files hidden away on the user's computer or e-mail them to remote locations. If found, the uninstall process without a password known only to the installer.
      Identifying Files: Existence of wsys.exe in the C:\Program Files\Starr\ directory, and the existence of wsys.dll in the C:\Windows\System\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Average.
      Warning: Some users have reported that AOL's spyware detection may hit on a "false positive" for Starr Keylogger. Because AOL does not identify the particular file that caused the false positive, we cannot pass along a fix to this problem. It is recommended that you heed on the side of caution and block the item if it appears.

      http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=61805
  • TvMedia    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for TvMedia aka CleverIEHooker. May come bundled with Memory Meter above. Learn how to properly remove TvMedia from your computer before attempting to uninstall this adware using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. In most instances, the removal will fail if one single item is missed and not deleted properly.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Intended Purpose: To deliver excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Identifying Files: Existence of Tvm.exe, TvmCore.exe, TvmBho.dll, memorymeter.exe, TvmLg.exe, Tvmcwrd.dll, tvmuknwrd.dll or jeired.dll in the C:\Program Files\TV Media\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Easy.

      http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/library/tvmedia.tvmbho/index.phtml
  • VX2 Spyware    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for VX2. Learn how to properly remove VX2 aka Better Internet from your computer. In most instances, the removal will fail if one single item is missed and not deleted properly.
      Symptoms: Excessive pop-up advertisements.
      Intended Purpose: To deliver pop-up advertisements to you while surfing or to hijack advertisements from reputable websites and replace them with their own.
      Identifying Files: Existence of VX2.dll in the C:\Windows\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Difficult.

      http://www.spyware-removal.com/betterinternet-uninstall.html
  • Winfixer 2005    [ Adware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for Wixfixer 2005. Learn how to properly remove Winfixer 2005 from your computer.
      Symptoms: Splash screen at start up.
      Intended Purpose: To induce you into buying the Winfixer 2005 software product.
      Identifying Files: Existence of UWFX5LP_0001_0614NetInstaller.exe or similar named file in the C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files\ directory. Easier to search for files with the wildcard "*NetInstaller.exe". If found, DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: 1st Gen. Easy. Turn off System Restore; Delete cache and temporary Internet files; Uninstall using Add/Remove Programs.
      Removal Difficulty: 2nd Gen. Easy. Removal Tool for 2nd Generation.

      http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/07/winfixer-where-did-this-thing-come.html
  • WurldMedia    [ Spyware ]
      Information and uninstall instructions for WurldMedia. Most often arrives bundled with the Morpheus file sharing programs which may not function properly if the WurldMedia spyware is removed. Learn how to properly remove WurldMedia from your computer.
      Symptoms: Slows Internet Explorer and web surfing performance.
      Intended Purpose: Detects visits to known websites and redirects you to a place of their choosing in order to take the advertising and affiliate fees away from the original website.
      Identifying Files: Existence of moconfig.exe in either the C:\Windows\System\ or C:\Windows\Systems32\ directory, and the existence of lsllcu.dll, m030106shop.dll, mdefshop.dll, mo030414s.dll, mbho.dll, or moaa030425s.dll in the C:\Windows\System\ directory. DO NOT delete without reading removal instructions first.
      Removal Difficulty: Average.

      http://www.intermute.com/spysubtract/researchcenter/WurldMedia.html




    Try these top spyware, adware and malware removal tools:

  • Ad-aware
      With its ability to comprehensively scan your memory, registry and hard drive for known spyware, adware, malware, datamining, aggressive advertising and tracking components. From LavaSoft. Freeware.
      http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
  • Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner
      Detects a multitude of spyware, adware, trojan, keylogger, foistware and trackware components; sources of irritation that antivirus software does not deal with. The scanning process will only take about two seconds and tell you how to uninstall the invasive threat using simple step-by-step instructions or put you in contact with the vendor for the most up-to-date and safe uninstall instructions. Freeware.
      http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/index.html
  • Bug Off
      Bug Off disables a few exploits that are commonly used by browser hijackers to install themselves onto your system. In essence, it prevents such hijackers from ever installing. There are no patches available from Microsoft for these exploits. Even if your system is fully up to date from Windows Update you are vulnerable! This application should be used by everyone that uses Internet Explorer to browse the web. This does not remove an existing infection! From the creator of CWShredder and HijackThis.
      http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html
  • CWShredder
      A small utility exclusively designed to remove CoolWebSearch (aka CoolWwwSearch, YouFindAll, White-Pages.ws and a dozen other names). This is the only software known which effectively removes the CoolWebSearch spyware. Although their website says the program is updated to remove the new variants once they come out, the future of CWShredder updates are in doubt. From the creator of Bug Off and HijackThis. Freeware.
      http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html
  • HijackThis
      A general homepage hijacker detector and remover. It runs a dozen checks for various hijacker tricks. HijackThis does not target specific programs or URLs, rather it checks the methods most used by hijackers to redirect you onto their websites. It does generate false positives so we have classified this software as "Expert Only." From the creator of CWShredder and Bug Off. Freeware.
      http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html
  • Pest Patrol
      Complements your anti-virus and firewall software, extending your protection against non-viral malicious software that evades your existing security and invades your personal privacy. From Computer Associates.
      http://www.pestpatrol.com/
  • Spybot Search & Destroy
      Detects and removes spyware of all different kinds from your computer. Spybot S&D can also clean usage tracks so that no one can discover where you've been on the Internet. For expert users, it allows you to fix some registry inconsistencies and extended reports. Freeware.
      http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html
  • Spy Sweeper
      Searches and removes spyware and adware from your computer. Freeware. A full version is available for a nominal fee.
      http://www.spyware-removal.com/




    What's the difference between a spyware, adware and malware, etc.?

  • Spyware is software that gathers information about you as you surf the Internet. It is intended to track surfing habits in order to build marketing profiles. Spyware is often included in "free downloads" found on the Internet, from screen savers to pop-up blockers. It can be said that any software that sends data back to a third party without asking your permission is Spyware.

  • Adware is any software application which, while in memory, causes any advertisement to be displayed on the user's computer, from banners ads to pop-ups, or which hijacks and replaces advertisements found on other websites that you visit with advertisements provided by those directed by the adware instead.

  • Malware, short for malicious software, is any software application which is specifically designed to cause damage to your computer or intentionally disrupt its operating system.

  • Key Logger is software that, once installed on your computer, monitors every key stroke you make as well as websites visited, windows viewed, program executed, screen snapshots as well as files and documents that you have accessed.

  • Dialer is software that, once installed on your computer, will attempt to dial certain preprogrammed telephone numbers through your modem. If connected, you may see mysterious charges appear on your telephone bill, especially 900 numbers.

  • Hoax is something that usually spreads around the Internet via an e-mail notice from one of your friends who think they are doing you a favor by alerting you to some danger that the creator of hoax anticipates.




    See also, these cross-references:


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