Scanning For Spyware
First, let's go through some steps that will help you obtain a log of what is running in your system. If required, you can show this log to trained professionals so they can help you remove the spyware. This is accomplished with the aid of a tool called HijackThis.
HijackThis is a great tool that can give you an up-to-date log of everything that goes on in your system. It is very simple to use. You can download a free copy here - http://www.merijn.org/files/hijackthis.zip.
It has been compressed using the Zip format, so you'll need to use WinZip or WinRAR to extract the files. Once you have downloaded the Zip file, extract HijackThis to its own working directory, for example - C:\HijackThis\. Just make sure it is stored in its own folder.
Now, run HijackThis and you'll be presented with this menu.
Click on the first button titled "Do a system scan and save a logfile". HijackThis will now scan your system. Once it has completed the process, a notepad will pop up with details of the scan.
Copy the ENTIRE content of the notepad and paste it in this article's forum thread or in a thread in the ARP forums. You can also e-mail it to me at mastr.jedi @ gmail.com or Webmaster @ techsomething.net for analysis. Since HijackThis is a very powerful tool, the log should only be analyzed by a trained professional.
Usually, getting your log analyzed by a trained professional, and implementing the steps he/she suggests will remove most security threats. This leaves only a few more steps we need to take. Please read on...
More Anti-Spyware Software
Now, we are going to go through some removal and quarantine procedures. This requires the use of a few software.
First, before we use the actual anti-spyware programs, we should run some online scanners from well-known antivirus companies. These companies have free online scans that will detect and remove any threats on your computer. Here's a list of free online antivirus scanners.
Panda Active Scan
- Internet Explorer only. Requires e-mail address. Requires ActiveX components to be installed. Approximately 12MB to download.
BitDefender Online Scan
- Internet Explorer only. Must agree to a EULA. Requires an ActiveX component to be installed. Some of the options are not clearly explained.
Trend Micro Housecall
- European version, supports Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera
Now to the anti-spyware programs. After using them, you should be well on your way home to being spyware-free.
If you don't have an antivirus scanner, like those from Norton, Zone Labs, etc; download and install this program - AVG Anti Virus Home. It's a free and widely-used virus scanner. You can download it here - http://www.grisoft.com/doc/1.
If you currently do not have a firewall, like ZoneAlarm, Norton Internet Security, etc.; you can get a free firewall from Zone Labs - http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conte...d=dbtopnav_zass
- a very popular and very good spyware/adware/malware scanner.
- a tool used to immunize yourself against bad ActiveX controls and cookies that can open up your system to easy access by spyware.
- a tool used to clean out the very pit of your computer of all that crap has piled up over time. It's not exactly anti-spyware, but it will save you a few steps of the clean-up process.
Now, let's check out the steps on cleaning the computer of spyware.
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