Windows XP Spy Sweeper, another plug?


I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition.
Mar 5, 2002
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Some of you are aware that mucks is a little stickler at insisting people download and use a decent Malware/Adware/Spyware/Trojan detector/remover such as Ad-Aware. And if they can detect the odd Trojan all well the better. However, nothing beats a dedicated Trojan scanner, nor should you be on the Internet without a good antivirus program.

You are also aware, I hope, that I like certain software that, in my honest opinion, does the job it says it does on the tin. Check out my recent post on Spyware Scanners and see for yourself.

Now I’m not averse to ‘buying’ any program that, in my opinion, does the job especially if it does that job without interfering with the smooth running of my system. So I again, without reservation highly recommend unreservedly, Spy Sweeper by Webroot. Why? … Well I’ll tell you.

I did not/could not recommend Spy Sweeper in my initial stages of testing because of its lack of free updates unless one ‘bought’ a subscription. However, I was constantly surprised at what it found that other spyware detector/scanners did not. As a result I just had to add it to my arsenal and promptly bought a subscription. It’s an annual subscription which entitles you to updates to definitions AND program upgrades and, at less than 40p a week, I think that represents good value for your money.

Now I know a lot of our readers cannot or will not ‘pay’ for such programs and rely on the ‘freebies’ to do a job of importance, but I wonder how many are blindly thinking that they are ‘doing their bit’ in restricting what/how/who is accessing their system, which then uses the system to propagate more infestations.

I constantly have to deal with heavily infested computers that are brought into my workshop with the owners complaining “it’s doing this & that and I don’t know why” syndrome … even my own computers that they have bought off me, despite the fact that I have installed Norton (my customers get their own copy), Ad-Aware SE Free SpywareBlaster and now Spy Sweeper. Why? Because they do not/did not check for updates, some have never even run the programs. The record recorded by Ad-aware was 555 infestations, not a lot by some records, but needless to say a reformat re-install was the easiest & cheapest option. I would attempt to save their data first however.

Spy Sweeper does have a ‘Free’ version, although it has a time limit as to how long you can use it before it ‘moans’ at you and promptly refuses to ‘clean’ your system of what it just found … it is still worth the time to download.

How Did I Get Spyware?
Spyware is installed on your machine without your knowledge in many different ways. Spyware is often a part of “free” programs downloaded from the Internet. It can also be installed by visiting websites, using e-mail or various file sharing programs, and through instant messaging services. If you use the Internet for any of these purposes, you probably have spyware on your machine. Want to find out?
An instance that happened to me … Today is Monday, every Monday morning is update/run day, actually so is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, Sunday we have a rest day. That is I check Norton (yes I know it does its own check), Ad-aware, SpywareBlaster, EasyCleaner & Spy Sweeper for updated definitions and or program updates.

Now as it is Monday and all checks were duly made … I was a little surprised to find Spy Sweeper had found a Trojan … Securybanks Phishing Trojan .js … it was located in my ‘Temp Internet folder’ …

Now I will admit I’m a little lacking when it comes to clearing out/deleting things in IE’s temp folder (nobody is perfect) so this was a nice little opportunity to ignore what SS had just found and first delete any/all files from IE’s temp folder, and re-run SS. Yep, you guessed correct, SS now no longer detects the Trojan.

However, if like me your using ‘dial-up’
(here at the workshop) then you will appreciate why I don’t delete IE’s Internet Cache/Temp files on a regular bases, it becomes such a bore when you next visit a regular website, especially if graphic intensive, only to find the kettle has boiled and you’ve drunk your coffee.

Now, none of the other programs in my arsenal detected this potential nuisance, except Spy Sweeper, and, I’m not alone in ‘forgetting’ to do things … was I at risk? Maybe not, the Securybanks Phishing Trojan had a .js (javascript) extension, or maybe I was? I have no idea where it came from.

I will be acquiring a copy of Spyware Eliminator, the #1 spyware remover in a lot of eyes, for evaluation on your behalf … stay tuned, and watch this space.

Oh, I forgot to mention while we’re on the subject of keeping your system safe from outside attack … FIREWALL it … install one, learn how to use it and above all, keep it updated and don’t turn it off.


Stop Press
I just finished a 'free scan' using Spyware Eliminator ... I have a keylogger "unzdll.dll" installed on the workshop computer. :(


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