XP SP2 Pop-up Blocker


G

Guest

I have configured my XP Home edition SP2 options to have the pop-up blocker
active. I did run a Spybot software and cleaned all known spyware.

Yet I am still getting pop-up ads. Suggestions? Is there a configuration
setting I missed?
 
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S

Steve Riley [MSFT]

The popup blocker prevents automatic and background windows opened by three
calls:

* window.open()
* window.external.navigateAndFind()
* showHelp()

It won't prevent windows opened by:

* mouse clicks
* locally-running software
* ActiveX controls on a website (these are locally-running)
* trusted sites or local intranet zones

So there are still some popups, like those caused by Flash, that the IE
blocker won't prevent.

--Steve
(e-mail address removed)
 
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B

Bruce Chambers

PeteW said:
I have configured my XP Home edition SP2 options to have the pop-up
blocker active. I did run a Spybot software and cleaned all known
spyware.

Yet I am still getting pop-up ads. Suggestions? Is there a
configuration setting I missed?


What specific kind of pop-up is it? There are at least three
varieties of pop-ups, and the solutions vary accordingly.

1) Does the title bar of these pop-ups read "Messenger Service?"

This type of spam has become quite common over the couple of
years, and unintentionally serves as a valid security "alert." It
demonstrates that you haven't been taking sufficient precautions while
connected to the Internet. Your data probably hasn't been compromised
by these specific advertisements, but if you're open to this exploit,
you may well be open to other threats, such as the Blaster Worm that
swept across the Internet last year and the currently active Sasser
Worm. Install and use a decent, properly configured firewall.
(Merely disabling the messenger service, as some people recommend,
only hides the symptom, and does little or nothing to truly secure
your machine.) And ignoring or just "putting up with" the security
gap represented by these messages is particularly foolish.

Messenger Service of Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;168893

Messenger Service Window That Contains an Internet Advertisement
Appears
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=330904

Stopping Advertisements with Messenger Service Titles
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/howto/communicate/stopspam.asp

Blocking Ads, Parasites, and Hijackers with a Hosts File
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

Oh, and be especially wary of people who advise you to do nothing
more than disable the messenger service. Disabling the messenger
service, by itself, is a "head in the sand" approach to computer
security. The real problem is not the messenger service pop-ups;
they're actually providing a useful, if annoying, service by acting as
a security alert. The true problem is the unsecured computer, and
you've been advised to merely turn off the warnings. How is this
helpful?

2) For regular Internet pop-ups, you might try the free 12Ghosts
Popup-killer from http://12ghosts.com/ghosts/popup.htm, Pop-Up Stopper
from http://www.panicware.com/, or the Google Toolbar from
http://toolbar.google.com/. Alternatively, you can upgrade your WinXP
to SP2, to install IE's pop-up blocker. Another alternative would be
to use another browser, such as Mozilla or Firefox, which has pop-up
blocking capabilities. (But I'd avoid Netscape; it carries too much
extraneous AOL garbage.)

3) To deal with pop-ups caused by any sort of "adware" and/or
"spyware,"such as Gator, Comet Cursors, Xupiter, Bonzai Buddy, or
KaZaA, and their remnants, that you've deliberately (but without
understanding the consequences) installed, two products that are
quite effective (at finding and removing this type of scumware) are
Ad-Aware from www.lavasoft.de and SpyBot Search & Destroy from
www.safer-networking.org/. Both have free versions. It's even
possible to use SpyBot Search & Destroy to "immunize" your system
against most future intrusions. I use both and generally perform
manual scans every week or so to clean out cookies, etc.

Additionally, manual removal instructions for the most common
varieties of scumware are available here:

PC Hell Spyware and Adware Removal Help
http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml

More information and assistance is available at these sites:

Blocking Ads, Parasites, and Hijackers with a Hosts File
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

The Parasite Fight
http://www.aumha.org/a/parasite.htm

--

Bruce Chambers

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both at once. - RAH
 

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