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Old Apr 27, 2004, 4:01 PM   #1
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Default "messagebroadcaster"-browser hijacker. Arg! (o.t.)

For those who are running I.E. and have not installed recent critical updates...do so now. The internet has become a cesspool full of browser hijackers! Some are easy to get rid of but the messagebroadcaster is posing to be one tough cookie to crumble and thus far, we've been unable to get rid of it. We're on day 2.

Don't think that you have to be on seedy sites or have to manually accept a utility (etc.) to pick up these hijackers. Browser hijackers, from what I've seen recently, are lurking everywhere online.

As a note, should you investigate this particular hijacker...do not go to their dotnet site as it is "under construction" but is running the nasty script there as well.

Currently I am using our laptop, which is running Linux. I think when we finally organize our home, create an office space in our living room...I will place our laptop next to the pc on the desk...and use it to go online, from then on out. Shoot, if it isn't one thing- it's another!

Anyway, while I know this is an off-topic subject, thought to post it as we are all online and I wanted to warn those who may not be current with their updates.

Stay safe.

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Old Apr 28, 2004, 9:01 AM   #2
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There are several good software packages to combat just such problems. Ad-Aware and SpyHunter will find and clean your system of "spyware" as it is called. I use both and am well pleased with the results. You might want to also consider a firewall to keep the stuff out, such as ZoneAlarm, or a more comprehensive package such as Norton Internet Security. ZoneAlarm currently meets my needs for policing my system of spyware.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 9:54 AM   #3
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Zone Alarm and SpyBot are handy, especially the former for stopping pop-up messages. However, I also keep my Windows XP up to date with critical fixes and use LiveUpdate on my anti-virus software.

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Old Apr 28, 2004, 1:39 PM   #4
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From what I've been reading off such sites: spywarewarrior, computercop and a few others that I can't recall off the top of my head, is that despite attempts to rid oneself from the messagebroadcaster (and all else affiliated with it) with spyware programs-have been futile. I haven't read anywhere that someone was able to get rid of this, without having to reinstall I.E.

Uninstall/reinstall is something we may have to look into. Tonight we are going to give Spybot S&D a whirl-as a ditch effort. We're also looking at HijackThis and yes, probably should download AdAware & a firewall again. We used to have the Tiny (firewall), which if I recall correctly, was/is used by our AirForce.
We do have LiveUpdate and it runs on auto.

This messagebroadcaster is really something else! A swath of other ad/spyware is attached to it, such as: Lycos Search Side Bar, Ezula, 180Solutions...and heck, can't remember the rest. Running task manager reveals a great deal of files in use.
The shmuck behind this is pictured in a Wired article: http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,60714,00.html

He uses highly intelligent, aggressive gorilla tactics. His script writers really know what they are doing, sadly. In reading, apparently they find holes in websites (within ads?), exploit them and the changes are not obvious. We haven't seen anything quite like this one. Apparenly others haven't either as I'm not finding anyone who's been able to resolve this, as they have been able to with others.

Keeping updated with an anti-virus program, patches, checking & changing internet security settings-if need be, installing a firewall and adaware/spyware program would be a good idea. Bullet-proof combo? I just don't know anymore.

After we set up a better office environment, I'm going to stick with Linux and keep it updated.

I used to be up on internet security issues/programs and keep an eye on what was coming down the pike...apparently I'm going to have to get back into it.
I will post an update as to our progress ( or lack of) regarding this hijacker.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 2:11 PM   #5
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don't think the linux is the answer. as with anything else as it gets larger the interest in hacking it gets greater. linux, depending on which flavor you prefer has its own set of issues that will become apparent as it grows. by its nature of being open source leaves much more of an opportunity for some real creative work. it has already started to become fragmented as unix did many years ago which in itself is the first of many problems to come. it is in the nature of some to destroy and prove that they are better and know more the everyone else.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 3:10 PM   #6
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this is a good one to use :


most of my surfing is done via netscape 7.1. IE is ok apart from
that damm activeX messagbox that pops up, even though I told
ie I don't wanna run any of that cr@p!
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 6:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sjms
don't think the linux is the answer.
Microsoft crap IS a target, no argument there. But it makes itself an easy target.

But unix and linux are by design more secure (not using admin.root as user etc). Plus with many people looking at linux code bugs and holes are more often found by hackers than virus writers (hackers = good people who code...)

Personaly I run windows, keep it patched, keep i.e. updated and patched, but use Opera to browse with (or use firebird/mozzila) and please try to avoid outlook...
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 8:27 AM   #8
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You should try running/rebooting in safe mode and then running SpyBot and AdAware. By running in safe mode, you should be able to skip the startup of anything that is non-essential (which includes the spyware/adware.) That should enable you to remove things that were previously in use.

And I fully agree with the need for auto updated anti-virus software & a software firewall. That is the bare minimum for reasonable Internet use. I also suggest a hardware firewall.

I wonít get into a linux/windows debate but I can say that some of what sjms is right. The fragmentation of linux risks endangering its future. On the other hand, because it does a good job of limiting OS privileges (much better than Windows, as must people just give themselves admin privs because it isnít as easy to gain/give up admin privs.) I think that Linux would be a more secure choice. The big downside is keeping up with the patches. One thing I give MS HUGE credit for is making patching easy. Imagine trying to maintain your own Windows box without Windows Update? I donít know if Linux has something similar, but it should.

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Old Apr 29, 2004, 8:58 AM   #9
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If all else fails, you can always do a system restore. You just have to know the exact date that your system was infected. I did this once when I have spyware and removed it.
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