Thursday 15 April 2004

My home computer and some co-workers’ computers have been hit with some pernicious adware: obnoxious pop-ups in Internet Explorer, displaying ads from Spybot didn’t help get rid of it. (I didn’t try AdAware until after I’d already dealt with it manually.)

I searched Google for “belgiandip” and found this suggestion. It seemed to help. Here’s how to do what I did:

  1. Open an explorer window on C:\Windows\System32, set it to the Details view.
  2. Right-click on the column headers to add another column. In the More... list at the bottom is Company. Select it, then sort by that column.
  3. Scroll down to “totempole” in the Company list. I found four .exe files, all 64K in size, all of which said in the properties that OriginalFileName was “pup.exe”.
  4. Delete them all (one was running: find it in the Task manager and kill it, then delete the file).
  5. Do the same thing for the C:\Windows directory.
  6. In the registry, in HK_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, find the entry corresponding to the exe that was running, and delete the entry.


one of my colleagues had the same problem. Spybot didnt help. Finally he ended up formatting his machine and reinstalling everything
there is a very good utility at known as autoruns. It allows you to view the various files that are launched at start-up. That should help.
Do you know how you got it?
No, I don't know how "I" got it. "I" is a misnomer here: I only ever use the home computer to fix things like this on it. I'd blame it on a kid who'll click any OK button just to get rid of dialogs on the screen, but the fact is some very knowledgble technical people at work had it on their computers, so who knows where it came from?
The safest solution for these kinds of problems is to delete IE shortcuts and install Opera or Mozilla. And of course run a firewall and an anti-virus software.
If you did want to explore other alternatives to IE, you could do *much* worse than Mozilla's Firefox.

Quite simply - it rocks.
Actually, the safest solution for these kinds of problems is to delete Windows, sell the PC, and get a Mac. Or, short of that, install Linux.

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