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Beginners Guides: Browser Hijacking & How to Stop It

Beginners Guides: Browser Hijacking & How to Stop It - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you though Pop-ups were annoying, just wait until your web browser is hijacked! In this guide, PCstats shows you how to regain control and kick out the hijackers, kung-fu style...
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCstats.com May 10 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCstats.com

Antivirus Scan in safe mode

To start an Antivirus scan in safe mode, you first have to ensure that the software has been recently updated with the latest antivirus patch. If that is the case, then restart your system in safe mode.

To do this: Press 'F8' repeatedly immediately after the POST screen, the first screen you see when your computer starts up. This will bring up the Windows boot menu. Select 'boot in safe mode' or the equivalent. Once Windows has loaded in safe mode, do a full system scan with your antivirus software and delete or quarantine any infected files.

Reboot in normal mode and recheck your browser. If all is not well, proceed to the next step.

Using Hijackthis and CWShredder

These two free utilities are excellent tools to use in any case of browser hijacking. Hijackthis assembles a list of unusual or changed registry and startup entries on your system and allows you to delete them if you so desire. CWShredder is specifically intended to remove the various varieties of the "Coolwebsearch" browser hijacker/Trojan program, currently the most prolific (and difficult to remove) hijacker on the Internet.

To use Hijackthis, start the program and make sure you have the latest version by going to 'configuration/misc tools/check for updates online.' In the main program window, click 'scan' to check your computer for suspicious registry and startup entries.

The program will produce a list of items it considers suspicious. You can use the 'info on selected item' button to see more details on specific lines. The checkbox at the beginning of each line marks that item for fixing or deletion.

Look the list over carefully. If there are any words or lines you recognize here from the symptoms of your browser problems, delete the offending lines.

Note that the majority of the things that Hijackthis finds will be harmless customization that you have made. For example, changing your homepage from MSN to Google would generate a line in Hijackthis. For this reason, the makers of the program recommend that you post your results to a forum where you can find assistance. To do this, hit the 'save log' button, then copy and paste the contents of the log file into the forum topic.

To use CWShredder, simply start the program, use 'check for update' to make sure you have the latest version, then hit 'fix.' It will check your system against a list of current CWS variants, and fix any infections it finds.

Run both programs as described above, then empty the recycling bin, restart your computer, rerun both programs and then check to see if your problem has been fixed.

If not, proceed to the next step below.

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Contents of Article: PCstats.com
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Browser Hijacking & How to Stop It
 Pg 2.  The worst case scenario
 Pg 3.  Use Anti-virus programs regularly
 Pg 4.  Repairing a browser hijack
 Pg 5.  — Antivirus Scan in safe mode
 Pg 6.  Manual system search; HOSTS file
 Pg 7.  Manually Checking the registry

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