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BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)

McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 02 - 01:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Mar 02 - 01:49 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Mar 02 - 03:04 PM
Gareth 23 Mar 02 - 03:36 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Mar 02 - 04:03 AM
Mark Cohen 24 Mar 02 - 04:11 AM
Gareth 24 Mar 02 - 04:33 AM
Gareth 24 Mar 02 - 04:33 AM
C-flat 24 Mar 02 - 05:06 AM
cyder_drinker 24 Mar 02 - 05:19 AM
C-flat 24 Mar 02 - 05:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 02 - 07:53 AM
mack/misophist 24 Mar 02 - 11:32 AM
Clinton Hammond 24 Mar 02 - 11:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 02 - 11:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Mar 02 - 12:19 PM
technission 24 Mar 02 - 12:56 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 02 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,MerryBee 24 Mar 02 - 03:11 PM
wildlone 24 Mar 02 - 03:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 02 - 03:47 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Mar 02 - 06:24 PM
hesperis 25 Mar 02 - 06:29 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Mar 02 - 12:08 AM
technission 27 Mar 02 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,AB 28 Mar 02 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,BC 28 Mar 02 - 10:29 PM
hesperis 29 Mar 02 - 01:21 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 02 - 12:06 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM

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Subject: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 01:45 PM

Now this has happened to me a couple of times in the last week. Suddenly my browser (IE 6.2) has started opening up window after window without being asked to, and the only way to stop it is to reboot, after which it all works find.

I've got Zone Alarm, and AVG anti-virus, and the message on the screen when I start says that it's checked and there aren't any viruses.

So if anyone's got any suggestions as to what is up, and what I can do to avoid it happening, I'd be grateful. It's never happened before the last few days, so far as I am aware.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 01:49 PM

one... dump IE...

two... get a popup killer...

three... try turning Java off...

This is not a virus thing...


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 03:04 PM

McG

There are several known offenders - sites or "freeware" programs that install "tracking" or "reporter" software (Trojans) to tell the issuing criminals where you have been on the web and/or what software you use most.

Most of these wait until you connect to the web, and then report; but "unexpected" attempts to connect (i.e. to open windows you didn't ask for) can be a clue that you've picked up one of them.

This sounds like what you're encountering, althugh there could be other causes. Incidentally, nearly all browsers are vulnerable to various versions of this kind of junk, so it's more a matter of "where you go" than how you get there.

If you have been to a site you hadn't previously visited, or if you have downloaded a "free game," you have an immediate suspect. Unfortunately, uninstalling the "freebies" often doesn't remove the Trojan.

There are utilities to detect these, but I don't know of a freeware one that gets good recommendations. We recently installed one called SpyCop when one of our clients reported an infection. I'm less impressed with it than I'd hoped, but so far it has not reported anything for us to worry about.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 03:36 PM

For wot its worth I've used Lavasofts Freebie for the past year. A spyware elininator details and down load Here

Usual disclaimers.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 04:03 AM

I use C-net to check and upgrade, it checks for security probs Trojans, and updates to your existing programmes. All for free.....Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 04:11 AM

The Lavasoft program is called Ad-Aware. I think that may be the same program that Gareth was talking about. I'm also not super-impressed, but it doesn't seem to hurt. I agree that Kevin's problem sounds like a spyware situation and not a virus. And I don't think Netscape is immune.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 04:33 AM

Confirm it is Ad Aware - I updated mine yesterday, and it dug out 2 new spy cookies.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 04:33 AM

Confirm it is Ad Aware - I updated mine yesterday, and it dug out 2 new spy cookies.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 05:06 AM

I'm a real tech no-hope and, reading this thread, I can tell you guys are a lot more up to speed, so perhaps you can help me with a different problem? For some time my e-mail inbox has been swamped with pornography, 5 or 6 offers to buy skin-flick hard-core a day! I have a screen which puts most of this stuff straight into the "trash can" but I would prefer to get rid of it altogether. Can I block unsolicited corrospondence? I have opened a couple of these to "unsubscribe" which is a little alarming as I didn't subscribe in the first place, but it comes up as "site not found" or the screen locks out! Any help would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 05:19 AM

Just like junk mail in the post, once the advertisers have got hold of your e-mail address, they share it around. If you reply to one of these junk mails, that just confirms your address is "alive" so they share it around some more.
They especially seem able to find hotmail addresses for some reason.
Change address, it's the only way to get a quiet life.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 05:24 AM

Cyder drinker, do you think I should change my hotmail adress or get of hotmail altogether?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:53 AM

Clinton! Pop-up killer? Is this the guy who said the easiest thing in the world was to just shut down the windows...;-)

Dave the Gnome
(Gnomes have long selective memories y'know...!)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: mack/misophist
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:32 AM

Yes to everything above! You also might want to limit yourself to IE5.5 and Navigator 4.78. They are more stable, easier to control, and offer a more 'correct' view of many sites than the newer versions.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:41 AM

See... -I- have no problem at all simply closing popup windows when a java bomb like that goes off...

Apparently -I- have something that it seem most people online don't... a passing knowledge of how my computer actually functions...

C-flat... send yer porn to me! LOL!!!! But ya... getting off hotmail is always a good idea...

NEVER unsubscribe to unsolicited email!!!!! All you've done is verify that your account is active, and you will get flooded!

Simply trash it without opening it, and leave it at that...

Sorta the same way I keep a Blue Box under my mail box on my front poarch... with a sign inviting the mailman to toss flyers and junk mail straight into it...


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:57 AM

I opened up that Ad-Ware link, and the first thing it said was advise me to to read the advice to new users pages. I started doing that, and my head started going round in circles. I have a nasty feeling if I'm not careful I might do more harm, than good at this stage of my ignorance.

So I've bookmarked it and I'll likely get back to it as and when. For the time being I think it's a minor difficulty I can live with. Only thing, can I be reasaonably sure it isn't going to sneak out and attack people in my adress book and so forth?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 12:19 PM

Ah but Clinton - A passing knowledge is a dangerous thing. How do you know it has not passed and left you behind...;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome
Who's knowledge passed away many years ago. Now where's that steam powered ZX spectrum and the Assembler manual...?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: technission
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 12:56 PM

The prior technical posts cover this issue to greater depth than my sketchy knowledge allows.
A *remotely possible* hardware cause: an intermittently "sticky" key on your keyboard.(doesn't release when you stop pressing it)

Actually, I have only seen this happen when the keyboard is in my lap and only with my email inbox window active - unread messages start rapidly opening in sequence...the solution is to remove a feline paw from the spacebar! Then watch in amazement while the little mullet, in her sleep, invariably finds a hot key again!

Dave the gnome, I haven't seen those items you seek but I could loan you my
old *Fortran* manual! LTCOML!!

Here's some humor that came in my mail:

THE JOKE THAT SPARES NOBODY: Haiku
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Imagine if instead of cryptic, geeky text strings, your computer produced
error messages in Haiku... they would read like these:


A file that big:
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

The Web site you seek
cannot be located,
but endless others exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask far too much.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen
dies so beautifully.

With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
is not the true Tao, until
you bring fresh toner.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.



LOL, Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 01:52 PM

LOL! Marvelous computer haiku!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: GUEST,MerryBee
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 03:11 PM

Although not new to folk music, i am indeed new to this compute life. May I please jump on your bandwaggon and ask HOW I can print the screen I am looking at{e.g.lyrics that someone has poste }without getting EVERY OTHER PAGE!! My printer is running red hot.

Merry


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: wildlone
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 03:33 PM

MerryBee, What I do is keep a text document on my desk top, press the right mouse button with the pointer next to the text I want and still pressing move the mouse so that the text I want is highlighted, press Ctrl and c together [copy], Open text doc click on text doc press Ctrl and v[paste] and the highlighted text should appear.
dave


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 03:47 PM

And then you can print from the text document - and edit it first, as you wish. (Make it bigger or smaller etc, for example.)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 06:24 PM

Re the original IE problem -

AdAware has been mentioned. It does find "known" trash like DoubleClick and such. These things are intended to report where yu've been on the net, usually the next time you visit the site that loaded it. AdAware is a nice, clean program that will let you clear them. You don't really need it if you periodically (frequently) delete any cookies you didn't order.

A more insidious kind of program is the "true" spyware, that can do anything up to and including making a record of your keystrokes (and sometimes all graphics displays) for transmission to the .... who planted it. The program recommended to us for making sure these things don't get in is called SpyCop, as mentioned above.

Note that BOTH OF THE ABOVE ARE DIFFERENT FROM, AND ARE TO BE USED IN ADDITION TO ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS.

I've recently learned of another gremlin - in this case actually peculiar to IE, called the "Browser Helper Object," or BHO. This object can be used to inhance IE for certain purposes. An example of legitimate use is a BHO associated with Acrobat Reader - which lets IE detect when a document is a pdf, and open Acrobat to display it.

The BHO is frequently "attached" to freeware, and is often so poorly implemented that it interferes with other IE functions. You can download a free utility called BHOCop from Ziff Davis/PC Magazine CLICK HERE that will search for BHO objects, and let you remove bad ones, or turn the good ones on or off as needed.

Note that this is one utility you DON'T need for any browser other than Internet Explorer.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: hesperis
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 06:29 PM

Just a note that there's a thread somewhere on mudcat about those computer haiku's - and the thread actually has copyright information about them, unlike the "anonymous" joke emails. Yes, these were written by real people.

If anyone wants help with easily understanding ad-aware, PM me.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 12:08 AM

Previous thread haiku crash notices contains a link to the other thread, Computer haiku

The second thread above contains link to Source

An interesting essay on brainless (innocent?) plagiarism.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: technission
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for the heads-up re the haiku copyrights!
The ones I saw and posted above came to me via a "jokes" daily newsletter and were absent writing credits or copyright unless I overlooked it / them.
Ignorance of the law does not does not redeem the lawbreaker; does ignorance of the copyright excuse a copier??
For sure no, once the ignorance is replaced with the knowledge...
michael


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: GUEST,AB
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 12:08 AM

In a perfect world....everything would be OPEN SOURCE!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: GUEST,BC
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 10:29 PM

Lots of pop-up killers - AdAware etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: hesperis
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 01:21 AM

Open source *is* a copyright, too. It's just a more free version of copyright. But open source lets people get credit where it is due.

Believe me, I know - I'm on two teams which are making open source computer game engines. (Fortunately, I'm in the music and plot sections, and NOT programming, or there wouldn't be an engine for either project! *g*)

*plugomatic*

Oh, and btw, one of the teams is looking for C++ programmers, 3d artists, and a Welsh culture advisor... :)

*end plugomatic*

That haiku stuff is definitely cool, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:06 AM

Java Programing will become an Advanced Placement course in U.S. high schools in 2004


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Subject: RE: BS: 'PC gone mad'? (computer that is)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:14 PM

how long have you been "computer literate?"

The answer is before your very face.


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Mudcat time: 26 October 3:06 AM EDT

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