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LoomisBoy

The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pesky Adware Made Me Think Microsoft Was Up to Something Sneaky

This morning I noticed links in my Hotmail messages, and in message subject lines, that I didn't put there. At first I thought it was something new and unannouced from Microsoft (Hotmail is part of Microsoft's MSN set of Web products). I did a quick Google search and used Icerocket specifically to search blogs on "Hotmail sponsored links" but didn't come up with anything that explained what I was seeing. But as I'm writing, it dawns on me that I've been hit by an adware trojan.

I've had some problems with registry edits ever since I alpha tested a search bar for a friend (I can't tell you who, he knows where I live and it would be just one neck to choke) and moved from Ethernet to USB for my Internet connection. The combination has been just awful (Starband warned me about USB, so I only have myself to blame on that one). Anyway, this morning when Spybot detected several registry changes, I let them go through as usual. Bad call. McAfee noticed immediately; so I did a full scan and found two trojans on my computer. I guess I have some more work to do.

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