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Thread: Web surfing safety warning
04-19-2007, 12:42 AM #1
Web surfing safety warning
I know most of our users are web savvy. At least enough to know you don't download just anything without researching it first.
I want to let you know about something that happened to me today that quite honestly took me by surprise.
I happened to visit a site that told me I needed to download a codec to view a video contained on that site. I thought it was a little fishy that the codec was going to come to me via an executable file (EXE). But I figured no big deal. I've got my slew of Antivirus, and spyware software. It can handle just about anything.
Well it turns out the codec was bundled with a program called "Spylocked". Which on the surface appears to be another anti-spyware program. This could not be further from the reality of what it really is.
Spylocked is actually a fraudulent piece of crap software. What it does is installs itself, and then creates spyware within your system. Then notifies you that you have spyware and that it should be removed. However you can only remove this spyware by purchasing their product. They claim to be the most advanced, and while other programs such as adaware, spybot, and so on will find the spyware and remove them spylocked will just put them back, giving the impression that the only way to deal with the spyware is to truly buy their program.
Now I feel very confident in my abilities with my computers, and I know I can remove even the most persistant programs. But this one had me beaten, and it was laughing at me at the same time.
I even went as far as to get process explorer from MS just to try and isolate the file that was resident in memory. I still could not find it. Best I could figure was it had corrupted explorer. The only fix was either repair windows, which I felt was a waste of my time, or reinstall. I opted for reinstall since I don't have much faith in the repair option of windows, and system restore didn't create a restore point when this program was installed. Also, i don't have much faith in the restore program either. I could just picture it telling me after a 1/2 hour of restoring that "no changes were made to your computer"
I don't know how long this program has been circulating the web, but it's obviously been updated recently since the suggested methods of removing it had no effect other than further frustration.
If any of our members, or someone they know has recently bought, or considered buying the spylocked program because of a similar situation, please know what you are getting into. It's bogus, and a scam.
Spylocked also has had minor changes to it's look, and been named "SpyDawn", and "SpySheriff"
Consider yourself warned. This software is bad news.
04-19-2007, 06:08 AM #2
Good work, Patrick. Thanks for the advise. I will look into that myself too.
I take it you had to do a full format? You better not have lost all your games? How will we shoot each other up online..now?
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04-19-2007, 08:39 AM #3
04-19-2007, 10:12 AM #4
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Thanks for the reminder. I downloaded that spyware removal tool on the Wiki article you posted, just for kicks. It ended up loading a trial version of SpyHunter and it's found 54 things on my system in the last 10 minutes of running. Too bad I have to have the full version to uninstall it all, only looks like one bad bugger.
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