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Stupider than Xupiter Ack!

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Sharondippity, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    This is infuriating....

    Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,57467,00.html

    02:00 AM Jan. 30, 2003 PT

    It's the most evil thing on the Internet, according to some of its victims. But it's not a virus, a scam or a raunchy porn site.

    It's a browser toolbar that some swear is doing "drive-by downloads" -- installing itself without users' permission -- then taking over their systems and making it impossible to uninstall.

    "When I find the bastards who programmed this thing I'd be happy to castrate them with a pair of dull pinking shears," fumed one of Xupiter's many unhappy victims in a newsgroup posting.

    Xupiter is an Internet Explorer toolbar program. Once active in a system, it periodically changes users' designated homepages to xupiter.com, redirects all searches to Xupiter's site, and blocks any attempts to restore the original browser settings.

    The program attempts to download updates each time an affected computer boots up, and has been blamed for causing system crashes. Several versions of Xupiter also appear to download other programs, such as gambling games, which later appear in pop-up windows.

    Some said that Xupiter has taken over their browsers.

    "Random words and characters now appear when I attempt to enter info on search sites or other forms. It's as if there's a ghost in my machine," New York resident Beth Vanesky said.

    Xupiter.com is registered to a company called Tempo Internet, in Gyongyos, Hungary. Calls and e-mails to Tempo were not returned.

    Xupiter offers an uninstall utility, but many said that it didn't work, and in some cases made things worse.

    "I ran the Xupiter Uninstall, and now every time I try to launch Explorer I get error messages saying 'Xupiter is not installed properly, please reinstall,'" said Manny Abrams of Chicago.

    Xupiter has spawned long message threads on some tech support sites, as users wrestle to reclaim their machines from the terrible toolbar.

    "When Xupiter first appeared, we spent a week trying to figure it out," said Mike Healan, of SpywareInfo. "There's a monstrous thread with over 26,000 page views where a couple dozen of us tested it until we figured what it did and how to deal with it."

    But Healan said that every time people sort out what Xupiter is doing, Xupiter's programmers tweak its code. It also appears that Xupiter may be selling its "service" to other websites.

    "About once every month or two this software starts hijacking people to a new site," Healan said. "And every time a new version comes out, it adds a different startup entry, uses a different method to change the search function and is basically a bigger pain to remove."

    Xupiter's site claims the toolbar isn't installed without express permission, but many insisted that they had not agreed to install the program.

    "Xupiter is the worst thing I've ever personally encountered on the Internet," said Ed Olexa. "You only realize that is has been installed when you start your browser and see that Xupiter's search page is now your homepage."

    Olexa had to manually edit his system registry to remove Xupiter.

    "Xupiter seems to have the ability to reinstall itself if each and every component is not removed," Olexa said. "Computer novices might never really get rid of it."

    Healan recommended Spybot Search & Destroy to eradicate the program.

    Healan said some installations probably occurred when people clicked "OK" in a pop-up box without really knowing what they had agreed to, or when they meant to close the pop-up window.

    Xupiter is also being bundled along with at least one peer-to-peer file sharing program. And the toolbar will install itself automatically when Internet Explorer's security settings aren't set to the highest level.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Yup... I've come across this one several times already and it's a PAIN to get rid of.
  3. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Whoa thanks for the heads up Sharon. Sounds like a nasty hotbar or comet cursor thing on steriods. Scarey :eek:
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Wonderful. Now if I can just figure out how to send it to a few enemies.... :)
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ok, next question is this, what spyware eraser handles this?
  6. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    "Healan recommended Spybot Search & Destroy to eradicate the program. "

    Have you ever heard of this program? I haven't. Hmmm
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Spybot? Yeah I've heard of it, and got it. It is free and apparently very effective. Claire regularly posts notices of its update files here and they seem to come aaalmost every day, keeping up with the people creating the crap programs that sneak in on us. I do not, unfortunately, have the URL but someone here will be able to give it to you.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Yes, I use it. :) Claire gives us patches info for it, as well.
  9. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    I guess I'm not up on this type of stuff because I don't download files except for purchased software, and I run Adaware. I am curious now to run Spybot now.
  10. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    First I had heard of it was about a week ago. Then BOOM, three "help" calls to help erradicate it off the box. What a pain, especially since there's a .dll called on bootup which requires a registry edit. And I HATE doing those long distance.
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Sharon, see this thread. It's where I dumped adaware for Spybot.

    There's also links as to how to get it.
  12. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    I use Opera. I am invincible...:)
  13. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Tools>Internet options> Advanced>Enable Install on Demand [Internet Explorer]
    Uncheck this and forget about it.
  14. claire

    claire Registered User

  15. Sharondippity

    Sharondippity Sweetness and Light

    Great !I will have to check that too.
  16. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Wow thanks Zed. Why haven't I heard about that yet? Good one...thanks :)
  17. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    Yes, but can you play in the arcade?
  18. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Yes in fact I can. It just doesn't record my score or take my money...
  19. bruzzes

    bruzzes Truthslayer

    So you play for free?

    Hmmm, maybe I ought to check out Opera myself.

    As for Spybot, I have had it for three years now. Along with AdAware it is perfect for cleaning out debris: cookies, temp files, etc.

    Also use Spider to get rid of the hidden files that some programs won't delete like the Index files. Wipes all that crap out.


    edit: added link
  20. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Cool advice in this thread. Thanks :)

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