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Spybot

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Deke40, Jan 8, 2003.

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  1. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    Why does AdAware and not Spybot indentify the IE5 & 6 installed Related(Alexia)? I just did and IE repair and it got reinstalled as usual. The last time I did this I think it showed up on Spybot and I checked to fix it, but it did not get rid of it. Had to download AdAware again and get rid of it.
     
  2. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    Ran Adaware and found key in registry. Went and deleted it manually and "related" was gone from toolbar options. Did this last time and it didn't work. My question still remains why does Spybot not identiy this and Adaware does?
     
  3. suzi

    suzi

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  4. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

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    The Alexa subkey really can't be considered spyware in any real sense of the word.

    It comes with Internet Explorer, where it's responsible for the 'related sites' feature on your Internet Explorer Tools menu.

    If you have Ad-Aware remove it, the related sites entry disappears, but when you repair or upgrade IE, it's restored again.

    It's completely harmless though, and it's up to you to decide whether to leave it, or to have it removed.

    I've told Ad-Aware to ignore it, and I hope the next version will stop targeting it, so that I won't have to keep explaining...

    Here's the SpyBot FAQ about it:

    Why does Spybot-S&D not detect and remove the Alexa key for the What's related function of IE like other anti spyware utilities?

    BTW, as of the latest update Patrick has decided to add detection for this item, mainly because he's tired of answering questions about it.... LOL :

    "Yes, SPyBot now replaces the original related.htm file pointing to MS and from there to Alexa with the dummy that points to Google.

    You may still remember that I wanted to implement a user-choice for the search engine there, but in the last months MS has closed the IE scripting even more so all my attempts have failed.

    And of course there are two or three mails each day asking why other programs detect this registry key while Spybot-S&D does not.

    So I thought a replacement with one other search engine is better than no replacement at all. "

    I hope that answers your question.
     
  5. suzi

    suzi

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    I just ran Spybot and I noticed as it was running, Alexa is in the list. So Deke- do you have the latest updates for Spybot? Did it show up in the list of problems found? Was it checked? If it found it but it wasn't checked by default or you didn't check it, it would not remove it.
     
  6. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

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    The Alexa entry on the list is actually the Alexa toolbar, which has been a target all along, and bears no relation to this IE menu entry.

    I noticed that the related sites thingie has now been included as "Alexa Related".

    But let's face it, it's just that: a menu entry, and it certainly doesn't warrant all the attention it's been getting...:rolleyes:
     
  7. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

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    BTW, even Lavasoft itself doesn't consider it to be spyware...:D

    Here's the official Lavasoft line:

    "The Alexa key in and of itself is really quite harmless. The original thinking behind its addition to the target list was as a heads up to the uer. It was added during the time of the Alexa lawsuit and might (?) become more if the user were to add the alexa tool bar. It will be reinstalled if you repair IE and/or upgrade. If this is a feature that the user wishes to keep, all they have to do is to add the key to their ignore list. If they removed it, restore from backup or use the IE repair tool. Removal of this key does not hamper the functionality of Internet Explorer and is easily replaced."
     
  8. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys and girls.

    Tony that was some extensive reading. I read most of it and I am convinced it does no harm. The following quote from Eagle 1 was the most convincing:

    "And other than online forms every server on the net collects the other information you describe in addition to where you came from and where you go to..

    It's harmless. There is nothing to substantiate otherwise. I use commview on a regular basis to monitor my comps communications and atm to monitor processes. I have not once seen any evidence that this alexa key has done any talking.

    This key has been a part of MS installs since 1999. You would think that if it was spying that there would be lots of real factual evidence available to prove it. There isn't any because it doesn't spy IMO"

    To tell the truth I used Related a lot when I first got my pc. But after being influenced by what I read in various forums I got, what now seems needlessly worried, I got rid of it.

    I would probably still use it but now it comes up as a Goggle tool and is partly in what looks like German.
     
  9. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    I decided to do a repair and get "Related" back. It is definitely a Google related search now. Here is a small shot of it. If you go down there is a link called "Link ZU", which I found out is "Link To" and this gives you the same infomaiton you would have got with the old Related.

    <img src="http://forums.techguy.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=674319">
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    Tony- Found this in the info you suggested earlier and used it to change the German\Goggle version of Alexia back to the original Alexia:

    "Or you could just edit the line in your own copy of 'Related.htm', from . . .
    RelatedServiceURL="http://related.msn.com/related.asp?url=";

    to . . .

    RelatedServiceURL="http://www.google.com/search?q=related:+";

    N.B. If you later repair, or patch, or upgrade IE (such as with IE6 SP1), it may get overwritten by a new Related.htm - if so you'll need to do this tweak again (or just save a tweaked copy, then put your version back after the upgrade).

    Man this stuff can become like a drug once you get involved with it.
     
  11. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

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    Yeah, ain't it fun! :D

    BTW, I've PM'd SpyBot's Patrick to ask him to make the Related sites feature go to www.google.com instead of www.google.de (the German site)
     
  12. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

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    Is your time adjusted for here, if not, you must not get much sleep.
     
  13. TonyKlein

    TonyKlein Malware Specialist

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    4.15 PM here right now, and miraculously I do manage to squeeze in some sleep every now and again... LOL
     
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