Can anyone put me in touch with the people who think that Mal-ware is a good idea, specifically the people who created “Windows AdTools”, then can you recommend a way that I can crash their computers for a couple of hours.
Either that, or provide me with a plane ticket and a baseball bat with a nail through it…

…because there is nothing I enjoy doing more than spending some of my valuable time off getting my computer working again after these bastards have left their crap all over my hard disk.

20 thoughts on “Threat”

  1. I dithered about switching to Thunderbird but made the leap when they released 1.0 a few months ago. It seamlessly imported all my Outlook settings including all historic e-mails/address books etc. Beysian filters to a grand job of filtering spam. The only thing missing is a diary. Can't recommend it highly enough.PS : Love the blog.

  2. spybot search and destroy is usually pretty good at removing these things.ever thought of trying to claim the bat and nail through expenses?

  3. We have spybot search and destroy on our 'puter, and it's marvellous. Very little crap caused by the twat-brigade since installation. Would thoroughly recommend it.Love your blog, discovered it a couple of months ago – it's a real eye-opener! I now have mucho respect for all paramedics. You seem like just the type of person who should be doing your job, and all too frequently jobs in the care industry attract entirely the wrong kinds of people.

    Vicky :o)

  4. I can feel for you completely. I'm a computer tech and all I do is go to job after job cleaning malware off people's computers. I, personally, made the switch to Mac about eight months ago and have never looked back. A few minor compatibility issues, nothing major, but no chance of any kind of infection. Best decision I ever made.That being said, good luck cleaning your computer up, I know how painstaking it is. In addition to Spyware S&D mentioned above, try Adaware SE. For those really imbeded programs, you might need to use Hijack This! and/or do some manual registry editing.

  5. Go to and download 602 Lansuite for a free 5 user firewall. Set up as default and follow the instructions to give it control of your dial – up / broadband connection. Do the same with Spybot S&D. Disable flash and ActiveX controls as these are vehicles used by malware designers to crash microsoft o/s machines. This means you won't be able to view funky flash animation or some stuff on Cascading style sheets but the content generally is all show and no go anyway.Total download / installation / configuration time – 1 hour. You might want to load Spywareblaster and McAffee's Stinger.exe as well. All good tools for keeping your machine problem free.

    Free advice, free software. What more do you need?

  6. *echoes the others* As for who thinks it's a good idea: spammers and organised crime. Spam, virus writing, malware, and organised crime have begun to realise that they can work together to make money. What might be better would be to shoot anybody who ever clicks through and buys from a spam email, thus giving them an incentive to carry one. You might also like to petition the government to educate people about internet safety, as often it's not until people's computers die that they consider how to protect it, by which time the damage has been done.

  7. *cough*buyamac*cough*Er, I mean, you have my sympathies. Had I the money, I would gladly fund you on your killing spree, but sadly, I don't.

  8. Between spybot:search and destroy, and Adaware 6.0 by lavasoft, that takes care of about 99% of all the malware I've seen. Also, I like the firewall idea. That should keep you safe.

  9. If you can find 339 in your computer budget, you could get a Mac Mini. It's a drop-in replacement for PCs which just happens to be a Mac and thus immune to the ecology of crap that Windows comes with.If you can't or don't want to get one, then my advice is: (a) ditch Internet Explorer and all forms of MS Outlook (they're riddled with holes) and use Firefox/Opera and Thunderbird or similar, and (b) regularly run at least two of the following: Spybot Search & Destroy, AdAware, Microsoft Anti-Spyware. (Different programs have different blind spots.) If you're feeling particularly geeky, you could try going with Linux. It works for me.

    Though, all other things being equal, I'd get the Mac.

    — acb

  10. While you are on the rampage can I please suggest a few more people you might want to clobber along the way. Surely one more one less won't make much difference to your sentence. Please, please, please, pretty please with sugar on top!!! Go on, if you say yes I'll get my chisels out and I'll make the bat myself.

  11. Been there, done that too! However, I had one of those mutating ones that kept changing the file name. I finally got Norton Firewall, downloaded all the updates to Norton & Microsoft (don't suggest a Mac, I have to stay compatable with my setup at work) and have been spyware and virus free for some time!

  12. Thanks for the advice – it's been the final push I've needed to switch to Firefox for my default browsing. Obviously I'll have to keep IE for some stuff, but I've installed a couple of extensions and am quite happy with it.I'll keep using Outlook for a bit though – just because I don't think it's that easy to switch. But I may try running thunderbird as a secondary system.

    I've already got Spyware S&D, although it was having trouble in removing AdTools, while the Microsoft effort, despite apparently being very good, seemed to cause this problem in the first place. Just bad timing, or something more?…

    I only use the SP2 Firewall but coupled with AVG from Grisoft and a refusal to click on attachments has meant that I'm not normally troubled by virii.

    How's that for tempting fate?

    I do use Linux a bit, but only in a fairly cursory way – if I had more time to learn another operating system, I'd spend that time doing something useful.

    Mac Mini? I'm planning on getting one in the near future…probably after I move house. I'm not expecting to be knocked on the floor by it – but it's a new toy for me to play with (and I quite fancy turning it into a media centre).

  13. > I do use Linux a bit, but only in a fairly cursory way – if I had more time to learn another operating system, I'd spend that time doing something useful.If you ever need any quick GNU/Linux help, feel free to give me a holler – jlpence at gnu dawt org. I'm a long time reader who's glad to give back. (I personally find that having someone to ask idiot n00b questions to beats the crap out of googling for hours…)

  14. Pay a visit to – loads of sound advice on tweaks to make your PC secure and links to useful downloads.Caroline

  15. Can't supply the baseball bat but I can reccomend a L.A.R.T. more commonly known as a Luser Attitude Re-adjustment Tool. Long fat bit of wood with a nail through the end… you could always post it to them with instructions on how to use it on themselves.I can't say I've had a problem with my Mac either, although saying that, I've had it 3 / 4 months and I've not had internet access for 2 of those months. Still no problems with it. Wish I could get a newer version of Firefox for it.

  16. Another Mac user here (15 years and one virus) who's happy to recommend and support if you make that switch, and as the previous poster mentioned, I'm a long-time reader and it's nice to give back…I've converted several mates to Mac after the monitor-out-the-window frustration one too many Windows problems, and no-one has ever looked back!

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