Spyware Warrior Spyware Warrior
Help with Spyware, Hijacking & Other Internet Nuisances
 
FAQ :: Search :: Memberlist :: Usergroups :: Register
Profile :: Log in to check your private messages :: Log in

Is STOPzilla Evil?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Spyware Warrior Forum Index -> Spyware/Adware in the News
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject: Is STOPzilla Evil? Reply with quote

I've been noticing popup ads recently from STOPzilla http://download.stopzilla.com/image...s/720x300_g.gif at one of my very favourite forum sites, WirelessAdvisor.com. They also are using NoAdware.net popups which I know are potentially bad and I have informed them of this. My Google Toolbar blocks both popups so it's not a huge concern to me but I am curious about STOPzilla as the Rogue/Suspect list here does not mention them.

TIA and thanks for looking!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Last Visit: 15 Jul 2014
Posts: 3913
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stopzilla was a good and trusted program at one time, but their practices of late have become more questionable as you have already seen. The stopzilla.com domain is now in IE Spyad's list of restricted sites.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi:

StopZilla was added to IE-SPYAD as a precautionary measure. I have encountered StopZilla in people's HijackThis! logs in various help forums. What is interesting about these HJT log entries (which are 016 - DPF entries, from automated online installations) is that the download source is not only stopzilla.com, but playminigolf.com in some instances.

My interest in adding StopZilla to IE-SPYAD has only been to ensure that IE-SPYAD users who encountered pages that automatically install StopZilla were truly getting what they wanted -- those automated installations won't work with the two domains listed above in the Restricted sites zone. Users who want to install StopZilla can either remove the appropriate domains from the Restricted sites zone, or they can download the full setup executable from the StopZilla home page.

I have been looking into the StopZilla/playminigolf.com connection over the past few days, but I don't know that I've gotten to the bottom of it. PlayMiniGolf.com offers a "free" game. In clicking around their site, I couldn't find any obvious front door to the StopZilla installer. Here's what we usually see in HJT logs:

O16 - DPF: {9FEFFBDE-FE2F-4756-B4A7-90D976255F9B} (StopZilla Class) - hxxp://www.playminigolf.com/Stopzilla.cab

So I decided to download and try out the "free" game. Of course it's loaded with spyware/adware (WhenU/ClockSync, WhenUsearch bar, KeenValue/Incredifind, eUniverse) -- which makes you wonder why StopZilla would have any connection with PlayMiniGolf.com (owned by WildMedia LLC) at all, esp. given that some of the spyware/adware installed by PlayMiniGolf is decidedly unfriendly, providing no uninstallers and remaining behind even after the uninstallation of the game itself (Inredifind/KeenValue, eUniverse).

Also of tangential interest: out of curiosity I decided to play around with the WhenUSearch bar that had been dropped on my desktop. I tried the term "spyware" from:

hxxp://www.whenusearch.com/searchbar/?partner=STAT1203&cc=US

You guessed it. In the search results were all the usual suspects: eblocs, SpywareNuker, NoAdware, Stop-Sign, XoftSpy, PAL Spyware Remover, SpywareKiller, etc. -- and StopZilla. (Why would purported anti-spyware apps be advertising through WhenU?)

I still don't know what the exact connection is bewteen PlayMiniGolf.com and StopZilla, but what I've seen so far is not encouraging. At the very least I'd like to see the context for the StopZilla installation from PlayMiniGolf.com.

Best,

Eric L. Howes
Edited out http to hxxp to guard against adware installations: webhelper 7/14/2004
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
webhelper
SWW Expert


Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Last Visit: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 1090

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eburger68 wrote:
Hi:

StopZilla was added to IE-SPYAD as a precautionary measure. I have encountered StopZilla in people's HijackThis! logs in various help forums. What is interesting about these HJT log entries (which are 016 - DPF entries, from automated online installations) is that the download source is not only stopzilla.com, but playminigolf.com in some instances.

My interest in adding StopZilla to IE-SPYAD has only been to ensure that IE-SPYAD users who encountered pages that automatically install StopZilla were truly getting what they wanted -- those automated installations won't work with the two domains listed above in the Restricted sites zone. Users who want to install StopZilla can either remove the appropriate domains from the Restricted sites zone, or they can download the full setup executable from the StopZilla home page.

I have been looking into the StopZilla/playminigolf.com connection over the past few days, but I don't know that I've gotten to the bottom of it. PlayMiniGolf.com offers a "free" game. In clicking around their site, I couldn't find any obvious front door to the StopZilla installer. Here's what we usually see in HJT logs:

O16 - DPF: {9FEFFBDE-FE2F-4756-B4A7-90D976255F9B} (StopZilla Class) - hxxp://www.playminigolf.com/Stopzilla.cab

So I decided to download and try out the "free" game. Of course it's loaded with spyware/adware (WhenU/ClockSync, WhenUsearch bar, KeenValue/Incredifind, eUniverse) -- which makes you wonder why StopZilla would have any connection with PlayMiniGolf.com (owned by WildMedia LLC) at all, esp. given that some of the spyware/adware installed by PlayMiniGolf is decidedly unfriendly, providing no uninstallers and remaining behind even after the uninstallation of the game itself (Inredifind/KeenValue, eUniverse).

Also of tangential interest: out of curiosity I decided to play around with the WhenUSearch bar that had been dropped on my desktop. I tried the term "spyware" from:

hxxp://www.whenusearch.com/searchbar/?partner=STAT1203&cc=US

You guessed it. In the search results were all the usual suspects: eblocs, SpywareNuker, NoAdware, Stop-Sign, XoftSpy, PAL Spyware Remover, SpywareKiller, etc. -- and StopZilla. (Why would purported anti-spyware apps be advertising through WhenU?)

I still don't know what the exact connection is bewteen PlayMiniGolf.com and StopZilla, but what I've seen so far is not encouraging. At the very least I'd like to see the context for the StopZilla installation from PlayMiniGolf.com.

Best,

Eric L. Howes


That is because they are using that name for their adware installer
_________________
Wächter der Geschichten:
http://www.webhelper4u.com/thewatcher.html
Member of ASAP Since 2004
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Webhelper:

You wrote:

Quote:
That is because they are using that name for their adware installer


OK, I see what's happening. There's no connection whatsoever. Perhaps the PlayMiniGolf folks have a grudge of some sort against StopZilla.

ELH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eburger68 wrote:

StopZilla was added to IE-SPYAD as a precautionary measure.


Hi all,

Thank you very much for the enthusiastic and informative replies! I have one question: What is IE-SPYAD? Can someone please provide a link.

Regarding the NoAdware & STOPzilla popups that apper when I visit the www.WirelessAdvisor (WA) forums: I posted my concern at their "Suggestions" forum and got a response from the administrator which read:

"WirelessAdvisor.com does NOT and has never run ANY kind of pop-up ads.

These pop-ups are coming from some other source on your computer or previously visited sites."

I do implicitly trust the members & mods at WA forums so I guess it's time to troubleshoot the reason why I only get NoAdware & STOPzilla popups when I am visiting there.

As an aside, if anyone needs sound advice on cellular phones I highly recommend the forums at http://www.wirelessadvisor.com/forums/index.php?

Most of the posters there actually work in the cell phone industry either in sales, call center CSR, system engineers, etc. The knowledge level is incredible and everyone is eager to help. WA is light-years ahead of www.howardforums.com IMO.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry:

You can find IE-SPYAD here:

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/resource.htm#IESPYAD

Basically, it's a Restricted sites list for Internet Explorer.

As for the pop-up advertising you mention, if you trust the web site to be honest that it doesn't use pop-ups, then it would be a good idea to scan your computer with some anti-spyware tools. Those pop-ups just might be generated byspyware/adware such as Gator/Claria, WhenU, Lop, 180/n-case, or one of the many other unwanted advertising applications that exist out there.

I'd recommend downloading, installing, and running these two free anti-spyware scanners for starters:

Ad-aware
http://www.lavasoft.de/

Spybot Search & Destroy
http://spybot.safer-networking.de/

Let us know what the results are.

Best,

Eric L. Howes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eburger68 wrote:


I'd recommend downloading, installing, and running these two free anti-spyware scanners for starters:

Ad-aware
http://www.lavasoft.de/

Spybot Search & Destroy
http://spybot.safer-networking.de/


I already have both Ad-aware & Spybot and I ran scans using both programs when the popups first started to appear a couple of days ago. Question: Would either Ad-aware or Spybot be the "appropriate" scanning program for popup ads? I know that they are adware but it seems like NoAdware & STOPzilla fall into the popup blocker category. What I mean is, I have the Google and Yahoo! toolbars and both popup blockers are active.

Oh, I also have SpywareBlaster if that makes a difference. Thanks for the suggestions. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eburger68 wrote:

You can find IE-SPYAD here:

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/resource.htm#IESPYAD

Basically, it's a Restricted sites list for Internet Explorer.


I have just read the description of IE-SPYAD and I am a little concerned about using it for the following reasons:

1. I have Internet Options configured to give me a warning whenever a site wants to give me a cookie (I can either allow or block it). I actually like doing this because there are quite a few sites which I visit regularly and I actually want a cookie to be kept on my machine. It sound like IE-SPYAD blocks ALL cookies, or maybe I'm misinterpreting what they are saying.

2. As for ActiveX, well, it's somewhat of a necessity to allow scripting from MANY sites just to allow them to work. I had previously configured Internet Options to prompt me whenever a script wanted to be loaded but I was going crazy with all of the "Do you want to all Site XYZ to load a script" (or whatever the actual description is). I can use Active XCavator from Cognitronix http://www.cognitronix.com/ (among others) to delete a script that is a no-no if the situation calls for it.

From my initial read-through of IE-SPYAD's description it seems a bit too "overzealous" to me but I could very well be wrong. It is a very intriguing bit of s/w, however.

Eric, thanks again for educating me - even if it is bit-by-bit. Confused


Last edited by Harry Letterman on Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dammit - I just got the NoAdware popup again, this time when I was here at Spyware Warrior. I DID, however, have my Yahoo! Toolbar popup blocker disabled (I was testing what happened at WirelessAdvisor). Although, the Google Toolbar popup blocker was active - I wonder if there is an update for it - ?

I also got the same NoAdware popup at WA about an hour ago and BOTH toolbar blockers were enabled.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
The stopzilla.com domain is now in IE Spyad's list of restricted sites.


Hi Nick,

Can you please show me where the list of restricted sites is located? I have looked here - http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm
- but I do not see STOPzilla listed at all. TIA. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
3162
Honorary Site Admin


Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Last Visit: 04 May 2009
Posts: 4452

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry, why don't you just get with the program, join the rest of us, and not use IE except for updates?

Instead of using Internet Explorer for your day-to-day browsing, try one of these free browsers instead:
Opera. Features include tabbed browsing, built-in pop-up stopper
Mozilla, Firefox, Camino. Linux based.
Slim Browser. IE without the bells and whistles.


For email, I find Thunderbird has all the feel of OE but without the Security Compromises.

Mailwasher. To safely preview and delete email, amongst other uses.
_________________
Proud member of the Chest Zipper Club!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3162 wrote:
Harry, why don't you just get with the program, join the rest of us, and not use IE except for updates?


Um, as regards "getting with the program" Rolling Eyes I actually like the look and feel of IE in general. I have the "plain" version of Mozilla (v1.7b) as well but I just do not feel comfortable with it. It seems very "clunky" to me. Granted, that impression is based on fairly limited use but it is how I feel. Plus, I sort of enjoy the challenge of getting IE to work to my likings.

I have used Opera, v6.x I think, on my old Win98 machine and it was fine but, again, I preferred the look and feel of IE. Now, I have to say that I am by no means a M$ cheerleader but IE does seem to be the most fully integrated (with the World Wide Web & Internet in general) browser out there.

Thank you for your input and suggestions.


Last edited by Harry Letterman on Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry:

You misunderstand what IE-SPYAD does. It does not restrict the use of cookies, ActiveX controls, scripts, and the like by ALL sites, just those that are known to be advertisers, marketers, or adware/spyware distributors. The thinking is that most users would never want cookies or ActiveX controls from sites and companies like Doubleclick, Claria, WhenU, 180Solutions and the like. Thus, we can put restrictions on the sites and domains associated with those companies, while leaving the vast majority of sites alone.

In fact, IE-SPYAD is designed to allow your surfing to be flexible -- to impose restrictions on some sites/domains, but not all of them.

Even if you do encounter a site that is in IE-SPYAD's Restricted sites list but which you want to allow to use cookies and active content, you can remove that site from the Restricted sites zone. You always remain in full control of your browsing and what's restricted, what's not.

Hope that explanation helps clarify things.

Eric L. Howes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eburger68 wrote:

You misunderstand what IE-SPYAD does. It does not restrict the use of cookies, ActiveX controls, scripts, and the like by ALL sites, just those that are known to be advertisers, marketers, or adware/spyware distributors. The thinking is that most users would never want cookies or ActiveX controls from sites and companies like Doubleclick, Claria, WhenU, 180Solutions and the like. Thus, we can put restrictions on the sites and domains associated with those companies, while leaving the vast majority of sites alone.


Thanks for clarifying that. I sort of suspected that IE-SPYAD was a LOT more flexible than what I was inferring from it's description but I'm a guy who likes to see things fully explained in black and white. I apreciate your taking the time to explain this to me Eric! Very Happy

As for email, I just use web-based Yahoo! Mail. I get a "manageable" amount of spam but it's nothing that is driving me up the wall. I actually have Outlook 2003 installed but so far I've been too lazy to use it, partly because I want to use YahooPOPs! (aka YPOPs!) - http://yahoopops.sourceforge.net/

As for email spam filters, I think that MailWasher is probably not the ideal one out there. I am considering using either SpamCombat from G-Lock - http://www.glocksoft.com/sc/ OR SpamPal - http://www.spampal.org/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curious: Why am I not allowed to edit a post in this forum?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now see that I should have posted in the Spyware Removal forum. Forgive me, but I posted after spending 6+ hours in front of my computer and I apparently overlooked it. Maybe someone could move the thread (which might allow me to edit a post - ?)?

Thank you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suzi
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Last Visit: 30 Jul 2014
Posts: 10321
Location: sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
now see that I should have posted in the Spyware Removal forum. Forgive me, but I posted after spending 6+ hours in front of my computer and I apparently overlooked it. Maybe someone could move the thread (which might allow me to edit a post - ?)?


I changed the forum permissions so that you can edit your posts here now. I'm not sure why it was set not to allow it.
_________________
Former Microsoft MVP 2005-2009, Consumer Security
Please do not PM or Email me for personal support. Post in the Forums instead and we will all learn. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suzi wrote:

I changed the forum permissions so that you can edit your posts here now. I'm not sure why it was set not to allow it.


Thank you, Suzi! Smile Again, I'm sorry if I accidentally posted this in the wrong forum but if it does not matter to you then it's fine with me, too. I just want to "play by the rules" here because I know what it's like for veteran users to see dumb-type questions from newbies, especially if they're in the wrong forum. Evil or Very Mad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
suzi
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Last Visit: 30 Jul 2014
Posts: 10321
Location: sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Again, I'm sorry if I accidentally posted this in the wrong forum but if it does not matter to you then it's fine with me, too.


This forum is fine for this topic. We do have a forum for discussion of security software too.
_________________
Former Microsoft MVP 2005-2009, Consumer Security
Please do not PM or Email me for personal support. Post in the Forums instead and we will all learn. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Letterman wrote:
Nick wrote:
The stopzilla.com domain is now in IE Spyad's list of restricted sites.


Hi Nick,

Can you please show me where the list of restricted sites is located? I have looked here - http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm
- but I do not see STOPzilla listed at all. TIA. Smile


Never mind the above post. I now see that Nick included a link to IE-SPYAD. I still can't find the actual Restricted Sites List (do I need to d/l IE-SPYAD first?). Another very long day for me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wawadave
Warrior Obsessed


Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Last Visit: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 3448
Location: Illegitimus non carborundum

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes goto the site and d/l it!
_________________
RFID tags! SPYWARE
Tired of proprietary Cor-pirationware?
http://www.openoffice.org/
Installing Vista http://tinyurl.com/2l9qyd
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry:

You asked:

Quote:
I still can't find the actual Restricted Sites List (do I need to d/l IE-SPYAD first?). Another very long day for me.


IE-SPYAD is the name for the Restricted sites list (had to give the thing a name so that folks would remember it). Download the IE-SPYAD .ZIP file or .EXE file, unpack it, and run the INSTALL.BAT which will add the sites/domains to your Restricted sites zone. (The same INSTALL.BAT can be used to remove them.)

Best,

Eric L. Howes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Harry Letterman
Warrior Guru


Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Last Visit: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 345
Location: Kenmore, Wa. (U.S.)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Eric! I will try and d/l IE-SPYAD today. BTW, are you affiliated with IE-SPYAD in any way (as a designer, etc.)?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eburger68
SWW Distinguished Expert


Joined: 23 Jun 2004
Last Visit: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Location: Clearwater, FL

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry:

Yes, I'm the guy responsible for IE-SPYAD.

Best,

Eric L. Howes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Spyware Warrior Forum Index -> Spyware/Adware in the News All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



smartBlue Style © 2002 Smartor
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group