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Still infested by bearshare

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Still infested by bearshare

Postby ruggie » Sun 27 Mar 2011 16:23 GMT

It's been raining all day, so I've spent the time trying to stop bearshare.com replaicing google in the key.URL preference for FF - to no avail.

Each time I tried to edit about:config, a message flashed up telling me that an attempt to change it had been blocked. I turned off both AVG and the Windows Firewall with no effect, and finally managed to identify the culprit as Windows User Account Control (the thing that pops up the 'do you want to allow this app to modify...' messages, but in this case it just blocks the change with no override option). Found out how to set that so that it did not warn me at all, but it still blocked the change. Tried editing the pref.js file directly, and eventually got the removal of the key.URL line to stick - but about:config still shows bearshare taking over the key.URL parameter. Have to hunt a bit harder - perhaps do a full file contents scan.

I'm considering uninstalling and re-installing Firefox, but I'll have to be sure I know how to reinstate my plugins and bookmarks before I risk that.

I did have one success: I've got rid of the appsthat were popping under a new FF window with ads in it. Small consolationm but progress.
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Postby Dave » Tue 29 Mar 2011 16:57 GMT

To be honest, Ruggie, I'd never heard of Bearshare, let alone the FF key.URL preference. But after a quick bit of searching I'm not altogether surprised that you've been hijacked.

If you do end up having to reinstall FF, then reinstating your bookmarks should be easy enough - just take a backup in the "Organise bookmarks" menu and import the backup file when you reinstall. (This is how I synchronise Kay's desktop bookmarks with her laptop every time we go on our travels.) Not sure about plugins, I'm afraid.
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Postby ruggie » Wed 30 Mar 2011 19:29 GMT

Turns out that I haven't got rid of whatever keeps opening a FF window underneath, either, but that was around long before bearshare. I'll take your advice and back up my bookmarks - plugins are easy to reinstall and don't have any parameters to back up.

I'll have to look for several different adware cleaners to see if I can identify what's popping under ads...
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
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Postby ruggie » Thu 31 Mar 2011 09:26 GMT

I'm half aslepp these days, I reckon. Only just realised it would ber a good idea to check other browsers. Bearshare itrudes there, too - so the registry must be what remains infected with a default URL for browsers.
Whether you live in France, or just find the country interesting http://www.franceforfreebooters.com/201 ... nts-up-50/
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Postby Dave » Fri 1 Apr 2011 03:21 GMT

Urggh. Good luck hunting it down!
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Postby ruggie » Sun 3 Apr 2011 15:24 GMT

All clean now - I think. The popunder was actually something called Offerbox, which I'd misguidedly allowed to install itself, expecting emails rather than instant browser windows. Now uninstalled successfully.

Firefox was failing to proceed after login to some sites which worked fine with IE, so I uninstalled Firefox 3.x.x and all personalisation (having backed it up in case I really needed anything), then installed a clean Firefox 4.

Eureka! FF now works properly. IE still defaults to bearshare when you open new tabs, but I don't care because I only use it as a backup browser or to test web pages. If I get bored one day, I'll uninstall and reinstall it.

Phew!!!
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