Using IE-Spyad to enhance your privacy and security

  • April 9, 2004
  • 04:06 PM
  • Read 124,147 times
 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How does IE-Spyad Work
  3. Installing IE-Spyad
  4. Upgrading IE-Spyad
  5. Uninstalling IE-Spyad
  6. Conclusion

Introduction

IE-SPYAD is a registry import file that will add a list of known sites and domains that are associated with spyware, hijackers, advertisers and other malicious programs that can affect the privacy and security of your computer. Please note that this will not protect you from all sites that contain this type of behavior, but only sites that are known and have been added to the IE-Spyad registry file.

How does IE-Spyad Work

IE-Spyad works by importing a large file of registry entries into your registry. This file contains a huge list of known sites and domains that can cause privacy or security issues on your computer, and have been collected from numerous privacy related sites. This file will only work with the following Internet Explorer versions:

  • Internet Explorer 6.0 (Including. Service Pack 1)
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 (Including Service Pack 1 & Service Pack 2)
  • Internet Explorer 5.01 (Including Service Pack 1 & Service Pack 2)
  • Internet Explorer 5.0
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 (Including Service Pack 1 & Service Pack 2)
  • Internet Explorer 4.0
  • AOL Browsers (AOL uses embedded Internet Explorer Browsers)

Therefore, if you do not use Internet Explorer as your browser, this file will not help you.

When running the install for IE-Spyad the batch file will add all the domains and sites in the main file into this registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

This registry corresponds to the Restricted Sites security zone of Internet Explorer. IE-Spyad protects you because when a site is listed in the Restricted zone, you are not able to run ActiveX, scripts, download programs, or perform other potentially dangerous acts.

Installing IE-Spyad

Step 1: Download IE-Spyad

Your first step is to download the IE-Spyad program. This program can be downloaded form this site: IE-Spyad

Scroll down till you see a section that starts with "Download: ". You should select the IE-SPYAD.EXE version and download it to a location on your hard drive you will be able to find later. When the program has completed downloading, navigate to the location that you saved it using My Computer or Windows Explorer. Locate IE-Spyad.exe and double click on the file. This will bring up a screen similar to Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Decompressing IE-Spyad


IE-Spyad is downloaded as a compressed file and needs to be uncompressed into a folder. In the "Unzip to folder:", designated by the red box in Figure 1, type in c:\ie-spyad, or another directory if you so choose. Then you should press the Unzip button which is designated by the blue box. When you press the Unzip button, the files for IE-Spyad will be decompressed into the folder specified. The folder will be created if it does not exist already.

Step 2: Installing the IE-Spyad Registry File

Your next step should be to open the IE-Spyad directory that was just created in step 1. Navigate to the directory, c:\ie-spyad, using My Computer and you will see a window like Figure 2 below. There are two different methods to installing IE-Spyad. Please choose the one that makes you the most comfortable.


Figure 2. IE-Spyad Folder


Method 1:

The two files that we are concerned with are the ie-ads.reg, in the red box, and ie-ads-uninst.reg, in the blue box. We will discuss the ie-ads-uninst.reg file later on in this tutorial. The install.bat file is used for another installation method we will discuss below.

The ie-ads.reg is the registry file that contains all the sites that we want in our Restricted Sites zone. If you double click on that file a confirmation box will pop up asking if you are sure you would like to install the contents of ie-ads.reg into the registry, similar to Figure 3 below.


Figure 3. Adding the ie-ads.reg file to your Registry


If you want to continue adding the file to your registry, you should click on the Yes button, otherwise click on the No button. If you click on the Yes button, the registry file will be added to your registry and all the sites in that file will be added to your Restricted Sites zone in Internet Explorer.

Method 2:

An alternative way of installing IE-Spyad is to use the enclosed batch file called install.bat, which is designated by the green box in Figure 2. If you want to install using this method, you should double click on the install.bat file and you will be presented with a window like Figure 4 below.


Figure 4. Using Install.bat to install IE-Spyad


To install IE-Spyad you would press the 2 key on your keyboard to Install the New IE-Spyad List, as shown designated by the blue box. Once you press the number 2, a new screen will appear asking if you are sure you want to install IE-Spyad. At this point you should press Yes if you want to, otherwise press No. If you decide to continue, IE-Spyad will be installed and you will be presented with a screen telling you if it was successful or not. If it was, press the space bar and then the number 2 key to exit. The entries in IE-Spyad should now be added to your Restricted Sites zone.

Step 3: Confirming IE-Spyad information was installed correctly

To confirm that this has worked as planned you can open up Internet Explorer, click on Tools and then Internet Options. When that is open, click on the Security tab, and then click once on Restricted Sites. At this point the Site button should become available underneath and to the right of the Restricted Sites. You should now click on this Sites button.

When you click on the Sites button you should see a very large amount of sites listed in that screen similar to Figure 5 below.


Figure 5: Restricted Sites showing all the Imported IE-Spyad Entries


If you see a listing like Figure 5 above, where there are a huge amount of domains listed in the Web Sites section designated by the red box, then you know IE-Spyad imported it's entries correctly. At this point you can close the Restricted Sites and Internet Options windows and start using Internet Explorer in a more secure state.

How to Upgrade IE-Spyad

IE-Spyad is updated quite frequently, so it is a good idea to check the web site where you download it from frequently. If there is a new update, download it and decompress it again into the same directory as described above. If it prompts you to overwrite the files that may already be there, allow it to do so.

Your next step should be to open the IE-Spyad directory that was just created in Step 1. Navigate to the directory, c:\ie-spyad, using My Computer and you will see a window like Figure 2 above. In order to upgrade IE-Spyad it is recommended that you first uninstall the previous registry entries your imported previously.

There are two different methods to upgrading IE-Spyad. Please choose the one that makes you the most comfortable.

Method 1:

To uninstall IE-Spyad you would double click on the ie-ads-uninst.reg, designated by the blue box, in Figure 2 above.

When you double click on this file it will prompt you about whether you want to continue or not. If you do so, press the Yes button otherwise press the No button. If you pressed Yes, all the entries that were previously installed will be removed.

You will then double click on the ie-ads.reg like you did in Step 2 of Installing IE-Spyad.

Your Internet Explorer settings are now updated with the new sites from the IE-Spyad upgrade.

Method 2:

You can also use the install.bat, as show in Figure 2 above. Once you double click on install.bat you will be presented with a window similar to Figure 4 above. First choose option 1 to uninstall IE-Spyad. Follow the prompts to upgrade and then get back to the main menu. Once you are back at the main menu you would then choose option 2 to install the new IE-Spyad package. Follow the prompts to install the new IE-Spyad and exit the program when it is completed. Your Internet Explorer settings are now updated with the new sites from the IE-Spyad upgrade.

Uninstalling IE-Spyad

There are two different methods to uninstalling IE-Spyad. Please choose the one that makes you the most comfortable.

Method 1:

If you want to uninstall IE-Spyad, you need to double click on the ie-ads-uninst.reg file contained in your c:\ie-spyad folder. Navigate to the directory, c:\ie-spyad, using My Computer and you will see a window like Figure 2 above. If the folder does not exist, download IE-Spyad again and decompress as shown in Step 1 above.

To uninstall the previous registry entries you imported you would double click on the ie-ads-uninst.reg, designated by the blue box, in Figure 2 above.

When you double click on this file it will prompt you about whether you want to continue or not. If you would like to continue uninstalling, press the Yes button otherwise press the No button. If you pressed Yes, all the entries that were previously installed will be removed.

IE-Spyad is now uninstalled from your computer.

Method 2:

If you want to uninstall IE-Spyad, you need to double click on the install.bat contained in your c:\ie-spyad folder. When you double click on the install.bat file you will be presented with a window like Figure 4 above.

To uninstall IE-Spyad you would press the 1 key on your keyboard to UNINSTALL the Current IE-SPYAD List, as shown designated by the red box in Figure 4. Once you press the number 1, a new screen will appear asking if you are sure you want to uninstall IE-Spyad. At this point you should press Yes if you want to, otherwise press No. If you decide to continue, IE-Spyad will be installed and you will be presented with a screen telling you if it was successful or not. If it was, press the space bar and then the number 2 key to exit.

IE-Spyad is now uninstalled from your computer.

Conclusion

Using IE-Spyad in conjunction with other tools like Spyware Blaster and SpywareGuard is a sure way to keep your actions while using Internet Explorer secure and private. It is a highly recommended tool in the Internet environment that we are currently living with.

As always if you have any comments, questions or suggestions about this tutorial please do not hesitate to tell us in the computer help forums.

--
Lawrence Abrams
Bleeping Computer Internet Security Basics Series
BleepingComputer.com: Computer Support & Tutorials for the beginning computer user.

Revision History:
04/10/04 - Updated tutorial to reflect ability to install, uninstall, and upgrade via the install.bat file.

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