I'm having several problems with my PC (XP Home). They all started at the same time.
First symptom: my desktop background has been replaced with a blue background and the following text (file is named default.htm):
"Warning: Spyware threat has been detected on your PC.
Your computer has several fatal errors due to spyware activity.
It is strongly recommended to install an antispyware software to close all security vulnerabilities.
Antispyware software helps protect your PC against spyware and other security threats.
UPDATE YOUR ANTISPYWARE PROTECTION"
The last line in upper case is a link to http://winsecurityupdates.com/?aid=444.568
Second symptom: Periodically a yellow triangle with an exclamation point appears in the taskbar notification area along with one of several popups:
Here are three examples:
Your computer is infected with spyware! Help to protect your computer and remove spyware!
Click here for more information...."
"Internet attack attempt detected:
Somebody's trying to infect your PC with spyware or harmful viruses. run FULL SYSTEM SCAN now to protect your system from Internet attacks, hijacking attempts and spyware.
Click here for the list of available security updates..."
"Your computer is working slowly.
Slow operation speed might have been caused by spyware.
Download latest antispyware software and run FULL SYSTEM SCAN to remove viruses and spyware.
Click here to start downloading..."
The PC will occasionally open Internet Explorer and go to a page selling spyware protection software (http://winsecurityupdates.com/?aid=444.568
Initially IE was also going to random sites automatically. This seems to have cleared up after I ran Ad-Aware (or AVG or Spybot). Now it only goes to the spyware site.
I have run Ad-Aware, Spybot and AVG. I have rebooted several times. The problem persists.
Please let me know if you have any ideas about clearing this up.