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Smiley Central = Malware?


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#1 DnDer

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:59 AM

Come with MyWebSearch toolbar. I just don't like it because the people who use it at work add all sorts of smilies to their e-mails, and then send said e-mails to everyone on the network, multiplying the storage required on Exchange serve by a hundred-fold. It just adds up REALLY quickly that way.

Most BHOs (and that's what a toolbar like MyWebSearch/Smiley Central is, right?) are just out and out junk, and I know (from seeing a few past HJT logs and diagnoses) that several of them are downright malicious, too.

Is Smiley Central a known threat or risk to systems? Or just annoying and bloating?

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:21 PM

From PCHell

Smiley Central is an Internet Explorer plugin that allows you to add numerous smiley faces to your email or instant messages. It is part of the Fun Web Products suite of utilities such as Cursor Mania, My Mail Stationary, My Mail Signature, PopSwatter, Popular Screensavers, Webfetti, and the My Way website portal.

Although none of these products claim to be spyware, they do slow your computer
down. All of the products use cookies to track usage, although they claim not to use cookies or anything else to track personally identifiable information. That being said, I would still recommend uninstalling the SmileyCentral software and other Fun Web Products if you feel your computer runs better without them. They are found by many spyware removal tools such as Spybot Search and Destroy, Lavasoft Ad-Aware, although they are deemed spyware safe by other programs.


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It's the toolbars that I hate with a passion
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#3 quietman7

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:58 AM

MyWebSearch is one of many browser toolbar add-ons (to include MyWay, MySearch) created and distributed by Ask Jeeves. It is often bundled with "free software" such as wallpaper and screensavers offered by third party software vendors and part of the Fun Web Products suite of utilities (Smiley Central, Cursor Mania, FunBuddyIcons, FunWebProducts, MyFunCards, My Mail Stationary, My Mail Signature, PopSwatter, Popular Screensavers, Webfetti, My Way website portal, etc). The toolbar is also aggressively offered via annoying banner ads and pop ups advertised on third party web sites that target kids. For a more detailed overview, refer to the Ask Jeeves Software Review conducted by Sunbelt Software Research Center.

MyWebSearch and MyWay were pre-installed on new Dell computers starting in November 2004 as reported in The Pharmer In The Dell. Dell had a link to "What is the Dell MyWebSearch Home Page?" but it has since been redirected to The "Dell My Way" Home Page. Dell now uses the "Dell Search Assistant " where they address many of the same concerns previously addressed in the redirected link.

Although MyWebSearch is not technically spyware, the program uses tracking cookies and transmits information regarding search requests performed through the toolbar's search facility. Some anti-virus and anti-malware programs detect the toolbar as a non-viral threat (i.e. not-a-virus:AdTool.Win32.MyWebSearch) or Potentially Unwanted Program, while others (Spybot, MBAM, Ad-aware...) may detect or remove individual files files and registry entries. However, even after these security tools detect and remove files/registry entries, remnants may still be found from time to time during subsequent scans.

To remove MyWebSearch, please follow the instructions for How do I "uninstall" the My Web Search toolbar?.
To remove the Search Assistant, please follow Dell's Search Assistant removal instructions.

Alternatively, MyWay.com offers the My Web Search Bar Uninstaller for software installed on Dell and other vendor computer. Another alternative is MS-MVP Kelly Theriot's MyWaySearchAssistant Uninstaller.
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