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Unwanted Add-ons self installing in Firefox.


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#1 Saska01

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:54 AM

Yesterday all was fine on my PC (well,as good as it gets !). This morning on my Google 'Homepage',i find a blank white rectangle in the top left corner of my 'window'. It wasn't there yesterday when i switched off,but there it was.

   I did a search for such a problem & found several,mostly relating to something on my Task Manager processes.I tried one or two things but nothing worked. As a last thought,i had a look at my Firefox add-ons & there was an add-on i'd never heard of 'Searchfile' (or something similar). It wasn't there yesterday & i didn't download it to my PC,so it must have 'self-installed'.

 

   Question :- How do add-ons self install & can such things be prevented ?. It's a real PITA when something like that happens unexpectedly. Is there a mechanism within F/Fox to prevent it ?,

                                                             Ivan :angry:


Edited by Saska01, 04 February 2014 - 05:55 AM.


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#2 DASOS

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:16 AM

Hi Saska01

 

And welcome!

 

Please download and use the following tools (in the order listed) which will search for and remove many potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), adware, toolbars, browser hijackers, extensions, add-ons and other junkware as well as related registry entries (values, keys) and remnants.

RKill created by Grinler (aka Lawrence Abrams), the site owner of BleepingComputer.
AdwCleaner created by Xplode.
Junkware Removal Tool created by thisisu.

1. Double-click on RKill to launch the tool. A black DOS box will briefly flash and then disappear. This is normal and indicates the tool ran successfully.

Important: Do not reboot your computer until you complete the next step.

2. Double-click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.
Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator.

Click on the Scan button.

  • AdwCleaner will begin...be patient as the scan may take some time to complete.

After the scan has finished, click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[R0].txt) will open in Notepad for review.

After reviewing the log, click on the Clean button.

Press OK when asked to close all programs and follow the onscreen prompts.

Press OK again to allow AdwCleaner to restart the computer and complete the removal process.

After rebooting, a logfile report (AdwCleaner[S0].txt) will open automatically.

  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of all logfiles are saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder which was created when running the tool.

-- Note: The contents of the AdwCleaner log file may be confusing. Unless you see a program name that you recognize and know should not be removed, don't worry about it. If you see an entry you want to keep, return to AdwCleaner before cleaning...all detected items will be listed (and checked) in each tab. Click on each one and uncheck any items you want to keep (except you cannot uncheck Chrome and Firefox preferences lines).


Close all open programs and shut down any protection/security software to avoid potential conflicts.
If you do not know how to do this you can find out >here< or >here<
 
3. Double-click on
 JRT.exe to run the tool.
Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator.

  • The tool will open and start scanning your system.
  • Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.

On completion, a log file named JRT.txt will automatically open and be saved to your Desktop.

  • Copy and paste the contents of JRT.txt in your next reply.

Stelios



#3 quietman7

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:04 AM

Question :- How do add-ons self install & can such things be prevented

FYI: Firefox does not automatically install add-ons. To install an extension, you have to click the Install button on Firefox Add-ons. However, Add-ons are automatically checked for updates once every day and updates are automatically installed by default. Read Firefox Add-ons FAQs.

To learn how you get them, please refer to About those Toolbars and Add-ons - Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs).
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#4 Saska01

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:24 AM

Many thanks for the advice. I run Spybot S & D / Malwarebytes Anti-malware /TDSKiller  & of course Win 7 comes with 'Security Essentials' built-in. Malwarebyte takes care of any 'PUPS' & thankfully i've managed to stay clean of any viruses / malware ' rootkits etc. Also,since removing 'Searchfile' (or whatever it was called) i've been ok. The other thing that i did was to remover the ''Kill Jasmine' pop-up blocker, & install Adblock Plus & Adblock Plus add-on pop-up killer. I've been virtually free of any unwanted pop-ups since.

  I understand that Firefox requires add-ons to be 'installed' by the user - that's what i've always done - but - 'Searchfile' found it's way onto my add-ons list nevertheless.So,there is some mechanism whereby unwanted add-ons can attach themselves to your list,

                                                                                                                                                                          Ivan



#5 quietman7

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:18 AM

FYI: mvps.org is no longer recommending Spybot S&D (or Ad-Aware) due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products). Further, most people don't understand how to use Spybot's TeaTimer and that feature can cause more problems than it's worth. TeaTimer monitors changes to certain critical keys in Windows registry but does not indicate if the change is normal or a modification made by a malware infection. The user must have an understanding of the registry and how TeaTimer works in order to make informed decisions to allow or deny the detected changes. If you don't have understanding how a particular security tool works, then you probably should not be using it. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and in some cases it will even prevent disinfection of malware by those tools.

Note: To be fair, there are now new versions of Spybot such as Spybot 2 + AV (Home & Pro) and Spybot 2 Free but I have not used them, nor read any reviews as to how well they perform.
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#6 DASOS

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:10 PM

Hi Saska!

 

Sorry for the late replay! But wifi and bad weather don’t like its other! Any way you have a replay from quietman7 the best!!  

 

 



#7 Saska01

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:14 AM

Hi quietman7 - Yes,Spybot S & D has had some poor reviews in the past,as has AVG 'Free' as well as other 'freeware'. I use the in-built Microsoft Security Essentials / Malwarebytes & Spybot S & D v 2.2 free edition. The new version of Spybot is far superior in the way that it performs than the old version & has a really good Rootkit scanner,

             Ivan






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