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My toolbar has been replaced!

     
8:15 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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My Google toolbar has been replaced! I was just browsing the net. I got an alert box that said my system was low on resources so I rebooted. When I launched Explorer, my Google toolbar was replaced by a different one. Now when I search using it I get results from URl snipped! I didn't download the toolbar, I have never even heard of URl snipped. It must have loaded itself on my computer.

Has this happened to anyone else? Is there anything illegal about this? Any idea how to uninstall?

8:50 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Id right click on the toolbar and make sure Google toolbar is checked.
8:51 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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kris, you running with JS enabled?
8:52 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like some kind of spyware installation.
9:15 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Nothing happens when I right click the toolbar but it definately is not Google. On the toolbar there is a dropdown menu full of "spammy" subjects like online gambling, viagra, and long distance phone cards. When one of them is selected or I search in the search box I get a pop-up box with results from findwhat.

How can I tell if I am running with JS enabled?

Do I need to uninstall Explorer to get rid of this?

It's kind of like spending a drunken night in Tijuana and waking up with some strange rash!

9:19 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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When you right click in the tool bar area you can uncheck the tool bar to make it go away.

You can turn on/off js by going to tools> Internet options> then click on the security tab. Scroll down to the bottom where Scripting is. You can turn things on and off from there.

9:34 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Andron,
I right click on the on the browser and a list of options open up. There is blank area underneath "radio". That is the spam tool bar. I unchecked it and it went away. It is turned off but is there any way to delete it?
11:37 am on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi Kris,

I'll echo Danecs comments of your situation sounding like some sort of spyware..try using AdAware to scan your system. Download it, install it and run it to see if there are any gremlins running around in your browser.. :)

I'll sticky you the URL..

Cheers,

- SlyGuy

12:00 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Wow. So somebody co-opted the Google toolbar for spam marketing. Kris, does it have the look and feel of the Google toolbar? If so, there might well be a lawsuit in it for Google. And I hope there is.
12:10 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Toolbar activation can be done using javascript if you know the GUID of the google toolbar you can show/hide it. Installation of an other toolbar may have been scripted too. Can you go in Display/Toolbar and look if the Google Toolbar is still listed there ?
12:30 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Kris, give us more details. Can you get a snapshot? Have you downloaded and run any file-sharing programs lately? If you put an email in your profile, I'll have someone contact you for more info.

It definitely wasn't Google. I'm really curious to find out what is doing this though.

3:42 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I also had trouble with the Google tool bar - said it was installed in my reg and control panel, but it was no where to be found - and it wasn't pushed under the IE bar either 'cause I checked. View > Toolbar no loner even listed Google. I just deleted all the files and will attempt a reinstall at a later date.
2:24 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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kris, I passed along the url to Google. (We felt it best to remove the url because I had visions of our members getting infected with something by visiting the site).
7:03 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have added a snapshot of the toolbar in my profile along with my email address.

When you look at it you can see that it does have the same look and feel as the Google toolbar.

GG, I have never downloaded any file sharing programs and I have added my email address in my profile. I have deleted the Google toolbar hoping that that may get rid of this one too but that didn't work. Any help or comments are appreciated.

Roland, Check your sticky, I have sent you some more information.

SlyGuy, I will do that. Thanks for the help.

7:39 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I asked for the urls by sticky to kris and I had a look with scripting and activex turned off ...
I have never seen this much useless javascript. These pages are 100% full of affiliate links and of uninteresting stuff.
At first look I can't see any code that could install such a "toolbar"
but they force your browser to bookmark their useless website.
8:01 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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After running Ad-aware I found a registry in my Internet Explorer/ Explorer Bars folder called "Alexa". I removed it and the bar is gone.

Has anyone heard of this? Are there new security concerns with the Google toolbar? Or is this something different and not related?

9:45 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>Alexa

Its the annoying Microsoft type thing that takes up some width of your screen. It (was) harmless

10:16 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Alexa is not from Microsoft but from Alexa, a company from Amazon !
And the previous version of the toolbar sent so many personnal information back to Alexa that they were in trouble because they didn't respected their privacy policy at that time. Now it seems to be OK but if you dont use it it's always better to remove it.
10:43 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The strange thing about this toolbar is that when searches were made I got findwhat results via (I have been told not to mention the crappy engine) and it auto installed on my system. I dont know if it was Alexa or not. That is just one of the possible spyware programs Ad-Aware picked up. Take a look at my profile you will see a pic of the toolbar. Let me know if it is Alexa or not.

Kris

If you would like to know which crappy engine I am reffering to send me a sticky.

nieltson

4:58 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Help! I've lost my toolbar completely. I am wondering if there is a hole in the Google toolbar. I went to a site that said "two can play this game" flashed a page about the google toolbar, and now I have no toolbar at all. Googleguy, if you can put me in contact with someone at Google, I can provide more details.

I've downloaded a spyware removal program and had no instances of spyware running at the time. Running Internet Exploder 6 on Windows XP.

5:17 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm absolutely sure the page you referred to does nothing to effect the Google Toolbar. All it does is detect its' presence. I've seen it too - and it hasn't effected my use of the toolbar at all.
5:28 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Was there a site that made itself someone's IE default page without them knowing it, was it a PPC site? I had that happen, but it didn't affect the Google toolbar.

I have not downloaded any of the current spyware programs, but I ended up with a couple without knowing it according to some site I went to.

nieltson

5:38 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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No my default page is still the same. I am sure that I don't have any spyware programs. I run the program daily to make sure none have snuck onto my computer.
7:07 pm on Feb 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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My Google toolbar got hijacked this morning and I'm pretty sure I know which site did it. If anyone wants details for what it did and how I got rid of it, sticky me and I'll send details.
8:52 pm on Feb 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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hi pshea,
sounds like that kind of stuff i'd like to know more about...
can you give me the address of that site?
thx in advance
12:53 am on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I've used versions 4, 5, and 6 of Alexa. The mystery toolbar in kris's profile is not Alexa. (Among other clues, Alexa toolbars include the Alexa logo.)
1:19 pm on Feb 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

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i'd be thankfull if someone could give me the address of any site that interacts with the google toolbar...
11:11 pm on Mar 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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GoogleGuy, I sent an email to the address you sent me but haven't been contacted yet.

>I'm really curious to find out what is doing this though. - Have you found out?