Xupiter has invaded my browser and I don't know what to do!

Question

I don't know what my kids did, but most of my favorites end up at jupiter.com/search2error2.html. How do I get it off?

-Rob

Answer

This question was answered on November 20, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You have been infiltrated by the infamous Xupiter toolbar ‘service’ that has plagued Internet users around the world for the past couple of years Thankfully this ‘service’ has shut down and the ‘programmers’ have gone on to wreak other mayhem.

That doesn’t help users that still have this ‘drive by download’ program installed on their computers, which essentially hijacks your Internet Browser.

This parasite of a program not only took over your ability to access your favorite web sites, it also redirected search requests, served as a delivery pipeline for pop-ups, adware and spyware

Xupiter is gone, but another more recent exploit is the ‘Are you looking for Google?’ redirection that causes comprised systems to go to a warning page instead of Google This one is actually caused by the Qhost worm that takes advantage of a vulnerability in Internet Explorer and redirects search engine requests to the page of the worm’s choice.

You can patch your system for this and any other Internet Explorer vulnerabilities by regularly checking with the windowsupdate.microsoft.com website (I recommend at least once a month) and downloading the removal tool from the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (www.sarc.com - scroll down to the ‘Removal Tools’ section).

As for Xupiter, it did not come with an uninstaller, so in its benevolence, the company posted one at their now defunct website (the installer is still posted) The problem is that the uninstaller rarely worked and often times caused more problems in its reckless attempts to remove itself.

A better solution for removal is a good (free) adware/spyware remover like Spybot S&D (available at www.webattack.com)

Not only can Spybot safely remove Xupiter, it can help protect you from hundreds of other known exploits used by parasite programmers and worms like Qhost that hijack your system.

The Search & Destroy feature allows you to check your system for known parasites, adware and spyware (and we all have it!) and safely remove it with a simple click on the mouse

If you are a regular Internet surfer, I highly recommend that you run Spybot’s ‘check’ about once a month You will be surprised how much junk software you accumulate in a short period of surfing Make sure that you close all of your Internet related programs (browsers and e-mail) before running the check so that it properly remove the items that it finds.

The ‘Immunize’ feature allows you to block the installation of hundreds of known spyware programs and downloads that are either hidden within other programs or try to install themselves automatically (when you visit certain websites).

It can also lock your ‘hosts’ file, which prevents browser hijacking and search redirections as well as lock your start page so you will always start off at your desired home page.

As long as I am making recommendations for controlling your own Internet destiny, consider downloading the Google Toolbar (toolbar.google.com), which will automatically reset your browsers ‘default search engine’, install a fantastic pop-up blocker and give you lots of other convenience features for searching and auto-filling forms.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on November 20, 2003