I can't enable protection for 12 items in SpywareBlaster

Discussion in 'SpywareBlaster & Other Forum' started by dcdc, Aug 28, 2007.

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  1. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    This is a strange one. There are a total of 12 Active X in SpywareBlaster's IE protection list that won't stay enabled. They are multiple variants each of Hotbar, UCMore toolbar, Save Now, Nav Excel, and TOPicks. The names smell like malware.

    I thought initially Spy Sweeper might have something to do with it because SS will block new SB updates, so I tried shutting down just the SS Active X shield, and also shutting SS down altogether. That didn't help. Every time I reboot, the 12 items are back unchecked, i.e. unprotected. Let me add that sometimes the 12 come back fairly quickly on their own, without a reboot, but sometimes not until then.

    I tried disabling all protection in SB, and then enabling it all, but that didn't help.

    I uninstalled SB and reinstalled a new version while SS was disabled, and ran an update, but no luck there. The 12 items remained unchecked.

    There is another thread about running with administrator rights, but I don't think that is relevant here. I have a new machine running Vista Home Premium, and SB updates have not been a problem otherwise. In fact, I ran an update today with I believe 132 new items, and that seemed to go fine.

    I doubt that there is malware installed on my computer that is removing the protection on these 12 items, as scans reveal a clean machine, but I suppose that's a possibility nevertheless.

    This one has me stumped.
     
  2. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

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    Hi,

    While certainly strange, especially given the troubleshooting steps you tried, what you've described still sounds a lot like some other program is removing those entries.

    Is Spy Sweeper the only other anti-spyware/malware utility you are running? (And what anti-virus software are you running, if any?) Unfortunately, there have been more than a few instances in the past of other programs (and not just other anti-spyware programs) mis-identifying SpywareBlaster's protection and removing it.

    Also: When you tried completely disabling Spy Sweeper, did it automatically re-enable itself after the reboot? (And, just in case there's a bug in that program, would you be willing to uninstall and reinstall Spy Sweeper? - While Enabling All Protection in SpywareBlaster after the uninstall, of course.)

    Best regards and thanks,

    -Javacool
     
  3. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Thanks, javacool, for your prompt reply.

    Yes, Spy Sweeper does reload at startup even when it has been shut down. I thought about that. The only simple way I know to really disable SS is to uninstall it, as you suggested. The problem with that is that I believe I will need to get a new download from Webroot's customer service, which can be a hassle sometimes.

    As noted at the bottom of my posts, I have Spyware Doctor running, but that can be completely shut down and will only reload manually. I also shut off the active protection in NIS 2007, and that will only reload manually. Spybot was disabled as much as possible - run in basic mode, disabled the Resident, etc. Windows Defender can be shut down completely. The other applications are on-demand scanners. I did uninstall SpywareGuard for the time being, by the way, since it is an easy install.

    Norton is the only AV on my system. I may be running too many AS applications, but I have been running them all for some time, perhaps 2 - 3 years now, and the only specific negative interaction I know of to date has been the well-known blocking by Spy Sweeper of Spyware Blaster updates, which was easy enough to troubleshoot, and straightforward to deal with. Given that updates occur regularly in all the apps, occasional problems might arise, and I think you are probably right to suspect AS somehow restoring previous settings in some way, but if Spy Sweeper is responsible, it is hard to understand how it singled out 12 items, but has ignored the most recent SB update, as I noted, and why only them?

    There is another remote possibility. A recent bug appeared in my MSN Premium browser, my.msn.com, that has yet to be fixed. For some reason it will no longer allow me to delete items in my Favorites list, and any new Favorites are not being added in the usual alphabetical order. Much like the case with the SB items, I can delete the Favorites, but they too will reappear, if not during the current session, then at the next reboot. This and the SB issue don't seem connected, but I did notice both appear at about the same time. It might just be an odd coincidence, however. Given that MSN uses IE and the SB list is for for IE, it might not be all that far-fetched to wonder about some connection.

    MSN was supposed to get back to me on this, but is late doing so. No surprise there, huh? I will mention this to them for any feedback, since the Favorites issue is a known problem that according to them is attributable specifically to the browser and not to any AS or other apps. It's one that I thought might also have been Spy Sweeper related, since SS has an IE Favorites shield that I suspected might have been resetting the Favorites list after a deletion, but I unchecked that one with the same results. I went through much the same rigamarole over that as I have done with the SB issue.

    The upside of running all this AS for me is that I almost never have found any malware of any kind on my system that might otherwise have been difficult to remove or that might have caused other problems. The downside is these occasional diagnostic issues involving multiple AS apps. It's a trade-off that I am fairly comfortable with.
     
  4. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Well, Spy Sweeper is not the cause of these 12 items being repeatedly unchecked in SpywareBlaster.

    I uninstalled SS, rebooted, enabled all protection in SB, rebooted, and the 12 were back.

    About the reported problem in MSN Premium's handling of Favorites, I got a call from Verizon tech support saying that this is definitely a bug in MSN's server software. They have a whole bank of servers dedicated exclusively to Favorites, which I found interesting. I am one of 180 people that Verizon knows about that has this particular issue. No time frame was given for a fix. I doubt that this is related to the SpywareBlaster issue, but they did appear at nearly the same time.

    I'm stumped. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  5. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

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    Hi,

    Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure what it could be either. Those items can't remove themselves so either *something* has to be removing them, or they aren't getting set properly in the first place.

    Given that you've said the problem doesn't appear until you reboot, they do appear to be getting set correctly. And we've pretty much ruled out any sort of odd database corruption issue (which should be caught by the program anyway) when you uninstalled and reinstalled SpywareBlaster.

    If you wouldn't mind, could you list all of the software programs that you run regularly on your computer - even non security applications and especially those that start up automatically? (Note: You can feel free to PM this information to me if you don't want to post it publically.) I would like to try building a system with the same combination of software, to see if I can't at least rule out some more potential causes. (Also any settings that you can recall changing from their defaults, in Vista, might be helpful as well.)

    Best regards and thanks,

    -Javacool
     
  6. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    One off topic post removed. Please note that this is the official support forum for Javacool Software. Support forums are not the place to be suggesting alternative programs.

    We do have the Other Anti-Malware Forum for such discussions.
     
  7. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Thanks very much. I will do so as soon as I can.
     
  8. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    It appears now that Spyware Doctor 5 is the culprit. I uninstalled and reinstalled it because it caused my system to essentially lock up during a sweep on a particular file. I could restart only by shutting down manually with the power button - even control-alt-delete did not work. I had tested SD before by disabling it, but at the time it did not seem to be the source of the problem.

    The version of Spyware Doctor running now is 5.0.5.259, database version 5.08030e. The problem lies with its Computer Immunization feature. When it is turned off, the 12 SpywareBlaster items that were repeatedly being unchecked are fine, i.e. they remain checked and providing protection. When Computer Immunization is turned on and I reboot, the 12 become unchecked. All the other security software was running throughout this test.

    Why there should be a problem with just these 12 items and not the several thousand others in the SB database I have no idea.
     
  9. wolfie_the_real1

    wolfie_the_real1 Registered Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After some fartin about i think i my have found the reason for the problem , for some bizarre reason best known to themselves, Spyware Doctor 5 has several versions , the one version i am running on some pc's is 5.0.1.205 and on the Dell i have 5.0.5.259 (mainly due to reformatting and re-installing the above program ) and this one is the culprit , yet both versions have the same database/signature file (currently 647,916), dont ask me why i didn't build it lol , so dcdc was correct in his findings , i am of course assuming that both dcdc and johnltr19 are running that version , if they are perhaps they would let us know .
    PS:- I uninstalled Spyware Doctor from the Dell to see if this was the problem , if you want to try the same you must remove Spyware Doctor from the program files and not just add and remove , otherwise the 12 stay un-protected .
    __________________
    Wolfie
     
  10. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Oddly enough, my machine is a Dell also, but I doubt that has anything to do with it - just a coincidence, I assume.

    I am still using Spyware Doctor 5.0.5.259, with the database now 5.08150e.

    SpywareBlaster has since had I believe two updates to its signatures, and none of those have been blocked by Spyware Doctor, but the 12 in question remain.

    I do feel a certain frustration with SD, as off and on the two basic active protection components (Immunization and OnGuard) fail to load at startup, for whatever reason, and it's always both of them. Who knows why, but it does happen regularly.

    Still, SD did come out the clear frontrunner in a test of 5 AS apps in the October 2007 issue of PC World; the tests were conducted by AV-test.org.
     
  11. wolfie_the_real1

    wolfie_the_real1 Registered Member

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    I completely forgot about all this , hence the very late post , there is an answer tho ,you can download the older version 4.1 and still have the updates etc , this i have done on two pc's and all is fine , the 12 are now protected again , it's annoying when SD dont own up as they have been pretty good in the past as i have a lot of contact with them , seems the marketting boys have the main say , as they have to my own knowledge had around 5 or 6 false positives over the last 2yrs or so , not much you might say but they did respond very quick , and a fix was released within 48 hrs , that said some people panic ( human nature ) and begin to fear the worst , if you come accross anything like this in any software , check out there FAQ's or knowledge base , usually someone else has had the problem and reported it , can save you a lot of time and hassle , i think lol.
     
  12. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Well, the number rose from 12 to 15 for me.

    I decided to uninstall Spyware Doctor altogether, though not over this problem specifically. After doing a program update, I started to have problems. Often when I ran an update, the program would freeze in the process, and freeze so badly that I had to do a hard boot to restart.

    I don't know what the problem was. Maybe SD was not entirely comfortable with my Vista Home Premium, but until I uninstalled it I was having a problem with the machine locking up several times a week irrespective of SD updates. I thought it might be either the new Dell or the new OS, but it might well have been SD. Since removing it I haven't had the instability issue.

    Let me add that I did not have this problem with my older Dell running Windows XP.
     
  13. rzn6jw

    rzn6jw Registered Member

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    I didn't see your question until just now, but I have the same problem running Win XP Pro. The same items, too. And my issue doesn't revolve around a boot - these will disable at random times after I enable all protection. Hope someone comes up with an answer.
     
  14. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

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    Hi,

    Based upon previous posts, it seems like the problem is being caused by a specific new version of Spyware Doctor.

    Do you have Spyware Doctor installed?

    Best regards and thanks,

    -Javacool
     
  15. rzn6jw

    rzn6jw Registered Member

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    I have Spyware Doctor 5.1.0.268 installed. Is this the program that's doing the disable on those 12 active-X's in Spyware Blaster and, if so, does PC Tools know about this?

    Thanks.
     
  16. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    I was using an earlier version, 5.0.5.259 when I discovered this issue. I haven't installed SD 5.1, and am planning on holding off indefinitely.

    I don't know what PC Tools is doing. It's just such a strange problem.o_O
     
  17. patsyrae

    patsyrae Registered Member

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    I am experiencing the same problem and do not have Spyware Doctor installed (never have). Interestingly, the problem seems to be only happening on one of the user logins of this machine. (XP)

    Any suggestions?
     
  18. Tiffany

    Tiffany Registered Member

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    Hi all, seems I am having the same problems as everybody else. Maybe the mods need to look into this.

    I am running the following programs:-

    AVG Free Edition - updated everyday.
    Spyware Doctor - 5.0.5.259 updated everyday.
    Spyware Blaster - updated every time.
    Spybot - Search and Destroy - updated every time.
    Ad-Ware SE Personal - updated every time.


    My 12 items are the same as the first poster. I have done all virus checks and clean up and even used TrendMicro and that seems to find a ADWARE_BHOT_IEHELPER that just wont go away. They seem to think that this is Spyware Doctor's problem too.

    SpywareBlaster has been a great product for me for years and this is the only problem I have ever had.

    Will keep looking here for any developments happening.

    Thanks.
     
  19. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Well, this is pretty interesting. Two first-time posters on Wilders with the same problem. I wonder how each of you found the forum? Google search?

    How many more users might be out there who either have this peculiar little glitch, or maybe don't even know they do?
     
  20. Tiffany

    Tiffany Registered Member

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    How did I find this forum, well there is a little ? in the SpywareBlaster box that gives you the forum information. As I have never had a need for this forum before, I have never had a problem until now.

    I only found the problem on one of my updates. Do you think it may have something to do with one of the updates?
     
  21. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    It was fairly clear to me that my problem was attributable to the same version of Spyware Doctor you are now running, namely 5.0.5.259. I discovered that as long as I kept the Immunization feature off, there was no problem with SpywareBlaster items being disabled. Enable Immunization, and the problem returned.

    Apparently only some of the SpywareBlaster updates were affected. One or more SB updates might have been involved in the 12 items in question, since I did not notice the issue right away. A subsequent update added 3 more, to make a total of 15 for me.

    These interactions between SB and other antimalware applications may not be all that unusual. In my case, at some point Spy Sweeper began to block the enabling of protection from new SB updates (the process would just freeze), so now I shut down Spy Sweeper before enabling all protection. Once enabled, I can restart Spy Sweeper without any problems, i.e. SB protection stays enabled for all items.
     
  22. Beachcomber

    Beachcomber Registered Member

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    I have exactly the same problem. I am a first time poster and found this forum as a result of a Google search specifically in respect of this problem.

    My version of Spyware Doctor is 5.1.0.272 which I got free from Google Pack.
     
  23. JW52

    JW52 Registered Member

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    Hi , I also am having the same problem with 12 items whose protecton keeps being dis-enabled . After I read the postings on your forum from other users suggesting that Spyware Doctor could be the culprit for doing this , I re-enabled the protection for the 12 items ( always same 12 items) and then immediately re-ran Spyware Doctor - and lo and behold the 12 dis-enabled themselves again. My version is also SD version 5.1.

    I don't understand this either - has anyone at Javacool approached their colleagues in the trade at PC Tools Spyware Doctor about this as strictly speaking, the two protection tools should complement each other and do what they say ie protect against spyware, rather than cancel each other out on the '12'. Especially as this problem seems to have been going on a while now.

    I am getting in the habit in the meantime of re-enabling the 12 items each time in Spyware Blaster, just after I run Spyware Doctor to ensure I get their combined coverage protection at all times.
     
  24. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    I can't speak for Javacool but it might be a good idea also for one or more of the Spyware Doctor subscription holders here to contact them with your concerns with a link included to this thread.



    snowbound
     
  25. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Well, I would post on PC Tools' Forum (http://www.pctools.com/forum/), but I uninstalled Spyware Doctor, mostly because I believe it was causing my Vista Home Premium system to lock up on a more or less regular basis. Whether SD was responsible or not I can't say for sure, but since I uninstalled it, I have not had the problem.

    At any rate, I don't think I should do the posting myself since I am not running SD at the moment. I still would like to find the explanation though, if someone else would care to post a thread on their forum.
     
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