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Free Spy Program Remover

Remove spy programs from your computer.
Some one before said use Spy Hunter. You have to pay for it to finish the job. This one is completely free unless you donate.


homepage: homepage: http://www.safer-networking.org/

So is this one 16.Dec.2003 16:23

Aunt Sam



you can get to it if I typed it wrong through www.lavasoft.com

This one works way better than spy bot (it found more parasites) and is completely free. I am embarrassed about the amount of stuff this one found so I won't mention the exact number but it was in the hundreds while spyhunter was well below a hundred

This too ... 16.Dec.2003 18:33


... is well worth a try. It's called SpyWareBlaster and works by preventing spyware from being installed. I use it in combination with a spybot to keep my system clean. No single approach seems to be perfect, so I use a couple layers of defense.


how do you know? 16.Dec.2003 19:12


How do you know your not sharing one set of spy-ware for another?

Trading one set of spyware for another? 16.Dec.2003 21:01



If someone were to put out a spyware removal program that in turn installed more spyware, the word would get out very quickly that the program was not to be trusted. If that doesn't satisfy your paranoia, you can always do what Aunt Sam did - run two different programs. One would most likely identify spyware in the other if it existed. Putting out a spyware infested programs designed to remove spyware would be a rather counterproductive move. To put it more plainly, it would be stupid.

It's always a good idea to check out what people are saying about a program if you have any doubts. Doing a Google search on a program's name is probably one of the easiest ways to do that. If there's something fishy about a program, the search results should turn up something pretty quickly. Another good idea is to use something that's been around for a while because suspicious programs don't tend to last very long.

Even with paranoia, moderation isn't a bad thing.

Best 16.Dec.2003 22:00

Hey Amigo

The best ones I've heard are Ad-Aware and Spy-Bot.

lavasoft was the creator of adware 6 and 16.Dec.2003 22:23

Aunt Sam

and tehy send you to mirror sites to allow you to download teh freeware version of it.

Thanks for all the info everyone! 17.Dec.2003 01:59



thanks for the info! what about mac users? 17.Dec.2003 05:01

zap ém

Thanks for the info!
Two questions:
1. Does anyone know of spyware zappers for mac?
2. And anyone know anything that can locate magic lantern (that insidious thing the federales use to get your PGP keys from your harddrive)?

The FBI's Magic Lantern 17.Dec.2003 12:29

Bird Dog

Here is what i found on magic lantern.
They will try and try but, they can't Stifle free speach.
They will try and it will always backfire.

If they ever learn that they are responsiable for terror in the world.
Maby it will stop.

Before being confirmed for the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis was known as the People's Lawyer because he was pro-labor and fought monopolies and trusts. It took months before the Senate agreed to put this "Radical" on the court as the first Jew in its history. Brandeis was particularly passionate about the right to privacy, and one of his dissents on that issue foresaw the Bush-Ashcroft administration's ominous assaults on that right.

In 1928, the first wiretapping case, Olmstead v. U.S., came before the Court. A majority of Brandeis's brethren ruled that wiretapping a phone without a warrant did not violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments because the taps were planted outside the home.

Brandeis, who was widely read and suspicious of government's overreaching tentacles, wrote prophetically that "in the application of a constitution, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been, but of what may be. The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. . . . Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?"

Brandeis could not anticipate the advent of the computer and the Internet, but his prophecy has come true. Already, as Reuters reported last December 12, the FBI has asked "Internet service providers to install technology in their networks that allows officials to secretly read e-mails of criminal investigation targets." That molestation of privacy was called "Carnivore." But the FBI has developed an even more insidious device to obtain "the most intimate occurrences of the home"—and office.

Beware of "The Magic Lantern." Under the "sneak and peek" provision of the USA Patriot Act, pushed through Congress by John Ashcroft, the FBI, with a warrant, can break into your home and office when you're not there and, on the first trip, look around. They can examine your hard drive, snatch files, and plant the Magic Lantern on your computer. It's also known as the "sniffer keystroke logger."

Jim Dempsey, deputy director of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology, tells me that you have to be remarkably computer-savvy to detect the presence of the Magic Lantern in some crevice in your computer.

Once installed, the Magic Lantern creates a record of every time you press a key on the computer. It's all saved in plain text, and during the FBI's next secret visit to your home or office, that information is downloaded as the agents also pick up whatever other records and papers they find of interest.

Dempsey, who has been my guide to increasingly invasive technology for years, points out that this new version of J. Edgar Hoover's "black bag jobs" is not subject to the "sunset" clause of the USA Patriot Act, which requires Congress to review in four years much of the rest of that law to see if Ashcroft went too far in dismantling the Constitution. These legal break-ins, including the use of the Magic Lantern, are not limited to investigations of terrorism but are now part of regular criminal investigations.

By the way, in case you might be just musing at the computer—typing in thoughts or theories you don't intend to send—the Magic Lantern will capture those strokes, too.

Under previous law, the FBI had to let you know right away when they've made these uninvited visits in your absence, and tell you what they've taken. The agents may have gone to the wrong address, which is not unheard of, or gotten a bad lead, or manifestly exceeded their authority. On being given swift notice of the FBI's burglaries, you could quickly challenge the search.

But under the USA Patriot Act, the FBI can go to a judge and get permission for a "delayed notice" of up to 90 days. Moreover, during this open-ended Justice Department war on terrorism, the FBI can keep going to court for further "delayed notices," since part of these secret searches may ostensibly be concerned with terrorism.

And, Jim Dempsey notes, if they don't find anything the first and second times, they can keep breaking into your home or office until they come across a smoking gun. Eventually, they'll have to tell you they've been there.

But Justice Brandeis predicted that the government one day would be able to remove private materials without physically having to go into your home or office. Well, never underestimate the capacity of advancing technology to further diminish what little is left of your privacy.

Reuters also has reported that the Magic Lantern would allow "the agency [the FBI] to plant a Trojan horse keystroke logger on a target's PC by sending a computer virus over the Internet, rather than require physical access to the computer as is now the case."

The Reuters December 12 story quotes the FBI as claiming the Magic Lantern "is a workbench project" that has not yet been deployed. But I have a copy of a May 8, 1999, application to a United States District Court in New Jersey from a U.S. Attorney in that state at the time, Faith Hochberg. It authorizes a "surreptitious entry" to search and seize "encryption key related pass phrases from [a] computer by installing a specialized computer program . . . which will allow the Government to read and interpret data that was previously seized pursuant to a search warrant."

The application also asks permission for the FBI or its delegated entities to enter the location "surreptitiously, covertly, and by breaking and entering, if necessary"—and "as many times as may be necessary to install, maintain and remove the software, firmware or hardware."

So a precursor of the Magic Lantern was in use back then—under Clinton's FBI—and it is Jim Dempsey's belief, and mine, that the state-of-the-art Magic Lantern is now in the field, among us. The FBI already told Reuters in December that it uses keystroke loggers.

Make sure you don't keep your keys on your pc.

Saved in plaintext? 17.Dec.2003 13:04

Mulberry Sellers

If the claim that Magic Lantern saves it's gleanings in plaintext is correct, that's a remarkably dumb feature.

That would make it possible to discover where it's stashing the not-yet-downloaded stuff by typing a known string into, say, a text editor, saving the file and then using a program which can search your entire hard drive for a given string (like EnCase or even Norton Disk Editor) for all occurences of that string. Anything but the file you created would be suspect.

Once you knew where the current Magic Lantern stash file was located, you could get rid of it with a secure deletion utility.

If I were designing such a spy program, I'd have it do it's temp files in an encrypted format.

here's a solution 17.Dec.2003 13:06


Get a cheap PDA. Download GPG or PGP encryption software for the PDA. Type and encrypt all of your messages on your PDA, and only upload the encrypted version to your computer to send. Any encrypted messages you recieve should be downloaded to your PDA and decrypted on the PDA. Never let the PDA out of your sight.

More secure computing 17.Dec.2003 16:15

Bison Boy

"The only secure computer is one that's unplugged, locked in a safe,
and buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location... and I'm
not even too sure about that one"
-- Dennis Huges, FBI.

There are many variations on this quote, but I expect you'll get the idea. There is no such thing as a truly secure computer that still works; this applies more generally to communications of all forms. When considering security, you have to determine the level of risk you are willing to accept, and how much ease-of-use you are willing to trade for maintaining that level of risk.

Here are some tips for improving your security, targeted for people who use MS Windows on their own hardware. I'm assuming a non-technical audience, but one that is willing to dig in and learn. (Most of these suggestions are really easy to accomplish.) If you're running any windows version other than 2000 or XP, upgrade to one of these or to a free OS; other windows versions are not securable. If you run a free OS, so much the better.

1) Check windows update weekly for OS patches. Get *all* critical updates; check again after you install each batch to make sure you didn't miss a hidden dependency. (If you think Microsoft is not trustworthy, you shouldn't be using their software in the first place... get the patches!)

2) Buy, use, and *maintain* anti-virus software. Antivirus software needs weekly updates at least... more frequent is better. If you can check daily, do so. There are some free options, like a scanner at antivirus.com, but none of these (that I know of) offer proactive protection.

3) If you have a broadband connection, get a firewall. Change the admin password. Deny access to pretty much all types of incoming services, especially remote administration of the firewall itself. If in doubt, turn off each service and see if your connection is still usable. There is much to learn about firewalls, and research in this area is rewarded with all kinds of interesting knowledge about the internet.

4) Use encryption on your home wireless network. Change the SSID from the manufacturer's default setting, change the admin password on the access point, and change WEP keys regularly. Remember that wireless encryption on a busy network is good for maybe 5 minutes against a determined hacker, so don't send anything you don't want revealed over a wireless link. (You might also consider encrypting your entire local network with IPSec, but that will take some doing.)

5) Always use good passwords, and *never* write them down. See  link to www.princeton.edu for one good guide.

6) Get and maintain an anti-spyware tool. Ad-Aware from lavasoft.de is one of the best. These tools also need periodic updates.

7) Use an open-source browser and mailer. Mozilla.org has a very good open-source browser+mailer. Avoiding Internet Explorer and Outlook is not a real big deal anymore, but this change gives you software built from code seen by many eyes. Also, IE has been stagnant; other browsers generally have better features these days.

8) Get a free e-mail certificate and begin to routinely sign and encrypt your e-mail. (Obviously, both parties communicating need to be capable for encryption to work. Start with just signing e-mails, and then convince your friends to enable encryption.) One way to do this is with a free certificate from Thawte.com, using the s/mime method. (Most mailers, including mozilla, can deal with this method easily.) Better, but harder, is to get and use GnuPG or PGP, and use the pgp/mime or OpenPGP method. Mozilla has a plugin to manage this, at  http://enigmail.mozdev.org/. (If you're interested in steganography, in my opinion you should implement one of these forms of encrypted e-mail before bothering with it. They're more proven.)

9) Avoid sending documents in proprietary formats, particularly MS-Word ".doc" format. Such documents often contain the entire document history and other information. Send plain text, HTML, OpenOffice.org formats, or distill to PDF. ( http://www.ghostscript.com/) Consider switching to a free office suite, such as openoffice.org.

10) Securely erase your files. Eraser, from  http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/, can delete files and erase "blank" hard drive space with whatever degree of paranoia you prefer. Remember to wipe any hard drives or floppies before disposing of them.

11) Anonymizers and proxies that can disguise your browsing and mailing are out there if you want to go to that much trouble. (But there's no point in anonymized e-mail if you're signing it!) This level of paranoia is beyond my expertise, and communication security is a vast topic in general. If you're this worried about it, start researching the field; Bruce Shneier of Counterpane.org ( http://www.counterpane.com/schneier.html) has written some excellent books on security. Start there.

12) Remember that if someone can get at your hardware, all bets are off.

If you are in a position such that you think the FBI is after you, you should accept that you are totally screwed and stop using computers for anything you think they might be interested in. Alternately, use a laptop and never let it leave your sight, from the OS install forward. If you are this paranoid, you should not be using Windows. Possibly MacOS 10.3 is good enough, and it's certainly better than Windows... but anyone this paranoid should probably be using something like OpenBSD with intrusion detection software.

Cool 30.Dec.2003 07:21


Thanks!!!!!!! I had a spy program and i don't want to pay

Free Spyware removal programmes.....they aren't all as free as they say. 29.Jan.2004 05:04

Perplexed emgordon2002@yahoo.co.uk

I use Ad-aware 6 and Spybot-S&D and use both on a regular basis to check for spyware and adware..
I also have NAV2004, Spyware Blaster and Kerio Firewall.
I therefore think (thought) I was well-protected!!!
This morning I downloaded Spyhunter on the recommendation of a friend and then ran it.

Adaware and Spybot gave me a complete all-clear.
I run Liveupdate every couple of days so have no problems there.
But, Spyhunter showed the following are my system, the first 3 of which sound serious. BUT...in order to remove them I would have to BUY the programme.Is it a setup job to get people to part with their money?
If they really are SEVERE, then why didn't the other 2 programmes find them?

1. SeekSeek. Launcher. Registry. SEVERE.
2. MicroGaming. Launcher. Registry. SEVERE.
3. Downloadware. Launcher. Registry. SEVERE.
4. Winactive (cookie) travel.ink
5. Winactive. (cookie) travel.ins

Please help and advise especially about these SEVERE items.
I am a beginner and I definately do not want to mess with the Registry.

Thank you
EM Gordon

The definition of spyware is slippery 29.Jan.2004 16:46

Bison Boy

The definition of spyware is a bit slippery, and that's presumably the problem you're having. Many bits of spyware also perform other legitimate functions, and the various anti-spyware writers may regard them differently.

If a program transmits personal data about you, does nothing useful for you, and is installed without your knowledge, then it's clearly spyware. If a different program is installed with your approval, performs some handy function, and also transmits some data unrelated to its purported functions, then it *probably* should be considered spyware... but it's a judgement call.

Personally, I figure that the AdAware folks are paranoid enough for me. (Your mileage may vary.) Have you updated the definitions in AdAware lately? Try updating it, and scan again.

Do any of the three "severe" things (SeekSeek, MicroGaming, Downloadware) sound like something you meant to install, or like things you use? They may be legitimate (if unwanted) side-effects of tools you have installed. If you can identify these tools, you should be able to remove them trough the add/remove programs control panel.

Don't fret about the cookies... if you want to get rid of them, either delete all cookies in IE (somewhere in tools->options, I think) or change to another browser for "private" browsing. (Mozilla.org or Opera.com, for instance.)

If you just can't sleep at night, then go ahead and buy the other software. (I wouldn't spend more than £20 on it, though.) But I doubt it's really necessary.

(Your good luck I checked back on this thread today... I haven't for a month!)

List of abusive spyware removal tools 05.Feb.2004 10:31

Bison Boy

Spyhunter finding seekseek is bogus 16.Feb.2004 19:12


I installed Spyhunter and it said that it found seekseek. I did a little more searching and found this artical on how to remove it:


The thing is, i couldnt locate and of the seekseek components on my system.

I ghost my system and keep various stages of systen loads. (below is my current load). I've searched the web for "program installed" spyware for each program I have installed and have found nothing on any of them.

I am convince that spyhunter finding seekseek is complete BS, since other articals i found on how to remove seekseek also contain things that i cannot locate on my system.