Tuesday, September 16, 2003

My Computer was Hijacked!!!

A few weeks ago, my computer started acting up. Whenever I would type a web address into Internet Explorer, I would automatically be redirected to a bogus search page. Then the search page would try to redirect me to an adult content site, but Explorer would usually just freeze up. I tried everything. I deleted cookies. I blocked cookies from those sites. I deleted all new programs. No luck. After consulting with Bill, I downloaded two programs, Adaware and Spybot . I highly recommend both programs. In the end Spybot did the trick, but both programs showed me how much junk gets put on your computer by simply surfing the web.

Now, software developers are trying to help people who have problems like mine before the problems even begin. News.com is reporting that Intermute has developed a program called SpySubtract that targets spyware and adware. While the program is similar to Spybot and Adaware, it also includes a feature that automatically deletes plug-ins anytime that they are detected. What this means is that whenever a spyware company tries to add software to your computer, it is automatically deleted without ever bothering you. In a recent Virginia Federal court ruling, spyware company WhenU won out in a suit against U-Haul. The Court dismissed the case stating that computer users consented to allowing WhenU's pop-up ads by downloading WhenU's software. What the ruling did not address is the fact that most users did not actively download WhenU's software. The software was put onto their machines without their knowledge probably while they were downloading other software applications. The problem now is that the ruling will most likely bring about many new spyware companies to clog up our computers. So, start combating them now.

Kevin Mann
Law Clerk

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