Sneaky Toolbar Hijacks Browsers

Xupiter is an Internet Explorer toolbar program. Once active in a system, it periodically changes users' designated homepages to xupiter.com, redirects all searches to Xupiter's site, and blocks any attempts to restore the original browser settings.

As one frustrated users said on an online forum posting... "When I find the ba$tards who programmed this thing I'd be happy to castrate them with a pair of dull pinking shears," fumed one of Xupiter's many unhappy victims in a newsgroup posting.

Using tactics that some swear is like doing "drive-by downloads" -- installing itself without users' permission -- the broswer toolbar then takes over the users system and making it nearly impossible to uninstall.

Xupiter attempts to update itself, download other programs, such as gambling games, which later appear in pop-up windows, and as another user even says "Random words and characters now appear when I attempt to enter info on search sites or other forms. It's as if there's a ghost in my machine".

"When Xupiter first appeared, we spent a week trying to figure it out," said Mike Healan, of SpywareInfo. "There's a monstrous thread with over 26,000 page views where a couple dozen of us tested it until we figured what it did and how to deal with it." Healan said that every time people sort out what Xupiter is doing, Xupiter's programmers tweak its code. It also appears that Xupiter may be selling its "service" to other websites.

News source: Wired

View: SpyWareInfo forum on Xupiter official thread

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