Xupiter Xhibits Xtupidity

By Brett Glass  |  Posted 2003-02-06 Print this article Print

Users all over the Net (including a few members of ExtremeTech's own staff) are hopping mad about a nasty bit of spyware called Xupiter.

Users all over the Net (including a few members of ExtremeTechs own staff) are hopping mad about a nasty bit of spyware called Xupiter. Xupiter is not only spyware but also "foistware" -- that is, it installs itself on many users machines without asking permission. Xupiter "infects" Microsoft Internet Exploder via the browsers automatic ActiveX installation feature when you visit certain Web sites. (Due to lax default security settings in many versions of MSIE, most users never get a chance to say "no" to the installation; it just happens.) Users report that once this "drive-by download" has taken place, the Xupiter toolbar hijacks their browsers. It adds unwanted bookmarks to their "Favorites" list, launches annoying "pop-under" ads, displays an unwanted toolbar in the browser window, and generally interferes with the users work (not exactly the best way to win friends and influence people). It also sends information on users browsing habits to an advertising server.
Detailed technical information about Xupiter can be found on Alan Lubers "official" Xupiter page. This page explains how to find out if Xupiter has infected your machine, and how to secure Internet Explorer so that it wont happen again.
Users report that Ad-Aware removes some versions of Xupiter but that Spybot Search & Destroy is a bit better at getting rid of it. Manual uninstallation instructions for Xupiter can be found here.
Brett Glass has more than 20 years of experience designing, building,writing about, and crash-testing computer hardware and software. (A born'power user,' he often stresses products beyond their limits simply bytrying to use them.) A consultant, author, and programmer based inLaramie, Wyoming, Brett obtained his Bachelor of Science degree inElectrical Engineering from the Case Institute of Technology and his MSEEfrom Stanford. He plans networks, builds and configures servers, outlinestechnical strategies, designs embedded systems, hacks UNIX, and writeshighly optimized assembly language.

During his rather eclectic career, Brett has written portions of the codeand/or documentation for such widely varied products as Borland's Pascal'toolboxes' and compilers, Living Videotext's ThinkTank, Cisco Systemsrouters and terminal servers, Earthstation diskless workstations, andTexas Instruments' TMS380 Token Ring networking chipset. His articleshave appeared in nearly every major computer industry publication.

When he's not writing, consulting, speaking, or cruising the Web insearch of adventure, he may be playing the Ashbory bass, teachingInternet courses for LARIAT (Laramie's community network and Internetusers' group), cooking up a storm, or enjoying 'extreme'-ly spicy ethnicfood.

To mail Brett, visit his Web form.


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