Let me start by saying that like so many other people I have been fighting to remove this crapware from a system that I have been working on for a friend. It's a Windows 98 box that I have worked on for a couple of weeks now and thought I had this whipped but now I've spent most of the day attempting to remove a foe that I knew little about.
After some indepth research I have found that this is one of the most prevelant and stubborn pieces of malware I have ever faced, and I'm still not sure that I have beaten it. I have installed almost all of the most popular and highly recommended Spyware removal/preventative apps that this and most sites have suggested.
AVG antivirus finds the Startpage.16.M and says that it removes the culprit but doesn't. CW Shredder finds and removes CWS Hidden.dll but it comes back. The SpyBot Tea Timer is running in the back ground, yet when About:Blank shows that it is trying to be set as the new Home Page and you Deny that change, it doesn't seem to work.
Obviously this is some kind of a blended threat that one or possibly many apps cannot protect against.
The list of apps I have used is as follows: Ad-Aware SE, SpyBot, SpySubtracter, KillBox, CWS Shredder, HiJack This, and About:Buster.
Now again this is an ongoing battle as I have indicated. It appears that I have won at this point but I enjoy this victory with guarded suspicion.
Anyway in my search I have found some great articles on Browser Hijacking and Preventative measures that can be taken. These come from WWW.SPYWAREINFO.COM and are written by Mike Healan. http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/hijacked/#removal and http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/...ed/prevent.php are links to great articles and maybe these links can be added to our own Removal Thread in an effort to educate our users and help those that find themselves in the same position that I'm in. Also here is the The CLSID / BHO List / Toolbar Master List from another great board that I frequent, CastleCops, http://computercops.biz/CLSID.html that can help in identifying different Browser Helper Objects, and Internet Explorer Toolbars.
As I said I think that I may have won with the help of all these different apps, boards suggestions, and some determination but we shall see.
More to follow...