BLACK FRIDAY SECURITY TOOL ATTACK
So I was telling you about the Black Friday attack of the "Security Tool". I therefore downloaded and installed Stop Zilla, an alleged malware removal program.
It turns out Stop Zilla itself justifies the adjective "mal" = bad... keep on reading.
I STEP INTO... STOP ZILLA
I installed and ran Stop Zilla. After a few hours it came back with seven potential threats:
- Agobot.MG, Worm,Critical Severity
- VX.Game.Temp_044, Trojan, High Severity
- A Better Internet.Clean Get-Away, Adware, Moderate Severity
- System Security, Rogue Adware, Moderate Severity
- PromoReg, Worm, High Severity
- SystemPolicies.DisableTask, Hijacker, Moderate Severity
- SystemPolicies.DisableRegistry, Hijacker, Moderate Severity
ON TO REMOVING STOP ZILLA - EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Easier said than done. Stop Zila uninstalls to the degree, and then stops and waits, doing nothing apparently. Waits for 10-20 minutes! Really slow uninstall! I ended up killing all Stop Zila processes and doing the uninstall manually through the Vista system. Job completed? Not really. A nasty surprise awaits...
BUT WAIT - WHAT IS THIS PESKY STOP ZILLA FIREFOX TOOLBAR DOING HERE?
It is impossilble to uninstall the "Stop Zilla Toolbar" bot for the Firefox 3.5.5 and for the Internet Explorer 8! The Stop Zilla simply doesn't clean that "detail" after itself. The Stop Zilla refuses to remove the (useless and disfunctional in my opinion) toolbar. When you go to Firefox Tools, Add-Ons section, Stop Zilla Toolbar is NOWHERE to be found, neither under Plug-ins nor Extensions! So how to remove the toolbar? This annoyance took me a few hours to figure out but I found a solution.
OTHER PEOPLE COMPLAINING TOO
I found a suspiciously similar complaint on this website http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/and-yet-another-security-vendor.html. There is a rebuttal by an officer from Stop Zilla... And now a rebuttal of the rebuttal of yours truly:
And yet another security vendor succumbs to temptation12/3/2008 Correction/Clarification: This is not technically the Ask Toolbar. It's actually a STOPzilla toolbar that uses Ask search results. More here.
Yet another security vendor succumbs to bundling the Ask Toolbar with their product — and again, pre-selected (and when you go to uninstall the STOPzilla, you’re still left with the Ask Toolbar to uninstall).
This is getting gross.
AND HERE IS THE SOLUTION. IT WORKS FOR ME.
So, long story short, it is possible to easily remove Stop Zilla Firefox and IE8 toolbars by
- uninstalling Stop Zilla as directed under Stop Zilla/Uninstall Stop Zilla -- you really need to kill all other processes for this to work, or just use the Windows Vista Uninstall Program feature.
- going to C:\Program Files\Stopzilla!\ and removing all files from there. The Firefox won't find the extension there, and you won't see it in the Firefox frame anymore. A Big annoyance resolved! As for IE8, even with Stop Zilla installed, you could always disable the SZ toolbar.
[Update: Turns out this was not the last change Stop Zilla instigated and not reversed during uninstall. Find out how to restore google search in your Firefox Navigation Bar, if you notice the default search was changed to Ask...]
MCAFEE NOT DOING MUCH BETTER... TOOK FOREVER JUST TO INSTALL...
Talking about the "Security Tool" malware. Stop Zilla apparently did not take it out but I did delete some files as instructed. Has that been able to take it out? I was only able to run the McAfee "quick" virus scan with the updates. McAfee gave me a lot of grief just installing itself, and I had to install McAfee Virtual Technician too just to get the Virus Scan going. But I digress.....
STOP ZILLA PROBLEM SOLVED FOR ME, MOVING ON TO THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM
Well, at the end of the day, Black Friday, the Security Tool popped up again, this time just the "Red" shield... I'm running McAfee again overnight. The battle of security tools... I'll let it run overnight.. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, my laptop's in trouble!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Did you find the directions above useful for removing Stop Zilla AND its pesky toolbar? Let me know! Just leave a comment below. Or bookmark the page below. If you have questions let me know also!