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  1. #1
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    Google searches turning up really bad results
    I was having a problem clearing the cache in my firefox browser a few days ago, none of the traditional methods were working, so I googled an answer. I got some really horrible results, just parked domains with adsense, and gave up.

    Today, out of curiousity, I checked what google had at the top for the phrase 'macys promo codes'. I've been doing alright on that phrase with yahoo so wasn't terribly worried but just thought I'd check. The #2 result is for findstuff.com - basically search results for the word 'promo' when you click through, the second time I clicked through it sent me to monstermarketplace.com with some search results for macys promo codes. The third time I clicked through that google result for findstuff.com, my browser "couldn't establish a connection for c.enhance.com". Next time I clicked through I got DexKnows. This is all from the same 'Macy's Coupon Codes - All Coupons, Discounts and Promos For..' title that is shown to be for findresults.com. It also has 'more results from www.retailmenot.com' at the bottom so this result is really confused!

    I know I got other really horrible results lately from Google lately, just can't remember for exactly what. I've made sure I'm not logged in - so none of this can be attributed to my search history or sites I've liked in the past. Anyone else notice this with Google lately? I think they've made an unsuccessful change to their algo.
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  2. #2
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    http://www.google.com/search?q=macys...S230US230&sa=2

    I don't see that site you mentioned, the findstuff one. I just went thru the first 5 pages.

  3. #3
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    It looks like maybe I've got a virus and these results are being redirected.. I just was looking at some google results for 'ottis toole' (after reading about the closing of the Adam Walsh case), clicked on the wikipedia entry and got redirected to a parked site. Maybe all of this has to do with my firefox issue. Hmmm.

    Just did the same google search on IE - got redirected to a google search for 'freeware'. Too weird - either its a virus or google has some issues.
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador CathyM's Avatar
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    I don't see it either. Google findstuff.com and you will see that it could be malware.

    Edit, I was looking while you posted.

  5. #5
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    http://www.google.com/search?q=macys...S230US230&sa=2

    I don't see that site you mentioned, the findstuff one. I just went thru the first 5 pages.
    Yep, your results are different than mine. Any ideas on what might be wrong or where I might go to correct this? I'm going to see if the same thing happens to my yahoo searches - yeah, yahoo search results are wacky too.
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  6. #6
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    Think you might have something on your computer, some adware or virus or something. I would just run whatever you have for that kind of thing, see if it picks up anything. Not sure what you have available but there are plenty of free ones you can use if you need one.

  7. #7
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyM
    I don't see it either. Google findstuff.com and you will see that it could be malware.

    Edit, I was looking while you posted.
    Thanks guys - findstuff.com was the culprit here. I'm running some software to remove it in safe mode.
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  8. #8
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Think you might have something on your computer, some adware or virus or something. I would just run whatever you have for that kind of thing, see if it picks up anything. Not sure what you have available but there are plenty of free ones you can use if you need one.
    Thanks - I'm using SpyWare Doctor (free download).
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, looks like adware - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...re&btnG=Search

    One of those free adware removers should do the trick.

  10. #10
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Any update on this? Cause I just got the same thing, I believe from a page featuring ebook templates last night.

    And my ESET antivirus did not take care of it!

    It is a bad one! A complete scan did not touch it. And it won't let me restore, load any other anti-spyware. Heck it won't even let me go to pctools.
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  11. #11
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    Its pretty horrible and I don't know that I'm completely cleared of it yet. I think its gone (for now) as my search results are better..

    What I did (after backing everything up!):

    1) Cleared my cache (obviously)

    2) Ran Spybot Search & Destroy, AVG, Adaware and Spyware Doctor all in regular mode and in safe mode (reboot and keep tapping F8 then use the arrow keys to go to 'Safe Mode'). All these programs are available online for free download.

    3) Used the control panel to remove any programs I no longer use

    4) Ran 'Disk Cleanup' off the start menu, all programs, accessories, system tools.

    5) Defragged my disk in safe mode.

    6) Bought Uniblue Registry Booster and ran / continue to use that

    7) Ran the command-line tool chkdsk.exe

    I had to do various steps above several times over the course of several days to completely remove whatever this was. Whenever I would reboot my computer, 2 command prompt windows would show up on my desktop and then disappear. I would also have the file msnCoth) on my desktop (I always deleted it and never opened it).

    Ultimately, I don't know what this was, although I suspect it was a window that popped up wanting me to update java or something and I finally relented (bad things started happening after that - must've been an imposter to a browser / OS update?). I don't know if its entirely gone, but I've been OK for a few days.

    Its real nasty whatever it is, wasting loads of time to get rid of it. The steps above are good to do whether or not you've got a virus just to speed things up anyways. Don't know what it was - just hope it doesn't come back again!
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  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It was just another super affiliate Adwhore practicing superior technology to stuff cookies via system hijacking exploits. Had all your efforts to remove their cookied redirects failed you'd eventually find the culpret shocased on one otf the major networks home page.

    The worse enemies to the AM's working inhouse for LS, CJ and GAN are those damn BHO detect removal tools.
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  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    It blocks me from even going to the SpyBotSD page. I will simply take care of business and then give the machine the old Napalm Treatment (Complete Restore). I just got a new laptop a few weeks ago and need to transfer to that computer anyway - this gives me a big boot in the butt to do so. This old machine (6 yr old) really needs a makeover anyway.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
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    I keep picking up this crapola from either Linkshare or Clickbank. Can't figure out which one for sure ... you have to run a bunch of scans to dig it out, then reboot. There is one called Pemium Search which seems to always sneak in. Something called Seneka showed up two days ago, too 4 hours to get rid of it.

    It is annoying for sure.

  15. #15
    Member lschofield's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised - malware like that tries to prevent you from getting to the software that will remove it!
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  16. #16
    All Around Web Guy Cursal's Avatar
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    eck!

    If things get "out of control" I found the free/donation services of www.geekstogo.com very helpful in the past.
    After that week of hell I lock up my box tight.
    A few note worthy helpful apps.
    -HijackThis
    -ATF-Cleaner

    Also, I learned to unplug my PC from the Internet before booting up after I have run a scan.
    Sometimes those tricky suckers have the virus buried in your Registry and when the Internet connects it pulls the whole virus back into the machine.

    So I suggest disconnecting from the web, run a scan ( in safe mode) and clean it up. Then reboot, run another scan - still disconnected, clean it out again, then reboot.

    Once clean you might be safe to connect to the www .

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by Cursal; January 13th, 2009 at 02:53 AM. Reason: more info added
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  17. #17
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lschofield
    It looks like maybe I've got a virus and these results are being redirected.. I just was looking at some google results for 'ottis toole' (after reading about the closing of the Adam Walsh case), clicked on the wikipedia entry and got redirected to a parked site. Maybe all of this has to do with my firefox issue. Hmmm.

    Just did the same google search on IE - got redirected to a google search for 'freeware'. Too weird - either its a virus or google has some issues.
    I was having the same problem for the past week or so. it was driving me up a wall. I purchased a new program to get rid of malware and it helped but came back. After I finish uploading all my data files to a secure online service I'll be cleaning out EVERYTHING and trying to see if I can rid myself of these things forever.
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  18. #18
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    It doesn't look like the world's most promising site, but SuperAntiSpyware is a really good product that often cleans up things that other software has missed. There's a free basic version, or a more sophisticated version for $30. If I was going to try just one product, that's the one I would try.
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  19. #19
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    Sounds like the "Go Google" BHO redirect. I got the same thing a while back and it is difficult to remove. The only program I know of that gets rid of it is "Malwarebytes" Anti-malware shareware program.

    You can download it free at MajorGeeks dot com.
    However, getting to the MajorGeeks site to download it can be a problem because of the re-direct problem.

    If you have an uninfected computer you can download it onto a floppy or memory stick using the uninfected computer and then transfer it to a file or "my desktop" of the infected computer. Or, you could get someone to email it to you.

    Then go to the downloaded file and install it. Do a full scan (takes about 45 minutes), and then do a quick scan.

    That worked for me, and got rid of it completely.

    It is a really bad BHO and makes your browser worthless because no matter what terms you search for it sends you to other places.
    Good Luck,
    Ken

  20. #20
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I finally got a product to get rid of this garbage. See thread at http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...d=1#post907292
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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