CoolWeb Search – not so cool
CoolWeb Search. It sounds, well, cool, doesn’t it? Do not be fooled.CoolWebSearch (CWS) is really the name of a portfolio of spyware and adware that can render your system nearly useless for any online endeavor. If you are getting lots of popups, are being redirected to unknown search pages or are having your home page changed without your knowledge, you may well have one of the many variations of CoolWeb.The bad news is that CoolWebSearch is not technically a virus, so even though you may be running an anti-virus program, you can still get attacked.
Worse yet, some of the variations are impossible to remove and require a complete format and reinstallation of your operating system. The first known instance of CWS was written by a company named datanotary.com. It developed a css (a file that helps your browser format Web pages) that was designed to detect if the user was viewing a porn site. If porn was detected, the css would then begin showing popups advertising a variety of sponsors.Another version uses a css in the same way as datanotary. It changes the home page and all search capabilities to point to coolwebsearch.com and changes the DNS Hosts file to redirect access of MSN address-bar search to coolwebsearch.com.It also directs a program called bootconf.exe to run at startup which makes sure that the problem re-occurs after every reboot.Other versions disable the browser’s ability to get to antispyware and antivirus related sites like symantec.com, or prevent the affected machine from running programs like Spybot and Adaware.
Several versions install themselves with randomly generated file names and then run a program at startup, even in safe mode, that makes certain that one of the files is running. Of course, you cannot delete a running program, so it makes for difficult removal.Your computer can contract CoolWeb in a variety of different ways, but it is normally installed as part of another program. We advise avoiding those cute programs with which you are bombarded by popups. Weather advisers, clock checkers, screen savers, icon tweakers, etc. are all suspect as far as we are concerned. Also, in regard to popups – NEVER click on one.Even when you click on “No,” it could be a trick. Close the popup using the ‘X’ or try using the Alt+F4 key combination.
There is a free download that can eliminate some variants of CoolWebSearch. Just point your search engine to cwshredder.exe. If the variant has been around for awhile, there is a good chance this program will get rid of it for you. We also recommend using Adaware and Spybot as well as a reputable antivirus program that has a current subscription and is updated regularly. If these programs do not eliminate the problem, you may need expert help or you may want to consider backing up your system, formatting your hard drive and reinstalling your operating system.CoolWebSearch is a very persistent and tricky set of programs. With good surfing habits and proper system maintenance, you can avoid being the next victim.
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