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Why do some Users on a network get more SPAM and POP UPS than others?

Posted on 2004-09-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I would like a technical Detailed Answer to this questions:

I run a small 10MB ethernet, network of 22 users, but there are two users, one of them gets tons of SPAM, about 75 a day, and the other gets tons of SPAM, and also gets a large amount of PopUp ADS[talikng, movies, etc].  The other 20 get some of each, but not nearly as much as the first two users  mentioned.
We have a NetGear Fire wall.  Here is some interesting News; most of the users have windows 98, which will be changed out to XP Pro very soon, but the first two users with the big problems, both have XP Pro presently.
This network was badly neglected for 9months, and did not get security update form MS, and had an outdated firewall, before the NetGear box came.

Why is this Extreme Blitz of SPAM and POPUPS happening to these two users?

TIA,

Jess


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Question by:JessP
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Assisted Solution

by:JohnK813
JohnK813 earned 125 total points
ID: 12142934
1. Heavily spammed user:
Has this user given their email address out many times for online contests, newletters, and the like?  Or, is their email address posted on the web somewhere?  These are two of the main causes of heavy loads of spam, as they are the two top ways for spam companies to collect email addresses.

2. Heavy popup user:
It is possible that the user has downloaded (intentionally or unintentionally) one or more programs that cause these popups.  You can use a few of the tools mentioned here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Browser_Issues/Q_20975384.html to look for and remove those adware programs.
You can also download a free popup blocker such as the Google toolbar, switch to Mozilla Firefox for its builtin popup blocking, or (if you're feeling adventurous) install XP SP2 which has its own popup blocker for IE.
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Shattuc earned 125 total points
ID: 12143475
I don't advise XP SP2,
It has it's own problems at the moment. I would hold off on the update, as it seems to make XP more vulnerable than without it.

Download, install and run the following at least weekly to clean up spyware, and other nasties that can make pop-ups into nightmares.
Lava Soft Ad-Aware can be found here http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Spybot Search & Destroy can be found here http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html

between these two programs they can clean up most of the problems you will encounter.
First, Run Ad-aware, let it scan, and fix what it finds.
Reboot the machine.
then run Spybot S&D, let it scan, fix what it finds, and reboot your machine.

If you are still having problems with popups and or redirects,  you may need to download HiJack This which can be found here. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/files/hijackthis.php
there are forums in various places around the internet that can help you decipher, and fix (if needed) the items in Hijack This log.  But be advised, do not delete or fix anything in the log file before consulting with someone who can decipher the log properly.

There are thousands of nasties out there, most can be handled by Ad-Aware, and by Spybot S&D, the few remaining sometimes need to be removed Manually.
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Author Comment

by:JessP
ID: 12145106
Thank You both, I have cleaned House on both PCs and they are running Very Well now.

REGARDS,

Jess
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Expert Comment

by:Shattuc
ID: 12145176
you are welcome, here are some tools that can help prevent infections.

http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html   Spyware Blaster
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html     Spyware Guard

Spyware blaster will help keep IE from doing bad things, and spyware guard will help prevent the installation of bad things.
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Expert Comment

by:JohnK813
ID: 12145492
Glad we can help.

There are quite a few tools now that, in addition to cleaning up adware and spyware, will also run in the background and warn you when you're about to download it.  (This of course includes the tools Shattuc mentioned).

It might also help to educate your users about what is safe to download, and what isn't.  There's a pretty good discussion of that in this thread: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Miscellaneous/Q_21139321.html
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