TechSpot

Is Stopzilla a rogue anti-spyware product?

By DolphinM1959
May 27, 2006
  1. I installed Stopzilla, a lesser know anti-spyware program, which apparently was more popular a few years ago when it had excellent reviews from magazines. There are also older reviews posted on Amazon.com which are either very bad or very good.

    When I installed this program, it claimed to immediately find a Trojan named FX Rootkit. This worried me greatly, as I do use a credit card online.
    It also found some spyware that other anti-spyware programs did as well. And it found additional spyware as well.

    But when I installed the same program on my son's computer it claimed to find a Trojan named AX rootkit.

    Now I am unsure if this program is just making these up, installing these bad files by itself or what is actually happening. If this is a rogue spyware product, I am unsure how to proceed.

    If I just delete it, I am unsure what will happen.
    Also, after I installed this program I got an ad for LavaLamp, which is some kind of online dating site, apparently.

    Any help would be appreciated. I cannot assess wheter this program is actually finding things that other programs do not, of it is a rogue spyware product, finding things that are not there at all.
     
  2. gmuser2006

    gmuser2006 TS Rookie Posts: 37

    I have never used STOPzilla but it is not on the Rogue Spyware list.

    What other Spyware Cleaners have you used? I would suggest also scanning your PC and your son's PC with both Ad-Aware and Spybot.

    Or if you are really concerned about the STOPzilla program then I would suggest following this post and then posting a HJT log as an attachment.
     
  3. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    Stopzilla is offered by all the major download sites,so it`s unlikely that it`s seriously evil.
    However,if you have doubts about it,get rid of it.

    Use one or more of the well known programs.

    Here are Techspot`s security expert,howard_hopkinsos recommendations -

    Spybot Search & Destroy.
    Ad-Aware personal se.
    Spyware Blaster.
    Ewido.


    And welcome to Techspot DolphinM1959 :)
     
  4. DolphinM1959

    DolphinM1959 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Reply

    ]I have never used STOPzilla but it is not on the Rogue Spyware list

    What other Spyware Cleaners have you used? I would suggest also scanning your PC and your son's PC with both..
    ***************************
    We both have Trend PCCillin and Spyware Doctor.
    Previously I had Panda which is a nightmare to use, as it locks up and freezes systems.
    Staples sells it under their own brand name, at 75 dollars a pop, and I bought two, as they promised you 1400 dollars in protection. I posted a negative review on Amazon.com, and a person from Panda actually wanted to give me a free upgrade to the 2006 version, which I declined, as the reviews are the same. But I might try it again, as the contact person said it is not as resource intensive as before.

    Spyware Doctor is too resource-intensive and a memory hog, but it is effective in finding things. But PCTools does not have a security suite. Trend's product does not work as well in finding spyware, but it also is comprehensive and much more configurable, and was available in a three user version from Amazon for about 60 dollars, as I recall.

    I have also used Webroot products, but some of them work with Mozilla-based products, and some do not. These are fast and efficient. I try to avoid Microsoft products, if I can.

    Spyware Doctor and and PC-cillin do work with all Mozilla based products. Webroot products are much fast though.

    Another one I just tried today is Spyware Detector, which is amazingly fast.

    I prefer to buy my products, as, in my experience, freeware products are just never as good. I have had long experience using freeware products, but when there is financial gain involved, and the freeware becomes a for-profit enterprise, the products usually improve substantially probably because of different motivation.

    In the last day or two I have used other products, and some or them are not too good such as the one by Stompsoft, which I removed. I tried Spybot before, and I remained unimpressed. I never could remove it.

    I used to love PestPatrol, but this was several years ago when no one knew what it was. I think it is limited to Microsoft products as well. I downloaded this, but it did not work. I have version of this sitting in box which I will install and try.

    I will try Spybot again and AdAware, but I found that the latter was not that great when I used it last week on my son's computer.

    But none of these programs are finding that Trojan, so I think it is something that this company made up. And they do not seem to answer emails or the "live chat" feature they supposedly have. Something seems fish, and obviously they do not advertise and I do not believe you would find their product in the store. One time when I liked PestPatrol I could not find it in any store. But it was bought by a different company who puts it in the store.

    You never know with software. There were some terrific products put out by Magix when they did not advertise as heavily, but the writing on the back of the back of the software box was in broken English. But Windows Sheet Music XP was and probably is a great deal compared to something like Finale.

    At any rate, I am not sure what Stopzilla is actually finding as no other program finds these supposed Trojans. I suppose they could actually be there, but it seems to be randomly generating a name such as FX Rootkit or AX Rootkit.

    We have had a problem with my son's computer trying to root out a certain lesser known Trojanl known as something like Troj.Downloader.***
    but I can find information about this with a Google search.

    Nothing seems to pop up when I search for any information about FX rootkit of AX rootkit. In fact, I think I saw on some sight these are actually some types of programming methods and not viruses at all.


    Thanks for your advice.
     
  5. gmuser2006

    gmuser2006 TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Rootkit is an actual malware item. I would suggest reading this post to help combat a Rootkit infection.

    And here is a post about combating Trojans.

    After going through both posts attach a HJT log so that we can see if there are any other nasties we need to deal with.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    If your looking for a good paid for program try Zerospyware It`s also got a slight reputation for being "over enthusiastic",but it does find the real stuff too.
     
  7. DolphinM1959

    DolphinM1959 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Reply

    Unfortunately, I would not be able to do this, as I have other computer problems with have nothing to do with this thread. The Run command has disappeared from the Start Menu, and I do not know how to resolve it. And even if I did, although I am sure I would learn a lot by following the instructions, I sort of prefer it if a program would do it for me. I mean maybe one time would be good, but not repeatedly. Sort of like the difference between writing a webpage in HTML versus FrontPage or Dreamweaver, even if that is somewhat of an incorrect analogy.

    Thanks for your help though. I was able to confirm I have had a Rootkit problem, but that Rootkit Revealer put a 2004 date on it. At some point someone got into My PayPal account, which was a surprise to me, as they never charged anything to it. I am unsure exactly why they did it. I had an awful lot of problems with Spyware in late 2005. I sort of prefer the good old days with my Atari ST computer, when viruses, although existent, were not a problem

    . I guess I could always switch to a Mac, but I understand there are new viruses in that world as well. And I was never a big Mac fan, but they seem to be doing things right now. It is just an enormous drain on everyone's resources to fight spyware and Viruses and whatever else. I do not like it that most programs now do not differentiate a whole lot between cookies and real spyware, but that seems to be the trend now a days.
    Panda Security Suite had an "intruder" trying to break into my system. That "intruder" was actually Google. So a lot of time this is just overkill. It is a fine line to differentiate between what is and what is not. But I think that StopZilla is actually finding legitimate threats that seem not to be found by other programs.

    And I forgot. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.
     
  8. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    The run box can be brought up by hitting the windows key + r together.

    Of course, the command line can be accessed from explorers address bar, or even by calling cmd from a batch file if needs be.

    If the run option dissapeared from your start menu without your knowledge, it quite likely is down to spyware/malware.

    There is no single program that gets everything, and there are also particular threats that need to be removed with specific tools. I'm afraid there is no one program that can do this, nor will there ever be such a program. It's usually best to stick with the better known/more reputable programs also, for quite obvious reasons. If you read "preventing infections by making windows more secure" as listed in the "collection of best how to..." sticky at the top of this forum, it will provide a step by step guide to a basic secure XP setup.

    If you are not willing or able to get rid of that rootkit and to go through the spyware instructions, I would recommend that you format and re-install your machine, and set it up using that guide, as from what you have just said, you appear to have a number of problems.
     
  9. DolphinM1959

    DolphinM1959 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your help.

    ***********************************

    What I meant was the instructions from the previous post were how to remove things without the help of the anti-spyware product. Sometimes they can do this automaticallywith the help of the product. This is what Stopzilla is supposed to do for you. Do you think I would still have to remove it manually?

    I have written to Stopzilla, as I have been very impressed with their program, and we have a number of family computers, and there is some type of family discount available, but it is not listed explicitly on the site.

    Anyway, other times you have to go to the registry or elsewhere, as often the locations about where to look in the registry published by the company are wrong, as these places move over time. But often as not, they have have 24 hour technical support, and they are able to help. That is what I pay for.

    Unfortunately, I really cannot or do not want to do a clean install, simply because.. well I am a myeloma patient (rare form of bone marrow cancer), and I have messages dating back from July 2004, when I bought this computer. We have the most active cancer group on the internet, even though this cancer is very, very rare (especially at my age, as I am in my 40s, and most myeloma patients are in their 60s and up). I have thousands of messages dating from them, as we sometimes receive 50 to 100 message a day.
    Myeloma is a incurable but very treatable disease, and the list of treatments is pages and pages long.
    And it is now thought to be at least twenty different diseases, and it is a very complicated cancer. It has six genes that need to be blocked, and so far there is not a single drug that can block even one. But new discoveries are made every few months. Unfortunately, no matter what you treatment a patient chooses, the myeloma will always come back, but there is a better understanding now as to why.

    Anyway, that is why I cannot just go and reformat everything, as I have these emails in different email programs.

    Anyway, I would have to go about saving all these emails, back up all my other files (which I should really do anyway), and the other problem is this
    HP did not come with premade backup disks, but instead expected you to write CD-Rs. I did that, but I did not know how to mark them without damaging them, so I would have to see if I can differentiate them by volume numbers of something that might have been included when I wrote to the 8 CD-Rs. All this is very complicated,
    so for now, I will stick to trying to root out what I can in simple ways.

    And yes, I have a number of problems, and it would probably be worth it to format it and start over, but you can see this is a big project. If HP had given me premade CD restore disks, which I understand is now the norm again, it might be easier.

    So I will try what I can. I now can try to follow the manual removal instructions, but these are really long and complicated. And since I will probably pay for Stopzilla anyway, even though it is not well-known, as you suggest is better, I might just see what I can do with it. It found a lot of other problems as well that no other program picked up.

    I was really impressed with Pest Patrol a few years back, when I could not find it in any store. Now that it was bought by a different company, it seems not to be anywhere near as good. I just installed a legal copy I had in a box, upgraded it, and it found nothing whatsoever. So much for a well-known program!!!

    Thanks for all your help though.
     
  10. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Pest patrol detects a lot of false positives and always has done. It's never been that great really.

    As for the email thing, well, could you possibly give us a list of what email programs you use? We will then try to give you instructions to create a backup copy of all those mails for each one. You will also need to create a backup copy of any files/documents you wish to keep.

    You can mark a CD with a special CD marker. It's like a normal marker pen, but it doesn't degrade the information on the disk. They aren't expensive. In the meantime, untill you get one, you could put each cd in it's own case, and lable the case :)

    The thing is, with that many problems and with those kinds of problems, it could be just a matter of time before you loose the lot anyway, which I'm sure you don't want to do.

    Once you've backed up your information, which you REALLY need to do anyway, re-installing is the quite straight forward.
     
  11. DolphinM1959

    DolphinM1959 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks. I will try a complete reinstall--EVENTUALLY!!!

    ******************

    Thanks. Well, CD-R-s were new to me at the time. I still did not know about the special markers, so thanks. I did lose 1040 emails, but I found a program that restored them. I generally use Netscape mail, which has a problem as it limits the memory size of each email folder, and when they get too big, you cannot retrieve any emails. I tried Thunderbird for awhile, but you are not able, as I recall, to send Thunderbird emails back to Netscape, or I had trouble trying to put them back into a their own file that I could load off the disk.

    I have actually have a back-up external drive I bought back in March, but I still have it in an unopened box. It is a special one that even allows the use of the DVD-RAM format, which is not widely used but has some advantages. And I have a Toshiba DVD recorder that uses DVD-RAm discs as well as DVD-RW discs and DVD-R discs. It is terrific in theory, but has a host of problems. It is othe only DVD recorder made that can both pause live TV (like Tivo but there is a delay as it is stored to a disk), and Chase Play. Anyway, I bought this External Drive to back up my computer, so I might as well try it out.

    I use a host or programs, as I have varied interests, and I do not keep my files well organized. There are programs for Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, updated drivers for the MIDI system I have, both hardware and software, educational programs for my son, financial programs that are not well known, a legal copy of Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Finale , Pianist Pak by Pg Music, Kontakt, The Tassman Studio, and the list would get incredibly long, including PaintShop Pro, other art programs, Quicken and I do not know what else. These are all legal, but I did buy a few of them by download. These are the ones that are hard to make sure I have the right drivers.

    Some of these I have no discs for, and I need to write the companies to get the drivers again.

    This is a long project, obviously with so many programs, but I think a clean install might work wonders for my system. One strange thing that I never have understood is I am using Cox Cable and the speed had decreased by 75 percent, but just now I see it has returned back to normal. Some anti-spyware program must have helped it. This was fantastic news to me.

    Anyway, I will try to keep at it, but as you can see, since I use the computer for so many things (I forgot to mention LegoMindstorms--the programmable robotic system of Legos, a digital camera, of course,ad infinitum), this is a rather big project. And of course, I use an Atari ST Emulator known as Steem, as even today, there are certain MIDI programs STILL not available in Windows, in any form, and these programs were not written 15 years ago.

    Back in those days, I understood better how the internals of a computer, but they were not as complicated, of course.

    Finally another problem I have is when using Netscape, which I prefer to using IE, although I shohyld probably use Firefox ( I used to use Opera), is that no many how many times I try to reinstall it, any videos that come up, for example with the L.A. Times which I read daily, refuse to work.

    And besides Thunderbird, and Web Mail services such as gmail, what email programs do people use besides Outlook? I cannot remember if Firefox has its own email program, but I thought it did not, from the brief times I tried it. I liked some aspects of Thunderbird, but there was something I just did not like about it, although I do not know what it is now. Cox has decided to put all SPAM it finds in a special Web Mail folder, and users have no choice in the matter. If a legitimate message ends up there, it is just your tough luck, so someone with a lot of messages, has to go into the SPAM folder quite a lot.
     
  12. DolphinM1959

    DolphinM1959 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Stopzilla completely trashed a computer now.

    I am not sure exactly how this happened, or if it just coincidental with Stopzilla, but my son's computer stopped working entirely. I used the restore disks to reformat the hard drive, and the computer now will not recognize most keyboards, and will not recognize any mouse devices what soever..whether they are the ones that plug into the mouse port or a Logitech that you can plug into any of the 6 USB ports. This computer is an 512 Mb Compaq with an Athlon
    2.8 or so GHz processor.

    Maybe this is unrelated to Stopzilla, as I cannot see how software could completely destroy a processor, but I think viruses might be able to so probably this TERRIBLE software can.

    This does not really seem right to me, but I am really ignorant of how current processors work at the hardware level.

    I would appreciate any comments or help.


    Alex Maas
    a.maas@cox,net
     
  13. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    Stopzilla is not a rogue antisyware programme.

    However, it`s not very effective. My advice would be to get rid of it. Stick to the tried and trusted programmes, such as Ewido/Spybot S&D/Ad-Aware se/Spyware blaster etc.

    Regardes Howard :wave: :wave:
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...