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What Could be Worse than Buggy Spyware?!
by Steve Gibson, Gibson Research Corporation
Aureate Crashes Windows and Browsers



Actual screen shot of an all-too-typical Aureate-induced system crash.
Every time this dialog was closed another appeared. The "CTRL-ALT-
DEL" invocation of the "Close Program" dialog refused to function, so
the entire machine had to be forceably shut down and restarted.




The following are six very characteristic samples of the eMail we have been receiving regarding OptOut's removal of the Aureate spyware:

" For the past few months I had been experiencing random browser crashes and lockups for no apparent reason. Nothing I tried, including re-installing the same and older versions of my browser, solved the problem. Then I found OptOut the last time I visited your web site. It has worked wonders -- no more crashes! "

" I have to thank you immensly for "OptOut"!

I had been having a problem with Internet Explorer crashing whenever I had gone to a website that opened multiple browser windows. Closing these windows in the improper sequence always resulted in a GPF. However, I downloaded and ran OptOut over the noon hour today, (after reading that it ran as a parasite on browsers), and, guess what!?! My GPF problem is gone! I've had Microsoft looking in to this problem for several weeks, and they're still scratching their heads

Thanks again for your programs, and for the information you provide! "

" You have literally saved the day!!!! Well, more than that - I had no browser for over a week and the withdrawal symptoms were traumatic, to say the least. I can't thank you enough for sending the zip file for OptOut - I let it 'scrape the parasite', reinstalled IE5/OE5, and I now have my surfing powers back!!!

You cannot imagine how many Tech Service Reps, and other "authorities" I had been through when I happened to read your newsletter this morning on the Aureate problems and how this could cause browser 'crashes'. Thank goodness I could still receive my e-mail during this crisis!

Please accept my undying gratitude - for a great newsletter, and an unbelievable response time to my panic, and just all round great customer service. "

" I want to thank you, Steve for writing and making OptOut available. A few months ago I installed Go!Zilla and used it a few times. However, when I began getting Invalid Page Fault problems with it I decided to delete the program. Since then, every time Internet Explorer started on my system (a Dell XPS R400) I got the same Invalid Page Fault, but was able to continue to surf the web as long as I did not try to "close" the iexplore error window. Just this morning I tried "repairing" IE5 (which didn't work) and reverting to IE4 (which also didn't work) and reinstalling IE5, which still didn't work. Then I received your e-mail regarding the Aureate "Spyware" which had infected my system when I downloaded Go!Zilla. I downloaded and ran OptOut this afternoon and was surprised, relieved, and very grateful to find that it SOLVED MY IE "INVALID PAGE FAULT" PROBLEM!! I'm pretty sure that neither Microsoft nor Dell would have been able to determine the cause of my problem so I couldn't be happier that I had signed up for your e-mail updates.

I will most definitely purchase your release version of OptOut - whatever it costs. Thanks again. "

" I was plagued by a random Outlook Express fault at W98se startup since installing a PC clock synchronization program back in December (not on the Aureate list). This problem would only occur after a shut-down if I used the browser. Can't remember the program name but I de-installed it. The problem never went away until, you guessed it, I removed the Aureate stuff with OptOut on Monday. My browser IE5 jumps on the screen now where in the past it took 1-2 second and did occasionally crash. Thanks Steve, you may have just saved the jobs of many technical support folk and the reputation of many PC makers. Is this BIG! or what? "

" I sat back, thinking I was well protected with AtGuard and didn't need to do anything, but then decided I try OptOut. It came up with 17 entries on my system, some of which had been accessed that morning! I used OptOut to delete everything. Interestingly, I had an ongoing problem with my Win98 system not shutting down - this has disappeared. Performance when browsing has also improved markedly, and I have not been getting the crashes under IE5 which had plagued me over the last couple of months. Thanks! "

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Last Edit: Oct 06, 2003 at 13:29 (5,217.10 days ago)Viewed 2 times per day