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Old 7th February 2011   #1
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Superfish - a virus?


My friend, using a WinXP Media Center PC, about 2 years old, has this problem with Superfish being injected into the opening of every webpage in Firefox (3.6.13), as viewed on the status bar. We've gone to the superfish website looking for answers and found a lot of hype but no answers, and tried uninstalling the Firefox add-ons associated with this abomination: IETab Plus and WindowShopper, but the behavior persists, slowing down all activity in the browser. We've tried all the suggestions posted on other sites, such as to use AdBlock Plus or NoScript but they don't work. We've used Regedit to try to find places in the registry that could be deleted, but there aren't any, and we've disabled anything in his Firefox profile that has "superfish" in it (2 instances) but no results.

Can anyone help? Thank you.

Frank D

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Old 7th February 2011   #2
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in the address bar type in about:config then click OK on the warning. Now, in the filter line, put in superfish and see what comes up

Breaking News: flash, superfish is part of Window Shopper addon.


Last edited by Z Purple Hippo; 7th February 2011 at 22:49.
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Old 8th February 2011   #3
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Originally Posted by Z Purple Hippo View Post
in the address bar type in about:config then click OK on the warning. Now, in the filter line, put in superfish and see what comes up

Breaking News: flash, superfish is part of Window Shopper addon.
Purple Hippo, thanks for your reply. I can't contact my friend with the problem until later tomorrow, but I thought I'd try it right now on my own PC's (Win7) Firefox and to my amazement there are 6 entries that contain the word "superfish" and all indicate that it is enabled.

My question: I don't in any way want the services offered by superfish.com, so would I be better off if I disable or delete these entries? Or would that cause any problem?

Thanks for any advice.

Frank

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Old 8th February 2011   #4
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first, uninstall window shopper, restart FF, then look in the config editor (about:config) and look for any entries. Once found, right click on them and select Reset. The reset should make them blank. Restart FF, then look in the config editor once again. They should be gone.

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Old 8th February 2011   #5
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Originally Posted by Z Purple Hippo View Post
first, uninstall window shopper, restart FF, then look in the config editor (about:config) and look for any entries. Once found, right click on them and select Reset. The reset should make them blank. Restart FF, then look in the config editor once again. They should be gone.
Purple Hippo,

First, my machine did not currently have Window Shopper installed. I had uninstalled that months ago. However, all those (6) superfish entries were still in my about:config. So that makes me think: "VIRUS"! Superfish does not play nicely or by the rules. You invite it in, don't like it, then you invite it out, but it won't go and doesn't have any mechanism to make it go.

Second, I did as you suggested on all six entries, rebooted Firefox, and they were gone as you said. Now I'll get back to my friend with the WinXP machine and work this magic on his.

Thank you very much!

Frank

Update: Where I said "Now I'll get back to my friend with the WinXP machine and work this magic on his." it turned out to be just an illusion. It didn't work. See below.


Last edited by Frank D; 8th February 2011 at 21:11. Reason: Added update
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Old 8th February 2011   #6
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I have to revise my previous post. I was able to contact my friend with the WinXP machine and we repeated what I did to my Win7 machine (I did as suggested in about:config on his two entries and rebooted Firefox, and they were gone). However, the "fix" didn't work! On every reboot of Firefox, the superfish entries just kept coming and coming and coming.

At this point, we rebooted FF into Safe Mode and determined that the superfish entries did NOT appear. This confirmed that some add-on(s) caused the problem. We then bit the bullet, made a list of his add-ons, and uninstalled all of them. In normal FF mode, one-by-one, we reinstalled most of his add-ons (leaving out ones he no longer wanted). At last we hit paydirt: the bad actor turned out to be SimilarWeb, which bills itself as "SimilarWeb (http://www.similarsites.com/similarweb/) - The Ultimate Discovery Tool - Discover without searching - SimilarWeb provides instant access to the best sites related to the one you are browsing! "

Success: Once we uninstalled this add-on, there were no more superfish "fishing expeditions" going on in his browser.

So now we have reference to three Firefox add-ons that install this superfish thing, all without asking and without a means of uninstalling: Window Shopper, IE Tab Plus, and SimilarWeb. Is anyone vetting these Firefox add-ons? Is this the way of the future? Can we expect more and more of the same with FF add-ons?

Your comments would be appreciated. Until these questions are addressed in some way, I'll mark this thread "Unresolved".

Frank


Last edited by Frank D; 8th February 2011 at 19:20.
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Old 8th February 2011   #7
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just because you uninstall something doesn't mean its gone for good. Sometimes there will be left over settings somewhere that can cause more problems elsewhere.

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