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FunWebProducts Spyware Detection and Removal

I noticed more and more users arriving on my server with FunWebProducts in the User Agent, log example below, so I decided to look into it. It appears to be a piece of Adware / Spyware which they deny. It hi-jacks your browser with little warning, and doesn't allow you to easily remove it or change the default settings it insists upon and it tracks your browsing habits. That in my book is spyware.

Spyware impairs users control over material changes that affect their user experience, privacy or system security; use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; or collection, use and distribution of their personal or otherwise sensitive information.

Amongst other things FunWebProducts may change your default search engine to MyWebSearch, and it may install a toolbar. You get a "Search Assistant" for when you mistype a URL. You can install it by "upgrading" your smileys in various messengers, cursors for windows, screensavers etc.

Please note I am NOT the author of FunWebProducts, nor am I involved in that company, this page is my attempt to help people who have become "infected" with it.

My Browser Security Advice

Use an alternative as your web browser and banish spyware!

Firefox is absolutely free and is widely considered to be the best and safest web browser.

Google have recently released Chrome, a bare bones browser based on Apple WebKit and Mozilla Firefox.

Download and try NoAdware for free

How to remove

First Your Browser - are you infected?

If you see FunWebProducts in the following text display of your HTTP User Agent, then you have their software on your machine.

CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)

Another way to check is to type the following in the navigation toolbar of your browser:

javascript:alert(navigator.userAgent)

This will open a little dialogue box with the details above.

Removal & Prevention Tools

Firstly try the uninstall information from Fun Web Products. (Copied below)

To remove a FunWebProduct and your My Web Search toolbar, you must do the following:

  1. From your computer's Start button, select "Settings", then select "Control Panel".
  2. Double-click on the "Add/Remove Programs" icon.
  3. Select "My Web Search Bar" and click "Remove". The My Web Search toolbar and the FunWebProduct feature have now been uninstalled.

Outlook, Outlook Express and IncrediMail users: To remove a FunWebProduct and the My Web Search navigation bar from your email system, you must do the following:

  1. From your computer's Start button, select "Settings", then select "Control Panel".
  2. Double-click on the "Add/Remove Programs" icon.
  3. Select "My Web Search (Outlook, Outlook Express, and IncrediMail)" and click "Remove". The My Web Search navigation bar and Smiley Central feature have now been uninstalled from your email system.

To remove Search Assistant (this feature provides you with suggested search listings when you mistype or enter an incomplete word or URL into your browser), you must do the following:

  1. From your computer's Start button, select "Settings", then select "Control Panel".
  2. Double-click on the "Add/Remove Programs" icon.
  3. Select "Search Assistant - My Web Search" and click "Remove".

Looking into other browser hijackers I discovered a wonderful piece of software called "Hijack This log file analysis" that analysed a log and advised on what to remove.

  1. HijackThis log file analysis
  2. Ad-aware - Software - Lavasoft
  3. PestScan . free online spyware scanner from PestPatrol
  4. Spy Sweeper - Spyware Removal Software and Spyware Protection by Webroot Software
  5. Spychecker - download spyware removal and Internet privacy tools
  6. Spybot - Search & Destroy!

I've found that my Anti Virus software AVG Anti-Virus blocks it, and I use the Firefox browser which doesn't suffer either.

Further Reading

  1. Spyware Section
  2. Uninstall information from Fun Web Products (copied above)
  3. Wired News: Giving New Meaning to 'Spyware'
  4. Anti-Spyware Coalition
  5. SWI Forums - Eradicating coolwebsearch since 2003
  6. No fun wth FunWebProducts

If you are a web site developer you could insert some FunWebProducts detection code on you pages to help your visitors.

Example log entry from an infected visitor

203.109.101.XXX - - [12/Jul/2005:08:37:17 +0100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 200 1406 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Maxthon; FunWebProducts)"

Download and try NoAdware for free.

"Noadware provides better protection than such industry heavyweights like McAfee and at a reasonable price."
Adware Report
February 14, 2008

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