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mLipok

Ask Toolbar (and other such)

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On various occasions, my clients are installed various additives such as:
Ask Toolbar
Ask Toolbar Updater
McAfee Security Scan Plus
McAfee SiteAdvisor
 
and the like.
 
Does anyone have an idea for detecting whether these apps to have installed, and to automate the uninstall these applications.

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Using the registry, FileExists() on the program file directory.


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Updated: 04/09/2015

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A lot of toolbars don't write a hex key into the Uninstall key in the registry (see below), and so are not always caught if you do a RegKeyEnum. You may have to resort to a filesearch if this is the case.

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Man looking and gets lost.
As usual, the best solutions are the simplest ones.
 
Thanks
mlipok

Signature beginning:   Wondering who uses AutoIT and what it can be used for ?
* GHAPI UDF - modest begining - comunication with GitHub REST API *
ADO.au3 UDF     POP3.au3 UDF     XML.au3 UDF    How to use IE.au3  UDF with  AutoIt v3.3.14.x  for other useful stuff click the following button

Spoiler

Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind. 

My contribution (my own projects): * Debenu Quick PDF Library - UDF * Debenu PDF Viewer SDK - UDF * Acrobat Reader - ActiveX Viewer * UDF for PDFCreator v1.x.x * XZip - UDF * AppCompatFlags UDF * CrowdinAPI UDF * _WinMergeCompare2Files() * _JavaExceptionAdd() * _IsBeta() * Writing DPI Awareness App - workaround * _AutoIt_RequiredVersion() * Chilkatsoft.au3 UDF * TeamViewer.au3 UDF * JavaManagement UDF * VIES over SOAP * WinSCP UDF * GHAPI UDF - modest begining - comunication with GitHub REST API *

My contribution to others projects or UDF based on  others projects: * _sql.au3 UDF  * POP3.au3 UDF *  RTF Printer - UDF * XML.au3 - BETA * ADO.au3 UDF SMTP Mailer UDF *

Useful links: * Forum Rules * Forum etiquette *  Forum Information and FAQs * How to post code on the forum * AutoIt Online Documentation * AutoIt Online Beta Documentation * SciTE4AutoIt3 getting started * Convert text blocks to AutoIt code * Games made in Autoit * Programming related sites * Polish AutoIt Tutorial * DllCall Code Generator * 

Wiki: Expand your knowledge - AutoIt Wiki * Collection of User Defined Functions * How to use HelpFile * Best coding practices * 

IE Related:  * How to use IE.au3  UDF with  AutoIt v3.3.14.x * Why isn't Autoit able to click a Javascript Dialog? * Clicking javascript button with no ID * IE document >> save as MHT file * IETab Switcher (by LarsJ ) * HTML Entities * _IEquerySelectorAll() (by uncommon) * 

I encourage you to read: * Global Vars * Best Coding Practices * Please explain code used in Help file for several File functions * OOP-like approach in AutoIt * UDF-Spec Questions *  EXAMPLE: How To Catch ConsoleWrite() output to a file or to CMD *

"Homo sum; humani nil a me alienum puto" - Publius Terentius Afer
"Program are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers and execute" - Donald Knuth, "The Art of Computer Programming"
:naughty:  :ranting:, be  :) and       \\//_.

Anticipating Errors :  "Any program that accepts data from a user must include code to validate that data before sending it to the data store. You cannot rely on the data store, ...., or even your programming language to notify you of problems. You must check every byte entered by your users, making sure that data is the correct type for its field and that required fields are not empty."

Signature last update: 2017-06-04

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A lot of toolbars don't write a hex key into the Uninstall key in the registry ...

 

But they do write to other locations. Try searching at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

and also at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects

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A concept I used long ago, now I now refuse to use software that does this as you just promote their behavior, is to create a file with the same name as the pest installation folder. This is a prevention and not a cure. So if it creates a folder named "C:PFgarbage", excuse my abbreviations, Use FileOpen to open a extensionless filename to that path. Install the software and the toolbars, spyware fail to install as you have a lock on their install path and so they fail and then use FileClose at finish of install. This works with scripted installs as you know the behavior of these pests before hand. Perhaps they have caught on now though I give them a wave goodbye now.

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#7 ·  Posted (edited)

McAfee comes in though Adobe updates. That includes flash.

Ask Toolbar normally comes in through Avira, but others have used that toolbar also.

They tout that Ask is safer to use with their software.

They each give the option, at "manual install", to allow install or not.

I personally don't allow any software to "automatically install" anything when updating.

And as hard as it is to do, because it breaks my heart -- I disable all their updating schemes.

Even giggles, with their Two running services. I guess one keeps an eye on the other.

Actually it's fairly simple. Just set "read only" permissions to keys like BHO's.

If they can't write to their install key's - they will abort it.

Same goes for Firefox extensions. Just set the extension folder permissions to "read only".

If they can't write to the folder, they can't install.

If I'm setting folder permissions that way - I will remove all users, except "everyone".

Then set "everyone" Read.

Edited by ripdad

Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you - Benjamin Franklin

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Some of the software that bundles this pc equivalent of scrotum warts is unavoidable.  Flash, Acrobat and Java all bundle this stuff plus formerly reputable sites like softpedia etc.  Search online for manual removal (more like manual evacuation), see how that applies to your problem and branch out our search from there.  This problem is a very fast moving target though so it might be less traumatic for you to download malware bytes or this will become an ongoing area of effort.

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