POP-UP Blocking

Satheesh C B | Thursday, January 24, 2008 | 0 comments

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To stop or block pop-up windows or adware [such as porn, advertisements, IM or Messenger Service pop-ups]

To block all the types of pop-ups out there, follow some or all of the following steps:
* Use software that blocks pop-ups and/or ad-ware;
* Use a firewall and antivirus with the latest updates;
* Disable unnecessary programs that start when Windows starts, by downloading and using Startup Cop or Autostart Explorer;
* Disable or unbind NetBIOS over TCP/IP / File and Print Sharing on your network interface;
* Disable the Messaging service [but do NOT JUST disable the Messenger service alone... if you need to disable the Messenger service, then that means you also need to get a firewall, even a free one];
* Configure your chat program to not start up automatically with Windows, to require confirmation before accepting an incoming chat, and/or to only allow chat requests from people on your buddy/favorites list.

There are several different types of pop-ups:
* WEB BROWSER POP-UPS AND ADWARE
One very common type of pop-up is a new web browser window that pops up while you are surfing the Internet. These pop-ups are often generated by certain web sites including some porn sites, some shopping web sites, and some web sites that offer free services like email or news. These pop-ups often appear when you click to either enter or leave a web page.
There are a number of third-party software programs, both free and not free, which are supposed to help block pop-up windows.

www.lavasoft.de [Ad-Aware]
www.adshield.org
www.webwasher.com
www.popupstopper.com
www.zonealarm.com [the Zone Alarm firewall also blocks pop-ups and some adware]
www.webattack.com/Freeware/misctools/fwpopblock.shtml
www.webattack.com
www.download.com
www.tucows.com
www.google.com/groups?q=stop+OR+block+pop-ups
www.google.com/search?q=stop+OR+block+pop-ups+adware

The sites below use a different method to block adware [e.g. by using hosts files or DNS software to block name resolution for known sites for adware or objectionable internet content]. This method might be most effective if used IN ADDITION TO the other software above:
www.accs-net.com/hosts/DNSKong.html
www.accs-net.com/hosts

* MESSENGER SERVICE / WINDOWS MESSAGING / NETBIOS POP-UPS
Another type of pop-up is the Windows messaging pop-up. If you are receiving these types of pop-ups, NetBIOS / SMB / Windows Networking / Windows File and Print Sharing on your computer may be visible from the Internet, which is usually considered a serious security risk.

In particular, the web site https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 or any of the tools under the "Vulnerability Assessment" subsection can be used to scan your computer.

To block this first type of pop-up and also increase the security of your computer, use one or more of the techniques below:
A) USE A FIREWALL.
This is highly recommended and is the preferred, most secure way to fix this problem. Articles on blocking Windows Messenger state that you must make sure your firewall is blocking TCP and UDP ports 135, 137, 138, 139 and 445. This is true; however, it is far safer to make sure that your firewall is blocking ALL ports, both inbound and outbound, that are not being used

FIREWALL SOFTWARE:

www.sygate.com [free for non-commercial use, also works like a sniffer] www.kerio.com [free for non-commercial use] www.agnitum.com [free for non-commercial use] www.zonealarm.com [free for non-commercial use, also blocks pop-ups] www.iss.net [Black Ice] www.symantec.com [Norton] www.webattack.com www.download.com www.tucows.comwww.dshield.org
www.wallwatcher.com
www.kiwisyslog.com www.mynetwatchman.com
Also, no matter which firewall you choose, the lists below of port numbers for common software services may be helpful when configuring your firewall or when trying to monitor the firewall logs for signs of intrusion:
http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~rakerman/port-table.html
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=289241 [common ports on Windows 2000]
http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers
http://www.iisfaq.com/default.asp?View=P106
www.jmu.edu/computing/security/info/pfw.shtml [Firewall FAQ]
www.interhack.net/pubs/fwfaq [Firewall FAQ]
http://secinf.net/ifwe.html [Firewall FAQs]

B) DISABLE OR UNBIND NETBIOS OVER TCP/IP / FILE AND PRINT SHARING ON THE NETWORK INTERFACE.
This is slightly complicated and varies depending on what operating system you are using. If you wish to do this, try searching your favorite Internet search engine for words such as "how to disable netbios windows" for your version of Windows such as XP, or follow one or more of the links below. [Using a firewall is still highly recommended even if you follow this step.]

http://tinyurl.com/25gbju

C) DISABLE THE MESSENGER SERVICE.
This will stop the pop-ups and may be a good idea in addition to using a firewall. However, just disabling the Messenger service without also taking other actions leaves you extremely vulnerable to other more serious intrusions from the Internet.
To disable the Messenger service on Windows 2000 / 2003 / XP, you would click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services, stop the Messenger service and set the service to Startup Type = Disabled. Using a firewall and disabling NetBIOS is still strongly recommended. [If you don't, hackers on the Internet can probably get a list of all login IDs on your computer and start trying to guess your passwords.]
More information on Windows Messenger pop-ups and NetBIOS vulnerabilities can be found at the links below. [If you follow any of the links below, be sure you use a firewall to block all unneeded ports on your computer; do not just disable the Messenger service or just block the NetBIOS ports.]

http://www.jmu.edu/computing/security/info/winmsg.shtml
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330904
http://www.akerman.ca/port-table.html
* INSTANT MESSENGER POP-UPS [AOL AIM, MSN MESSENGER, YAHOO MESSENGER, ICQ, ETC.]
Instant messenger pop-ups are different from NetBIOS / Messenger service pop-ups. You can tell IM pop-ups because they appear within your instant messenger chat program.
The instructions for protecting yourself from unwanted chat messages differ depending on which instant messenger program you are using [e.g. AOL AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, etc]. The instructions would probably involve looking at and changing the settings within your IM client software. For example, some IM software will let you block everyone from contacting you except for the people on your "buddy" or "favorites" list, or can give you a prompt asking whether you want to accept the chat.
Another solution might be to set your instant messenger client so that it does not start automatically with windows, so that you have to double-click on your IM icon before anyone can contact you. Again this is in your IM client settings. For more information, check the documentation that came with your IM software and/or a support web page or Usenet newsgroup specifically for that IM program.

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