Beware anything called Hotbar. I have no idea where it is downloaded from, but it my be something targeted at younger girls. It may be connected to i-Tunes related sites.

I have had two clients in the last 24 hours, with almost identical addresses (albeit 5km apart) whose XP desktop machines have almost identical symptoms, and on analysis, identical infections of adware.

In both cases, the hard drives were corrupt, and were randomly restarting when trying to boot into windows. After checking all the hardware causes, this is a pretty good sign of a virus infection. So a quick chkdsk /R when booting from a widows install disk cleans up the disk enough to at least start windows. Normal mode is usually impossible and Safe mode is the only way of getting the system going. Safe mode is usually essential for the first pass of a malware program, my preferred first pass being Superantispyware. In both cases this found infections of hotbar.shopperreport and report, along with some other nastier stuff, possibly let in by these infections. This includes security disablers, trojans and other stuff.

A whole raft of other malware packages cleans off a different batch of nasties each run, and only when I get cleanruns of all programs do I call it clean!


Dave Glover is a director of Signs of Success Ltd. married to Lynn (the other director of SOS) with 3 grown up kids. We live in Whitby, in New Zealand. After 30+ years in IT as everything from Trainee Programmer to Project Manager, Dave now runs a Computer Maintenance and Sign Making shop near his home.

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