Microsoft AntiSpyware is Spyware?

    March 3, 2005

A couple of weeks back, we reported on a sneaky M$ patch that was reseting users homepages to as well as fixing bugs…

Now, Preston Gralla at O’Reilly points out that Microsoft’s AntiSpyware software does much the same thing, every time it blocks a homepage hijack!

How does it do this? In a devilishly simple and exceedingly misleading manner. When it detects that a hijacker is trying to reset your home page, it warns you and then asks whether you want to block the hijacker. When you answer yes, Microsoft AntiSpyware promptly blocks the hijacker. But it then does a hijack of its own and resets your home page to

If you dig deep enough, you can defeat AntiSpyware’s home page hijacking. Choose Advanced Tools–>Browser Hijack Restore, and highlight Start Page. Click “Change restore settings to a new URL,” type in your normal home page, then click OK. From now on, when Microsoft blocks a home page hijacking, it will let you keep your own home page, and won’t do a hijacking on its own.

Quite astonishing….

Nick Wilson is the publisher and founder of

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