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Posted by cotojo on September 3, 2007

This is a very nasty and insidious spyware/malware program.  Spyware experts are now saying that the makers are borrowing  code from other malicious programs to install rootkit like features on infected machines.

More recent versions of CWS spyware now have features similar to rootkits which allow the program writers to hide their files on Windows operating systems.

These new variants can hide their settings in the registry and also hide rootkit files in alternate data streams.

The software is usually installed on a machine by visits to malicious websites or  emails using various ploys to get users to download and install the script.

Once installed, CoolWebSearch will hijack browsers and redirect users to some of the several bookmarks it imports.  When you attempt to change your homepage back again it constantly overwrites it,  it slows down general performance and causes Windows to freeze, crash or reboot, and can also make you victin to a Denial of Service (DOS) attack.

Getting rid of it is now much easier.  TrendMicro have a free CoolWebSearch removal program

Use this utility to get rid of CoolWebSearch and it’s related programs. 

Also download Spybot S&D and use its TeaTimer protection, which runs in the background and alerts you to any attempted registry changes.

If you are running Windows, also use  Advanced Windows Care.  Both of these programs will add a large number of changes to your Registry.  This is nothing to be concerned about as the changes are necessary to stop any nasties from attching themselves to your pc and making changes you really don’t want.

Keep your anti-spyware up to date and if you click on any links that prompt you to download, read the EULA first.

Check for rootkits on your machine.

As with all programs, regular updates is essential to offer you greater protection.


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13 Responses to “CoolWebSearch”

  1. […] The best information on the topic can be found at the source here […]

  2. CoolWebSearch

    CoolWebSearch is an internet spyware browser hijacker. While on your computer CoolWebSearch will redirect your home page to,, or other CoolWebSearch affiliates. CoolWebSearch will also generate pornographic pop-up adver…

  3. cotojo said

    Lalit – You’re most welcome. Thanks for dropping by always good to see you 🙂


  4. 🙂

  5. cotojo said

    Lalit – There is a free download for Linux/FreeBSD and Solaris based systems from Avira HERE which is a 40Mb download.

    CWS targets Windows OS and it’s rare for Linux systems to become infected.


  6. god heavens !!!
    but i Have dual boot with linux


    Submited post on – “CoolWebSearch”

  8. cotojo said

    Sue – Yes CWS is very nasty and can also do a great deal of damage. I use Spybot along with Tea-Timer which I have posted on before but really should have put a link into this post too 🙂

  9. Sueblimely said

    Cool Web Search is certainly a nasty one – one my partner often finds to be the culprit of clients computer crashes. We always recommend using the free program Spybot and its tea-timer feature as well as a virus scanner. Tea-timer alerts you of any attempts to change registry files and automatically blocks a great many unwanted cookies.

  10. cotojo said

    Jackie – There are many good programs for clearing out the junk that amasses on our hard drives now, and I try to cover as many of the free ones as I can, but will only post after using them for several months and putting them through their paces on another pc.

  11. shinade said

    Well I just spent $210 to have a tech come out and remove I can’t begin to tell you how much crud…that nearly had me crawling and the programs were constantly eating up my Satellite feed time….wow what a difference now. One of the programs was put on by my son-in-law…CCleaner….well it cleans alright but my tech. sais it is really also a very good feeeder on your computer’s ability. Now I have a lovely program…don’t know the name…but, you run it once a month and then it gives you the option to completely shut it down….and, that is completely shut it down…until you run it again. My tech installed it for me…..thanks for helping us all be aware about these bottom feeders that drain our computers!! ~jackie

  12. cotojo said

    Netsafeguard – many thanks for your comment.

    As you say updating existing anti-spyware is essential, as is updating all other protection utilities. It has and always will be an ongoing battle to keep computers safe from coded spyware.


  13. This one is truly nasty – so much so that some are actually reformatting hard drives after picking it up.I don’t recommend that drastic step (though a reformat every couple years is quite refreshing!). I’m always in favor of using either free or paid anti-spyware software, but urge users to make sure that theirs is up-to-date. There are a variety of both free and paid tools out there, but neither will do you any good without updates – after all folks, those coding spyware are trying to BEAT the existing anti-spyware tools. It’s an ongoing battle, and to do your part in keeping your computer safe is to remain up-to-date.

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