Legacy Applications

PestPatrol

SUMMARY: The commercial PestPatrol was an application that could help find and remove adware, spyware, and other malware and pests.


PestPatrol is unsupported. Some of these tips may not work.



Download Updates Automatically

Like other spyware and adware scanners/cleaners, PestPatrol must be constantly updated to handle the newest malware threats. You can automate this process, if desired:

1. Right-click the "PestPatrol Control Terminal" in the Windows Taskbar, choosing "Launch PestPatrol".

2. When PestPatrol appears, click the "Options" tab.

3. Click the "Updates" sub-tab.

4. Underneath "Check for Latest Updates", click the "On Launch of PestPatrol" radio button.

If the updates do not download, your network may be behind a firewall. Read tip "PestPatrol - Unable to Download Updates" for more information.

Unable to Download Updates

If you are have trouble downloading updates for the PestPatrol adware / spyware scanner and remover, check the following:

1. Are you online and is your Internet connection setup correctly? Open a web browser and try accessing a search engine such as Google (http://www.google.com).

2. If so, check your system administrator to see if you are behind a proxy server. If that is the case, you need to tell PestPatrol how to use the proxy server. You'll need the following information:

* Proxy Address and Port
* Proxy user ID
* Proxy Password

Once you have this information, update PestPatrol:

1. Right-click the "PestPatrol Control Terminal" in the Windows Taskbar, choosing "Launch PestPatrol".

2. When PestPatrol appears, click the "Options" tab.

3. Click the "Updates" sub-tab.

4. Underneath "If you have a Proxy Server", enter the requested information where prompted.

Running a Scan

Once you have downloaded and installed PestPatrol (refer to PestPatrol download / install instructions), after it has started and finished updating its components, you should perform a system scan.

1. Right-click the "PestPatrol Control Terminal" in the Windows Taskbar, choosing "Launch PestPatrol".

2. When PestPatrol appears, click the "Scan" tab.

3. Decide what you want to scan.

To scan your entire system, click on "C:" under "Available for Scanning" and click the "Add" button. If you have other hard drives, repeat as needed. If you are a system administrator and want to scan mapped drives, select them as well.

If desired, you can choose to scan certain folders on your system. To do so, click on the "plus" next to a drive letter, then click on each subfolder you wish to scan and click the "Add" button.

4. Click the "Start" button.

PestPatrol will list found pests, information about each pest, information about the file(s) making up the pest, and recommended actions. If you cannot see the full information for a column, move the mouse pointer directly to the right of the column you wish to expand so the pointer turns into a double-arrow. Then, click and keep the mouse button held down as you drag the mouse pointer to the right to expand the column.

1) Underneath "Pest Info", click on the "Click here" links to get more information about the particular pest. This can help you determine whether or not you wish to remove a particular file or cookie.

2) If a particular pest really is not a pest, such as a tracking or login cookie you wish to keep to make it easier to access a particular website, click on the cookie and then click "Exclude".

3) To remove a particular pest, click on the pest and then the "Remove" button.

4) To remove all pests, click "Select All" then "Remove".

Remove Sounds

The PestPatrol spyware / adware scanner and removal tool plays sounds for the following reasons:

1) Malware is detected.
2) A scan is done.

If you are in an office environment, these sounds may annoy others. Or, you may just decide you do not want audio confirmation whenever PestPatrol performs a task. To turn off the sounds from within PestPatrol:

1. Click the "Options" tab.
2. Click the "Interface" sub-tab.
3. Underneath "Sounds", uncheck "Alarm on detection" and "Play done sound".

More Thorough Scanning

If you have time to do something away from the computer for a while, you can have PestPatrol perform a more thourough scan whenever it checks your computer for spyware and other malware. According to the documentation, this "Thorough" mode is "able to detect new variants of RATs [Remote Access Trojans] and other pests".

To enable Thorough scanning mode from within PestPatrol:

1. Click the "Options" tab.
2. Click the "Where to Search" sub-tab.
3. Underneath "Scanning Method", click the "Thorough" radio button.

Enable / Disable Context Menu

By default, PestPatrol adds an option to the Explorer context menu where if you right-click a folder, the option "Scan Directory with PestPatrol" appears. If you wish to disable this context menu, or if it has been removed on your system and you wish to re-enable it, do the following from within PestPatrol:

1. Click the "Options" tab.

2. Click the "Automatic Scans" sub-tab.

3. Underneath "Right Click to Scan Folders", click the "Enable" or "Disable" radio button as desired.

Enable / Disable System Tray Icon

By default, PestPatrol adds a system tray icon, "PPControl", to your Windows Taskbar. Right-clicking this taskbar button provides access to PestPatrol, MemCheck, CookiePatrol, and other PestPatrol options.

If you tire of taskbar icons cluttering your desktop and wish to remove this icon, or if you would like to regain access to this icon if it has disappeared from your Windows Taskbar, do the following from within PestPatrol:

1. Click the "Options" tab.
2. Click the "Automatic Scans" sub-tab.
3. Underneath "PPControl", check or uncheck "Invoke on Boot" as desired.

Change the Font

Don't like the look of PestPatrol? Do you have trouble reading the default interface font? If so, you can tweak PestPatrol and change the default font to that of your liking.

1. Click the "Options" tab.

2. Click the "Interface" sub-tab.

3. Underneath "Fonts", click the "Font Charset", "Font Name", and "Font Size" pull-downs, choosing your font options as desired. Look at the box to the right to get a preview of your font choice.

4. If you wish, click the "Color" button to change the font color. Again, refer to the box to the right to see a preview of your changes.

5. Once you have made your choices, click the "Use" button to apply your changes. Later on, if desired, you can click "Reset" to use the default font charset, name, size, and color.

Scan All Files

Normally, PestPatrol only scans certain types of files for malware, such as executables, Visual Basic Scripts, macro files, cached web pages, and more. However, you may want PestPatrol to scan every type of file for malware, including inside compressed files such as .ZIP, .ARJ, and .RAR. To make this change:

1. Click the "Options" tab.
2. Click the "Where to Search" sub-tab.
3. Underneath "Include in Scan", click the "All Files" radio button.

Although this may potentially find malware inside files that would not normally be scanned, "All Files" scans can take considerably longer than the default "Selected Files" scans.

Ignore Scanning Files or Certain Directories

By default, PestPatrol ignores files in the Recycle Bin (c:\recycler) and System Volume Information (c:\system volume information). If desired, you can force PestPatrol to ignore malware found in other specified directories, for example if false alarms are generated by files in a particular directory. You can also force PestPatrol to ignore possible malware found in specific files if they are causing false alarms.

1. Click the "Options" tab.

2. Click the "What to Exclude" sub-tab.

3. To add a directory or file to the "Files and Directories to ignore" list, click the "Add" button above the list. In the following dialog box, select areas to exclude from scanning by placing checkmarks next to files or directories.

4. To remove a file or directory from the exclusion list, select the file or directory and press the "Remove" button.

Analyze a Downloaded File for Malware

When you download files from the Internet, your virus scanner may be set up to automatically scan it for viruses. But what about spyware, adware, and other types of malware? You can use PestPatrol to analyze a particular file to see if it contains these threats without having to perform a scan of your entire system.

1. Click the "Advanced" tab.

2. Click the "Analyze a File" sub-tab.

3. Click the "Choose a File to Analyze" button.

4. Browse your system for the file to analyze then either double-click the file or select it and press "Open".

5. An analysis will appear in the log window. Be sure to read the disclaimer provided.

Limit or Expand your Search

PestPatrol can search for many other types of files besides just adware and spyware. As of 11/16/04, the list of malware this software can find includes the following:

* Adware
* Anarchy documents
* Annoyance trojans
* ANSI bombs (graphic sequences rarely found nowadays)
* AOL pests (malware aimed at AOL users)
* Binder (tools that embed two or more potential exploits into one)
* Browser helper objects
* Credit card fraud documents
* Commercial remote administration tools
* Copy protection breaking documents
* Cracking documents
* Denial of Service attacks
* Distributed denial of service attacks
* Encryption tools
* Exploits
* Explosives documents
* Firewall killers
* Flooders (ping flooders, etc).
* Hacking tutorials
* Hijackers
* Hostile ActiveX controls
* Hostile code droppers
* Hostile Java controls
* Hostile scripts
* IRC war tools
* Key generators to break copy protection
* Key loggers
* Lockpicking documents
* Mail bombers
* Mailers
* Misc documents and tools
* Nukers (damages machines via the registry or file system)
* P2P (peer-to-peer) file swappers
* Packers (compresses files)
* Password capturers
* Password crackers and wizards
* Phreaking text and tools
* Port scanners
* Probe tools
* Program loaders
* RATs (Remote Access Trojans)
* Sniffers
* SPAM tools
* Spoofers
* Spyware
* Spyware cookies
* Theft documents
* Toll number dialers
* Trackware cookies
* Trojans
* Trojan creation tools
* Trojan source code
* Virus creation tools
* Virus source code
* Virus tutorials
* War dialers
* Worms
* Worm creation tools

As a few of these types of documents or programs may have legitimate uses (such as commercial remote access tools), PestPatrol does not normally look for such objects. However, if you wish, you can have PestPatrol look for as much or as little as desired.

1. Click the "Options" tab.

2. Click the "What to Search For" sub-tab.

3. Next to each malware type, click the "X" to change it to a checkmark to scan for that type of malware. Or, click the checkmark to change it to an "X" to ignore that type of malware.

4. Re-scan your system as desired.

Note that as you increase the types of malware for PestPatrol to search, you will increase the length of time it takes to perform scans.

View Emerging Pests

To help system administrators and even home computer users learn the types of pests that are growing in prevalence in the wild, PestPatrol provides a list of emerging and "Top Ten Fastest Emerging" pests via links to PestPatrol's website. This information is gathered from detections provided anonymously by certain PestPatrol owners. To view this information:

1. Click the "Options" tab.

2. Click the "Help Wanted" sub-tab.

3. To see a list of all emerging pests, click "Emerging Pests" underneath "Fastest Growing Pests".

4. To see which pests are emerging the fastest, click "Top Ten Fastest Emerging Pests" underneath "Fastest Growing Pests".

Get Information on a Particular Pest

If desired, you can display detailed information about any of the particular spyware, adware, remote access trojans, documents, or other "pests" that PestPatrol tracks. This can be useful for system administration purposes or just to learn what types of malicious software and documents are on the Internet.

1. Click "Help/Info" - "Pest Info".

2. Click a pest under "Pest Name", or click the "Find" button to search for a particular pest.

3. The right pane provides a hyperlink to get more information about the particular pest using your web browser.

Show Running Process List

To help determine if spyware, adware, a remote access trojan, or other piece of malicious software is running on your system, you can use PestPatrol to display detailed information on the list of running processes.

1. Click "Logs" - "Running Processes".
2. A list of running processes will appear, including:

* Process identifier, including filename
* Status (whether or not PestPatrol thinks the process is ok)
* Process ID
* Path to running process
* Size in memory of process
* MD5 hash of process
* Process file's date and time
* Process company name if applicable
* Process file description if applicable
* Process file version if applicable (may differ from the product version)
* Process internal name, an identifier, if applicable
* Process copyright information if applicable
* Process original filename if applicable
* Process product name if applicable
* Process product version if applicable

You may have to expand the PestPatrol window size or use the horizontal scroll bar to view all available information.

Scan and Manually Delete Cookies

While the CookiePatrol feature of PestPatrol, if running, automatically deletes cookies that PestPatrol believe violate your privacy, other cookies may remain on your system. Some of these may be beneficial in personalizing websites to your liking or to automatically log you into certain services. However, you may deem others unnecessary and wish to delete them. To view your list of cookies and delete some or all of them manually:

1. From PestPatrol, click the "Advanced" tab.
2. Click the "Cookies" sub-tab.
3. A list of cookies will appear, including:

* Web address where cookie originated
* Number of times a cookie was accessed
* The last date/time a cookie was modified
* Cookie's expiration date
* Full filename (address) of each cookie

4. To delete cookies, click the checkboxes next to cookies you wish to delete and click the "Delete" button. Or, click "Select All" then "Delete" to remove all cookies from your system. Note that this only removes cookies already on your system; as you browse more websites, new cookies may be placed on your computer, possibly from the same sites.

Disable Sound When Cookie is Removed

Whenever the CookiePatrol module of PestPatrol removes a cookie that it deems may violate your privacy, your computer will play a sound similar to that of a water drop splashing. This lets you know that a particular website tried to place a cookie that CookiePatrol intercepted. If you are in a quiet office environment, or if you are just annoyed of the sound, it can be disabled.

1. Right-click on the PestPatrol icon on your Windows taskbar.
2. Select "CookiePatrol" - "Disable Sound".

Download Updates Without Launching PestPatrol

If you would like to update PestPatrol as well as its components, including MemCheck (scan memory for potential spyware and adware) and CookiePatrol (automatically remove potentially privacy-violating cookies), you can do so from the Windows Taskbar without having to load the main PestPatrol module.

Just right-click on the PestPatrol icon on your Windows taskbar and choose "Update". The PestPatrol Updater will appear and download updates, if available.

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About MalekTips and the Author

The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.