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Thread: Spybot Anti-Beacon help

  1. #1
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    Default Spybot Anti-Beacon help

    Please help me! I downloaded this a year ago, and I guess I enabled some option that prevents your browser, default search provider, and other preferences from changing. I didn't like that so I deleted the program right after I got it. But ever since then every time I start up my computer, my Internet Explorer homepage gets reset back to msn.com, my default search provider get reset back to bing, and other things like "show hidden files" in "Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>File Explorer Options" gets reset. I tried many things like downloading Spybot Anti-Beacon again, re-immunizing my computer, then un-immunizing it again, but it still hasn't worked. I even factory reset my computer, but it STILL resets everything!!! By the way, every time I open Internet Explorer after booting up, it gives me a message like "You search provider has been reset by your security group policy" or something along those lines. It is extremely frustrating and I can not find a solution. I have the home edition of Windows 10 so I don't even have a group policy editor! I tried using a group policy editor for the home version, but it doesn't work. Can someone please tell me how to fix this? Maybe tell me where Spybot Anti-Beacon is located in my registry so I can delete it, or some other way to fix it? I am going insane trying to stop this.

  2. #2
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    I've been looking through Anti-beacon, and I don't see anything standing out that I think would make those kind of policies. I might be missing it, it's a lot of things to look at. Under Optional there is Web Search Group Policy, but I think that is just to stop web searches being done in the start menu.

    When you redownloaded Anti-beacon, reimmunized, then unimmunized again, that was a very good idea. Such a good idea, in fact, I'm going to ask you to do the redownloading part of that again, though any reimmunizing or unimmunizing can wait for a bit. That is because if there is some policy set by Anti-Beacon it will show in it, and it narrows things down immensely. Also, if there was anything immunized in Optional, that does not Unimmunize when you Undo immunization under the protection tab, looks like it must be done individually, and you might not have been aware of that.

    So, could you download and install Anti-Beacon again:
    https://www.safer-networking.org/201...1-6-available/
    When you're installing, when it gets to the part where it says something along the lines of "Stay Safe. Reapply immunization after each system restart.", please Uncheck that, and carry on with the install.
    Once Anti-Beacon is installed and open, please look on the Protection tab and see if it says "no protection applied yet." If it doesn't say that, then please scroll through and find anything immunized and post it here. Next, click over to the Optional Tab. It's easier if you put the window in full-screen. Then please scroll through and let me know if anything says All Blocked, and list what it is. Please don't immunize or unimmunize anything for the time being. That's so I can check on what it is first, it might be unrelated to the Internet Explorer restrictions, and/or something you set yourself elsewhere.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenobia View Post
    I've been looking through Anti-beacon, and I don't see anything standing out that I think would make those kind of policies. I might be missing it, it's a lot of things to look at. Under Optional there is Web Search Group Policy, but I think that is just to stop web searches being done in the start menu.

    When you redownloaded Anti-beacon, reimmunized, then unimmunized again, that was a very good idea. Such a good idea, in fact, I'm going to ask you to do the redownloading part of that again, though any reimmunizing or unimmunizing can wait for a bit. That is because if there is some policy set by Anti-Beacon it will show in it, and it narrows things down immensely. Also, if there was anything immunized in Optional, that does not Unimmunize when you Undo immunization under the protection tab, looks like it must be done individually, and you might not have been aware of that.

    So, could you download and install Anti-Beacon again:
    https://www.safer-networking.org/201...1-6-available/
    When you're installing, when it gets to the part where it says something along the lines of "Stay Safe. Reapply immunization after each system restart.", please Uncheck that, and carry on with the install.
    Once Anti-Beacon is installed and open, please look on the Protection tab and see if it says "no protection applied yet." If it doesn't say that, then please scroll through and find anything immunized and post it here. Next, click over to the Optional Tab. It's easier if you put the window in full-screen. Then please scroll through and let me know if anything says All Blocked, and list what it is. Please don't immunize or unimmunize anything for the time being. That's so I can check on what it is first, it might be unrelated to the Internet Explorer restrictions, and/or something you set yourself elsewhere.
    This is what I found in protection tab: Capture.PNG
    and this is what is in optional: rthrth.PNG

    Sorry for the late reply.

  4. #4
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late reply.
    No problem. And thanks for re-downloading Anti-beacon and uploading the screenshots for me.

    So from the first screen capture, it looks to be unrelated to the problems you're having with your search and homepage being reset back to default. That immunization is meant to turn off the customer experience program, and the scheduled tasks associated with the Customer Experience program, so shouldn't cause any kind of behavior outside of the Customer Experience Program. There's more information on this page:
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/26/tu...ience-program/
    That explains the three tasks, and on this page it shows info about DiskDiagnosticDataCollector and Consolidator:
    https://chentiangemalc.wordpress.com...lete-overview/
    (It's a page for Windows 7 tasks, but that's okay, they're the same as the ones in Windows 10.)

    The remote registry service would allow remote users to modify registry settings on your computer if it were enabled. So that also wouldn't affect Internet Explorer, either.

    It doesn't seem to be related to Anti-beacon, but at the same time I'm also wondering why the Internet Explorer restrictions seem to have happened a year ago when you installed it. That seems like too much of a coincidence, though stranger things have happened.

    Would you happen to have a version of Spybot installed as well as Anti-Beacon? I know Spybot 1.6.2 used to have options that caused restrictions similar to one or two of the things you're experiencing with Internet Explorer. I think those options became unavailable in Spybot 1.6.2 with Vista and higher computers, but it can't hurt to ask. Also do you have any other security programs that might set restrictions on Internet Explorer? Also, are you the administrator of the computer, what I basically mean is do you mainly have sole control over it, and there isn't anyone else that would have the authority to make restrictions on it, such as an IT department or anything similar?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenobia View Post
    No problem. And thanks for re-downloading Anti-beacon and uploading the screenshots for me.

    So from the first screen capture, it looks to be unrelated to the problems you're having with your search and homepage being reset back to default. That immunization is meant to turn off the customer experience program, and the scheduled tasks associated with the Customer Experience program, so shouldn't cause any kind of behavior outside of the Customer Experience Program. There's more information on this page:
    https://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/26/tu...ience-program/
    That explains the three tasks, and on this page it shows info about DiskDiagnosticDataCollector and Consolidator:
    https://chentiangemalc.wordpress.com...lete-overview/
    (It's a page for Windows 7 tasks, but that's okay, they're the same as the ones in Windows 10.)

    The remote registry service would allow remote users to modify registry settings on your computer if it were enabled. So that also wouldn't affect Internet Explorer, either.

    It doesn't seem to be related to Anti-beacon, but at the same time I'm also wondering why the Internet Explorer restrictions seem to have happened a year ago when you installed it. That seems like too much of a coincidence, though stranger things have happened.

    Would you happen to have a version of Spybot installed as well as Anti-Beacon? I know Spybot 1.6.2 used to have options that caused restrictions similar to one or two of the things you're experiencing with Internet Explorer. I think those options became unavailable in Spybot 1.6.2 with Vista and higher computers, but it can't hurt to ask. Also do you have any other security programs that might set restrictions on Internet Explorer? Also, are you the administrator of the computer, what I basically mean is do you mainly have sole control over it, and there isn't anyone else that would have the authority to make restrictions on it, such as an IT department or anything similar?
    I do not have and never have had any version of Spybot. Also, yes I am the administrator of my computer, nobody else is on it and nobody else has access to it. And none of my anti-virus programs restrict internet explorer, or reset all my personal settings, like "show hidden files" in control panel, that set to "do not show hidden files" whenever I boot up my computer.
    I thought I remember when I downloaded anti-spybot beacon a year ago, there was an option to reset my internet explorer and private settings upon startup. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't uncheck it, but I am sure I saw it.

    Also, a popular youtuber in a video reviewing spybot anti-beacon says in the description: "'some settings are managed by your organization' is displayed because Spybot Beacon changes some group policy settings. I didn't realize this while shooting the video but it makes sense."
    So I do believe that my problem has something to do with Anti-beacon.

    Even if it doesn't, do you know how I would go about fixing it by other means, like editing something in the registry? Or maybe some how editing the "group policy" that got onto my computer and is resetting everything?

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    I do not have and never have had any version of Spybot. Also, yes I am the administrator of my computer, nobody else is on it and nobody else has access to it. And none of my anti-virus programs restrict internet explorer, or reset all my personal settings, like "show hidden files" in control panel, that set to "do not show hidden files" whenever I boot up my computer.
    Okay, thanks.

    I thought I remember when I downloaded anti-spybot beacon a year ago, there was an option to reset my internet explorer and private settings upon startup. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't uncheck it, but I am sure I saw it.
    I was thinking that something similar to that might be in an older version so I downloaded Anti-Beacon 1.5 today and immunized everything. I didn't see anything similar in it, and I also didn't get the same restrictions on Internet Explorer that you did, so I guess that is a no go. Do you remember the version of Anti-beacon you had?
    I do see the comment he made under his video, so I'll try to watch it as soon as I'm able to so I can see what version he had, because that would be the easiest way to Undo the policies. I might not be able to get to it tomorrow because it's my thanksgiving, so a slight delay but don't worry I haven't wandered off or anything(unless I'm attacked by a gaggle of vengeful turkeys.Hey, you never know.)

    Even if it doesn't, do you know how I would go about fixing it by other means, like editing something in the registry? Or maybe some how editing the "group policy" that got onto my computer and is resetting everything?
    I was thinking about registry editing to fix it if it couldn't be fixed another way, but I wanted to ask you if you were familiar with registry editing and are willing to try it first, before I brought it up. Registry key backups would be made before any changes just in case. I'll need to find what registry keys need editing first. As a jumpstart to that, next time you reboot and start Internet Explorer can you copy down and post the exact message you see about the search provider? I tried looking for "Your search provider has been reset by your security group policy" but didn't get a hit on it. The other two restrictions can probably be found easier, so I'll look for them then.

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    I actually haven't had any problems since I redownloaded Anti-Beacon the other day, so it's possible it somehow resolved the problem, but I'll make sure to tell you if my internet or personal settings still get reset. It is too soon to tell, as just tomorrow it could reset again.

    Anyway, if I don't have anymore problems from here on out, thank you for all your help!

  8. #8
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    Oh, good. You're very welcome, and I'll see you here if the problems come back.

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    Speaking of the devil...

    Caesefpture.PNG
    Captefefure.PNG

  10. #10
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    Welcome back.
    Aw, it did change back. That's too bad.
    So, I don't use Internet Explorer or Edge too often, so I'm not too familiar with them. So I might not know right off what is usual. I did do a search on Google for "Your Default Home Page was reset by your security software." and "Your Default Search Provider was reset by your security software." and I didn't get any direct results for those. Usually if that is a typical result then it will come up. I'm not sure why it is not. Since this has been happening since installing Anti-Beacon it makes sense to investigate that, but since the "Your Default Home Page was reset by your security software." results don't seem to be typical, could you let me know what other security programs you have installed. Such as antivirus, antimalware, etc.

    I did set a policy in the registry for internet explorer to have a certain home page, and my results with that were that I am prompted that an unknown program wants to change my homepage, and to Allow or Not Allow when I reboot and open Internet Explorer, which is different than your results. It;s possible there is a different way to set a policy I did not find yet.

    Also, are you familiar with regedit, and okay with working with it? What I would like to look into if you are okay with it is getting you to back up, and then export your policies registry keys, and then opening them with notepad and pasting the contents here, so I can see the policies that are set. If you are okay with all that, then I'll give instructions for doing that in my next posts.

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