Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is spigot, inc – searchsettings.exe?

Spigot, inc is a software company offering free extension applications for Mozilla Firefox browser called iObit Toolbar and Widgi Toolbar Platform. The extensions are considered malicious because it manipulated the browser to use Yahoo search even if the user is changing the search engines on manually to Google or Bing. Apart from that the Toolbar also provide dubious applications such as system scan and security scan options which serve for the benefits of iObit. Amazon and eBay search also included in the Toolbar

How the toolbar got install into Firefox browser is via iObit software like Advanced SystemCare Free 4, Game Booster 2, IObit Uninstaller, IObit Toolbox, Random Password Generator, Smart Defrag 2, IObit Malware Fighter Free. When setup any of the software, a window popup at the final stage of the installation to remind users whether to decline or accept the complimentary iObit Toolbar. Users who are not careful in selecting the option to decline will fall into the trap of Spigot,Inc spyware trap.

Based on the investigation, the Yahoo search is probably has been manipulated to collect information from users’ search activities. The Yahoo search box is located at and if you click on the company “Terms of Use” it clearly stated the spying list they do when people are using the browser toolbar. The company information claimed it is a supported by affiliate partners like Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. However I doubt those support are based on legitimate agreement because Spigoat obviously trying to use them to legalize its spying activity.

What happen to the System when iObit Toolbar is installed on your Windows OS?

1. Installed iObit Toolbar to Firefox and also Widgi Toolbar Platform in Firefox add-ons extension
2. Create folder c:/program files/common files/spigot/
3. Running at Windows Startup using its file searchsettings.exe
4. Run searchsetting.exe automatically when Firefox start
5. It uses Yahoo search engines located

How to uninstall iObit Toolbar?

1. Open Firefox browser look for iObit Toolbar→Options→Uninstall
2. Once uninstall re-start Firefox, this should remove the iObit toolbar and Widgi Toolbar Platform extension. Also searchsettings.exe will not be triggered again when running Firefox.

Un-install the Toolbar will not remove the searchsettings.exe from running on Windows Start up. How to prevent it from running at Windows Startup

1. In Windows go to Start→Run→“msconfig” click on Startup Windows tab and uncheck searchsettings.exe

To completely remove all the left over files require registry file removal.

1. In Windows go to Start→Run→Type “regedit”
2. In Regedit→Edit→Find
3. Search for searchsettings.exe and delete.
4. Keep searching by pressing F3 and delete every registry that contents searchsettings.exe until finish