.Dpnetk Isn’t Just A BHO, It’s Adware

One of the most common guises that adware uses to lure you into getting infected is the illusion of being helpful. This can also make them difficult to remove, as the Browser Helper Object (BHO) disguise can fool many adware removal programs into thinking that it’s benign. .Dpnetk is one such program, under the disguise of “Microsoft DirectMusic.”  Remember, if it’s not signed by Microsoft, it’s not really Microsoft.

Browser Helper Objects are normally just that. They can be toolbars or navigation guides to assist you with specific searches. Of course, toolbars have their own annoyance. Specifically, they take up visual space that can better be used for seeing a web page. However, many adware manufacturers have realized the potential benefit of using this technology. BHO technology can be used to reset personal home pages to one of the adware manufacturer’s choosing. Also, they can redirect web searches to their own pages, and can block some other web pages. This is more than annoying, and potentially hazardous, as these websites may be infected with adware and viruses, and the blocked pages may be for clean up tools. They can also monitor your browsing habits, and will most likely communicate your browsing history with their “home base” to further refine which of their websites are potentially more appealing to you.

Otherwise, they follow the standard adware infection routine. This particular bug comes bundled with DirectMusic software, and once you approve that installation, you unwittingly approve the installation of .dpnetk or its variations. It installs itself as part of your browser’s software as a BHO. Then, it checks with home base to see if there are any updates it can make, and resets your browser settings as described above. This type of adware can be a bit tricky, since it may or may not have pop up or banner advertisements associated with it. Instead, the way to spot it is if your browser settings have been changed, or if you have a new toolbar.

Of course, there are also other ways to tell if you have been infected with spyware. If your computer starts running slowly is a sure sign. If your programs not only take a long time to load, but will sometimes crash while you’re running them is another.

This is especially true of your Internet Browsers. The reason Internet Browsers are a good way to notice an infection is that they and adware compete for memory and internet connection bandwidth. If it becomes a regular annoyance when you’re surfing that your pages aren’t loading or your browser crashes, there’s a good chance that you’re infected.


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