Adware Report: NewDotNet
New.net is a company that sells alternate top-level domains not supported in the official DNS system, and publishes a spyware application that makes use of these domains. The Top-level domains new.net provides are: .shop, .xxx, .club, .ltd, .inc, .travel, .tech , .sport, .family, .law, .med, and .mp3.
The new.net application is an Internet Explorer plug-in that gives the appearance of providing extra top-level domains (.shop, .xxx and .mp3, for example). Unlike many spyware programs, it does not secretly collect information, and the latest versions no longer inflict unrequested pop-up ads on the user. It does, however, install itself without the knowledge or permission of the user, and is designed to generate revenue for the new.net company. It redirects search queries to the new.net search engine, and is classified as a security risk because the update component stealth downloads any code the new.net server instructs it to.
Several different versions of the software exist. Early versions installed themselves into the Windows directory as a DLL titled "newdotnet_(X)" (where "X" is a number) and had no uninstall option. More recent versions create a folder in Program Files. In 2002, new.net added an extra program to the standard stealth installer. This program, known as FirstLook, was a pop-up advertising downloader. After considerable user anger and bad publicity, the new.net company stopped including FirstLook in the product.
New.net is hidden within a large number of apparently harmless programs, including Audiogalaxy, Babylon, BearShare, Grokster, iMesh, KaZaA, Radlight, and RealPlayer.
The program functions by inserting itself into the Winsock system. In consequence, a new.net infection is a frequent cause of lost network connectivity. A typical symptom for dial-up systems is that the user is able to dial out normally but cannot access the Internet. Older version of new.net often caused Internet Explorer to crash from time to time. It is believed that the later versions do not suffer from this issue.
The functionality of this product does not adhere to most Internet standards.
Older versions of NewDotNet cause frequent browser problems and may also trigger pop-up ads on your PC.
Use of an automated spyware removal tool is highly recommended, as you may permanently disable your internet connection by uninstalling manually.
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