Browser toolbars aren’t just annoying — they can be dangerous, too [Image]

Most of us dislike having toolbars in our browsers because they are annoying; not only do they tend to hijack our homepages, but they use up a lot of screen real estate, making it more difficult to surf the web… especially if you have 12 toolbars installed in one browser. Another reason to not have browser toolbars? They can be dangerous.

The following image shows a toolbar in Chrome effectively killing a computer by utilizing most of the CPU. Check it out (click image to view larger size):

bad_toolbar

This toolbar was discovered when the couple who own the PC which had this toolbar complained to their son that “the internet is slow” and “it took 30 seconds for the address bar [in Chrome] to respond to keyboard clicks”. The son took a look at the computer and discovered this. After removing the toolbar everything worked fine.

It isn’t entirely clear why this particular toolbar is eating so much CPU. Is it malware or simply badly coded? Who knows. For what it is worth, a simple Google search doesn’t bring up much about the toolbar except one website that indicates CompTool0234 is a toolbar related to Conduit, a legitimate company.

[via Reddit]

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9 comments

  1. WKKos

    I want to share with you 2 precious findings relating to unwelcome toolbars.
    1. Freeware portable IObit Uninstaller 2.4.6.322 has a section “Toolbars”, which enables uninstallation of toolbars – IMHO it’s a very useful piece of information for those who struggle to uninstall toolbars.
    2(a). A current list of applications that bundle toolbars or unwanted addons with their installer can be found here: http://www.freeware-guide.com/html/adwarelist.html
    2(b). A current list of dodgy installers can be found here: http://www.calendarofupdates.com/updates/index.php?showtopic=16109&st=0
    2(c) Applications known to use OpenCandy can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCandy
    This link is also very useful: http://traxter-online.net/sponsoringowe-dodatki-w-instalatorach-aplikacji-freeware/ (you will need to use Google Translator to make full use of the info).
    I trust the info above may save many users from present of future problems.

  2. bobberup

    Ashraf ,
    I wasn’t ranting at you!!!
    You spend too much time and effort in keeping us up to date on the world of wonderful (?) computers.

    Speaking I believe all of us here, say, Thank You very much!!!!

  3. bobberup

    THIS is another crapper as far as I am concerned. NO where that I could find did it tell me just to try the program it was going to cost me $29.95.
    If this is what it is TELL US so we don’t waste time screwing around with it.
    The program downloads well, works fast finding errors (562) if that is to be believed
    in order to fix the errors, just send us MONEY MONEY

    Oh, and yes I agree with Ed and Seamus McSeamus

  4. Seamus McSeamus

    Just to reiterate what Ed said, NEVER install toolbars.

    They offer nothing but problems, and by their very nature are sneaky and underhanded. Anything that can get me to install it only by piggybacking on other software in a pre-checked box is nothing I want.

  5. Ed

    NEVER install toolbars, no matter who it may be from, always opt out of them ESPECIALLY when they come bundled with other software.

    Toolbars, in my mind are probably in the top 5 of problems that slow computers down.