Ad-Aware - Plugins
These are all the plugins available so far for Ad-Aware along with their direct download link, size, and description.
Before you decide to download a plugin, have a look at your C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-aware 6\Plugins\
So, you can download missing plugins only. To extract a plugin, apply this switch:
C:\plug\ploewmessengerctrl.exe /x c:\plug
After extracting all plugins, pick the DLLs only, then put them inside C:\Program Files\Lavasoft\Ad-aware 6\Plugins\
Alternatively, you can run the exe of each plugin to install it as usual.1- Messenger-Control
Beginning with Windows NT, Microsoft included the Windows Messenger Service, and it's been built-in to each subsequent version and release of Windows over the past several years. It was originally designed to allow system administrators on client-server networks to send out brief system-wide messages to everyone connected to the network. For the most part, it's never gained much use since there are easier alternatives to sending such messages.
It is being put to use however, by those who know that this Service is turned on by default in all current versions of Windows. If you've been connected to the Internet and suddenly see a window pop-up filled with information about the latest "get-rich-scheme," a college diploma, or low-rate credit cards, you're being spammed courtesy of Windows Messenger Service! Note that these are not browser windows, but resemble Windows Dialog boxes (with "Messenger Service" in the title bar), with the exception that you're generally offered no "options" besides clicking an "OK" button.
Windows Messenger Service is an Internet server that's up and running on your machine, leaving it open to anyone who wants to connect to it when you're online. Unlike annoying browser pop-ups, which only show up if Internet Explorer or another browser is running, spam utilizing Windows Messenger Service can be received no matter what application you mightbe using, as long as you're connected to the Internet.
For the typical user, having Messenger Service running opens an unnecessary "back door" that can compromise system security and which can be shut and locked tight easily. On October 15th of this year, Microsoft released Security Bulletin MS03-043 which outlines potential ways malicious programmers can exploit a flaw in the Messenger Service using buffer overflows to take control of your system. According to Microsoft, "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could be able to run code with Local System privileges on an affected system, or could cause the Messenger Service to fail. The attacker could then take any action on the system, including installing programs, viewing, changing or deleting data, or creating new accounts with full privileges." At this point, there are no known examples of malware taking advantage of this loophole, but it's almost certain that as this problem becomes more well known, attacks on systems vulnerable to this threat will occur.
Turning off Windows Messenger Service also has the added benefit of freeing up a little extra RAM and CPU cycles. If for no other reason than to shut off spam it's worth the few seconds it takes to turn it off.
Unfortunately, just as there are people ready and willing to exploit system flaws with malevolent intent, there are also those geared-up to sell you a program to take care of the problem. A quick check of any search engine or shareware site will turn up dozens, ranging in price from a few dollars to nearly $30 US. One site that sells the software to generate Messenger spam even tells you how to keep it from affecting your computer!
Although you can do it yourself by wading through some menus and options turning off Windows Messenger Service, using Lavasoft's Messenger-Control plug-in for Ad-aware is a simpler option. All you need to do is download the plug-in. Then extract and run the installation executable, which will put the plug-in in the correct folder. After that you just run Ad-aware, click the "Plug-ins" button, and double click on Messenger-Control. Select "Disable Messenger," and the Service will be shut down. Should you ever need to restore it, follow the same directions and click "Enable Messenger".
If you're using a standalone machine not connected to a LAN, you can generally turn off Windows Messenger Service with no problems, although there are some programs that make legitimate use of the Service. Those connected to a local area network will want to contact their system administrator first just in case they make use of it.
Also, shutting off Windows Messenger Service will have no effect on any of the popular "instant messaging" systems you might be using; they don't rely on Windows Messenger Service (irrespective of its name) to function.2- OE/WMessenger
Disable Windows Messenger From Appearing When You Open Outlook Express
Many users opt not to use Microsoft Windows Messenger for their instant messenger program. Despite the fact that Microsoft Windows XP users have turned off the auto-start feature of Windows Messenger, it continues to open when Microsoft Outlook Express is use.
It should be noted that this only occurs on systems running Microsoft Windows XP. Other versions of Microsoft Windows do not experience this.
If you have disabled Windows Messenger's auto-start function, and you'd like it to remain closed while using Outlook Express, we have created a plug-in which will allow you to prevent Windows Messenger from starting when Outlook Express launches. The plug-in allows you to switch between disabling and enabling Windows Messenger's auto-launch status when opening Outlook Express. When Windows Messenger is disabled, you may also notice faster load times when opening Outlook Express.3- LSP Explorer
Layered Service Providers (LSP) are small pieces of software that can be added or inserted into the Windows TCP/IP handler by other software. Data outward bound from your computer to a legitimate destination on the Internet can be intercepted by an LSP and sent somewhere other than where you intend it to go. LSP Explorer lets you view active LSP and Name Service Providers on your system, along with detailed information about each so you can determine whether or not they're legitimate. Access LSP Explorer can be run directly from the Plug-ins menu. LSP Explorer works with all versions of Ad-aware.4- HexDump
With many files (cookies for example) there's no easy way to view any information about them. The HexDump extension for Ad-aware lets you view a hexadecimal version of a file turned up in a scan, along with an "English" translation of the hex code. This can provide you with additional information you may find handy such as the URL of the originator of a cookie. Access the HexDump extension at the "Scanning Results" screen; right-click on a file and choose "Extensions | Create hex-dump of object." HexDump works with all versions of Ad-aware.5- FileSpecs
If you're interested in more information about a given file than Ad-aware supplies in the "Scanning Results" screen, choose The FileSpecs plug-in from the right-click menu under "Extensions | Extract file details." The plug-in will provide you with a wealth of data about the file, including File Information Resources (file name, location, size, creation date, and the last time it was accessed or modified), and PE Information, including complete PE Header information. FileSpecs works with Ad-aware Professional.