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  1. #1
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    Trikler.exe and other oddities

    Greetings,

    I recently noticed a program called 'TricklerXXXX.exe' where the x's are four numbers I can't remember right now, on my home machine trying to access the Internet. Ever since this ugly program showed up, I can't stay in any application for long without the system automatically reverting back explorer, for example, I'll be playing a game of Sims, and every two to three minutes, something will bounce me back to explorer.

    My question is two-fold, does anyone have any details on Tricklerxxxx.exe(it behaves very VIRALLY), and why would explorer continue to reassert itself without a prompt? The only two items running are explorer.exe and systray....

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Trikler.exe and other oddities

    I believe it's actually spyware of some kind, and likely associated with Gator. It ain't a nice prograsm as you can see for yourself.

    It's coming back because some other program or command is running to put it back. Can you delete it, or does it state that it's in use? Check you add/remove programs dialog for anything untoward as well. You could have acquired it with a "drive-by download" as Gator has become known for.

    Better still, download Ad-Aware and see if it zaps it. I think spyware removal software is becoming the next Antivirus - no safe, sane surfer should be without it. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Trikler.exe and other oddities

    I was able to enter dos mode, and remove the program. However, explorer is still reverting back to itself...

    I've downloaded Filemon to try to determine what's making it do that... I shiver at the thought of reinstating the O.S... but I guess I should be prepared...

    Now, where did I put that Win98 CD and Serial Number? <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>
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  4. #4
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    Re: Trikler.exe and other oddities

    The serial number should be in your registry -- I can look up where it is if you need it...

    I think here is some info on "trickler":

    Trickler (fsg.exe, fsg-ag.exe, fsg*.exe)
    Trickler is an "install stub", a small program that is installed with the application you really wanted. (Gator almost always appears on your system due to installing OTHER software, and not the installer available from Gator's website.) When installed, Trickler inserts a Run key in your Registry so that it is silently and automatically loaded every time you start your computer. Trickler runs hidden and very slowly downloads the rest of Gator/OfferCompanion onto your system. It is suggested that this "trickling" activity is intended to slip under the user's radar, the steady, low usage of bandwidth going unnoticed.

    While often named fsg.exe, Trickler can go under other similar names, such as fsg-ag.exe (installed with AudioGalaxy) or another name containing "fsg" or "trickler".
    _________________________________-

    This has a litle more info on Trickler's relation to Gator:

    Trickler is what is termed an install stub, which is a small app that is installed with another application you may download. After it is installed, Trickler writes a key into your Registry which will cause it to be surrepticiously and automatically loaded every time you start your computer. Trickler runs hidden, and will very slowly download the rest of Gator to your system while you browse the web. This sneaky little app may have any one of the following names, fsg.exe, fsg-ag.exe or fsg-whatever.exe. For instance, it is installed along with an AudioGalaxy download with the name fsg-ag.exe.

  5. #5
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    Re: Trikler.exe and other oddities

    Good Info, thanks!

    So, i've deleted the file itself, but based on your description, Windows may be blindly choking because it's trying to access a file that doesn't exist, and therefore errors out with an invisible 'file not found' message.. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> this is confusing... How do I get rid of something I can't see? I searched the registry for trickler, no results...

    THe serial number might be handy for future reference, if you might know where that is...

    Thanks rmucker!
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  6. #6
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    Re: Trikler.exe and other oddities

    Drk,

    The product key is stored under HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion.

    If your system's performance is still impacted, download FileMon from [URL=http://www.sysinternals.com/]SysInternals[/b] and fire it up. Watch for "NOT FOUND" messages that indicate when a process tries to open a file that isn't there.
    -Mark

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