Morpheus using new address intercept tool
Some users of the popular Morpheus music sharing program are angry over a browser extension program distributed with the latest preview version of the software.
The program, developed by Wurld Media and included with the Morpheus Preview Edition, silently intercepts certain addresses typed by Morpheus users into Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser before redirecting them to their final destination, Newsbytes has confirmed.
The file, which is named bpboh.dll, uses a technology developed by Microsoft known as a browser helper object (BHO). According to an article at Microsoft's site, BHOs are "a relatively new and powerful way of injecting your code directly inside the browser's address space."
When installed by Morpheus, the Wurld Media BHO causes addresses including radioshack.com, ebay.com, amazon.com, and toysrus.com, among others, to be intercepted and redirected to the shopping sites through affiliate marketing systems run by LinkShare Corp. and Be Free, Inc.
The presence of Wurld Media's BHO technology in Morpheus was reported earlier this month in an Internet newsgroup for the discussion of peer-to-peer file exchange technology. "I was obviously aware that (Morpheus is) ad-supported, but I suspect a lot of folk didn't realise it was done this way ... Bunging DLLs into IE itself seems a bit sneaky/unnecessary," wrote one newsgroup participant on Mar. 16.
The Wurld Media BHO operates in IE even when the Morpheus application is not running. In Newsbytes testing, uninstalling Morpheus appeared to remove the Wurld Media BHO. (Incorrect, according to reports from divideBYzero and as Speedy 3D reports "it does not come off after one uninstalls Morpheus either").
According to Microsoft's support site, browser helper objects can be disabled within IE from the Internet Options section of the browser's Tools menu. By clicking on the Advanced tab and unchecking the box that says "Enable third-party browser extensions," the browser helper objects will be disabled at the next restart, Microsoft said.
News source: Newsbytes
View: Microsoft Knowledge Base - How to Disable Third-Party Tool Bands and Browser Helper Objects (Q298931)
View: Cexx - Adware, Spyware and other unwanted "malware" - and how to remove them
View: Speedy3D - Morpheus... A New Low, a detailed description of bpboh.dll, and how to get rid of it!
Well well well. I wondered where the spam was coming from. I recently installed the Morpheus Preview edition and less than a day later started receiving lots of unsolicited ads, all of them American.
I've taken the advice offered above and unchecked that box.
FWIW, the new Morpheus version works a lot better than the old one.
Thanks Zammy, good information.