Superfish BlooperFish ZedFish DeadFish

I got myself the Superfish malware. Really adware rather than pure malware, but really annoying (in a sort of minimalistic way).

For those that have not experienced it, Superwish is an advertising popup that mysteriously appears over the top of various words (keywords) in the web page that you are viewing. It shows some products that you may be interested in buying, based on the keyword (I presume). It is pretty easy to get rid of once it has popped up – just click on the cross at the top right and it is gone. It does not seem to do anything else malevolent. So, in the big scheme of things, not that bad. The only issue is that it is really ANNOYING – having your web page viewing disturbed by all this extraneous pictorial material appearing at random places on the screen. Just plain annoying – a bit like a person that constantly interrupts you when you are talking. Eventually you get so sick of it that you just want them to go away. Same with Superfish.

I did some googling around to see how to get rid of it. Most of the advice did not really work. You know, the basic advice – download this adware remover, use Malwarebytes Antimalware (which, by the way, is totally awesome – get yourself a copy and keep using it).

The only other advice that appeared to work was to look at all the extensions that you may have loaded in Google Chrome (sorry, that is the current browser I am using and where the problem occurred and was fixed – but the same process should work in a similar manner for other browsers), look at the Options for each of the enabled extensions, and see if they had something like “Enable similar product search powered by Superfish”. Note that the words may be different and that “Superfish” may not actually appear – but anything that similar product searches is what you are after.

Untick the option and save.

You should then probably disable and then re-enable the extension.

The extension that I found the problem in was “OSearch” from the Diigo people.

Other people found the problem in other extensions, such as MeasureIt.

The annoying thing is that there does not seem to be an automated method to get rid of Superfish, and that it appears in multiple different extensions – so you don’t really know where it is apart from laboriously going through extensions. Now, that is ANNOYING too (everything about Superfish annoys me now!!).

The final annoyance is that extension writers and software developers are putting nuisance adware in their products and not telling people when they do so, and when it comes to installing it. I know the stuff is free, but a bit of information presentation would assist in deciding to use or not. Maybe I am just complaining about the inevitable consequence of the free software world and should just accept it, except for the fact that it could be done better (and there is no reason not to change for the better).

Does anyone know of a fully automated method of getting rid of Superfish?

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