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Old 02-28-2011, 09:44 PM
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Smile Spying with Virtual Machines

Given that CPVDen is great resource and it’s growing, I thought it would it good to contribute some of my tiny experience that I have learned; hopefully this info can also attract new members ...and a free copy CPVLab.
Let’s get stuck in, first off, if you are like I was and worried about Adware affecting your work PC, don’t, I have never had a problem and fully trust this setup. Given that I work mostly with LeadImpact, I will demonstrate installing Hotbar adware on a Virtual Machine running Windows XP on Vista, that’s a mouthful.

Step 1 – Download & Install Oracle VirtualBox

This is completely free, open source and superb software:

Downloads - VirtualBox

Step 2 – Get Windows XP

Now if you have an old XP disc lying around then perfect, unfortunately I had to op for a ahem**free**ahem copy online.

Step 3 – Run Oracle VirtualBox and Create a New Virtual Machine

You can see how to do this in the image below, pretty straight forward. When you click to create a new Virtual Machine (VM), it will take you through a simple setup wizard.

VM1.jpg

Follow along with all of the basic settings, another wizard will open over the top of the current one, just keep hitting next then finish. Your new VM will now appear in the list with the name you specified in the first step of the wizard, I named mine ‘WinXP HotBar US’.

Step 4 – Install Windows XP on your VM

This is were doing Step 2 beforehand comes in handy. Simply select your VM on the left hand side and click the green Start arrow:

VM2.jpg

A new wizard will appear, this is where you select your Windows XP source, if you own the OS on disk, simply select the disc drive you have it in, if however like me you have it downloaded, you should have it in a ISO file, you need to click the folder icon on the right and browse for and select the Windows XP ISO file and click finish. Your VM will now start running and installing Windows XP, cool eh? Follow simple steps and install the OS. Pay attention during installation not to enable any Windows security or automatic updates!


Step 5 – Install HotBar

When you have Windows XP installed on your VM, open Internet Explorer and browse to:

http://www.hotbar.com

If you have anti-virus on your main machine, it may impose security restrictions within the VM, you can temporarily disable it while you install HotBar on the Virtual Machine! It is completely safe, just don’t forget to re-enable it afterwards.

When you are at HotBar.com, simply try to play a game and it will ask to download and install HotBar, do so! Accept all addons they have to offer.
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File Type: jpg VM3.jpg (20.0 KB, 57 views)
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Last edited by temple3188; 02-28-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2011, 09:50 PM
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Step 6 Ė Spying on Pops

Close and restart IE if it didnít do so already, now you will be outfitted with the HotBar-Toolbar, all you have to now is browse to popular URLs and watch them pops, it should work pretty instantly

VM3.jpg

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I am sure you can do this exact same thing when installing adware from different providers on multiple VMs.

Good luck ,

Chris

EDIT: Had to post over two posts, kept getting Internal server error.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:11 AM
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thanks for this chris! we'll look into that error. i just got an error trying to merge your posts

- lucas
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:49 AM
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I had an old pc laying around.
I normally use MAC...

So I did a clean install of windows vista on that pc.

Then installed something called DEEP FREEZE from faronics inc.
An incredible program.

Once deep freeze was installed.... then I installed the tool bar.
and you are right... the ads are tons... i don't know how people can stand them

so now.. when i am tired of the ads or I need to run something on that windows unit.

I just restart the machine.... and it reboots and resets everything to how it was
before I installed it....

its trully an amazing piece of software.

Deep Freeze makes an image of your computer before you install it... and to go back.. you just reboot... and everytime you reboot it your machine goes back to the exact same state it was before.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:02 PM
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Will this spying technique work with a Linux guest as opposed to a Windows guest? I don't have WinXT available but do have an Ubuntu desktop VM on my machine running Firefox.

Also, what are the risks of infecting the host machine's hard drive - beyond the virtual drive? Will any infections stay within the VM?

Thanks.

Last edited by ABQJuan; 04-06-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:13 PM
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temple - any chance you could point me towards one of these "ahem**free**ahem copies online" - pm me if u can :-)
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing, great post. The free Microsoft Virtual PC is another option to consider.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by temple3188 View Post
Your VM will now start running and installing Windows XP, cool eh? Follow simple steps and install the OS. Pay attention during installation not to enable any Windows security or automatic updates!
If you enable Windows updates or security measures, does it not allow Hotbar to show popup ads? Which version of IE do you use?

I'm asking because I had an old machine so I wiped it clean and installed Windows XP for the sole purpose of installing Hotbar to do some "market research".

At first I saw ads, then did some update and the ads stopped. I have since reinstalled the whole thing again, but still not ads popping up.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:26 AM
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Quick question, Does this work for international affiliates as our machines and IPs are not in the US. Will it show us the pop ups from the USA or only for international traffic only?
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Checkmate View Post
Quick question, Does this work for international affiliates as our machines and IPs are not in the US. Will it show us the pop ups from the USA or only for international traffic only?
Hi Checkmate,

I am from the UK, so I used my US private proxy that I use for viewing US only offers to see the US pop ups.

You'll need a US proxy and you'll be required to set the US proxy settings for internet explorer. After that you'll get US pop ups left right and centre.

Hope this helps

** Also, if anyone here is a member of TrafficVance and would like to help me out by being a referral, I can get you a working copy of XP to create virtual machines with, PM me.
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