Virus Masquerading as Home Planning Software

If you’ve received an email supposedly from IKEA telling you about a fantastic new and free Home Planning Software, please note that it is (surprise, surprise!) a virus. Ralph Grabowski of WorldCAD Access received just such a mail and has posted a screenshot. IKEA, meanwhile have clearly stated that this email is a fake and a scam. Given that it installs a trojan on your system, I’d say it’s far worse…

AVG’s LinkScanner and its Removal

Warning: This post is slightly technical

I’ve been using AVG’s free version for quite some years now and have always been happy with it. Accordingly, when they posted their latest version, 8.0, I was quick to download and install it. AVG now includes an antispyware component and a bit of fluff called LinkScanner. This, I found to be rather unnecessary and also a consumer of bandwidth and time (although AVG denies it on their support forum). Search results loaded noticeably slower in Firefox and disabling it in the AVG control panel resulted in a horrible “you may not be protected” icon in the system tray.

Reinstalling AVG 8 without that component did pretty much the same as just disabling it in the tray and that led me on a hunt for a permanent solution. Well, it’s documented in the AVG FAQs and it is possible – albeit a little differently from what they say because of the way my XP is set up; I can’t RUN any program directly.

Here are AVG’s instructions:

  1. Download the AVG 8.0 Free Edition installation package from our website.
  2. Run the installation with the parameters /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch.
  3. One way to achieve this is to:
    • save (or copy) the AVG Free installation file directly to disk C:
    • Start > Run
    • type c:avg_free_stf_*.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch
  4. The installation will be started, and AVG will be installed without the LinkScanner component.

In my case, I had to make a batch file in C: with the following line (watch for wordwrap).

Start “” avg_free_stf_*.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch

This is the only thing that worked for me and I hope it helps someone else in a similar situation.

One more thing. The download is a huge 47Mb+ in size compared to just 22MB for version 7.5. I suppose the antispyware component does need some space. However, I’m beginning to wonder if this software is getting too bloated for its own good. Time will tell…

Edit: This article had links but they have been removed because, they are broken and the article itself is no longer useful.