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Foistware: EZula TOPtext / ContextPro / HOTText (Ezulamain.exe)
"Don't eat the yellow links!"

This product, which seems to change its name every week or so, is foistware installed with KaZaA, a popular Napster-like file sharing program. Once installed, it will insert advertising links in ALL the Web sites you visit, regardless of whether KaZaA is running. Sadly, it is probably touted to newbies a some kind of "useful, can't-live-without tool essential for Internet access", and takes many installer speed-demons* by surprise. More information is available in this article. A link inserted by TOPtext may look like a normal link, then appear highlighted in yellow when the viewer mouses over it.

(Note: KaZaA installs numerous spyware/malware tag-a-longs, including, Onflow, WebHancer, msbb, TOPtext [this page] and Cydoor. Use with extreme caution, or don't use at all! If you must use this software, back up your Registry files (user.dat and system.dat) before installing. Both and WebHancer can mess up your system during their uninstall, leaving you stranded without Internet access.)

If you see new sleazy links yellow highlights on your favourite web pages that weren't there before, check for a program called Ezulamain.exe running in the background.
If you don't want this beastie on your system (and I don't see why you would), it can be removed by going to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove, selecting TOPtext (or whatever it's called this week) from the list, and pressing Remove.

Any TOPtext infectee visiting your Web site may see yellow links--to possibly seedy merchants--that you didn't put there. To a novice user they may look like part of your site. The bad news is, it appears this sort of thing is entirely legal--the ad-inserting software is no more than a specialized Transform Engine, much like the Game Genie, Dialectizer, and many Web page translation tools. The good news is, you can send an email message to requesting that your site be excluded from this yellow-link graffiti fest. Additionally, I have seen mention that adding the meta-tag that prevents MS "Smart Tags" will block TOPtext as well:

<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
This is unverified, and may or may not work.
ThiefWare - more information on these onerous products
Scumware - Software that is ripping webmasters off - list of active Scumware (TOPtext, Surf+, Gator...), how to remove them, and more.
Fighting Ezula - Provides removal information and a Javascript that will tell IE users whether Ezula is installed.
Mystery Links / New Web advertising tool gets results, draws criticism
Slashdot discussion
EZula Homepage

*  You know, those people who can't be bothered with reading the License agreement and fine print, and press the "I agree, install the damn thing already!" button as soon as it appears. Remember to ALWAYS read all the fine-print nonsense and be very picky about what is installed, especially if it appears to have nothing to do with what you actually downloaded! Some of these "freeware" vendors are getting dodgier by the moment.

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