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Encyclopedia > Browser Helper Object
Add-on Manager from Windows XP SP2 Internet Explorer
Add-on Manager from Windows XP SP2 Internet Explorer

A Browser Helper Object (BHO) is a DLL module designed as a plugin for Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser to provide added functionality. BHOs were introduced in October 1997 with the release of version 4 of Internet Explorer. Most BHOs are loaded once by each new instance of Internet Explorer. However, in the case of the Windows File Explorer, a new instance is launched for each window. Image File history File links Screenshot of Windows XP SP2 Internet Explorer Add-on Manager. ... Image File history File links Screenshot of Windows XP SP2 Internet Explorer Add-on Manager. ... Illustration of an application which may use libvorbisfile. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Modularity (programming). ... A plugin (plug-in, addin, add-in, addon or add-on) is a computer program that interacts with a main (or host) application (a web browser or an email program, for example) to provide a certain, usually very specific, function on demand. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE), commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of proprietary graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems starting in 1995. ... An example of a Web browser (Mozilla Firefox) A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ...

Some modules enable the display of different file formats not ordinarily interpretable by the browser. The Adobe Acrobat plugin that allows Internet Explorer users to read PDF files within their browser is a BHO. Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software by Adobe Systems. ... “PDF” redirects here. ...

Other modules add toolbars to Internet Explorer, such as the Alexa Toolbar that provides a list of web sites related to the one you are currently browsing, or the Google Toolbar that adds a toolbar with a Google search box to the browser user interface. The Alexa Toolbar, an Alexa Internet product, is a web browser toolbar often used to measure website statistics. ... This page is a summary of services and tools provided by Google Inc. ... The user interface is the part of a system exposed to users. ...



The BHO API exposes hooks that allow the BHO to access the Document Object Model (DOM) of the current page and to control navigation. Because BHOs have unrestricted access to the Internet Explorer event model, some forms of malware have also been created as BHOs. For example, the Download.ject exploit installed a BHO that would activate upon detecting a secure HTTP connection to a financial institution, record the user's keystrokes (intending to capture passwords) and transmit the information to a website used by Russian computer criminals. Other BHOs such as the MyWay Searchbar track users' browsing patterns and pass the information they record to third parties. API and Api redirect here. ... // Hierarchy of Objects in the DOM - Document Object Model The Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform- and language-independent standard object model for representing HTML or XML and related formats. ... It has been suggested that Grayware be merged into this article or section. ... In computing, Download. ... HTTP (for HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the primary method used to convey information on the World Wide Web. ... Keystroke logging (often called keylogging) is a diagnostic tool used in software development that captures the users keystrokes. ... Kataar ma bar farar sharererer poo doo kaka po po Computer crime, cybercrime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime generally refers to criminal activity where a computer or network is the tool, target, or place of a crime. ... MyWay Searchbar is a search toolbar that installs into Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, adding search functions and popup blocking. ...

In response to the problems associated with BHOs and similar extensions to Internet Explorer, Microsoft added an Add-on Manager to Internet Explorer with the release of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. This displays a list of all installed BHOs, browser extensions and ActiveX controls, and allows the user to enable or disable them at will. Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... ... ActiveX control is a term used to denote reusable software components that are based on Microsoft Component Object Model (COM). ...

For users that are not using Windows XP, there are free tools (such as BHODemon) that list installed BHOs and allow the user to disable malicious extensions.

Many BHOs install toolbars in Internet Explorer, but others don't produce any visible effect. It is therefore possible that a PC contains BHOs that the owner doesn't know about. The security risk here is that the BHO doesn't need any kind of permission to install malicious components and thus spyware may be spread without the user's knowledge.

Since it's relatively easy to write BHOs, many badly written BHOs will harm the computer and compromise its security, and even sometimes destroy valuable data or corrupt system files.

See also

A large number of toolbars, some added by spyware, overwhelm an Internet Explorer session. ...

External links

Microsoft sites

  • IEHelper-Attaching to Internet Explorer 4.0 by Using a Browser Helper Object
  • Control Internet Explorer Add-ons with Add-on Manager - an article on microsoft.com that explains this new feature of Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Building Browser Helper Objects with Visual Studio 2005 - an October 2006 MSDN article by Tony Schreiner and John Sudds

Listings and examples

  • CLSID List - master list created by Tony Klein and others, that attempts to record and identify every BHO available
  • C++ example code for a BHO
  • C# example code for a BHO
  • PestPatrol - has listings and classifications of BHOs

Removal tools

  • HijackThis
  • A2HijackFree

  Results from FactBites:
Browser Helper Objects: The Browser the Way You Want It (4660 words)
A Browser Helper Object is loaded when the main window of the browser is about to be displayed and is unloaded when that window is destroyed.
At this point the BHO has a reference to Internet Explorer's WebBrowser control and is connected to the browser for receiving all the events it generates.
A BHO is a COM server and should be registered both as a COM server and as a BHO.
  More results at FactBites »



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