Spyware :: Threats :: BHO's
Browser Helper Objects
Browser Helper Objects [BHO's] automatically run when you load Internet Explorer. Their location (which contains the .dll file) is stored in the registry. Internet Explorer does this purposely as most bho's can be useful, like the Yahoo! companion. They give developers the chance to extend the browser which are suppose to 'help' the web experience for the user. But like most good things, people abuse this.
'Bad' BHO's can be a type of Spyware, and some abusers like AdBreak frequently display obscene pornographic pop-up adverts while surfing the net - this is completely unacceptable. Others could potentially do absolutely anything, they can be poorly programmed, and as they tend not to care about the well-being of your computer. They're scum - which gives them the right not to care. Therefore, if you've noticed that Explorer keeps crashing for so unknown reason, it's quite likely that you have bho('s) running on your computer.
Unfortunately Windows doesn't make it easy to detect and remove bho's manually, however BHODemon from Definitive Solutions is a very good program that can show you what bho's are installed on your PC. You can manually see if you have any bho's on your PC by searching the following location using a registry editor.
H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects
Unfortunately even if their are values located within the 'Browser Helper Objects' part of the registry, it will only contain the CLSID (Class ID - which are hex values to link an object to the .exe or .dll file). To find the file you then need to search;
which will most likely contain a long list of hex values. Search for the CLSID you found before and it should tell what file it's referring to.