It took some finding to track down the add-on application that was responsible for the Topic Torch banner. That is because it's not listed as such.
I even visited the Topic Torch website looking for answers, but their Terms of Service and Settings pages were blank. I later realized that this was because they are both loaded with spyware too. My Adblock Plus had wiped them away.
However, if I had been able to read them, I would have read a familiar name - Yontoo. I should have recognized the modus operandi.
Yontoo Layers has been flagged up as a spyware toolbar for years. There's great debate in geek circles over how dangerous it actually is. It's wormed past all of my firewalls and checked out as safe in my anti-virus software. It can be useful for a variety of internet activities.
But its insidious way of getting onto your system rings too many alarm bells; as does the fact that it's definitely loaded with adware.
It works in precisely the same way as Topic Torch, but people have learned to beware it. The clever thing is that, as computer users rush to their extensions lists and program files, they stop at T. Not finding Topic Torch there, they don't tend to scroll on down.
Yontoo will be right at the bottom, unless you're in the habit of collecting applications beginning with Z. It is this which you will be targeting as you begin the process of uninstalling Topic Torch.