Spyware cures may cause more harm than good

Security, malware, viri--you've got to keep your eyes open
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bob
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Post by bob » 02/05/04, 2:18 am

Web surfers battling "spyware" face a new problem: so-called spyware-killing programs that install the same kind of unwanted advertising software they promise to erase.

Please read the whole article

http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-5153485 ... =nefd_lede
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SloppyGoat
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Post by SloppyGoat » 02/05/04, 2:16 pm

This is why I only use Spyware Blaster, AdAware, and Spy Sweeper. Three great programs, especially Spyware Blaster. That's gotta be one of my favorite freeware releases in quite awhile. I'm guessing that it won't be free forever.

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<font class=editedby>[ This Message was edited by: SloppyGoat on 2004-02-05 22:16 ]</font>

brantgurga
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Post by brantgurga » 02/05/04, 5:33 pm

Hey, I solve the problem by not downloading ad-supported software. Open source is the way to go, my friends. If you aren't confident that their binaries are ad/spyware free, then you have the option of compiling the program from sources and examining the code for traces of spyware code.
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Post by craeonics » 02/06/04, 5:54 am

Exactly. Prevention is better than curing.

SloppyGoat
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Post by SloppyGoat » 02/06/04, 7:03 am

Yeah, but most people know absolutely nothing about examining code. Spyware Blaster has been keeping my PC pretty clean.
Does anybody really know what time it is?
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bob
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Post by bob » 02/06/04, 9:55 am

If you think that you are doing well by installing an anti-spyware program on your system, you might need to think again. CNET released an investigative report Wednesday that discusses the troubling issues of spyware cleaners that install spyware. Security experts, consumers, and lawmakers have been ranting about spyware and adware for years now, but there are still no real standards to which companies can be held, nor a governing body that makes decisions on what is and is not malicious.

CNET cited a recent non-scientific study done by EarthLink that reveals the widespread issue of spyware/adware. EarthLink offered a free spyware removal tool to users of its Internet services, and tallied results based on the scans completed. In the course of 426,500 scans, the company found 9,161,912 adware cookies, 2,060,092 adware programs, 95,768 system monitors, and 62,464 Trojan horses.

However, the problem of spyware/adware is not limited to the normal routes of infestation. There are a growing number of "spyware cleaners" that actually install spyware themselves. CNET's inquiries into SpyBan, which installs an adware/spyware program called Look2Me on the computer, has resulted in the company taking down its website and covering its digital tracks.

A list of rogue spyware programs listed on one spyware activist's blog includes:

Spy Wiper
AdWare Remover Gold
BPS Spyware Remover
Online PC-Fix SpyFerret
SpyBan
SpyBlast
SpyGone
SpyHunter
SpyKiller
SpyKiller Pro
SpywareNuker
TZ Spyware-Adware Remover
xp-AntiSpy
SpyAssault
InternetAntiSpy
Virtual Bouncer
AdProtector

For a more in-depth look at this issue, check out CNET's report.


Thanks to http://www.hackfire.com/news/index.php
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Gerry
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Post by Gerry » 02/07/04, 4:11 am

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On 2004-02-06 17:55, bob wrote:
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The thing is that Spyware Blaster was made by people who are against spyware. I haven't heard of any of those progs that were listed in the article, but I'm guessing they were created with the purpose of getting their spyware out. For this reason they would be unlikely to ever gain community wide trust like programs such as Spyware Blaster so I don't really get your point.

If the programs listed were trusted progs that had gone bad then I would see your point, but from what I can see they look like little apps that prey on naive downloaders.
I answer rhetorical questions for my own enjoyment.

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