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Anti-Spyware Vendor Partners with Spyware Company?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the safe-spyware-bwah-hah-hah dept.

Privacy 274

Tuxedo Jack writes "eWeek reports that the anti-spyware vendor Aluria Software has partnered with WhenU of 'WhenUSave' and 'SaveNow' infamy. They've removed WhenU from their spyware/malware definition lists, certified their applications as safe, and they deny that money was involved. As a result, SpywareInfo and many other anti-spyware sites are delisting Aluria's 'Spyware Eliminator' from their lists of preferred software. Is this a dangerous trend for anti-spyware? Or are we just witnessing a natural evolution? I sure hope it's neither - I like my Windows boxes junkware-free, thanks (oxymoron noted)."

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Dangerous Trend (4, Insightful)

pholower (739868) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703911)

This is a dangerous trend. Given the majority of these ad/spyware companies don't care what their products do to the "users" computer, they can leave security holes unnoticed and allow exploits without the user even knowing there is a flaw in their computer. Windows updates can only do so much, and with companies releasing software that intends to help the user, but instead can hurt them. All the while the user is unaware. This makes me sick. Let's support the companies that work off of donations and have open source programs. This is the only way to prevent this from spreading to all of the favorite anit-ad/spyware programs.

Not that it relieves my nausea.. (4, Interesting)

nathan s (719490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704094)

..but to be fair, Aluria says that they're concerned with "malicious spyware." If you RTFA, they indicate that they felt that the disclosure practices and what-not are all above-ground.

Not that this helps people installing without scanning the EULA and getting nasty little "gifts," but it's hardly malicious if you agree to it.

*Disclaimer* I have no idea what exactly WhenU does, never had it on my system. If it IS malicious, then immediately discount this post. Regardless, I'll be busy vomiting from my over-exposure to advertising in general.

Re:Not that it relieves my nausea.. (3, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704194)

Yeah.

It seems that Aluria is leaving the "Reality-based Community" [warblogging.com] .

Re:Not that it relieves my nausea.. (3, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704314)

The article is a press release by WhenU. I googled Aluria and WhenU and came up with a ton of hits from a user point of view. Spywareinfo.com, for example, has this to say: Aluria Software has partnered with the WhenU adware company as well as giving WhenU a "spyware free" certification. In light of this new relationship between these two companies, I can no longer recommend Aluria Spyware Eliminator to my readers.

Re:Not that it relieves my nausea.. (1, Funny)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704447)

Regardless, I'll be busy vomiting from my over-exposure to advertising in general.

I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was having that effect on you and advertising in general.

Re:Dangerous Trend (4, Insightful)

mpaon (787734) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704097)

Can it really be called a trend, with only one company? Seems a bit early to be plugging oss as the ONLY alternative. I doubt many people will be using 'Spyware Eliminator' much in the future, once more people find out about this.

What is a good spyware program for Linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704301)

Seems a bit early to be plugging oss as the ONLY alternative

As stupid as it may sound, we have a corporate policy that all computers need to have antivirus and antispyware software running on them. Yeah, that includes Linux.

Anyone recommend a prefreed package.

I told our IT guys I'm using "debsums" - is Tripwire or chkrootkit better?

Re:Dangerous Trend (1)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704403)

The management over at Aluria has become more and more unresponsive in the last couple of months. After this latest news, I've finally had to remove them completely from my brief list of anti-spyware software [booksunderreview.com] .

Does anyone have a good free spyware removal tool I can add to my list? Most of the current "free" ones do ok at detection (although many aren't any better than the free tool on the page above), but refuse to remove anything because they want you to buy the removal version instead.

In any case, Aluria's product was fairly easy to use, but dropping the detection of WhenU is just too much. They already were missing a couple of parasites that a better product like PestControl caught just fine, so i wonder if this isn't the first time for something like this.

Re:Dangerous Trend (2, Interesting)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704436)

I wouldn't call this a dangerous trend. I'd say it highlights the age old issue of buyer beware (or downloader beware). If you download an anti-spyware application, it is critical that you understand what it looks for and what kind of reputation it has. Even a nontechnical user can do a Google search for a product name. As soon as free spyware removers started showing up on the internet, I knew it was only a matter of time before a spyware vendor either packaged spyware as anti-spyware or made a deal with an anti-spyware company. If the user stays informed, this is a non-problem. There's plenty of information available on the internet about spyware. Companies like Aluria Software will get a clue when they see their number of users drop and realize that's the price to be paid for practices like these.

Not a Dangerous Trend (2, Informative)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704454)

As Slashdot is now proving, when this sort of thing comes to light, it totally destroys the brand image, and the credibility of the company goes down in flames. Sales plummet, people get laid off and the company never recovers.

Companies work very, very hard to create a brand image. Their brand is their promise to the consumer that they are going to deliver the best product possible. It's a really stupid CEO that is willing to sell out his brand in such a blatant conflict of interest.

like anti virus companies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703919)

reminds me of the age old question of whether anti virus companies created virii just to keep their own operations alive.

Re:like anti virus companies (1)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704021)

You read my mind, or stole my thunder...or mabe stole my mind...what were we discussing?

Seriously, I had the same thought, and even though I do not belong to the tinfoil hat brigade (well, maybe just a little), liasons between seemingly conflicting yet mutually serving interests always make me suspicious.

Re:like anti virus companies (4, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704048)

You mistyped 'age-old DUMB question'.

It's just not economical. There are plenty of virus writers already out there, because it's just too easy and there are so many computers, it happens. If an antivirus company was discovered to have done this even ONCE, then their entire business would be destroyed instantly.

Are you getting enough oxygen?

Re:like anti virus companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704232)

Re:like anti virus companies (1, Insightful)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704416)

You can't create something that doesn't exist. The plural form of virus is viruses. There's no such thing as virii.

Oxymoron Noted?!! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703925)

I like to keep my Windows boxes junkware free...

Wait a minute! Oxymoron noted?! Damn, there goes my frist-prost +5 funny...

You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! (0, Offtopic)

Decapitees For Bush (824317) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703926)

You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!

Re:You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704161)

Either way, it's delicious!

Is it only a matter of time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703927)

How long until Windows catches on and starts paying off Norton and McAffee?

If you think this is bad (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703928)

Symantec's upcoming "Sobig aint so bad" campaign promises to really ruffle feathers. I smell a payoff.

Been there, done that (5, Interesting)

blowdart (31458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703943)

How is different from virus vendors stopping reporting on "corporate" keyloggers?

Risk of corporate keyloggers. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704205)

I used to run a pretty big e-commerce site, and had a customer who'se credit card info was stolen off of one of those "corporate keyloggers".

Apparently the keylogs weren't secure and someone inside the company stole his credit card info when he made a (work related) purchase from Amazon.com on his own credit card.

If you're at work and not using your own laptop or a Knoppix disk, make sure you only use a corporate credit card when ordering online.

Personally I think he should have sued his employer, but he wanted to keep his job.

Re:Risk of corporate keyloggers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704243)

Oh, yeah. To bring it back on topic - they _should_ report corporate keyloggers as spyware. Those keyloggers are just as risky as the other types.

How annoying... (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703945)

What's next? Gator is okay with Spybot?

Brr....it's getting dark...and cold...

Re:How annoying... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704037)

What's next? Gator is okay with Spybot?

I think more likely that Gator will partner with someone more commercial than SpyBot, like Norton, AdAware, and so on.

"(oxymoron noted)" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703947)

Gee, thanks for pointing that out, for a second there I thought Slashdot was promoting a Micro$oft product (you see, I substituted a dollar sign the "S", I'm FUNNY!)

Help! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703948)

My computer has been hijacked by spys! I am located at... [NO CARRIER]

WhenUGetSued... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703955)

One problem that these anti-spyware programs are bound to run into is claims that a "spyware" program is a "legitimate business to consumer marketing connection enabler" by its makers. Afterall, in most cases the user has "agreed" to allow these programs to run by installing something without fully reading the terms of service.

That may be the reason why this group caved... not that money changed hands, but the threat of a lawsuit was waived around.

Re:WhenUGetSued... (5, Interesting)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704005)

That may be the reason why this group caved... not that money changed hands, but the threat of a lawsuit was waived(sic) around.

ah yes... free market indeed... as long as you have enough money, you can wave some papers at another company, and intimidate them into submission. We really need something to hold these companies (and their lawyers) accountable for this kind of crap.

-lk

Re:WhenUGetSued... (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704126)

They may also 'agree' to uninstall them.

KFG

Is mozilla spyware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704380)

What about all the major browsers?

Most users are completely unaware of their browser identification string. Normal people are usually horrified when they discover their browser leaks info all over the web. That makes browsers spyware in my book, but no one thinks of it that way. I guess because because the info isn't being leaked to a centralized point.

It makes me wonder: how much else is being pointlessly leaked by simple apps? Konqueror and mozilla are proof that FS/OSS isn't immune. Yes, you can change the strings, but shouldn't there be safer defaults for the masses of clueless? 'Cause, the string is only spywarey if you don't know it exists.

Re:WhenUGetSued... (5, Insightful)

kawika (87069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704393)

Show me your proof that "in most cases the user has 'agreed' to allow these programs to run." I can certainly find proof to the contrary [pcpitstop.com] .

Take a look at these screen shots of the Bearshare install that includes WhenU [benedelman.org] and tell me it is reasonable to expect a user to press page-down 45 times to read the license.

Users are not aware they are running WhenU because the company works hard to keep them ignorant.

Re:WhenUGetSued... (1)

nihar_shah (255021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704443)

in most cases the user has "agreed" to allow these programs to run

most anti-spyware software provide means of ignoring certain programs, files, etc....

so if the user is "smart" enough to have "agreed" to allow these programs, he/she can easily add that software to the ignore list...

And Microsoft will be selling Anti-Virus software. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703962)

This is nothing new... capitalizing on the very market you help to create.

Cincinnati Microwave is another example; they manufacture both Police Radars and personal Radar Detectors.

Antiviruses (2, Informative)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703964)

We had that kind of BS with "Antivirus companies making their viruses so they'll keep on selling" kind of crap. An anti-spyware is the same as an antivirus, except it gets annoying stuff instead of dangerous stuff.

Re:Antiviruses (2, Interesting)

Bagels (676159) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704476)

It's a lot more than annoying. A six-year-old cousin of mine got redirected to a bestiality site by spyware, and his parents were afraid to go near the family computer for the next two months. When I finally found out and tried to fix it, the browser was very badly hijacked, and the computer - already old - was running ridiculously slowly because of the 20+ spyware process running in the background.

Lavasoft too (5, Interesting)

hoborocks (775911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703967)

This happened with lavasoft too, right? They started some consortium on spyware and then left it when it was evident that evil practices were going on... Perhaps there needs to be a legal definition of spyware before vendors will keep constant as to their aims? The problem is with defining it is that the somewhat arbitrary nature that's necessary will backfire and be abused *cough cough DMCA cough cough*.

Re:Lavasoft too (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704038)

Perhaps there needs to be a legal definition of spyware

The problem with that is that we'd end up with a law that looks like CAN-SPAM. No law can protect users from agreeing to an EULA they don't fully read... there's no way any law is going to keep WhenU from doing what they're doing since they're one of the "ethical" types that always discloses what they're doing.

Re:Lavasoft too (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704233)

Wrong. We make EULA's illegal and then none of these hijinks will be allowed.

Re:Lavasoft too (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704234)

This happened with lavasoft too, right? They started some consortium on spyware and then left it when it was evident that evil practices were going on... Perhaps there needs to be a legal definition of spyware before vendors will keep constant as to their aims? The problem is with defining it is that the somewhat arbitrary nature that's necessary will backfire and be abused *cough cough DMCA cough cough*.

I was sitting here having similar thoughts when it came to me ... who cares about a legal definition - what we need is an individual or a small commitee to step up and say "We're going to make a list of apps that we don't like. Here is our solution to removing them from your computer as well."

If the program ran all the time, like Ad-Aware Pro / virus-scanners / firewalls, it could also have a built in bit-torrent service that helped to distribute definitions updates. Also, the users could add and remove items from the list with a 'moderating' system similar to what we use here at Slashdot. Surely something could be built around that concept.

Re:Lavasoft too (1)

hoborocks (775911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704286)

I like this! This is a good idea, perhaps even transparently tie in an open-source message....using bittorrent, etc... This could be something good. We need some experienced Windows programmers (although any kind of programmer will do).

Re:Lavasoft too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704294)

What would users do when slashdot users modded down windows and internet explorer?

"Help, this program just removed my OS!"

going out of business (1)

xlyz (695304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703969)


an anti spyware that does not remove spyware? just an other company that want to go out of business

nothing to see here ...

WhenU has got to go (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703971)

They've shown time and again they're not trustworthy and have gone to great lengths to sneak their junk onto unsuspecting users' systems. When confronted, they're not shy about throwing lawyers around either. I can't wait to see them slowly strangled out of business.

not a new trend. (5, Insightful)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703974)

This sounds a lot like when Microsoft allowed certain paid spammers to avoid Hotmail's spam filters [slashdot.org] .

Solution: stick to vendors that can be trusted. Use Spybot [safer-networking.org] and Ad-Aware [lavasoftusa.com] .

Re:not a new trend. (5, Interesting)

FatherKabral (819599) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704272)

http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic =44037 [lavasoftsupport.com] Check this thread out from Lavasoft's own forums..."Hotbar" and "not a threat"...used in the same context? That's like using "not evil" to describe "Satan"!!! Perhaps Lavasoft is another one getting ready to sell out...?

Re:not a new trend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704372)

No wonder I left slashdot, with this sort of bullshit getting modded to +5. Anyone with an inkling of knowledge about what Ironport is would have called you on it.

Re:not a new trend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704448)

Obviously you don't have an inkling of knowledge about what Ironport is because you didn't bother yourself.

Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (1, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703984)

I run Windows 2000.

I have never had spyware, viruses, MSBlast, Sobig or any other form of Bad Things.

How?

NOT BEING A DICKHEAD.

Keeping Windows spyware free is not impossible and Windows is only really a spyware magnet because of two distinct things: a) user idiocy and b) Internet Explorer, or maybe an insane combination of the two. Stop MS-bashing (OMGWTFLOLBBQ M$ ARE TEH GHEY WITH TEH BONZAY BUDDAY) and realise that for some people, Windows really is quite good. I just want to use my computer, rather than pissing around with KDE and X and kernels and other wank (this from an ex-Gentoo user).

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (2, Informative)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704056)

Agreed! (this from a current Gentoo user ;) I also run a WinXP Pro box at home, and I'm quite confident that I don't have any spyware because I DON'T DO STUPID THINGS like blindly install binaries from nefarious sources. I have it behind a (linux) firewall, and I pretty much never run IE. If you are smart about it, you won't get spyware. It is as simple as that.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704231)

...the common link here being gentoo. I was thinking the entire time I was installing Gentoo that Microsoft must be fronting the money for Gentoo, since, creating such a F*sk'ed up time-waster the only way that you can make windows look good.

And so here we have it.

My review of Gentoo:
If John Wayne had used Linux, he would have used Gentoo (because he liked taking it up the *ss). This distro has the same appeal and benefits as model railroading.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (2, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704295)

Good, Now its your job to make 250 Million Americans smarter (screw the rest of the world right). If people were smart about things there wouldnt be all kinds of things... scams happen outside of your computer too. So, because your such a smart mofo go change the world.

P.S. Just like the spyware companies make money off of dumb people, so do I. A very good living can be made backing up peoples files, removing spyware and viruses, installing programs as such. Businesses especially like good running computers.

I attempt to inform, if others dont want to listen, I get a good hourly rate.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704332)

(this from a current Gentoo user ;)

Wow, really? I never would have pegged you as a Gentoo fan.

I'm quite confident that I don't have any spyware because I DON'T DO STUPID THINGS like blindly install binaries from nefarious sources.

Back on topic... Not doing stupid things only gets you so far. For instance, you still need to be careful of what extra software gets installed from non-nefarious sources like commercial software products. Some commercial software comes with spyware on the installation disk. Thus, you should turn autorun off in your Windows registry, and only run the installers you want.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (1)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704373)

Well the only way to be TOTALLY sure you don't have spyware is periodically remove your hard drive(s) regardless of your OS, and run a disassembler on every file and check for anything suspicious. I doubt most Debian users eyeball-examine the source and subsequent binary for apt-get, so who knows, maybe apt-get has spyware on it? Yes, 3rd party stuff could install spyware, but I doubt that my install of Unreal Tournament 2K4 has anything highly damaging installing with it, else there'd be a rather large rucus (and the same goes for apt-get).

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (4, Insightful)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704254)

Bah, IE is great. You just have to flip one switch to keep it from prompting to install activex programs. And that's only so you don't accidentally click yes. And even then, if you're not logged in as an administrator (and you shouldn't be any way) then you won't have any of these problems.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (1)

Bret540 (794463) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704419)

I prefer to use my windoze box in a useless user mode as well. What you are suggesting is not a feasible suggestion to most users of the Windows OS.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704288)

Uh oh, a pro Microsoft post. I'm sorry, sir, but you are being modded as TROLL.

Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:Oxymoron noted? Puh-leaze (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704490)

I have had spyware viruses and whatnot- How?

By not using it to connect to the internet. Linux really is better for that sort of stuff. My parents have a Linux box I built for them to browse the web and such. It works great for them. When they need to buy some peripheral they ask me on what I advise and I tell them. If they were running Win32 or MacOS they would still ask for my opinion. Sometimes I will search on the internet like check the list of scanners that work with SANE, or I will just tell them buy an HP or an Epson printer.

as unimportant as Aluria may seem.... (5, Informative)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703986)

(and for those that don't RTFA) .... they are the backend behind AOL's anti-spyware application which is means potentially millions of users are affected by this.

Re:as unimportant as Aluria may seem.... (1)

marktaw.com (816752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704277)

Eh. AOL is probably just one giant piece of SpyWare anyway. What's that? You don't think they have reports on all of their user's habits? Well then, I have a bright shiny CD to send you in the mail in fancy packaging.

Always a gamble... (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703989)

I've only ever used Ad-Aware, who at the time when I found them weren't very well known. It's always a little nerve-wracking installing a free program that is supposed to help you but of which you know little. This seems common in a lot of those Windows-only shareware repositories.

Anti-spyware vendors should... (2, Interesting)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703991)

... update their lists and consider Aluria's software as spyware.

Looks Like the Hacker-Spammer Connection, Part II (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704003)

After cleaning out my aunt's computer of about 11 different companies nagging her to visit their sites, this doesn't come as any surprise to me.

I still believe the Spybot S&D program is a much better solution because a) it's free, b) they only ask for donations which anyone would give for the value of the program, and c) the programmers don't appear to be linked to anybody within the spyware industry.

And for all intents and purposes of the definition, this has basically what this type of program has made: its own genre within the IT industry.

First we had viruses, then chain letters, then SCO. Now we have a spyware genre to worry about.

I saw that coming... (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704008)

Money means more to software vendors then keeping promises... They're like government only we choose to pay for their services.

Re:I saw that coming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704270)

They're like government only we choose to pay for their services.

How is that different from government, exactly?

Will these companies stay in business long? (1)

Huh? (105485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704012)

With Microsoft getting into the anti-spyware buisness [slashdot.org] , I wonder how long many of the companies offering anti-spyware will last.

Shooting themselve in the foot? (1)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704013)

Why would they announce this kind of thing in a public press release? I mean, its the equivalent of a fireworker announcing to his team he maried a pyro. Maybe the software DOES comply with their standard... now, maybe their standard is a little low... I don't know anything about WhenU, so I can't judge on that. WhenU website even have a link to "anti-spyware portal"... confusing.

Re:Shooting themselve in the foot? (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704346)

WhenU [whenu.com] posted a press release [whenu.com] on their web site. That is good for them. They make themselves look better and suggest to advertisers that their ads will be seen on more computers.

Aluria [aluriasoftware.com] didn't post any press releases [aluriasoftware.com] about this. All they have is the Spyware SAFE [aluriasoftware.com] page for WhenU, which they must have now that they've certified it. I still think they shot themselves in the foot, just by certifying WhenU, but they certainly didn't go out of their way to publicize it.

Profitability (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704015)

Wasn't it not long ago we had this story about Yahoo Anti-Spy Favors Yahoo's Adware Partners [slashdot.org] ?

I think in long run, anti-badthings services are going to be influenced by the bottom line. Spyware/spammers can make enough to feed themselves and pay for these services to 'certify' them.

As end-users, we need to be educated to prevent these installations in the first place.

Open Source Anti-Spyware (5, Interesting)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704017)

Does this mean the only anti-spyware solution we can trust is or should be open source?

I would think yes.

Anybody else?

Not surprising (1)

adam613 (449819) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704020)

Evil people taking over organizations designed to defeat them is nothing new. It's just like what the Mafia did to the police, or what the Church of $cientology did to the Cult Awareness Network.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704117)

Let's not forget about the Mormon's taking over the Boy Scouts of America! Ugh.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704421)

Yes, I remember the good ol' days when BSA was stridently anti-Mormon. Why, my father still has his "Polygamist Stomping" merit badge.

Oxymorons (0, Troll)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704027)

I like my Windows boxes junkware-free, thanks (oxymoron noted).

Oxymoron noted from my spyware-free linux box on my desk at work. When I go home, I'll note that oxymoron from my spyware-free Mac, too. :-)

Re:Oxymorons (1)

hhlost (757118) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704478)

Actually, I have a spyware free Windows box. The OS is junkware, IMO.

How stupid are they, anyway? (2, Insightful)

TheFev (827659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704031)

They should obviously know they'll lose a ton of business this way. My guess is that a TON of money was involved.

Plenty of precedent (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704035)

While a mere partnership resulting in a buddy-buddy relationship with natural sworn enemies is odd, it is not unusual for a company to buy up and subvert its critics.

There used to be an activist organization which criticized religious cults. It was hardly a profitable business arrangement and eventually was bankrupted by lawsuits and had to sell off its assets. The organization's name and phone number, plus its member list was sold to a cult follower whose cult is, oddly enough, now cleared of any cult association by the now infiltrated anti-cult organization.

what else is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704045)

This actually dosnt suprise me. It just goes to support a theroy I follow: Everybody has a price.

Test them all (4, Interesting)

MoeMoe (659154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704047)

I think it might be a good idea for an online tester to get a hold of all the popular Adware/Spyware removers and test them out side-by-side to figure out who "forgot" to block a given companies ads... Atleast then we could figure out who's on our side and who's on theirs...

Uninstallation (1)

jube_fl (701837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704054)

I will agree with this when the spyware vendor gives an option to uninstall the application properly. Thus giving the user a valid way to uninstall.

Re:Uninstallation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704348)

They do have uninstallation programs, you silly! Of course it installs their "partner's" spyware application, but still it uninstalls their own! Then once you uninstall their "partner's" spyware application, then it reinstalls their own again. And the cycle continues forever...

Aluria... who? (5, Informative)

g_adams27 (581237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704063)



Can't say I've ever heard of Aluria's Spyware Eliminator. I've got my triumvirate of anti-spyware tools, and I'm satisfied:

No need to limit yourself to just one, either - run all three!

Re:Aluria... who? (-1, Flamebait)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704278)

Would you like some chicken bones with those?

If you simply grew a brain and learned how to use a computer (that is, don't log on as root/administrator) then I doubt you'd have a single spyware problem.

Re:Aluria... who? (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704404)

I certainly keep the first two handy, but they're not for my machines... suffice to say I'm about ready to start charging for getting that gack off other people's machines.
9x/ME users don't have a choice about running as root, and there are still a lot of those boxes out there (not that that's a good thing).

Re:Aluria... who? (1)

kawika (87069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704498)

If a non-root user runs an exe file they get from P2P, a web site, or email, it can be saved in a directory where the user (not root) has execute permission. It can be automatically launched in several ways on user login such as a Startup folder shortcut. The spyware can run in the background and monitor or report the user's activity. So tell me how lack of root/admin prevents spyware?

Re:Aluria... who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704430)

I only use one. Linux. Perfectly satisfied and spyware free for 10 years.

- Joel

The trick is (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704071)

The trick is to only use software from trusted vendors such as TrojanHunter [trojanhunter.com] or Ad-aware [lavasoftusa.com]

Use not-for-profit, Libre solutions (2, Interesting)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704081)

Any business is for sale. If you want to be sure that you're getting the real deal, go to the amateurs.

Anyone know of any Libre anti-spyware for Windows? I don't use MS products except at work, so don't have to worry about such things.

Re:Use not-for-profit, Libre solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704260)

Source d'Libre? Non.

Isn't this the Spamford Approach? (1)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704139)

It's not exactly the same but this looks awfully close for what the FTC's going after Spamford Wallace for. Given that this looks like a highly dubious financial move for the company.

Are the foilies right? (1)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704204)

What's the big surprise? This just means that actions are taking place in public with spyware that people have suspected with virii for years.

Just because they're wearing tin foil doesn't mean that they might not have a point.

~D

fake anti-adaware (5, Insightful)

Andr0s (824479) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704281)

Bah.

Since I started using adaware tools, I learned I could rely only on Spybot and Ad-Aware. Obviously, many others noticed their reliability too - just try googling for either of two, and see how many pages you can find with fake installers - some sites even distribute AdAware installations with modified malware definitions and crippled update, so your AdAware might even refuse to detect malware on your PC.

To me, it all smells so familiar... Just as M$ loves to force, bribe, coax or cajole software producers into specialising their products for Windows compatibility, so do too the malware distributers seek their fifth collumn... Similarities are far from passing.

Re:fake anti-adaware (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704327)

To me, it all smells so familiar... Just as M$ loves to force, bribe, coax or cajole software producers into specialising their products for Windows compatibility, so do too the malware distributers seek their fifth collumn... Similarities are far from passing.

There are no similarities here. You are just a fucking zealot who needs to get slapped in the face so you will wake up.

As free software goes mainstream... (3, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704305)

Will its reputation be marred by association with these "free gifts"?

As in: "Free, huh? Well, last time I agreed to install free software I had to spend $500 to have my PC cleaned up! No thanks!"

Spyware/*nix (4, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704311)

Spyware will become a serious threat to operating systems of choice as well, once they become a bit more popular. It's exactly the kind of software that operating system level security cannot stop, namely, software willingly (if not knowingly) installed by the user.

Seeing that a lot of software for *nix systems needs to be installed as root, spyware could potentially bypass any OS security mechanisms, and there will be no end to the potential damage.

I think this situation needs addressing. Distributions supporting and simplifying installing software by regular users (as opposed to systemwide installation by the superuser) would be a good first step, with many additional benefits.

Uh oh a decenter (1, Offtopic)

chaffed (672859) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704335)

go go gadget flame suit!

I like my Windows boxes junkware-free, thanks (oxymoron noted).

There is one thing that gets me about slashdot. That thing is the windows bashing. Windows XP IMO was worth the money. No other operating system makes my laptop function so well. OMG could that be the purpose of an operating system... no can't be...

I digressed, back to the topic at hand

Yes I'm a victim of the FUD :rollseyes: but the reason MS Windows sees all this crap is because they have 85-95% of the desktop market share. Now what is going to bring you more profit, targeting 10% of the market or 90% of it?

So this development is not exactly surprising. also their is so much competition in this software market that it's probably in the developers best interest not to sell out. If the developers sell out to everyone then they have lost the point of their business model.

Summation:
  • Don't bash windows because it has a large market share.
  • Don't bash microsoft for trying to make an OS everyone can use.. By everyone I mean 99.9% of the world that are not sycotic security admins
  • This is as common as organized crime in the 20's and 30's. Take the money and look the other way.
  • Finally there will always be an Eliot Ness [crimelibrary.com]

Re:Uh oh a decenter (2, Interesting)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704456)

I agree with you, however, you'd think at the very least Microsoft could do is ask you to enter the account credentials of an administrative account whenever you're about to install an application or modify core system settings.

This would prevent the vast majority of silent spyware installations.

Instead, we have no authentication and a "SYSTEM" super user account for applications to play Administrator with.

Oxymoron... (1, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704413)

"I like my Windows boxes junkware-free, thanks (oxymoron noted)."


My Windows XP box is junkware free, adware free, and spyware free. It's only an oxymoron for the morons who don't keep their systems safe with firewalls, up-to-date anti-virus definitions, and enough common sense to not click "OK" on every IE prompt that asks you to install something.

WhenU is certainly malware (5, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704427)

I've caught shareware sites bundling my software with WhenU malware, without my permission, and without giving clear indications to users, causing problems for my customers and endangering my reputation.

I consider any program that sits in the background and pops up ads while the bundled application is not running to be unwanted malware.

cool headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10704468)

"Anti-Spyware Vendor Partners with Spyware Company?"

I thaught Anti-Spyware Vendor is going together with Microsoft... ;-)

Sophie
--
I need your help! My son wants a sheep!? More information at my homepage: http://www.nakedsheep.de.tp/ [nakedsheep.de.tp]
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