Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Windows AntiSpyware Downgrades Claria Detections

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the convenient-timing dept.

Privacy 411

accihap writes "A week after word leaked out that Microsoft was negotiating an acquisition deal with Claria (See recent /. coverage), spyware researchers have noticed that the Windows antispyware application has downgraded Claria's Gator detections and changed the recommended action from 'quarantine' to 'ignore.' Screenshots of the new default settings."

cancel ×

411 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sadly, no surprise. (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002401)


Honestly...is anyone surprised by this? We all saw this coming.
Unfortunately, M$ can pull this sort of thing with near-impunity, as the only ones outraged by this are the ones who had issues with them in the first place (read: us).
The vast majority of Windows users out there are just going to shrug and say, "Oh well...if Microsoft says they're not a threat, then they must not be a threat."

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (5, Insightful)

digidave (259925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002428)

But I wonder if this will affect enterprise adoption of MS Antispyware. Even the diehard Windows admins where I work will admit this revelation makes that product less attractive, which is a shame because it used to be possibly the best antispyware product around.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002667)

I wonder if this will affect enterprise adoption of MS Antispyware

If this indeed checks out, Microsoft Antispyware will be removed from our regional ISP's recommendation list by the end of the day. Our customer care people presently recommend it as the first tool for spyware infections due to its previous effectiveness in identifying items that several other no-fee tools did not.

Software that intentionally misleads users regarding the actual risk of unauthorized application behavior is malware, regardless of the vendor or intent.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002785)

Actually, yes it will.

the It group at Corperate headquarters recently sent us in IT an email stating that "MS anti-spyware will not be acceptable as a spyware removal tool" and we are going to be issued corperate licenses for adaware in a few days. I wonder what 10,000 licenses of adaware will look like?

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002905)

They will look ineffective as they recently made a similar deal (because of litigation) with a few other spyware "vendors" I have taken to using Adaware, Spybot, Spywareblaster, Hijackthis etc to keep a computer free of spyware and crap.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (5, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002463)

Microsoft generates the default actions by looking at the feedback from people who have opted to communicate their actions to Microsoft.

Before getting into a stew it would be worthwhile considering whether it is likely that a significant number of people with Claria crap are opting to keep it.

No way would I have Claria crap on my machine but it does appear that there are people downloading the trash intentionally.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (2, Insightful)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002661)

Oh, come on. Microsoft may take feedback into consideration, but surely it's not the only factor in selecting the default action. And what the *hell* would motivate hundreds of thousands of users to change the default action that Microsoft recommends and keep a piece of crap like Claria? Especially considering that these are people who are clueless enough to have installed Claria in the first place.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (4, Insightful)

rearden (304396) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002792)

If Microsoft is going to rate spyware based on the actions taken by end users, then the product is flawed from the begining. If most users knew what caused/qualified/ acted as spyware they would not get it in the first place. I can not tell you how many times I have removed some WeatherBug or other program, and the user goes "Why, I like getting the weather" and I have to explain that all of the Pop-UPs are from the WeatherBug and they say "Why? It is just for the Weather!". I actually had one user complain to my boss that I was trying to keep her from getting the Weather!

My point being, most users don't know or understand what is in the programs, and so the determination of their adware/ non-adware status should not be left up to them.

Additionally, what is going to stop the AdWare networks from running bots that mark their programs as Keep or Ignore and thus flooding the SpyWareNet with false info.

If the change comes becuse of user feed back, then the system is flawed. If the change came because MS got paid, or threatened to be sued then MS is just corrupt.

For those who don't remember the past (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002482)

Previous rating [pchell.com] .

Taking it up the *ss again. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002506)

Its getting to the point where the owner of a Microsoft product must feel like he's on goat.se

Windows owners are shuddering not shrugging and wondering "What choice do we have?"

Re:Taking it up the *ss again. (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002587)

Not really. Just use firefox and run hijackthis every so often and you should be fine. Download something from the internet and prepare to be fucked. I use firefox, gaim, thunderbird, itunes, and battlefield 2. My windows box is quite clean :]

Re:Taking it up the *ss again. (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002631)

Download something from the internet and prepare to be fucked. I use firefox, gaim, thunderbird, itunes, and battlefield 2.

I'm guessing you downloaded all of those from the internet. By your own account, that makes you one of the few slashdotters who have actually had sex! ;-)

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (-1, Troll)

Joe U (443617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002507)

The vast majority of Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1 are going to say, "Hey, it's a beta, maybe it's a screw-up".

The vast majority of idiots are going to say "OMG!!! M$ IZ TEH GHAY!".

For your next trick, why don't you go and correct the grammar and spelling of everyone on Slashdot?

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (1, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002861)


The vast majority of Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1 are going to say, "Hey, it's a beta, maybe it's a screw-up".

You can't seriously be this stupid. A week after it is reported that Microsoft is in talks to buy Claria, Microsoft's anti-spyware flagging of Claria's adware mysteriously gets downgraded from 'remove' to 'ignore'? And you attribute this to a 'screw-up'? Sheesh.

For your next trick, why don't you go and correct the grammar and spelling of everyone on Slashdot?

Gladly.

OMG!!! M$ IZ TEH GHAY!
^GHEY^

^_^

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002900)

Your use of quotation marks is completely unnecessary. Also, in your first sentence, you attribute the quote to "the vast majority of Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1" which implies that the software itself is equipped to generate vocalizations... cool beans. Additionally, the product is correctly called Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) and the shortended version is Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) not Microsoft AntiSpyware beta 1

Thanks!

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (2, Interesting)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002592)

Sure the connection appears clear with the MS buying of Claria (rumoured), but there has been a lot of press as of late regarding how a lot of spyware (alleged) are suing anti-spy companies to get off the lists.
Since we are "geeks" we may know what to remove and what to keep, but I feel bad for people like my grandparents who rely on anti spy 100% to make their decisions....

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (2, Insightful)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002595)

It's not that it was removed from the definitions update (i.e. that it is ignored/undetected). It is still detected.

They just downgraded the threat level to Moderate and changed recommended action to Ignore.
Those who care can change it to Remove. It's that easy.

No big deal.

I've seem some other utilities that call everything threats and/or infections - even cookies. That's even worse that MS's downgrade of Claria/Gator.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002627)

Hey trip, why not throw some more loser ascii into your retarded sig?

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (2, Insightful)

Nigel_Powers (880000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002646)

Near-impunity, yes.

This is just another confirmation that I made the right decision when I dropped Windows completely. I've never looked back.

It's these types of moves that make even their dedicated user-base go "ugh". Microsoft keeps adding "features" that are not in the best interests of the users. I don't see the same reaction to Apple by it's users.

Microsoft's products cater to third party businesses (such as DRM via Media Player, or now this move to protect their recent investment/acquisition).

At this point, Windows (the OS) should be free to the pubic -- it could easily be paid for by the outside interests who seem to have so much influence!

Then, if the public use it, at least they won't be paying for the privilege of getting screwed!

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002654)

Honestly...is anyone surprised by this? We all saw this coming.

Actually, I don't think anyone saw this coming. It seems low...even for Microsoft.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (2, Insightful)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002823)

This is disgusting.

There's Microsoft saying that in the future we should let them run our lives and give them control of our home applicances and such. Then they go and do this.

Makes you think: In 10 - 15 years when Microsoft will probably own half the home security alarms market, I wonder what will happen if they were to acquire 'Burglers Inc.'?

Its not hard to imagine Microsoft downgrading the threat posed by them to 'ignore' either.

Re:Sadly, no surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002863)

I am amazed noone gets it... Gator CPO at the Department of Homeland Security [slashdot.org]

teh ghey (-1, Redundant)

dopelogik (862715) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002404)

yea, I'm pretty disgusted by this.

Hey LUNIX zealots! Face the facts! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002415)

1. You rejuvenate and dance when you hear a windows flaw exposed, but you conveniently ignore the thousands of security flaws exposed in linux.

2. You yell loudly TROLL! at any person's post or at any person you see posting facts that you do not want to hear about your oh so cool linux.

3. You know it's a classic case of penis envy, you don't have all the support, software and hardware available for linux and you have to let that anger out somewhere, but you don't have the brains to admit it.

4. You hate windows, hate Microsoft, but race to emulate windows, have programs to run office from within linux, and spend a $300 on a Windows emulator, only Windows fools.

5. You cannot admit that you don't have professional usage of Linux outside server markets.

6. You cannot admit that most of the joe user out there when told that there is linux will respond, what is that?

7. You cannot admit that there is no professional printing capabilities in linux.

8. You cannot admit that you are a masochist (otherwise why would someone spend hours playing with scripts,
and recompiling programs that are available for Windows?)

9. You cannot admit that there is no professional desktop publishing done on Linux.

10. You cannot admit that no one in their right mind would do professional video editing in Linux.

11. You cannot admit that linux sucks when it comes for gaming/home entertainment or education.

12. You have problems in understanding Windows, and you will blame your own incompetence on Microsoft.

13. You have problems in pointing a clicking, but have no problems in wading through cryptic scripts written by lunatics.

14. Nothing will get past that shit that fills your head, you will not admit to any facts.

15. You can't admit that naming of linux components, packages, and others are weird and fits profiles of troubled teenagers. gentoo, lgx, rpm ....

16. You feel angered because you were left out by microsoft's Media technologies, they support Mac, Sun sparc, but not linux.

17. You feel inferior deep inside but unable to admit it, you don't have a database as easy and powerful as Access.

18. You cannot tell that not a single office package outside Microsoft's is worth looking at or bothering with.

19. You don't know that your CD recorder software sucks.

20. You don't have DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW support in your pathetic OS.

21. While the rest of the world moves on, you're stuck in a stone age technology that needs third party software to boot into GUI.

22. You act out of prejudice, you kill file domains and users of specific news readers while you ignore the bullshit that your fellow linux losers post.

23. You don't know commercial support in Linux is almost non existent.

24. You miss the fact that companies are leaving linux because of the chaos, and the cheap linux losers who are unwilling to pay and support hard work, Corel, gaming companies,...etc.

25. You are unaware that linux has no terminal services (there is a lame one that no one uses), and commercial support for it is not happening.

26. You are unaware that setting up servers on Windows takes couple of minutes while on linux, good luck playing with configuration scripts.

27. You cannot admit that support for USB on linux is laughable at best.

28. You think that Linux is better because slashdot told you so.

29. You spend countless hours flaming people because they post their opinions about your oh so cool linux and your attitude, instead of researching things for yourself and understanding fact in order not to look this stupid.

30. You think that anyone who uses linux has a clue.

31. You think that linux cannot crash.

32. You think that everyone is interested in your conspiracy theories about Microsoft (or should i say M$ in order for you, teenagers to understand?), and how they destroyed linux, ...etc.

33. You keep ignoring the fact that thousands of linux servers get hacked every year, but it takes one Windows server hacked to get you and your fellow linux idiots to dance and celebrate.

Re:Hey LUNIX zealots! Face the facts! (-1, Flamebait)

DerKwisatzHaderach (881451) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002448)

You had this made up beforehand, didnt you?

Re:Hey LUNIX zealots! Face the facts! (-1, Redundant)

mattspammail (828219) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002465)

Mod parent as "off topic", "troll", "flamebait". It meets all 3 criteria.

Re:Hey LUNIX zealots! Face the facts! (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002736)

Microsoft employee?

Honestly, I don't know why anyone would get attached enough to a stupid computer OS to bother to write or even copy and paste that.

first post (-1, Troll)

rev_g33k_101 (886348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002417)

but all joaking aside i warned everybody singing the prases for m$ anti-spyware this was going to happen. cant trust them when they are in it for the $$$$$

Re:first post (1)

rev_g33k_101 (886348) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002514)

never mind the first post comment..... chould have known i was not gotn to beat the clock. one more thing in life i have faled at.....

Re:first post (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002729)

It's not so much that you can't beat the clock at first posting, it's the $$ that some posters pay to get a * after their name.
That way, they'll see articles before you do, and are probably able to post before you can.

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002739)

Joaked... faled... chould...

Egads! Must not let spelling nazi out...

Re:first post (4, Insightful)

Storm (2856) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002578)

Indeed. In fact, I have to constantly remind the Windows evangelists that the entire spyware and virus problem has created a cottage industry, and as long as Microsoft can make money off of it, they will choose never to solve it.

Not suprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002418)

Of course they are going to protect their own investment. "It's not a bug, it's a feature".

Captain Obvious strikes again.

It could be worse... (3, Interesting)

TildeMan (472701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002425)

~sigh~ At least they're still bothering to detect it. But seriously, there isn't a "WTF" big enough to describe this, since it's probably only the tip of the iceberg...

Re:It could be worse... (2, Interesting)

marcantonio (895721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002564)

I'm sure it is only the tip of the iceberg. Marketing is one of the biggest businesses in the world and Microsoft is going to cash in on their "captive audience" by using Windows to cram ads down people's throats. It'll be part of the OS. And with everyone connected to the Internet these days it's very feasible.

Re:It could be worse... (1)

coolcold (805170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002706)

i think they just didn't bother to remove it :)

It's worrying... (4, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002427)

...how quickly corps like MS will sell out their customers to make a quick buck. This is not only found in the Spyware arena but also with companies such as Intel embedding DRM into their chips when coaked by the various entertainment industries.

Spy vs. Spy (3, Funny)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002429)

Ok. So the anti-spyware program lets the spyware continue operating without flagging it, because it has become spyware itself by association? So now we obviously need to develop an anti-anti spyware program, to fix the problems caused by the anti-spyware, right? That is, until the anti-spyware people declare our anti-anti-spyware to be spyware, in which case we'll have to develop anti-anti-anti-spyware?
This makes my head hurt.

[whattofix.com]

Let the conspiracy theories fly! (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002433)

One has to wonder if companies such as Microsoft do things like this intentionally or, as the comment in the article indicated, simply miss some things in the wash?

Either way it will certainly feed the gnashing-of-teeth syndrome that occurs anytime the words 'Microsoft' and 'spyware' are uttered in the same sentence.

Re:Let the conspiracy theories fly! (4, Insightful)

dustmite (667870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002656)

One has to wonder if companies such as Microsoft do things like this intentionally or, as the comment in the article indicated, simply miss some things in the wash?

Of course this was done intentionally. GAIN must be the most widespread and well-known spyware out there, do you think that a team of people working on one of the world's biggest anti-spyware programs accidentally thought it was not a threat and should be set to "ignore"? Or do you think someone "accidentally" modified the status in the database by clicking a few wrong buttons, and that quality control didn't check before a product release that their anti-spyware program happens to ignore the world's biggest spyware? There is just no way this happened by mistake.

And people trust a firewall to them (5, Interesting)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002443)

Why would anyone rely on a security product of any kind owned by the same people as the OS? Not only are users subjected to this kind of tomfoolery, but in general marketing a security product for your own operating system is like correcting your own spelling test... best left to a third party.

Spyware works because Microsoft designed their softwarein such a way that lets it work. The premise of trusting their anti-spyware tools is ludicrous.

Hardware Firewall (1)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002649)

I tell people to use a separate hardware firewall. Most home users will be just fine sitting behind a NAT device with a "web-based" interface; and at least a little curiousity about using it. Anything but leaving the whole burden on Windows' shoulders. No doubt this is a frequently-covered topic on /., but this Claria thing just makes me more sure.

Re:Hardware Firewall (1)

saider (177166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002812)


The only bad thing about the hardware firewalls is that they do not really monitor outgoing traffic and few of the consumer boxes that I have seen make it easy to block known IPs.

Does anyone know of a simple home router that has the ability to easily blacklist IPs?

Re:And people trust a firewall to them (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002854)

I really like your analogy, mind if I repeat it?

Marketing a security product for your own operating system is like correcting your own spelling test.

I might just have to go make up some more bumper stickers or something.

This is impossible. (1, Funny)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002446)

Something made by Microsoft does not work? I don't believe it.

Confirmed (5, Insightful)

Steinfiend (700505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002447)

First thing is we need to make sure these images are real. We have been caught with faked images many times before. If they are then I think all it really does is reinforce the need to run multiple anti-spyware utilities.

When a for-profit organization releases a product that can adversely (or positively) affect another for-profit organization we must expect, at least sometimes, to have some negative effects on the consumer. Its a capitalist society and companies are free to do anything and everything they need to maximize profits, within the scope of the law.

Re:Confirmed (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002585)

>I think all it really does is reinforce the need to run multiple anti-spyware utilities.

OR you could simply run Linux...

Re:Confirmed (2, Informative)

dustmite (667870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002718)

Indeed, OR Mac OS X .. no spyware so far here either.

Re:Confirmed (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002782)

Thanks, 'mite.

I wasn't sure about that.
I've been developing for OSX for a very short while now but not running it as a user.

On the face of it, OSX, or almost ANY other OS is better than Windows.

However, I read that there is only ONE OS so far that has plugged ICMP's holes and others before anyone else: OpenBSD. I hope everyone takes a hint from them.

Re:Confirmed (3, Interesting)

Steinfiend (700505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002732)

Argh! Second time today that I'm going to be suckered into a discussion I shouldn't get into. I really need to work on my self control.

Personally, I do run Linux as my primary OS, with an install of Windows 2000 for all those times Linux just won't do. It's probably an 80/20 thing, maybe more, maybe less, depending on what I'm doing that day. Things like Photoshop, Dreamweaver and other "productivity apps" either don't have a Linux equivalent or don't have an equally functional Linux Equivalent. This leads me then to have to use Windows. Is that my fault, is that Microsoft's fault, is that Adobes fault or even Linus' fault? No, that's market forces.

Could Microsoft do more to make Windows "secure"? Yes, of course they could. Could Ford do more to make the Taurus less polluting? Yes, of course they could. But does that mean I should automatically stop driving my car? No, of course not, I, as a consumer, make a decision based on my needs and available options and choose accordingly. I drive less, to limit my polluting effects, but I still need to get to and from work, so I do. I use Windows less so I can limit my chance of having problems, but I still need to use Windows only software, so I do.

Of course someone is going to mention CrossOver Office, which I do use for a number of pieces of software. I consider it to be the catalytic converter of computers. It helps limit the effects of a problem but doesn't address the root cause.

Re:Confirmed (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002890)

Allright, I WAS a bit glib.

I've dumped Windows and switched to Gentoo.

It's been two years and I am much more satisfied with Linux than Windows. Easy. Hands down.

It wasn't easy because I went the geek-route and compiled from source and everything, but that's just me.

There are plenty of no-hassle Linux distros out there that have everything that Windows has, really, I just wanted something more custom, which Linux permits me to have.

As for apps that you can only find on Windows, well, sure, there might be some, but usually that's because you are stuck there because of historical reasons, because I haven't found anything Linux can't do...

MS Anti-Spyware is spyware as far as im concerned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002450)

If its going to treat spyware like Gator to exist, while everything else nukes it, then to me, MS Anti-Spyware has now officialy become spyware in itself.

Spyware? (-1, Flamebait)

meloncully (882468) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002455)

hah, im suprised no antispyware apps have found windows itself as adware

You just have to love corporate integrity ;) (0, Flamebait)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002460)

It's not just Microsoft though. Pretty much the whole corporate sphere works to that kind of moral code, always laying the blame for their questionable actions at the door of "protecting shareholders' profits".

Microsoft just happens to get caught at it a lot. :)

Shabby, very shabby.

Corporate and personal integrity (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002743)

I mostly just call it "people". Set out a sign next to a box of bagels saying, "Bagels: $1" and about 85-90% of the people will pay for the bagels. And 10-15% won't.

In other words, it doesn't take a corporation for people to act dishonestly. It just takes an opportunity.

Re:You just have to love corporate integrity ;) (1)

daalro (846755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002790)

I guess when you muscle out the competition, all eyes are on you. You would think this would make them act more morally, but I guess they haven't learned. Either that, or they just know that most of their customer base will still buy their products because they don't have a choice :(

I guess it's "just" typical MS (5, Insightful)

mytec (686565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002461)

This sort of thing boils my blood. There is a certain level of trust I have with a vendor who provides detection and removal of spyware, etc. I've not payed as much attention as maybe I should have, but what other vendors are strong in detecting spyware that don't give in or at least haven't thus far? The product they purchased from Giant was really good to boot. Doesn't take look for the MS taint to occur, does it?

Unrelated, I get the impression, MS doesn't need more competent competition to fail. Instead, they need to continue doing just what they are doing. Between moves like this, the failure to manage projects, etc. they are hurting themselves just fine and making everything that isn't MS look better.

Every so often the MS marketing machine almost gets me to believe they might be changing. The developer blogs have helped a lot in that respect. Then MS does something like this. On the one hand they say they are concerned about this threat and then, not too long into the future, they pull a move like this which says the exact opposite.

Would you use Microsoft Anti-Spyware? (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002464)

I'm sure there is the market for Microsoft's integration of anti-spyware software (e.g. non-tech-savvy users); however if it is so clear that they are not playing fair, shouldn't PC manufacturers that aim these markets be doing more to protect the users?

This doesn't surprise me, but I do want to see support and change from PC manufacturers, and perhaps an overseeing body for this sort of thing.

That's why I recommend... (2, Informative)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002467)

I'm not trolling, I don't work for this company, but I've used it for a year, switched from IE to Firefox, and I'm done with spyware under XP:

http://www.webroot.com/ [webroot.com]

It's Not Spyware (0)

Horrortaxi (803536) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002468)

It's a feature.

In a related story (2, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002470)

Microsoft purchased the Sasser source code, and has now removed the Sasser definition from it's Antivirus Suites.

Photoshop? (5, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002474)

I'd like to see independent evidence before jumping to conclusions [slashdot.org] . Anyone want to install Gator and test it themselves? :-)

Re:Photoshop? (5, Informative)

crimoid (27373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002605)

Just tried to let IE install one of their apps and MS AntiSpyware caught it, flagging it with Moderate.

To their credit though you had to dig to find the Moderate label. The first thing a user will see is a rather largish (scary looking) red box encouraging them to block the software.

Dirty all over (1)

ducttapekz (879839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002477)

I can't say I am surprised by this but it seems so shady. I don't know how those people sleep at night. . . but I'm guessing it is on very expensive sheets.

This stuff writes itself (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002480)

Not surprising, but still pretty damn funny. I'm fairly impressed tho, I really would have thought Microsoft wouldn't think itself able to afford this kind of press.

Conflict of interest (4, Interesting)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002484)

Consumer Reports doesn't accept outside advertising - it'd compromise their ability to do their job.

This is why you want your anti-spyware company making anti-spyware software and nothing else. Of all the software I've installed at one point or another, I remember Gator (along with later versions of Kazaa) being the worst about installing obnoxious unwanted software, not mentioning it, and then the software is a pain in the ass to remove. It clearly SHOULD be targeted by any software out there purporting to keep the user's best interests in mind, but Microsoft the Fox is, once again, guarding the henhouse that is your computer.

Anybody who puts their sole trust in a MS spyware-protector deserves what they get, especially when MS starts buying up spyware companies.

simple, just scan with multiple programs (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002505)

I use Ad-Aware, Spybot AND Microsoft Anti Spyware for spyware detection.
The chances of all 3 not detecting (and offering to remove) something are remote at best.

Yeah, right... (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002517)

Microsoft were supposedly more interested in the long-term potential of Claria's personalization software than its pop-up ads. Yeah, right. Once again, Microsoft say one thing and do another. This also gives us a good indication of the trustworthiness of Microsoft's antispyware application.

And now a message from microsoft.com... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002518)

BuY V1Agra, Get A bigger PEN15 2DAY!!

One in the eye for MS Anti Spyware lovers (2, Insightful)

deusiah (727446) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002521)

A few people I have spoken with have been telling me how wonderfull this free tool is. I pointed out I don't need said tool as I just run a better OS but now I have a much better comeback next time someone praises MS for releasing this hehe.

MS bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002523)

I know a lot of people bash MS and a lot of people view the bashing as unfair and biased. Not that I am trying to defend one side or the other or speak for every basher but this is the exact type of behavior that a lot of the MS bashers like myself use to justify the bashing. You can add this to the list of about 100+ things over the last 15 years that MS has done to flex the monopoly muscle against the users and the competition. I'm sorry that the bashers remember these things but there are too many questionable things for many people to just ignore and brush off. Any one single incedent can probably be explained, add them all up and you have a company ripe for bashing.

How Long (2, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002527)

How long before MS integrates Gator into the OS where it cannot be removed without corrupting the system?

Re:How Long (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002597)

Blockquoth the poster:

How long before MS integrates Gator into the OS where it cannot be removed without corrupting the system?

You mean, you've managed to successfully remove it now? :)

M$ (-1, Flamebait)

rael9real (442240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002529)

I fucking hate Microsoft. That is all.

My personal policy... (4, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002531)

Is this: never use Microsoft products, even on Windows machines, if you have an equivalent.

Therefore, I offer the following:



And, of course, the usual suspects: Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, etc... This is not just a good idea, it's THE LAW on the networks I manage!

Replace your Microsoft software today and avoid 90% of all problems that plague other Windows users.

You are welcome.

Why? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002570)

' Replace your Microsoft software today and avoid 90% of all problems that plague other Windows users '

I did not see "Replace Windows" in your list. Is this part of your plan?

Re:Your personal policy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002825)

...aligns with mine.

Tried MS AS beta but kept crashing PC so frucked it off the PC.

Bought SpySweeper yesterday to play with but usually freebies do a good enough job, so that's what I install for home user clients. Most important things are to get them using Firefox and use basic precautions. Ignorance and rank foolishness are the major risk factors IMHO, not compromised products.

Big thanks to all open source providers, fighting a good fight.

Re:My personal policy... (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002844)

AVG's all very well but it doesn't do trojans as my brother found out recently (I was the one who helped him get his system back). I'm afraid for AV I think you need to pay the commercials.

shooting own foot ? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002540)

MS shure has a damn good medical team to fix them foot after all the times they shot themselves there....

You now have a new Purple friend! (0)

ChayesFSS (896146) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002544)

Bonzi Buddy really helps you orginize your computer!

Evil Side speaking here (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002546)

Now I am against claria and any other form of unwanted software on my PC this post is just for discussion purposes

Maybe now that Claria has allowed Microsoft to look at the code they can see that it is not malicious and not necessarily loaded with fuzzy intent. But rather a more crafty piece of ad-ware that is almost always put on a PC willfully.

sigh... (1)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002568)

Microsoft is serious about security, unless it involves a potentially lucrative business deal. I seriously hope this is some gross oversight on a Microsoft staff member's part, and not some willful attempt to try and keep claria software on people's computers.

Thanks, Bill!!! (1)

blankmeyer (600714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002573)

I'd like to say I am shocked and surprised by this, but as with the rest of you, I pretty much expected MS to yield to the all-powerful dollar. Trusted Computing my ass.

This is why I use more than one Anti-Spyware program (I usually keep three installed - none of them are perfect).

this is silly (1)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002594)

of *course* MS have to change the detection for this, they've just bought the company. otherwise we'd all be laughing at them for removing their own software.

but i say it's(hould be) irrelevant: just don't run as Admin and don't use IE and you won't have any spyware to remove...

So silly it's suspicious (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002829)

They claimed that they wanted Gator not for its popup software but for the personalization.

This sounds fishy to me. Microsoft doesn't want their products to look bad, and they know that people hate Gator's popup ads, at least in their present form.

Microsoft shouldn't be protecting old Gator products. They want to take it and modify it to be at least as invasive but less obvious about it. You should expect Gator to be arriving on your system via Windows update, less obnoxious but a lot harder to remove (and almost certainly called by a new name).

hummm (0, Offtopic)

dotspeaks (620847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002608)

now we see the new true face.... the horns are coming out people..... open ur eyes.

New Feature in Longhorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002613)

I can see it now. Claria's software becomes integrated into the OS (like IE and Media Player). Since there would be no way to remove it, a large install base is guaranteed!

I can confirm (5, Informative)

Slayback (12197) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002634)

Just yesterday I was helping a neighbor clean-up his girlfriend's parents' computer (how do I get roped into things like that?) So, I install the 3 big ad-removers; Spybot S&D, Adaware, and MS AntiSpyware. I ran the MS one first since Spybot kept crashing when doing the cleanup (very mean buggers). I noticed that the Claria stuff was all set to ignore after it detected it. I didn't think much of it and set all of them to quarantine, but I did think it was a little odd.

Anyways, CONFIRMED.

Reasonable Explanation (4, Funny)

CrazyWingman (683127) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002647)

Come on now, all, there is probably a completely reasonable explanation for this. You know, like their software can only handle 1023 programs being classified as "Quarantine". They just had to clear some out to make room. :P

Friggin' M$.

And the big deal is? (1)

DarthVeda (569302) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002698)

It's not like you can't still remove them. So just set them to remove...

Take off the tin-foil hats... (1, Insightful)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002720)

The initial designation of the software has changed, big deal. If Microsoft made it so I couldn't set it to remove/quarentine, then I'd have a real problem with this but nothing has really changed. I am still able to remove that piece of shit software, although that hasn't been a problem for me because I don't get spyware.

Sometimes the initial /. response to this sort of MS stuff is acceptable but it has become a knee-jerk reaction and it's old.

Re:Take off the tin-foil hats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002818)

You can't set it to remove/quarantine, the only thing you can do is manually choose remove/quarantine every time it is detected. If microsoft let you change the default action then you can bet a tool to change the default would be included in Spybot and several other antispyware programs.

Slashdot Users: Stop Fixing Windows (4, Interesting)

Bronz (429622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002740)

We've all put up with fixing Windows for a living or maybe circle of family and friends. If your really unlucky, both. When I think about the time I've put into getting spyware off my [Pastor's, Father's, Sister's] computer, and then consider that Microsoft is (inexplicably?) getting into the Spyware game themselves, it's time to stop.

At this point I'm only supporting OS X and recommending anyone to get a Mac Mini when applicable. The world has moved on, the browser is the new platform, and it's time to stop supporting Microsoft if they continue to make the user experience miserable.

People might still complain a Mac Mini is expensive, but if you stop fixing Windows for them -- those Best Buy Geek Squad visits aren't cheap, either.

Re:Slashdot Users: Stop Fixing Windows (1, Interesting)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002840)

I would rather fix windows than have the person go out and buy a new computer.

Fixing windows ensures the person has a running copy and a working computer, so they would not need to pay the microsoft tax again.

Re:Slashdot Users: Stop Fixing Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13002912)

You're suggesting people switch OS and buy a new computer just to use a different web browser. There's much simpler ways to go about doing that. For instance you could...you know...not use IE? Surely the /. masses have demanded you use firefox before.

Interesting turn of events (3, Insightful)

shr3k (451065) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002745)

At first people thought:

1. MS buying Giant means putting a great anti-spyware product into Windows. Windows becomes *stronger* at stopping such attacks.

2. MS possibly buying Claria means that Microsoft could eliminate one of the biggest pieces of spyware out there. In other words, Claria/Gator becomes *weaker*.

Now, it's possible that things will look like this:

1. Anti-spyware becomes *weaker*.
2. Claria/Gator becomes *stronger*.

So much for doing the right thing(s).

Multiple products (1)

betamaxV2.1 (609267) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002834)

I have never relied on a single software package to keep my computer virus/spyware/adware/whatever free. I use three products. AVG anti-virus is running right now and it updates at least once a day and does a scan every morning at 3am. Also through the course of the day I run Adaware http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/ [lavasoftusa.com] which is free for personal use. Also installed on my computer is SpyBot S&D http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html [safer-networking.org] another freebie.

Between these three products and routine updates from windows update and only using Firefox, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a problem with adware etc. I find it rather disturbing that people put their trust in one single software package to keep their systems clean. Is it not good practice to keep backups in multiple locations? Why then would we not have redundant measures for cleaning a system? Other than the anti-virus running in the background these programs use system resources only when loaded and running. Otherwise they sit on my hard drive and take up a fraction of a fraction of my total space.

Claria adware (0, Troll)

Stevix (861756) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002878)

I think Microsoft has stumbled onto a new stream of revenue here, much akin to 20's era protection rackets. For an spyware company to be successful, it just requires a tribute fee to MS to get on their 'Ignore list'. Considering the majority of unprotected users will be seeing no form of protection besides MS firewall and this MS-spyware, and have no other basis to determine what is spyware, the big spyware compaines that can afford this can be rest assured their software will go unhindered, while zombie-users will be content and oblivious, thinking their computer is clean.
Think about the arguement made in MS anti-trust rulings about bundling IE, where prosecutors charged the price of development of IE was being added to the cost of windows, opposed to being truly free. This software has to generate revenue for microsoft in some capacity, and if they dont see quashing users fears about MS security holes as a significant justification for this software, then they will find other ways to pay back the cost of development.

We should all be grateful that M$ detects it (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13002882)

Hey, look at the bright side, at least it detects their software and doesn't ignore it completely! Can anyone else tell me a company that would not do the same? Anti-anti-spyware anyone?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?