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Microsoft Denies Claria got Spyware Exception

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the it's-better-than-worse dept.

Privacy 275

daria42 writes "Microsoft has denied its AntiSpyware application has given adware-maker Claria special treatment. The denial has been issued amid reports MS is looking to buy Claria, and is in response to security researchers' reports stating AntiSpyware had downgraded the threat level posed by Claria's adware products. The downgrade in threat level merely represented an effort to be "fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors," according to a statement published by Microsoft." As reader jfengel writes, though, "they neglected to mention what software that might be, nor did they publish the analysis."

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More info and analysis (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13031943)

There's some really excellent analysis [edbott.com] on this by Ed Bott [edbott.com] .

Compare and contrast to the lies and misdirection spread (as is normal), by Microsoft's resident spin doctor Robert Scoble [weblogs.com] . See his Ballmer interview [msdn.com] , aka, The Idiots Guide to Brownnosing, to see his true colors.

Lots of Gator-bashing is rightly occurring all over the MSDNosphere, see here [msdn.com] for a funny example. Remember, even Microsoft employees [blogspot.com] (commenting anonymously, of course) hate this idea.

I'm guessing that Microsoft will somehow integrate Claria's obnoxious 'personal marketing' tactics into Internet Explorer 7 or the new RSS functions to get a chunk of the targeted intarweb ad market which Adsense has completely sewn up for normal web pages. We should go and tell them [msdn.com] what we think about Claria and Gator, not to mention their general business ethics. Don't let Scoble's lies deceive you, and don't hold back.

Re:More info and analysis (5, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031973)

As a relatively big fan of many Microsoft products...(hey, it's how I make a living!)

Any attempt to incorporate software like Gator into Windows, or an attempt to allow software like Gator greater control...will mean I am no longer a card-carrying member of the fan club.

Seriously, I have spent way too much time cleaning that junk off of my daughter's computer. The MS anti-spyware program works well now, but if they disable it for their 'partners' it will royally suck.

And then I'll have to eat crow for quite a while.

Re:More info and analysis (5, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032201)

And then I'll have to eat crow for quite a while.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Welcome.

Re:More info and analysis (4, Funny)

overshoot (39700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032217)

Seriously, I have spent way too much time cleaning that junk off of my daughter's computer.

They're solving that. Once MS buys Gator, they'll fix the bugs that make it removable.

"Integrated into the operating system," like IE, Media, etc. The script should be familiar by now.

Re:More info and analysis (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032300)

OK, you're just a go along get along kind of guy, a little bit thoughtful, but more interested in leading a full life than fighting the good fight, that's all fine, I don't want to change your way or your choices.

But please, don't fall into the fallacy that if Microsoft didn't exist, that you would have no way of earning a living, or any of the other variations along the continuum.

The Microsoft monopoly hurt the computer industry including everybody in it from consumer to worker to investor to competitor. Monopolies charge prices that are too high and that depresses economic activity and that hurts people. It's that simple. That is the beef, and you are free to hold all the other opinions you have.

Re:More info and analysis (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032309)

And then I'll have to eat crow for quite a while.

Isn't corporate vendor lock-in great!??

Making a living off Microsoft products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032412)

As a relatively big fan of many Microsoft products...(hey, it's how I make a living!)

You should not grumble about MS incorporating Gator into Windows, because they'll have some obscure and difficult way to disable it for sites like banks, police departments, medical facilities, etc. which by law cannot have any spyware-compromised computers, but the way to disable it will be kept secret, known only to MS "certified professionals" who will be able to disable it for a fee, of course.

This whole Gator thing is just another "innovative" way of artificalliy creating a scenario for making more money on multiple fronts: selling the ability to blasts adverts into the faces, and track the online behaviours of the poor schmucks who aren't bright enough to know better or do anything about it... PLUS make money for those folks who've paid enough to be officially blessed by MS to possess secret knowledge of how to disable the crap for customers who need their machines to be a little more secured.

Re:More info and analysis (4, Informative)

cygnusx (193092) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032073)

Scoble did link [weblogs.com] to Ed Bott's take. If you think the Scobleizer is an echo chamber you've a lot to learn.

And oh, it's really funny to see an anonymous coward carp at Scoble, who consistently has shown that his opinions are his own, whether it be about MSN/China or Microsoft/Gay Rights. Yes he works for Microsoft. Yes he blogs. If you can't deal with that, don't read him. But stop calling _him_ a brown-noser when we know nothing about you or your biases.

Re:More info and analysis (3, Interesting)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032076)

We should go and tell them what we think about Claria and Gator, not to mention their general business ethics.

On the contrary, we should encourage them to integrate obnoxious adware into every aspect of the browser and OS. If that doesn't persuade the world to switch, nothing will.

Re:More info and analysis (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032104)

Let them integrate it please! That is the best thing that has happened to MS windows in years, companies will love them for this innovative way of delivering adds to keep the internet "free".
It will be a bad day though if the browser check tells you that your browser is not adware compatible (-:

(And even more people will use firefox & probably an other OS)

Spy Sweeper too (4, Interesting)

professorhojo (686761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031945)

I don't know if you guys know this, but Webroot's Spy Sweeper is also delisting obvious spyware. Microsoft is not alone in this! I personally think this is going to become a real problem with most spyware scanners unless laws are brought on to fight spyware more aggressively and some kind of standard list is defined like there is for viruses.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13031958)

Webroot doesn't make the OS that is being infected by these spyware programs, nor is Webroot looking to buy one of the biggest offenders. Microsoft is about as shameless as George Bush, Jr., is in his corruption. Note I said about.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13031961)

Evidence please. We use their corporate product and would be very irritated were this true.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (0, Troll)

3rdParty (719962) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031998)

Since Microsoft is the single most important company in mmany Slashdot posters' lives, we can expect irrational behavior every time someone at MS hiccups. Kinda sad. This whole "the sky is falling" hyperbole, along with the assumption of hidden MS agendas is normal, I guess, for people who devote an inordinate amount of time to the goings-on in Redmond. The funniest thing is these people purport to "hate" MS, yet every time an MS employee flushes a toilet, one of these guys is there watching and ready to comment. Talk about unhealthy obsession.

What follows will be screeching defensiveness and name-calling, as people self-identify themselves as MS junkies who claim to not really like Windows much at all. yeah, right. It is like little girls punching boys on the playground - they call it "hating," everyone else sees it as the flirting and obsession it is.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (5, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032036)

For me, I am interested in open source spyware removal. I would like a product designed by people with a mindset like mine (anti all spyware). One of the issues is that anti-spyware/virus companies are getting sued by adware companies for slander etc. for calling the adware, well, adware.
That is part of why a program that installs itself, logs your keystokes, saves your credit card info, and turns on your webcam while you are in the shower is a "petentially unwanted program" As long as anti-adware companies are suable entities, we are going to have these issues in addition to absolutely egregious issues like MS buying a spyware company.
Next thing you know Cancer will have to be called "potentially unwated cells."
And let us not be of the mindset, if people can't figure out how to keep spyware off their computer, they deserve it. A lot of those people are our parents and grandparents.
Can you imagine spyware clippy- It looks like you are writing a letter to a bankruptcy attorney. Would you like me to set you up with my rich exiled Nigerian uncle?

OSS Spyware removal is a bad idea (1, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032066)

The LAST thing I need to happen to my kid sister's computer is for the anti-spyware tool to install Debian in place of Windows. Most users can't handle that kind of sudden change.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (4, Interesting)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032232)

For me, I am interested in open source spyware removal. I would like a product designed by people with a mindset like mine (anti all spyware). One of the issues is that anti-spyware/virus companies are getting sued by adware companies for slander etc. for calling the adware, well, adware.

The needed mechanism is already in windows. All we need to do is find and distribute hashes of known spyware (software permissions policy, or something like that, it works by hash, filename, certificate, and maybe location). Windows will then simply refuse to execute (if it's an executable, or load it if it's a library or control).

Re:Spy Sweeper too (2, Insightful)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032180)

anti-spy software ignoring certain results will only be a problem if they also intentionally (or "unintentionally," or "incidentally" or whatever they call it when they are discovered) disable competitors' anti-spy software. I run lavasoft and spybot regularly, I have reasonable confidence in the integrity of both programs' developers. I run both because some find spyware that the others don't. If a company intentionally missed spyware, it would be underhanded, but the effect would be no different than if a company just didn't update its definition file yet. That's why you run 2 or more scanners.

Now antivirus software, that is dangerous, because in some cases they really do interfere with each other, and therefore you have to rely on a single product to catch everything.

Re:Spy Sweeper too (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032202)

I don't know if you guys know this, but Webroot's Spy Sweeper is also delisting obvious spyware.

This is why people should not be supporting commercial entities that are selling spyware detection/removal software.

This should all be free, open source, software that includes a community updated database of spyware junk. That way money and corruption stay out of the mix.

A question of trust (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031948)

From TFA:
"Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) continues to notify our users when Claria software is found on a computer, and it offers our users the option to remove the software if they desire."
The issue here is not whether or not Windows Antispyware still detects Claria products...the issue is Microsoft's recommendation on said products. While it is true that users still have the option to remove Claria products if they so choose, the fact is that users had the option to keep Claria products on their system back when Microsoft was recommending removal. The insinuation that this change offers users more choice than previously available is tacitly false.

The real issue here is Microsoft abusing their position of trust within the general computer user community. No, I'm not talking about people like us here...I'm talking about Ma and Pa Computer User...the ones who see a virus or spyware warning and panic. Many of these people rely upon the recommendations offered by the spyware detection/removal applications to decide on how best to manage their systems. By artificially upgrading Claria products from 'remove' to 'ignore', Microsoft is taking unfair advantage of these users' trust.

Also from TFA:
"All software is reviewed under the same objective criteria, detection policies, and analysis process," Microsoft claimed. "Absolutely no exceptions were made for Claria."
As far as I'm aware, no other spyware removal application has promoted Claria products in this fashion. Until Microsoft publishes these 'objective criteria', and shows how Claria products managed to get upgraded from 'remove' to 'ignore' under them, we will have no choice but to assume more ulterior motives.

Re:A question of trust (1)

Maxiosu (748985) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032000)

As far as I'm aware, no other spyware removal application has promoted Claria products in this fashion.

what like adaware [dslreports.com] and pestpatrol [neowin.net] did with WhenU? ;)

A very simple explanation. (5, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032169)

This all makes sense when you realize one key, critical piece of information.

First, a quote:

Has Microsoft given in to vendors' threats? Or forgotten how badly "adware" damages the Windows experience (ultimately encouraging users to switch to other platforms)? [benedelman.org]

Now, the key, critical piece of information.

Microsoft's anti-spy ware devision is headed by a MAC user! You see, MAC zealots have infiltrated the Microsoft hierarchy, and are plotting it's downfall from within.

As a matter of fact, this is a pervasive presence, weaving into all levels of the company.

Think about it. Doesn't Clippy make much more sense as MAC sabotage than as an actual feature? No doubt someone floated a mock up with the note, "Looks just like something I saw at the last MAC expo."

Architecture changes that mean the XBOX II won't be able to run XBOX games, the endless delays in Longhorn, the XP default theme, the differences between XP Home and XP Pro, these are all contributed by MAC users who are gradually whittling away Microsoft from within.

And because Microsoft has been shamelessly copying the MAC for so long, all they have to do is float the rumor that MAC is going to do something, and Microsoft programmers and management throw themselves into trying to replicate it, or at least toss together a half asses rip-off of the feature / technology.

Re:A very simple explanation. (0, Offtopic)

Dobeln (853794) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032433)

"Architecture changes that mean the XBOX II won't be able to run XBOX games"

FUD! FUD! FUD!

Funny qote from TFA (5, Funny)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031953)

"We firmly believe that people should have complete control over what runs on their computers," Microsoft added."

Well, 10 million compromised windowsboxes seems to contradict that belief.

Re:Funny qote from TFA (4, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031984)


Not at all...they firmly believe that everyone should have complete control over what runs on your computer... ^_^

Re:Funny qote from TFA (0)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032056)

This firmly depends on your definition of "their".

Not funny, really. (5, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032187)

That's actually the principle cause of all their problems. They don't have an adequate trust model for modern computing, being stuck in the single-user era.

As long as it's MS DRM approved (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032427)

Given Microsoft's upcoming DRM support, that line should have read "... control over the MS-approved software that runs on their computers."

Ad-Aware (-1, Redundant)

SpartanVII (838669) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031954)

Yet another reason to use Ad-Aware.

Re:Ad-Aware (4, Interesting)

Mad-Mage1 (235582) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031986)

Excpet for the fact that Ad-Aware already had A HUGE problem recently w/ delisting of products, specifically When-U. I know many who no longer use it as the first tool against spyware, merely for thoroughness.

Yeah... (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032218)

When Spybot Search and Destroy did a much more thorough job on the machines I've worked on cleaning up (I don't generally use Windows, so I don't typically need S-A-D...)- I kinda quit using AdAware altogether. It just doesn't do the job the same way as other solutions.

Re:Ad-Aware (1)

postgrep (803732) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032031)

Or to use OpenBSD.

Re:Ad-Aware (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032044)

I prefer to use three products in combination. Microsoft Antispyware on a daily basis, and periodical runs of AdAware and SpyBot S&D seem to do the trick for now.

Re:Ad-Aware (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032173)

They'll do the trick until you get a really nasty piece of spyware like zestyfind or a bad variant of coolwebsearch and your TCP/IP stack becomes corrupted.

But I digress... This news really isn't anything major. It is just a standard business practice. Though posting up something like that on a site like this will almost always generate anti-M$ flamewars.

Anti-spyware does the trick for me every time, but then again the only thing it ever detects are a few cookies.

Re:Ad-Aware (0, Redundant)

BroncoInCalifornia (605476) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032316)

I prefer to use three products in combination. Microsoft Antispyware on a daily basis, and periodical runs of AdAware and SpyBot S&D seem to do the trick for now.

Those Windows boxes sure take a lot of work to keep going!
[ Am I Karma Whoring now? ]

Re:Ad-Aware (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032436)

Even Windows has something like a crontab.
And sometimes I start the spy ware tools to keep my hands occupied while I am waiting for the inspiration.

Re:Ad-Aware (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032453)

Honestly, how long will this continue?

Before around '98 you needed only 'antivirus' software mainly. Then with the broadband spreading came the 'personal firewall'. In the last few years came Ad-Aware which is 'needed' if you want to get rid of spyware. In the last year and a half i was starting to see reports about needing both Ad-Aware and S&D, and now people are starting to suggest that someone needs 3 independent spyware/adware removal tools to clean up!!! Not to prevent infection, but to clean up!

Seriously folks, when will the madness stop? You can't patch a broken design combined with user unawareness by semi-working cannot be trusted commercial programs!

Personally i stopped using windows around the time XP arrived in 2001. I just had enough. I don't need no antivirus software, firewall software, ad and spyware removal and detection software and to fight an uphill battle trying to contain IE with an alternative browser. It is absolutely ridicoulus what someone needs to put up with.

Wonderful (0)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031959)

So MS denies something they clearly did wrong, what's new?

Next they'll be shouting that Linux gets more spyware then Windows.

It's all PR, same shit different day type things. Don't listen to MS and they'll tell you no lies, listen and they'll tell you no truth.

Re:Wonderful (5, Interesting)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032077)

So MS denies something they clearly did wrong, what's new?

You, sir, are entirely unfair!

Microsoft clearly said The downgrade in threat level merely represented an effort to be "fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors,"

It's entirely consistent. Microsoft has consistently held their software offerings to, ahem, an improved standard.

I mean, have you ever looked at how Microsoft's C++ compilers, um, pioneered their own standard, entirely different -- and, so long as you don't like correct exception handling, consistent RTTI, or the availability of a Standard library, entirely better -- from the ANSI/ISO standard. Or look at the, um, improvements to JavaScript and the browser DOM.

Or just look at the XML for Word docs. Ok, well absent a non-disclosure agreement you can't actually look at it, but trust Microsoft it's entirely consistently inconsistent with anything else out there.

How anyone can say Microsoft isn't being consistent in its approach I just don't understand at all.

Sad.... (0)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032206)

Not that your article isn't funny (it is...), but it's sad that it got modded funny instead of "insightful"- because it's much more insightful than funny. Ah well, what do I know, right?

Microsoft was always a kidder (3, Insightful)

oddheart (898891) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031962)

From the bottom of that ZDNet article:
"'We firmly believe that people should have complete control over what runs on their computers,' Microsoft added."
Anyone else find that funny?

Re:Microsoft was always a kidder (1)

fribhey (731586) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032435)

yes, the person who already posted that quote.

Let's hear it for conspiracies... (2, Interesting)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031970)

Please take off your tin foil hats, guys!

One might say that Microsoft is primarily responsible for the entire spyware issue (although I suspect Firefox's track record would be worse, albeit better than IE, if it were as popular). But MS AntiSpyware is a fine piece of software, however. It's easy to use and does its work better than many of its competitors.

Re:Let's hear it for conspiracies... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032015)

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's AstroTurfMan!

Microsoft's AntiSpyware worked well because Microsoft didn't write it...Giant did. Back before Microsoft got their hooks into it, it was a fine piece of sofware...past tense.

Re:Let's hear it for conspiracies... (5, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032026)


It's not a fine piece of software. It _was_ one and it has been intentionally made otherwise.

I'm keeping my tinfoil hat firmly on. Imagine if Ford bought the company that checks for defects in cars, and the next week all Ford defects were considered as desirable behavior. Imagine if Monsanto bought the company that decides whether Bovine Growth Hormone is bad for you, and the next week it was announced that BGH is just fine... actually, you don't really have to imagine that.

This is a tiny attempt to extend to the software industry what is already standard in the 'traditional' industries; the use of quality and safety regulating entities to discourage competition rather than to protect the consumer.

I _will_ say that I don't expect MS to be as evil about it as Monsanto et al for a good many years yet.

Re:Let's hear it for conspiracies... (3, Insightful)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032154)

"Please take off your tin foil hats, guys!

Please take your head out of the sand.

"One might say that Microsoft is primarily responsible for the entire spyware issue..."

No, thousands of knowledgeable people *do* say it.

"I suspect Firefox's track record would be worse, albeit better than IE, if it were as popular"

That's a moot point.

"MS AntiSpyware is a fine piece of software..."

Penicillin is a fine medicine, but its makers don't go around spreading syphilis.

Re:Let's hear it for conspiracies... (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032492)

It's not a "conspiracy" theory... it's a "fox guarding the hen house" analogy.

bah (4, Funny)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031987)

I have 2modpoints left, and I'm in bad mood. So I wanted to mod insightful a comment like: "microsoft sucks!" but there was no comment like that. What's up with you guys?

Re:bah (0, Offtopic)

Rican (666150) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032002)

Micro$oft is teh suq! ~ gan la :-P

Re:bah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032192)

Too bad he cant moderate on this thread anymore since he posted :P

Re:bah (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032009)

I have 2modpoints left, and I'm in bad mood. So I wanted to mod insightful a comment like: "microsoft sucks!" but there was no comment like that. What's up with you guys?

Simple. There is one thing slashdotters hate even more than Microsoft, and that's karma whoring.

I guess tha Microsoft denies (1, Funny)

Exitar (809068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031996)

BSOD existence too...

YRO? (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13031997)

MS's anti-spyware tool isn't the only one available, it isn't bundled with the OS, it doesn't attempt to prevent the user from installing other anti-spyware tools - in short, it is one option of many and you are free to install others as well or instead of MS's one.

Why is this in YRO? What right is being infringed or threatened? If you don't like MS's anti-spyware tool, don't use it!

Re:YRO? (4, Insightful)

rpozz (249652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032021)

What right is being infringed or threatened?

The right to privacy. This is a tool created by the same people who make Windows, and shows that Microsoft may well start favouring certain spyware companies.

Bah (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032047)

Your comment is stupid.

microsoft's freakin' tool gets pushed at you every time you visit windows update.

MS has, for all intents and purposes bundled their anti-spyware tool with windows.

The point is that the integrity of the tool is being compromised by MS's business decisions and not by any legitimate criteria.

Not like Ad-Aware is immune to criticism [castlecops.com]

Re:Bah (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032130)

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Antispyware isn't even on update; you have to actively search for it. It does not come up on Windows Update; its still in beta!

Re:Bah (2, Funny)

kinzillah (662884) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032153)

Yes, and firefox has bundled thunderbird with firefox because there is a link to it on their website.

Re:Bah (2, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032200)

The anti-spyware tool [microsoft.com] is different from the malicious software removal tool [microsoft.com] . The latter is run on every windows update. It targets viruses, worms, etc. rather than adware.

Not bundled yet... (1)

Name Anonymous (850635) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032137)

MS's anti-spyware tool isn't the only one available, it isn't bundled with the OS, ...

You mean it isn't bundled yet. Wait for the next SP. As it is, a lot of people will install it since it's being pushed with Windows Updates, so it may as well be bundled.

The timing is just too good (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032003)

If Microsoft wants to pull these conspiracies off properly, they need to manage the timing of their rumors and actions. If Karl Rove has to resign over this journalist stuff, I'd say he should go work for Microsoft's marketing department. He'd fit right in.

"Microsoft has denied" (3, Funny)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032006)

*chuckles*

this is /. NOone believes it. doesn't matter what it's about.

[evil demonic laugh]MWHAHAHAHA ![/evil demonic laugh]

What else did they change? (3, Insightful)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032013)

fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors,"

So, um, what other program has had it's threat level changed?

What really annoys me (5, Interesting)

binkzz (779594) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032016)

is that they're also using AntiSpyware for motivating people to remove competing products. For instance, MSN Plus and RealVNC will come up in a search, and although I don't particularly like MSN Plus myself, I don't think it's really fair.

The small print says they may not be actual spyware, but potentially dangerous items, most unknowledgable people will just remove them anyway, because it's the default option.

Re:What really annoys me (2, Funny)

chrisnewbie (708349) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032158)

Well you can add dameware and pc anywhere to your list because they are distant remote control software and some spyware will threat them as dangerous.
Why doesnt remote desktop show as a possible threat?
It's easier to connect to a remote host with that software!
OH yeah right,,,it's a ms product!

Re:What really annoys me (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032184)

If someone has VNC on their computer and doesn't know it, then it is dangerous. Any program that lets you remotely control another person's computer is very dangerous. Don't be a dumbass

Master Plan (2, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032019)

1. Microsoft Buys anti-spyware, 2. Microsoft buys up all spyware company's 3. Microsft delcares the war on spyware is won & emails 7 billion email addresses announcing that the WinXp SP 15 will be "Spyware Free"

Re:Master Plan (1)

malikvlc (889549) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032207)

Nah, they'd just use the spyware/adware to send out 7 billion *pop-ups* declaring adware is dead.

Re:Master Plan (0)

stimpy (11763) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032351)

4. Profit!

Multiple programs.... (5, Informative)

wpiman (739077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032020)

This simply reaffirms my belief in the running of multiple anti-spyware programs. If MS won't remove a certain piece of Spyware because of business/political reasons- adaware will get it- or Spybot will.

PS. M$ sucks.

Re:Multiple programs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032134)

How much preformance loss would having multiple in-memory agents create?

Re:Multiple programs.... (2, Insightful)

VagaStorm (691999) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032305)

How much preformance loss would having multiple in-memory agents create?

Less than GATOR......

OSS spyware detection (5, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032033)

Does anyone know of any OSS that is dedicated to the removal of ad-ware and spyware.
I manage a number of windows machines at the office and wit he recent declassification's without good explanation that has occurred in the sector i have lost all faith in most of the products .
An OSS solution would be wonderful (hell i would rather switch the machines to linux , but that is not an option right now due to certain programs that are required by the company) .
Commercial solutions always to me seem rather susceptible to legal action for the classification and or bribery.

Re:OSS spyware detection (4, Informative)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032099)

It's not FOSS, but as far as I'm aware of (which admittedly isn't that far), there is no big company behind SpyBot S&D [safer-networking.org] , at least. It also offers an option to immunise IE by blocking known bad webpages, which I think is an important option even when you don't run IE as your default browser - there are many apps that embed it. Generally, the problem of unjustified whitelisting of spyware can be solved by running more than one tool. It's a crutch, of course, but it works; what one vendor was bribed to gloss over, another vendor will pick up.

Re:OSS spyware detection (1)

SightlessMind (806966) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032164)

As much as I hate to say it, I think most of the open-source community would rather let Microsoft hang itself on the spyware thing. It's not that it's impossible to admin a windows network in such a way as to limit spyware, it's that it's so easy to let things go bad with Windows. In particular, I've had problems with (older) Windows programs that want the user to an administrator before they'll run at all, so now I've got half the network with full administrative (spyware-installing) rights to their machines. I'm sure there was a "right" way to handle the problem, but it wasn't my decision anyway.

Re:OSS spyware detection (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032231)

My machines are generally clean , but it takes just one person to ignore protocol before you have a problem on your hands .
Its a last line of defence ,but its a good one to have in case , i would just rather have the defensive line on my workstation /server (solaris or debian) rather than running on an infected machine.
So long as your network is as safe as you can make it from intrusion , and you make sure people abide by your protocols you should be safe.
My main problem is How can i be totally safe if i cant trust the provider of the defensive software.
Having half of your network with Admin privileges is daunting and i do not envy you , i had the same problem at one point with an insurance program , Thankfully there was an update which didn't require that level of access so i got out of that loop rather quickly . Whilst i was stuck with it i had to basically limit net usage , which did not make me very popular , but it was better than the possibility of having to fix all the machines

Re:OSS spyware detection (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032475)

I've written about this before. Writing an anti-spyware program which scans the process list, the registry, etc is trivial.

The hard part is vetting the datafile(s) and keeping things up to date.

Whilst it could be done, as the AV program clamav [clamav.net] manages it with only volunteers. I can't see the market for it.

The people that would be attracted to working on a program would probably prefer to support Linux platforms instead.

Even if they did start working on it, it would be hard to gain marketshare until it worked very well - so it needs a lot of effort initially from a few users to get the datafiles covering most of the common and difficult to remove parasites.

And companies with large, vulnerable, desktop installations presumably have the budget to either purchase a commerical spyware scanner, or the knowhow to use Spybot S&D.

Re:OSS spyware detection (1)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032276)

And if you don't mind using hostfiles (I know, I know - bad word), then you can download some fairly updated ones that direct a lot of Adware related hosts to 127.0.0.1 or 0.0.0.0 from here [remember.mine.nu] .

Anyway you get spywares because you decide it (2, Interesting)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032051)

MS antispyware should rather show the threat level the user represents to the computer by analyzing the number of unused files squirreled on the desktop, viruses & spywares on the system, time spent on configuration panel, number of time a double click is performed when a single click is expected etc.

I get it! (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032075)

MS is going to buy off all businesses that have anything to do with delivering any kind of unwanted software to users' computers. This maybe part of their plan for security on MS platform :)

Re:I get it! (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032159)

Why... So they can make it part of the default, windows *can't* run without it, install?

Re:I get it! (3, Insightful)

malikvlc (889549) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032250)

Scarier thought: How long have people tried to make a sure-fire money-generating internet ad system? Once MS buys up all the adware and spyware code, they will have instant access to the Windows desktops. Streaming ads 24x7, a new "feature", without which XP won't install.

And no, I don't think the Antispyware Formerly Known as GIANT will object to MS adware - do you?

Suuuuuuure, Bill (4, Funny)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032083)

"fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors,"

Hmm, I'm sure they wouldn't lie and I shall read the statement as soon my flying pig is back.

It's on a mission, surveying the earth in order to prove that it's flat.

Re:Suuuuuuure, Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032342)

Aha... It's instructed to turn around once it reached the edge, right ?

Re:Suuuuuuure, Bill (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032381)

no you see it's totally consistant with how all software from other vendors that Microsoft have financial interests in are handled by Windows Antispyware.

pushing the edge ! (0, Troll)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032124)

m$ pushing the edge of law always !!

So what they're really saying (4, Interesting)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032132)

Is that Claria isn't the only malware to get this exception?

In other news, Slashdot listed as security alert.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032157)

...on Windows AntiSpyware (Beta.

The increase in threat level merely represented an effort to be "fair and consistent with how Microsoft handles information that it doesn't like," according to a statement.

confusing the user (3, Insightful)

nealfunkbass (701961) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032175)

It is good that the Claria stuff is still being detected, and maybe it is not necessarily bad that the default recommendation has changed, if one were to assume that all similar products were treated in the same way.

However, with some programs having the "ignore" recommendation, and others having "quarantine", it will probably give users the impression that Claria is at least somewhat ok, or something like that, which it is not (at least in my opinion).

Actually, what kind of impression does that give someone who doesn't know any better?

Something is detected by the spyware scanner, but the default recommendation is to leave it there.

"Hey, this one is ok because it only spies me or invades my privacy a little bit."

WhenU (1)

Gandoron (681748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032194)

The software the MS is refering to is the Save/SaveNow software from WhenU. MS is attempting to be consistent, however there are significant differences between GAIN and Save.

Don't let this put you off the product (3, Informative)

astrashe (7452) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032257)

I'll probably burn some karma here, but I'm a big fan of the MS anti-spyware product.

There are really two issues. The first is the catalogue of what's spyware and what isn't. I don't know if MS's program is good at that, and the stories we're reading are sort of disturbing. I buy all of that.

But the second issue concerns the product's ability to remove nasty stuff on your machine. And their anti-spyware app is very good at that.

It's much better than spybot or ad-aware, in fact -- especially with the stuff that scatters hundreds of files and registry entries around your system and reinstalls itself after you try to clean it with another program.

There's nothing that will prevent you from running another program to clear off the stuff that MS's product doesn't get rid of. So don't let this situation prevent you from running this software to get rid of other stuff. It's good at it, and it's free.

Re:Don't let this put you off the product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032321)

At this location, the MS anti-spyware someone installed won't let you change your homepage from Microsoft without jumping through hoops.

Re:Don't let this put you off the product (2, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032424)

Let me give you something to test, you'll most likely enjoy this.

If you've got a spare machine that can handle a 2k/XP install, install either of those OS on the computer. Grab MS Anti-Spyware, Grab Ad-Aware, and Spybot S&D. Install all of them.

Let MS-AS be your default scanner/detector of on the fly spyware threat detection instead of Spybot. Now go find a webpage (or deliberately install thru some other program) the ISTsvc (Internet Search Toolbar) spyware. Now, run either ad-aware, or spybot, and try to remove it. Worked, right? Ooops, notice how MS just trusted a change to your computer? Okay, that's detcting spyware being removed. You should get another notification immediately afterwards showing that another change has been allowed within windows. Go to MS-AS security section, look up all the alerts you've gotten. Scroll down that list. Notice a trusted change by MS-AS allowing ISTsvc to reinstall itself on your computer?

Now, I admit I may not be totally correct. I have yet to do a vice-versa and allow Spybot S&D to be the on the fly detection program. But from what I've noticed, companies providing anti-spyware solutions seem to have incentive to sneakily allow some unwanted stuff on your computer; they eventually want you to pay for their full version of the program, which you'll hope will do the job even more thoroughly. They've set out a mousetrap in order to try to make more money off of you.

In related news, Microsoft makes bicycle advances: (3, Funny)

J Barnes (838165) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032258)

In related news:

Microsoft has made a stunning leap forward in the field of bicycle locomotion technology, developing a system of operation that allows for the appearance of forward progress whilst routinely backpedaling.

Commercial programs (1)

codeconfused (834856) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032266)

Any program out to make money has a good chance of having adware in it. This is why I run Debian and Ubuntu. Commercial motives are always to make money any way they can.

another brilliant marketing strategy? (5, Insightful)

Scorpius-nl (827901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032345)

Microsoft is only a Marketing Company, I hear that alot, and it makes sense.

When microsoft bought Giant their antispyware program was one of the best. When microsoft re-launched it under Microsoft AntiSpyware (and marketed as a new product), it got raving reviews.

The effects are that people will start to trust MS antispyware, and will be starting to ditch their other antispyware programs. As soon as the majority of the people are used to the program, microsoft can dictate their own terms to what is spyware and what is not. Ofcourse microsoft will never go too far, but the changes will be "subtle", not enough to get angry about and still have solid bunch of supporters defending the program for microsoft.

Claria = Windows Installer Service version 4? (2, Funny)

JasonBee (622390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032404)

I think this is going to MS's way of getting "patch management" into the mainstream.

Think about it...delivering A/V and system updates via clickable Ads - brilliant!

Oooohhhh...and so so profitable.

JB

one word (1)

DerKwisatzHaderach (881451) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032440)

Bullshit.

it's their iTunes strategy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13032441)

<tinfoilhat>

This is MSFT's iTunes strategy. Buy up the software that gets bundled with kazaa; couple it tightly with the OS, and give out "free" songs supported by 40+ million adware installations.

</tinfoilhat>

Blatant marketing lies and contradictions (1, Interesting)

aysa (452184) | more than 9 years ago | (#13032465)

"We firmly believe that people should have complete control over what runs on their computers," Microsoft added.

Good news, this means they will have to drop the Trusting Computing idea altogether... errr if this was truly an "effort to be fair and consistent "

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