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Old February 16th, 2005, 12:56 AM
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Default OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

A few days ago...

DSLR Thread: ASW Vendors in La-La Land

Lavasoft, makers of Ad-Aware spyware removal utility, removed definitions for WhenU, an extremely common piece of Adware. WhenU is bundled with Bearshare, playminigolf, and many other adware apps.

In its update notes Lavasoft made no mention of the removal of these signatures.

In addition to WhenU, Ad-Aware seems to be not detecting other adwares such as PurityScan, MyWay, NewtonKnows, and Cydoor--another very common adware engine, included with many P2P applications (notably eXeem).

Even more daming, a thread on this subject started on Lavasoft's support forums by noted spyware researcher Eric Howes was "accidentally" deleted.


Posted by a Lavasoft Rep:
Quote:
Hello to all participating in this thread,
First I will reemphasize the fact that we do not and will not have any collaboration with any companies that are or may be in our data base nor with those currently under research. In addition we do not and will not have collaborations with those who we have been removed from detection for obvious ethical, company, and yes, even personal commitment considerations.

We established our Threat Assessment Chart Inclusion procedure long before it was publicly posted and stand by its relevance of being based on behavior and intent rather than nebulous definitions or on suspicions.

Yes, we have removed WhenU (currently) and Myway (Previously) because they failed to meet our inclusion procedure threshold of 3 points or higher. For a complete description of the TAC please see the following link:

http://www.lavasoftnews.com/ms/tac_main.shtml

(See dslr thread linked above for full post)

For XP users, Microsoft Antispyware is available as freeware. Microsoft Antispyware is basically rebranded Giant Antispyware, the highest scoring anti-spyware app in exhaustive tests conducted by Eric Howes.

For the rest of us wondering who to turn to, there's still Patrick Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy (http://security.kolla.de), Webroot's Spy Sweeper (~$26, http://www.webroot.com/), and McAfee Anti-Spyware, which has gotten good reviews so far.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

Sivran said:
"For a complete description of the TAC please see the following link:
http://www.lavasoftnews.com/ms/tac_main.shtml
(See dslr thread linked above for full post)
For XP users, Microsoft Antispyware is available as freeware. Microsoft Antispyware is basically rebranded Giant Antispyware, the highest scoring anti-spyware app in exhaustive tests conducted by Eric Howes.

For the rest of us wondering who to turn to, there's still Patrick Kolla's Spybot Search & Destroy (http://security.kolla.de), Webroot's Spy Sweeper (~$26, http://www.webroot.com/), and McAfee Anti-Spyware, which has gotten good reviews so far."


Hmmm... that Lavasoft link is an interesting one, fascinating to see how they have to "score" a program to determine if its spyware or not. Sometimes it might not be obvious.

This sort of back and forth oneupmanship of various spyware blockers is common. You should browse the reviews on Download.com for the respective programs. The comments are bourderline libel. I thought it was simply dirty competition between companies. But now I see that there are minor differences between the apps, and people are applying conspiricy theorys to them.

For what its worth, I use both Adaware and Spybot. I don't think I'll trust M$ to keep their spyware remover clean of nepotisim for their pet companies.

There's more to keeping your system clean of course, as the Lavasoft link highlighted. You don't have to take any companies word for it as to what programs are clean. For example, I really liked a JPEG viewer called Ifran View. It was small, free, and did the job. But Adaware was flagging it. The author said it was a flaw in Adaware. But a little Googling led me to discover that one of the plugins, for an obscure image format, was causing the program to "phone home" off and on. So I used my firewall to block Irfan View from connecting to the internet. Its pretty amazing how many programs try to connect when they really have no reason to.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

So they have been bought off. Nothing new. They sold out. Remember what the RIAA did with the Kaaza clones? Pest Patrol nailed a lot of that spyware crap on a lot of systems for those who happened to be using the clones. Then all of a sudden, nothing.

Pest Patrol remains to be a solid anti spy, anti adware program. www.pestpatrol.com However, don't rely upon them to detect "industry" planted spy/add ware.

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Old February 16th, 2005, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

I was reading up on that for the last while...

Its entirely possible that they innocently botched their list of changes.

However, their poor politi-speak responses, and avoidance of the issue has really screwed them. They've lost the trust of their client base with their actions, and their future is very dark and gloomy.

---

My personal reccommendation for Ad-aware as a primary spyware checker is hereby revoked.
Until further notice, I will only suggest it be used as a double-checking backup to other programs such as Spybot S&D.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

Quote:
Suicide Junkie said:
I was reading up on that for the last while...

Its entirely possible that they innocently botched their list of changes.

However, their poor politi-speak responses, and avoidance of the issue has really screwed them. They've lost the trust of their client base with their actions, and their future is very dark and gloomy.

---

My personal reccommendation for Ad-aware as a primary spyware checker is hereby revoked.
Until further notice, I will only suggest it be used as a double-checking backup to other programs such as Spybot S&D.
I'm doing the same.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

Pest Patrol also removed detection for WhenU...
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

My personal opinion, and experience, dictates that no ONE anti-spyware program is going to get the job done. I currently have Pest Patrol, Webroots Spy Sweeper, and Spy Eliminator from Aluria Software, runing at all times and do weekly checks with all three. Each of these will catch something the others will not. Call me paranoid, but I prefer safe.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

Quote:
Sivran said:
Pest Patrol also removed detection for WhenU...
Yes I know. To many false positives.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

You actually use Aluria's offering, despite their obvious corruption?
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Old February 17th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: OT: Attention Ad-Aware users!

Quote:
Sivran said:
You actually use Aluria's offering, despite their obvious corruption?
HUH??
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