Tuesday, June 01, 2004

spyware sucks (rant)

everyone hears about spam and viruses all the time on the news
most have also heard of some mythical thing called "spyware"

know what?
theyre damned viruses and should be treated that way by the lazy antivirus companies
they infiltrate like viruses, behave like trojans, and generally do more ACTUAL damage
to a system than real viruses these days.

I'm going off on this because of a poor client of mine today
he bought a new computer, and wanted to spice it up a bit
so he did a very logical thing:
he went to screensaver.com and got a couple screensavers, a vincent van gough one and the marine screen aquarium demo
at least the van gough one installed spyware, including incredifind
this program adds a search bar to your IE and seemingly routes all nameserver trafic thru their website. power outage over the weekend, his comp reboots and he can no longer get on the internet.
so i run adaware and it didnt find it (in its defence, I was not able to update the files due to the internet problem) so I google and find the wonderful site kephyr
which has a great spyware tool for us techs because it only links you back to its website (difficut with no internet for sure) for instructions on how to manually remove it.

Didnt work, nothing did, after 2 hrs more googling, I find out that NOTHING gets rid of this thing (actually I did remove it, but internet was still down) EXCEPT the uninstaller thats a tiny link on the bottom of incredifind's website
in order to FINALLY get rid of it, I had to REINSTALL the bogus 7day trial (expired) screensaver THEN it worked, with the spyware of course
then i got the most excelent spyware program in existance, Spybot Search & Destroy and was able to remove it AND keep internet working.

Some of you may call this client stupid. Quite honestly I would have done the same thing a few years ago and it DAMNED WELL should be a safe thing to do, get a trial of a screensaver from a site named screensaver. (I honestly dont know if its screensaver.com or screensaverS.com)

Yes, we looked thru the legal warning on the reinstall of the screensaver (he wants to sue, hes a lawyer) but honestly- whens the last time YOU read one of those. I sure dont.

spybot and adaware are good programs, and while my 1st experience with Bazooka (the one from kephyr)
it seems good too. The problem is, they dont share information like the major antivirus companies do, and until they get as organized as antivirus companies are, this problem will just continue to worsen. A study was recently released that said the average home computer has up to 30 tracking cookies and spyware programs on it. someone needs to get off their ass and organize an approach to this.

anyway, i feel better now. heres some non-related links of the day

Links of the Day

Someone buy me this

there, now you know kanji! you can thank me later ^^

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