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GercekSeytan
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.
Premium
join:2001-10-19
reply to dfc888

Re: MS Downgrades Claria Detections

said by dfc888:

said by CalamityJane:

Microsoft, this is just bad!

Another disappointed MVP. We're into fighting spyware, not joining it

Bad move :thumbsdown:
I bet the public will lose their trust in Microsoft Antispyware before it even comes out of beta :p
I am going to give MS the benefit of the doubt same as I did with AdAware. On the other hand, I will be following every thread I can about this subject. MS now has to prove itself, the same as AdAware did, as far as I am concerned.
--
"It is the black heart of Islam, not the black face, to which millions object." Will Cummins: »www.sport.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main..

Coxsupport

join:2005-07-02
Westerville, OH

1 recommendation

reply to eburger68
Gee, MS Anti-spy isn't the only game in town.


Allyn_P
Premium
join:2002-10-29
Cashiers, NC
reply to eburger68
This is indeed a troubling development.

Microsoft's de-rating of Claria's software is hard to grasp. Privacy issues aside, Gator/Claria caused much harm to Microsoft's products over the years. My estimate is that near the turn of the century, thirty percent of all computer service calls were related to Claria's ubiquitous software, which was significantly slowing Windows 9x systems worldwide.

Only with the arrivals of Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy was hope restored. To the best of my knowledge, they were the only applications of the time that could successfully remove all traces of Gator from infected systems.

In my repeated tests of Claria's bundle several months ago, Windows 98 SE was permanently damaged to the point of requiring re-imaging to restore reliable operation. This occurred with and without other malware installed and uninstalled. I have not evaluated the bundle on Windows XP.

For Microsoft to consider using Claria technology to "pursue Google" suggests there is real trouble in Redmond. And at this point, I wonder just how well Gates and Balmer are getting along.


jbob
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Premium
join:2004-04-26
Little Rock, AR

1 edit
reply to eburger68
Well after reading this whole thread perhaps many are jumping the gun, so to speak. Do not consider this MS support but we have seen similar stuff from other anti spyware vendors as well. Look at how Spybot handles it's default detections of CDilla, New.net and a few others. They are excluded by default but all it takes is to uncheck a block to include them. Boclean even changed it's default settings for detection of Netbus because of a lawsuit. The recent change of Ad-Aware's handling of Hotbar(or was it When-U) was more of a problem because they simply dropped detection all together. Good thing they added it back. At least MS still has the option for the user to decide and it still detects Claria products.

Is this a wave of things to come? Perhaps. I've just read where new versions of CWShredder now come with some interesting changes too.

Basically all the major players seem to have some issues in the way they handle questionable spyware/adware. I will agree MS is the big boy on the block though and it would be bad to see them become subverted by business practices. Ooops did I say that?

Bobby_Peru
Premium
join:2003-06-16

4 edits

1 recommendation

reply to eburger68
Hi Eric:

Perhaps it's time to add a prominent category to anti-crapware application evaluations, along the lines of the following (pre-morning legal liquid beverages):

"Provides an easily accessible clear, concise listing of what crapware is detected and each respective 'recommendation', along with any {-insert reasonable disclosure of 'appearance of influences' language} both 1) prior to installation, and also 2) from _with-in_ the application, once installed.

Both of these notifications include an accurate, up-to-date time/date stamped change-log, noting any and all modifications to the detection and/or notice and/or recommendations.

This application also provides express notification of modifications, in clear and concise form to the user, at each 1) "update", 2) "upgrade" or 3) any other modification to either the application itself, and/or it's detection and/or notification functions, any and all detection and/or notice additions, deletions, and/or 'threat' notice and/or recommendations, categorizations, labellings".
Most of this information is obviously known to the vendor, and it wouldn't take much effort on their part to provide it, if they wanted to.

Perhaps all applications will fail this "test" now, but, _maybe_ it will move those very few that are actually reputable, honest, trustworthy and ethical towards compliance.

There are more than a few folks who seem to believe that anything and everything one does is fair game, no, their Deity/Constitutional right, for them to monitor, track, aggregate, analyze and somehow profit from; that we are nothing but "consumers", and no-matter whether 'chicken-little" is squawking, or not, they will do this, just as quickly, deeply and completely, as people permit them.

The advent of wide-spread home computer usage, combined with the Web, is a wet dream to these folks, but one they are tirelessly working at consummating. To them, your computer is simply something to be mined as a tool for their better, more effective and efficient overt and covert exploitation of you.

While it may be true that some applications that would/will fail such a reasonable disclosure test, still are of some value as tools for some combination of prevention, detection and/or removal, putting trust in them once one has knowledge of the sad history in this area, seems misplaced, very risky, and even negligent, and reckless.

Those that fail (free or not), can, and should, be safely tossed into the similar category of "crapware" that they are, or will become.

[edit: This is of course mostly to help those that do not track these issues on a daily basis; the vast super-majority of users; the very ones who most need the protection that they think they are getting when they rely on these anti-crapware applications. It is time to put the burden on the vendors to provide meaningful express notice of their own detection / recommendation changes.]

OT: Informed GMailers, and GDesktop Search users will have _no_ _one_ (mostly) but themselves to blame, should (when?) the temptation to exploit these two incredible detailed, deep and wide resources of the totality of current "consumer" digital "life", likewise prove too great for holy Google.

--
**~~Infected/Hijacked? FAQ~~~Protect/Secure Your Box/Data FAQ~~~Security Forum FAQs~~**


hayc59
Im Your Huckleberry
Premium
join:2001-02-26
David R.I.P.
kudos:21

1 edit
reply to eburger68
Thank You Eric,Donna,Suzi and Ben!!


antiserious
The Future ain't what it used to be
Premium
join:2001-12-12
Scranton, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to eburger68

... wow, talk about shooting yourself in the foot ...

... in the protection business, credibility and integrity are everything ... your customers have to believe you're looking out for their best interests, not some agenda of your own ... this maneuver has shaken the faith of some well-respected, level-headed people - THAT should concern MS (MS-haters will, of course, jump all over this as we've seen) ... I agree that it's not QUITE as bad as removing the detection completely, but as has been said before, many people will blindly follow the recommendations without another thought ...

... from a company that many people love to hate, whose motives are often suspect, it's a glaring misstep and a bad, BAD move ... and isn't it ironic that a product using a bulls-eye as it's icon has now placed one squarely on its' owner's credibility ...

... thanks once again, Eric and company, for all that you do to keep us informed ...

--
... "Nobody's perfect - well, there was this one guy, but we killed Him" ... Christopher Moore, 'Lamb' ...

eburger68
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28
reply to eburger68
Hi All:

Sunbelt has updated its blog entry:

»sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/07···ore.html

Sunbelt is now reporting that the Claria detections appear to have been "downgraded" as far back as March 31.

Best,

Eric L. Howes

jhh

join:2005-05-25
Fargo, ND
reply to eburger68
My question is, what if the worst case scenerio comes true, and MS begins releasing products with gator built in?

Will this finally be the death of MS, after years of complaining about their practices, or will we continue buying this crap?


CFK

@dsl.scrm01.pacbell.n
reply to eburger68
I understand everyones dismay over this situation but; What if Microsoft is buying Claria to make a better anti spyware app, to see what its code is etc., or to take this company out of the spyware business. Possibility??????????


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to eburger68
From "The Register" 01 July 2005

In practice, Claria's software performs exactly the same role with data as Yahoo! and Google's advertising programs which identify the contents of a page before injecting text ads. Unlike Claria, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt has vowed to develop "a Google that knows more about you." Unlike Microsoft, no one seems to mind about the text ads: for none dare call it spyware.
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


redxii
Premium,Mod
join:2001-02-26
Sherwood, MI
Exactly! So why haven't we boycotted Google then?!?! It's the default search engine for Firefox. Talk about hypocrisy.


salzan
Experienced Optimist
Premium
join:2004-01-08
WA State
reply to jhh
said by jhh:

My question is, what if the worst case scenerio comes true, and MS begins releasing products with gator built in?
I think if MS really wanted to go this route, they wouldn't need to buy Claria. They could just push an update that included any nefarious code they wanted.

IMO it's not the code they're after, they can figure that out. What they want are any patents or copyrights.

The search engine upgrade theory seems plausible to me.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to redxii
said by redxii:

Exactly! So why haven't we boycotted Google then?!?! It's the default search engine for Firefox. Talk about hypocrisy.
As far as I know Google hasn't resorted to "drive by" downloads like Claria to get tracking software on people's computers. Google doesn't continually place pop ups on your desktop, nor does it do the extensive individual tracking that Claria does. You're kind of reaching there.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


antiserious
The Future ain't what it used to be
Premium
join:2001-12-12
Scranton, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to redxii
said by redxii:

Exactly! So why haven't we boycotted Google then?!?! It's the default search engine for Firefox. Talk about hypocrisy.

... has Google ever been identified as spyware by any product, as Gator has? ... I know of no instance where Google tried to install anything on a user's computer without their consent ...

--
... "Nobody's perfect - well, there was this one guy, but we killed Him" ... Christopher Moore, 'Lamb' ...


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
reply to redxii
said by redxii:

Exactly! So why haven't we boycotted Google then?!?! It's the default search engine for Firefox. Talk about hypocrisy.
Let's not forget that Google ads only appear on either Goggles property or property that has given Google explicit rights to display Google ads.If you're going to boycott Google because of Google ads why not also boycott the properties that have partnered with Google to display Google ads, this site included? There is no fair comparison between Google ads & Claria at this point in time.


redxii
Premium,Mod
join:2001-02-26
Sherwood, MI

1 edit
said by Snowy:

at this point in time.
At this point in time we're also quick to assume that MS is embedding spyware into Windows, when it looks like they want to compete with Google with their MSN search. People will still pound on Microsoft for their search engine for collecting information using patents obtained through this Claria purchase (even if it stays on their site) yet they won't pound on other search engines for collecting information.

I guess i'm just pointing out this broad inconsistency with human behavior. Since NYT is such an honored source:

"Ballmer, according to the person briefed on the talks, has been pushing Yusuf Mehdi, the senior vice president in charge of MSN and Microsoft's search business, to be more aggressive to try to catch up with Google, with acquisitions as one possibility. Ballmer, this person said, gave approval to begin talks with Claria two weeks ago."
--
"If you like linux then use it otherwise stop preaching about linux we all already know about it and if we like it we'll use it. If you keep pestering people you look like those annoying Jehovah's witnesses... [..] with nothing better to do."


catseyenu
Ack Pfft
Premium
join:2001-11-17
Fix East
reply to eburger68
All I'm assuming is MS has sent the wrong message to the security community, users and worst of all to the bastards that exploit all of us.
--
Need A Software Solution?List of Lists


SweetDelight
lagomorph
Premium
join:2004-09-04
Earth
reply to eburger68
I just ran it, purposly infesting myself, and it told to " IGNORE" WhenU.SaveNow

Gah, Why does microsoft need to go their shallowness, they make billions a year.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to redxii
said by redxii:

I guess i'm just pointing out this broad inconsistency with human behavior. Since NYT is such an honored source:

"Ballmer, according to the person briefed on the talks, has been pushing Yusuf Mehdi, the senior vice president in charge of MSN and Microsoft's search business, to be more aggressive to try to catch up with Google, with acquisitions as one possibility. Ballmer, this person said, gave approval to begin talks with Claria two weeks ago."
If it were just competition with no unethical behavior involved I'd be all for it. You seem to be missing the point - Claria is a known malware company known for drive by downloads on unsuspecting users, collecting detailed information on individual users, forcing intrusive ads of users all while using software that degrades or damages the users computer. Google has done none of these. The disappointment and anger in this thread comes from the fact that Microsoft is apparently negotiating a deal with the very company that has caused damage to their users. Not to mention the fact that MS is touting it's anti-spyware while doing negotiations with a spyware company and lowering it's detections in th process. There is the hypocrisy. The problem with the MS bashing crowd being so vocal is that when there is a genuine problem those that have spent a lot of time defending it can't see when real problems emerge.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
reply to redxii
said by redxii:

At this point in time we're also quick to assume that MS is embedding spyware into Windows, when it looks like they want to compete with Google with their MSN search.
re these 2 different points of view, one opinion doesn't have to be wrong to prove the other correct. I believe both of these opinions will prove out to be true in some form or another.
said by redxii:

I guess i'm just pointing out this broad inconsistency with human behavior.
Actually I think you are pointing out the consistencies of human behavior...


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1
reply to mers2
said by mers2:

Not to mention the fact that MS is touting it's anti-spyware while doing negotiations with a spyware company and lowering it's detections in the process.
Talk about non sequitors. Did you read this, posted by Eric earlier?

"Sunbelt is now reporting that the Claria detections appear to have been "downgraded" as far back as March 31."
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8
said by John2g:

said by mers2:

Not to mention the fact that MS is touting it's anti-spyware while doing negotiations with a spyware company and lowering it's detections in the process.
Talk about non sequitors. Did you read this, posted by Eric earlier?

"Sunbelt is now reporting that the Claria detections appear to have been "downgraded" as far back as March 31."
Yes, but it is unknown how long MS has been in negotiations with Claria. Also, I've been vocal about other anti-spyware vendors lowering or removing definitions without a proven change of behavior. MS was wrong in either event.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1
reply to eburger68
»www.siliconbeat.com/entries/2005···ost.html

Quote:

We were checking out a rumor that Microsoft was interested in buying Claria, the Redwood City adware/spyware company. We were incredulous that Microsoft would make such a controversial move, but we put in a few calls nevertheless. Magdalena Yesil, a partner at US Venture Partners, and board member at Claria, got back to us. She said she'd asked Claria CEO Jeff McFadden about it for us, and that he told her there is no substance to the rumor.
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8
More hearsay. We'll have to see what the final outcome is. I still disagree with MS's decision to lower the definitions on Claria. It does go the heart of their credibility as an anti-spyware vendor. I've been vocal when other vendors have caved and I'll be vocal even it's MS.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by mers2:

More hearsay.
It is ALL hearsay and speculation.
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8
said by John2g:

said by mers2:

More hearsay.
It is ALL hearsay and speculation.
Which is why I said we'll have to see what the final outcome is. My opinion on the definitions issue will not change however, which is the topic of this thread. As I've said I apply the same standards to any company and have been vocal in the past.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1
reply to eburger68
To play the Devil's Advocate, how many more definitions in MSAS have been downgraded, or even deleted?

No one knows I suspect and it must be impossible, or exceedingly time consuming, to check.

I just write as a bystander: I've never installed MSAS and don't envisage that I will ever need to.
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


mers2
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-20
USA
kudos:8
said by John2g:

To play the Devil's Advocate, how many more definitions in MSAS have been downgraded, or even deleted?

No one knows I suspect and it must be impossible, or exceedingly time consuming, to check.

I just write as a bystander: I've never installed MSAS and don't envisage that I will ever need to.
You raise an excellent question that was raised during the Lavasoft debacle. AFAIK, Spybot is the only AS whose definitions are easily accessed by the user and even then one has to work to compare definitions bases between updates. It would be nice if each update by every vendor contained detailed information on the update, including any definitions that were dropped or changed and the reason for the change.
--
God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1
reply to eburger68
In your dreams