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Anti-Spyware Companies Making Sure You're Afraid, Very Afraid

from the evidence,-please? dept

Rajesh writes "BusinessWeek devotes an article to Webroot propaganda to associate everyone's new favorite bogeyman, MySpace, with the spyware problem: "Spyware's threat is getting nastier. Infection rates are on the rise, in part thanks to the surging popularity of social-networking sites like MySpace.com" OK. Where's the proof? Nada. But there's plenty of self-serving evidence, such as anecdotal quotes, from Webroot executives: "We're finding that the social-networking sites like MySpace are turning out to be hotbeds for spyware," CEO Dave Moll says. "People are creating multiple profiles, and the links on their sites will take you to sites that will either download or drive-by download adware and spyware." I guess Webroot has to justify that ridiculous valuation they managed to sucker VCs into and fight Microsoft's challenge." To be fair, there have been some documented cases of spyware makers targeting MySpace. However, at the same time, Webroot has a long history of exaggerating threats to justify their valuation. Usually that includes things like including "tracking cookies" in their count of spyware to make it seem like a lot more computers are infected than really are at risk. The company also claimed that spyware was becoming an even bigger problem when their own numbers showed the opposite was true.
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  • identicon
    Eric, 16 Aug 2006 @ 11:57am

    I Don't Trust Them

    I think those companies write most of the spyware. Job security!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ehans, 16 Aug 2006 @ 11:58am

    more AOLS then ever

    First Post!

    anyway, maybe the risk is now you have more teens who normally wouldnt have been online, surfing myspace, which leads to them surfing other sites, thus leading to more spyware problems. Still doesnt fit really well, but maybe this is what they were thinking

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, 16 Aug 2006 @ 12:42pm

    MySpace the new wipping boy.

    It will take decades before legitimate news sites will become trusted.
    The decay and decadence of news is sad. Newspapers, TV, radio, Internet all which cannot be trusted anymore. Those who still profess to be professionals will not understand why they failed as a business.

    CNN could have been the new model for the new age of information but it looks like CNN is using its trust capital to overtake FOX.

    Until someone can unify a news outlet (Internet, TV, Radio, Satellite), no one will be able to really trust any of the news they get.

    Sad and cynical but true.
    Doubt, fear and uncertianity increasing, Chaos Index rising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nixer6, 16 Aug 2006 @ 12:52pm

    Define Spyware

    i"ncluding "tracking cookies" in their count of spyware"

    If it tracks my movements it's Spying on me. Not "overtly" intrusive, but still intrusive .

    But then, I don't make my living on "hits".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    trashmem, 16 Aug 2006 @ 12:58pm

    The threat is real

    and some sort of protection is advisable...BUT most of the sites that you have to worry about are porn sites, free game sites, (unreputable) bittorrent sites and software like Kazza (oh yeah I hear IRC are terrible too! I used to use them but they are to much) but all the anti-spyware software out there is dubious at best since the spyware writer are way more prolific and are constantly evolving the way spyware infects the end user. The spyware companies making anti-spyware software are not as mature as the antivirus software makers and consequently not as reliable in keeping up with ever evolving spyware market and relying on signature based ID is to slow. The users only hope is safe internet practices and using three or four (using only one for active scanning) spyware products in case you do get infected hoping one can remove it. Though in my experience reformatting is the best answer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Another genius on the 'Net, 16 Aug 2006 @ 2:29pm

    Ajax4Hire

    Ajax4Hire, you don't want one government controlled all news outlet. We already have AP, FOX, CNN, and other major media sources controlled by U.S. government (CIA). The Ad Council can vouch for that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Another genius on the 'Net, 16 Aug 2006 @ 2:32pm

    On the topic of Spyware, Webroot is a lousy program. Windows Defender at least stays hidden in background.
    Screw computing any way. Lousy way to pass your important lifetime away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    indi, 16 Aug 2006 @ 4:44pm

    spyware

    Ahh yes good old windows providing me with cash on the weekends repairing family pcs.

    Viva la Win-ware

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    talking out of your ass, 21 Aug 2006 @ 12:32pm

    Leave it to the experts

    You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Leave the analysis to the experts.

    So Webroot says that sites like MySpace can host spyware, and there are documented cases of spyware coming from MySpace, and you are complaining that Webroot is reporting the facts? You're saying that Webroot, the clear leader in anti-spyware (read the reviews people), has to justify the VC money it got last year? Uh yeah, the company has to work to earn it's keep. It's still the market leader in anti-spyware, so they must be doing something right. Plus you don't see them folding or going bankrupt or getting sold to somebody else...why do you think that is? Maybe the VC money helped them keep their momentum in the industry and remain a powerhouse?

    You say Webroot exaggerates threats by reporting cookies, what anti-spyware solution that you know of DOESN'T report cookies? Most of the ones out there grossly inflate their detection rates with cookies and even stuff that isn't really spyware, because they lack any kind of quality research and development teams. At least Webroot doesn't report tons of false positives like other, less focused solutions do. Plus, they are one of the few anti-spyware companies who has not given into to legislative pressure from actual spyware purveyors to allow the spyware company's crap to evade detection and removal. Also, if you had any experience with Webroot, you would know that the Enterprise solution does NOT report cookies to the administrator so they can concentrate on more serious threats. You might want to do a little research before talking out of your ass.

    For the moron who says anti-spyware companies are the ones writing the spyware, get a f#%&ing clue, man! That is the most irresponsible and uneducated comment ever. Spyware is written by criminals for the purpose of financial gain. If you look at spyware trends, such as those published by Webroot, you can see that spyware originates from all over the globe. The goal of spyware is to remain on your system for as long as possible so it can steal as much information as possible to use for identity theft, fraud, etc. An anti-spyware company that removed spyware it placed on your machine would be shooting itself in the foot. I suggest you step away from the keyboard and go put some more tin foil on your head, whacko.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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