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Old 07-16-2000, 11:04 PM   #1
Steve_S
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Arrow Download spyware is watching YOU!

I don't like this kind of behavior. My hero, Steve Gibson, has exsposed some "Download Spyware"

Go here: http://grc.com/downloaders.htm for the full article.

A brief exstract from his site:

"OVERVIEW: How Does This Affect YOU ?

As you will see below, if you use the RealNetworks RealDownload, Netscape/AOL Smart Download, or NetZip Download Demon utilities . . .

EVERY TIME you download ANY FILE from ANYWHERE on the Internet, the complete "URL address" of the file, along with YOUR computer's individual Internet IP address, and a UNIQUE ID TAG that has been assigned to YOUR machine, is immediately (and secretly) transmitted to the program's publisher.

This allows a database of your entire, personal, file download history to be assembled and uniquely associated with your individual computer . . . for whatever purpose the program's publishers may have today, or tomorrow."

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Old 07-17-2000, 03:13 AM   #2
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Exclamation

My friend disassemble advert.dll and found nothing illegal there.

BTW, Mr. Gibson plans to start selling his software to unsuspecting users as of August
2000.

Money is his main perpose, believe me.
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Old 07-17-2000, 08:46 AM   #3
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Arrow

Maybe take a look at his posted "packet sniffer" data and then decide for yourself if you wan't third parties "phoning home" about all your downloads.

The notion that "Money is his main perpose, believe me." is true because he plans to sell his software is simply not true, IMHO.

This talented "good guy" has a 20 year unblemished record of "exsposing" companies and he has always sold stuff while he did this. When Gibson speaks the IT community listens.

Ever run Spin Rite? Or fixed the "click of death"? Great stuff.



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[This message has been edited by Steve_S (edited 07-17-2000).]
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Old 07-17-2000, 06:36 PM   #4
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Cool

I sure am glad Mr. Gibson is around.

It is dedicated people like him who
help keep the bad guys at bay.

With the rapid pace of technology,
if the good guys can do it, the bad
guys can do it too.
It isn't the good guys who use the
advert.dll file that I am worried about.
It is the bad guy who has figured out
how use it that I would be worried about.

Chazhound
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Old 07-17-2000, 11:30 PM   #5
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Red face

Mr Gibson take advantage of people's fears
to further himself.

Rather than following a "moral code of conduct" (as opposed to Mr. Gibson's
Code of Backchannel Conduct) Mr. Gibson has taken things in his own hands.
Instead of contacting Radiate/Aureate about a possible flaw in their product
OR to notify about the particular company that neglected (or simply forgot)
to insert Aureate's UELA, he created a propoganda site based on his own
findings.

I'am the author of the ad-ware program.

Maybe because of this I don't like this guy. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif
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Old 07-18-2000, 01:41 AM   #6
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Unhappy

I don't know about this latest example but regarding aureate I tend to agree with qword.

I am not the author of any adware but have considered it. I looked at aureate's stuff and did not see any problem whatsoever except for a relatively minor flaw in their installation/uninstallation procedure. The type of flaw comparable to minor flaws in just about any PC software you use.

I found Mr Gibson's commentary on this misleading and over blown.

The practical effect of his commentary had 1 good consequence, and many negative consequences.

Good consequence - aureate fixed the flaw

Bad consequences
- the name "adware" is now mud
- damage to a legitimate company's (aureate) reputation
- some shareware/freeware libraries don't accept adware at all
- many shareware/freeware libraries label advertising supported software as "adware" rather than "freeware". Given the name "adware" is now mud - this is a bit like labelling baby food with a sign saying "this package contains poison but you can try it anyway"
- undoubtedly many adware programs didn't get written [would you write a program if you knew it would be "dead on arrival"].
- Probably many adware programs will probably become paid/shareware/commercial software.

All this has hurt users [less free software] + developers.

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