Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Not sure you all have seen this but there is some heavy discusions going on over at CastleCops and elsewhere about Lavasoft's decision to delist WhenU from their database. WhenU, if you recall, is spyware that has received much attention lately and has been the cause of the near collapse of COAST - The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security.

    This is bad news, IMO, as AdAware has been a mainstay in anti-spyware for some time. Their decision to delist known spyware was bad enough - but they did so without announcing this. It was only after Eric Howes, the anti-spyware master over at SpywareWarrior, tested AdAware's latest definition files and discovered they had removed WhenU, that this came to light. In response to Eric's report, the CEO of Lavasoft, Ann Christine, announced on the 17th that a statement would be out later that day, but then silence for 3 days. Much ado arose!

    Now they report that they have redone their TAC (Threat Assessment Chart) but still they have not re-listed WhenU. Instead, they posted an uninstaller on their download page. This is unacceptable since AdAware does not tag WhenU on your system, how are you suppose to know you need the uninstaller? I guess Lavasoft expects users to run SpyBot S&D and/or MS AntiSpyware first to identify the threats and then use Lavasoft's "convenient" uninstaller. Note, both SpyBot and MSAS ID and remove WhenU just fine.

    So at this point, we are still waiting what Lavasoft will do next. I will still use AdAware, and I will recommend its use (along with SpyBot S&D and MSAS) but purchase the pro version? I not so sure now.

    http://castlecops.com/article-5763--0-0.html
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,329
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,014 Times in 889 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Have you bothered to read the Lavasoft statement? Supposedly, WhenU has re-done their installation routine and as such currently don't qualify to be in the Lavasoft removal listings. Lavasoft is reviewing the changes made by WhenU to decide if the removal will stick or WhenU will be relisted. Evidently, WhenU as Claria and some others are trying to escape their spyware reputations by making changes to their business practices. Rather than getting all up in arms, why not let the process work. You always have a choice - use Ad-aware or don't.

    This TalkingSoft.com Forums -> Questions surround Lavasoft (Ad-aware) and WhenU has several other links that are interesting reading.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    <hr>Have you bothered to read the Lavasoft statement?<hr>
    Wow Joe, taking this a bit personal aren't you.

    Yes I have read much on this. I wonder if you have been following the press with Aluria, WhenU, COAST, and now Lavasoft.

    It is important to note that Lavasoft has been a leading anti-spyware app for some time. For them to drop such a controverial and KNOWN spyware - without informing its users, does nothing for their credibility. For the CEO of the company to come out in response to the security industry's uproar over their decision and announce an update will be forthcoming that afternoon, and then nothing for 3 days does nothing to boost that credibility.

    Note that according to Lavasoft's own TAC (which has hastily been revised now), WhenU received a 2 out of 5 for a threat level - 0 being none, 5 being critical. WhenU did not change. Lavasoft decided that a 2 did not justify their list anymore.

    My question to you is are you happy with someone else deciding if a Threat Level 2 item is safe for your systems? I say again, 0 means no threat. WhenU got a 2.

    I am not. If an item is a threat I want to know about it. It may only be a tracking cookie keeping track of my Yahoo username, but it should be listed.

    True, I don't have to use it. And depending on how they handle this, I may not.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    I can't say much about this, but there are some legal considerations that anti-spyware companies have to deal with. Lavasoft may have done what it did in response to pressure. Whether that should be considered "moving to the dark side," or doing what it takes to stay in business, is a fair subject for debate.

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,329
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,014 Times in 889 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    No I am not taking this personally at all. I just don't like the out of hand condemnation of anyone because they have made a decision about their business practices. IMO, rather than an unmarked rant some reasoned reporting and criticism is more in order. How often have a variety of companies from MS, to Norton, to Lavasoft, to ... not responded to anything until there has been some rather large outcry? Is WhenU or any company to be forever damned because of a past pratice if they indeed have changed there mode of operation? I don't know for sure if they have or not, but if people whose business it is think they have then I and you have a choice to make. Believe Lavasoft and others that they are indeed checking it out or find some different software. If WhenU has changed and has a splash screen on installation explaining what they do and the user has to OK it, why are they to continue to be at fault?

    My questions in response to yours about threat rating - Is this any different than MS rating security patches? How happy are you that MS decides to rate patches with a severity level?

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    I don't think you have a grasp of what is happening here, Joe. This IS a big deal.

    Out of hand? Read the press releases - don't take my word.

    Unmarked Rant?? I don't know what that even means.

    Who condemned them? I said they need to be watched. And if a company whose charter is to protect the Innocent decides to bed with those they are supposed to protect us from, then yes they need condemnation and they are getting it too - read their own forums and see the heat they are getting there.

    And guess what? I'm no fan of MS or Symantec either even though I admit they produce great products - both of them continually veer from the industry standards and EXPECT the world to follow. And just because they do it, does NOT make it okay for Lavasoft.

    And it is not the lack of response, it is the CEO - not just some pantywaist PR person, but the CEO that said she would be releasing a statement later that afternoon - only to leave the industry cold and dry for 3 days.

    You ask, "Is WhenU or any company to be forever damned because of a past pratice if they indeed have changed there mode of operation?" YES! If that practice is designed to INTENTIONALLY deceive and mislead the public and they continue to do so - I am sorry Joe, but I don't get you!

    Then you said "If WhenU has changed and has a splash screen on installation explaining what they do and the user has to OK it, why are they to continue to be at fault?" Newsflash, Bud - they don't. WhenU has been dumped on unsuspecting users WITHOUT any consent.

    Finally you said, "Is this any different than MS rating security patches? How happy are you that MS decides to rate patches with a severity level?" Again you are missing it. The fact that they rate it in such a way is not the point. The point is, using Lavasoft's own rating criteria, they gave it a rating! If there were no rating, there would not even be a threat.

    And again - why compare to Microsoft? They have an abysmal record in security - they don't set the bar!

    Look, Joe, I don't always live up to my name, but I do know a thing or two about computing and network security, having worked it for DoD (active duty AF and defense contracting after I retired) for 20+ years. The point is, if anything is a threat, even the smallest threat, the right thing to do is to bring it to the attention of those it affects and let them decide how to deal with it.

    AdAware has the option to scan for negligible risk entries, there is no reason not to include all they know about. And it is important to remember that it is WhenU that this is centered around - it is a certified known spyware - not my opinion, but the way it is.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,329
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,014 Times in 889 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    This will be my last post on the subject.

    Press releases are usually designed to capture attention and not necessarily present the whole story. I rarely take the word of any press release on any subject. You've go to look into any situation more thoroughly.

    I'm not trying to justify what MS or Symantec or any other company does. I'm just trying to point out that companies who are much larger than Lavasoft (in fact they probably have PR departments larger than Lavasoft) do exactly the same thing. Give Lavasoft a break. They said they are looking at this.

    Is WhenU or any company to be forever damned because of a past pratice if they indeed have changed their mode of operation? - Please read the whole sentence 'IF THEY CHANGED THEIR MODE OF OPERATION' you'll still say they a 'bad guys'? That makes no sense? I don't get that attitude.

    "WhenU has been dumped on unsuspecting users WITHOUT any consent" - This IS the past conduct that they claim to have changed.

    "The point is, using Lavasoft's own rating criteria, they gave it a rating! If there were no rating, there would not even be a threat. " What are you saying? Whose rating are they supposed to use? Does this mean that if there is a threat you don't want any indication of the seriousness? Everything is the same? How do prioritize what you investigate?

    MS in the past has deserved to be beaten up about their record. But they have made tremendous strides in the past 5 years whether you want to admit it or not. They will continue to improve with every release of Windows.

    Well, I've been in software development for over 35 years. I've written many user programs, developed security systems, modified operating systems, written communications handlers, designed and written transaction systems from scratch, implemented/modified/maintained online manufacturing (pre-ERP) systems as a client of a mainframe company. In the commercial working for a software vendor I've written software that continues to be used by city, state, federal, & DOD entities. So, I also know a little about computing and security.

    Once again I'll say that IF WhenU has changed their ways and DOES require user assent in the current version of their software then the end user (you and I) better take some personal responsibility for installing the software. If they have NOT changed, then they certainly should be on Lavasoft's spyware removal list.

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    This too will be my last post on this as it is apparent you feel you understand the impact Lavasoft's actions affect have or will have. I don't think you do. I don't think you understand the implications of a security company collaborating with a known security threat. So be it. Perhaps you don't feel a corrupt cop could be a problem either. I don't know.

    You said:
    <hr>"The point is, using Lavasoft's own rating criteria, they gave it a rating! If there were no rating, there would not even be a threat. " What are you saying? Whose rating are they supposed to use? Does this mean that if there is a threat you don't want any indication of the seriousness? Everything is the same? How do prioritize what you investigate? <hr>
    Again, you don't get it. Of course I want to be informed of the seriousness. I said they have a threat scale of 1 to 5. 1 is minimal, 5 is critical. 0 or non-rated means NO threat. I said I want to be informed of all threat levels. I say again, ALL threat levels. In this case, Lavasoft, using their own rating scale, rated WhenU a 2. Not a 1, not a 0, but a 2. Therefore I want to be informed of it, so I can decide if I want it removed or not, so I can make the decision. Lavasoft's decision to drop WhenU robs me of that information. Leaves me with the potential of having spyware on my system because they decided not to report its existence to me. I don't understand why you don't see that?

    Who said anything about everything being the same? I didn't. I said there is a scale, 1 to 5. But having said that, if the choice was two categories, all threats, minimal to critical, in one pile, and all safe items in another pile, verses what they did, that is informing the users of only "some" of the threats, I would take the two pile version.

    One final thought, if you worked for DoD and elsewhere in the Government, then you must see that Lavasoft's delisting of a known spyware program, a spyware program that ALREADY has a history of going into a financial agreement with another anti-spyware company (Aluria's Spyware Eliminator), this AT THE VERY LEAST, gives the APPEARANCE of impropriety. Why would an anti-spyware company turn a blind eye to known spyware, and then refuse to comment as to why?

    This was not a simple mistake - this was not like ZoneLabs 5.0 release of ZoneAlarm that screwed up a few PCs - a mistake that they quickly admitted to and fixed. This is a case where a security company made a conscious decision to turn a blind eye to a known bad guy. You can try to justify it all you want, the facts do not support your argument. This is not just a mode of operation issue - this is getting close to a "the cover up was worse than the crime" affair.

    Can Lavasoft recover - hopefully. But they need to do something substantial and soon, or what credibility that have left, because of their long history of being a good anti-spyware company, will be lost. They have now made a start by changing their scale. And they posted WhenU uninstaller on their site. Of course AdAware still does not flag WhenU so you would never know you need the uninstaller! And why a separate uninstaller - one that you would not even know is there if you didn't visit their page? AdAware's previous release from just a couple weeks back took care of WhenU just fine, BTW, so they know very well how to handle it. But instead they made it difficult - for only WhenU.

    Perhaps press release is the wrong term. How about front page articles on major security related websites?

    http://castlecops.com/
    http://www.spywareinfo.com/
    http://www.informationweek.com/story/showA...01651&tid=13692
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    326
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Err.... getting a bit hot in here.... <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25>

    And this is the beauty of the Lounge- a place where people can have frank & open, INTELLIGENT discussion, whether they agree with each other or not.

    As for my penny's worth, I agree with both of you. (Phew, think I got away with that one...)
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
    <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18> Ducking the arrows in Robin Hood country <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Lyra_J_sig.gif ALT="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!" title="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!">

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    5,016
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    <hr>I agree with both of you.<hr>Spoken like a true politician. I knew I recognized your mug shot - you're that candidate for the very silly party! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Alan

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Screaming Lord Sutch (who has been dead for almost six years, by the way) of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party was perhaps not the kind of politician to agree with everyone...

  12. #12
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    326
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Come now Alan, I don't think there was any need for that sort of language. There was I, mentioning how everyone here is friendly when you go and accuse me of acting like a poli... are swear words allowed here? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    And yes, my cover is finally blown I see. Ho-hum. Back to the drawing board. World domination will have to be achieved some other way..
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
    <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18> Ducking the arrows in Robin Hood country <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Lyra_J_sig.gif ALT="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!" title="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!">

  13. #13
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    <hr>... accuse me of acting like a poli...<hr>
    Gasp! You are not a police woman, are you! <img src=/S/cop.gif border=0 alt=cop width=15 height=24> <img src=/S/love.gif border=0 alt=love width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/hailpraise.gif border=0 alt=hailpraise width=27 height=22> <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25> !

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Here we go with that language/culture thing again !!!
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  15. #15
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    326
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: AdAware Moves to the Darkside?

    Yes, thanks Al. Should have realised that & done it myself. <img src=/S/sorry.gif border=0 alt=sorry width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30>
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
    <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18> Ducking the arrows in Robin Hood country <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Lyra_J_sig.gif ALT="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!" title="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!">

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •