Anti-spyware program installs WhenU adware

Summary:A few days ago, it was discovered that anti-spyware program SpywareCleaner has a new "free" version that is sponsored by adware from WhenU.

A few days ago, it was discovered that anti-spyware program SpywareCleaner has a new "free" version that is sponsored by adware from WhenU. The web page for SpywareCleaner clearly discloses that WhenU is bundled with the free version and there is a for-pay version available sans adware.

A bit of history about SpywareCleaner -- it was originally listed on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites when the page was first published in June 2004. It was subsequently de-listed in March 2005 when a new version with new definitions were released that corrected previous problems with the application. SpywareCleaner has been re-listed on the rogues' page due bundling adware, specifically WhenU Save!

I have not downloaded the free SpywareCleaner, but this report indicates that the program did not detect WhenU Save! I supposed if SpyCleaner detected and removed WhenU Save!, that would be like biting the hand that feeds it.  SpywareCleaner appears to be from TopDownloads Networks. The domain is registered to an outfit called Laurente Software. is registered to an individual but the address is the same. I can't see the logic in bundling an anti-spyware app with adware nor can I imagine users being willing to pay the price of having pop-ups for an anti-spyware program when there are free anti-spyware apps available with no strings attached. Ad-ware, Spybot Search & Destroy, Windows Defender Beta 2 and SUPERAnti-Spyware are free and worthy of mention.

Topics: Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.