CounterSpy is cool, FavoriteMan is not

Summary:Last month, I reviewed CounterSpy, a program from Sunbelt Software, and am pleased to find another capable utility for ferreting out spyware. I have become very skeptical about new spyware-removal programs, because so many of them are scams, but I already had an idea CounterSpy would work since I'm familiar with Sunbelt Software's spam-fighting product, iHateSpam.

Last month, I reviewed CounterSpy, a program from Sunbelt Software, and am pleased to find another capable utility for ferreting out spyware. I have become very skeptical about new spyware-removal programs, because so many of them are scams, but I already had an idea CounterSpy would work since I'm familiar with Sunbelt Software's spam-fighting product, iHateSpam. In addition to its spyware removal, I really like CounterSpy's feature set. It comes with a scheduler, which I set to scan every night, a history cleaner, and a file shredder. The shredder first encrypts files, then deletes them and overwrites the disk space three times--pretty thorough. To try out CounterSpy, I installed a spyware-ridden MP3 converter on my poor, battered test machine. The scan ran pretty quickly, in a little more than five minutes, and turned up some scary stuff. The worst and most fascinating was a browser helper object called FavoriteMan. According to information around the Web, this little beast periodically connects to its home servers, piggybacking on Internet Explorer so firewalls won't catch it, and downloads other spyware applications such as nCase, Bargain Buddy, and HotBar. FavoriteMan comes from Mindset Interactive. If you come across FavoriteMan on your computer, you might want to let Mindset Interactive know you're not happy about its practices.

Topics: Tech Industry

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