Last week I highlighted comparisons of spyware removers from Ars Technica and Download.com. In these articles, top contenders competed to determine the best removal utility. PC World took a different tack, running some of the most questionable spyware removers through a similar test; it reminds me of the cheap beer-taste test my friends and I conducted in college. The worst of the worst (spyware remover, not beer): a little gem called MyNetProtector, which actually installed 57 pieces of spyware, including such well-known offenders as eZula and Bargain Buddy. Have these people absolutely no shame? On another note, Ben Edelman published some fascinating research into the drive-by spyware attack. Many spyware companies take advantage of a security hole in Internet Explorer that lets them install just about anything on computers visiting their Web pages. The article includes a video that shows, in horrifying detail, a computer getting majorly infected. Screenshots show folders chock full of spyware suddenly appearing on a test machine. Mr. Edelman points out that computers upgraded to Service Pack 2 are immune from this particular security hole.
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