Badware coalition wants your horror stories

Badware coalition wants your horror stories

Summary: If you haven't heard of "badware" before, you will now.

TOPICS: Malware

If you haven't heard of "badware" before, you will now. A coalition, which includes sponsors Google, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems, and organizers the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Oxford Internet Institute in the UK with an assist from the Consumer Reports' WebWatch project, formed the Stop Badware Coalition to combat spyware and adware--which it dubs "badware":


There are several commonly recognized terms for specific kinds of badware - spyware, malware, and deceptive adware. Badware is malicious software that tracks your moves online and feeds that information back to shady marketing groups so that they can ambush you with targeted ads. If your every move online is checked by a pop-up ad, it's highly likely that you, like 59 million Americans, have spyware or other malicious badware on your computer. is a "Neighborhood Watch" campaign aimed at fighting badware. We will seek to provide reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in order to help consumers make better choices about what they download onto their computers. We aim to become a central clearinghouse for research on badware and the bad actors who spread it, and become a focal point for developing collaborative, community-minded approaches to stopping badware.

The coalition wants your badware horror stories, and will publicize the offenders.  Suzi Turner at our Spyware Confidential is cracking the whip as well...

Topic: Malware

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  • Nice PC

    tiptoes around the sticky semantics of what constitutes spyware vs. adware vs. malware. Now if they would just DO SOMETHING.
    Roger Ramjet
  • I'm dubious when I see this in their Privacy Policy!

    "Links to Independent Websites

    Pages hosted by the Site may link to independently-run web sites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of such web sites."

    THEN WHY PUT THEIR LINKS ON YOUR WEBSITE! Isn't this what your website is all about?!!!! Don't you know, trust and research the policy of a website you link to?? LOL!!!!

    It just never ends.
    • True... but easily explained

      They link to these sites because of the money they stand to make when they share customers. I know, I run a site and receive a lot of offers if I add links to my pages.
  • The solution

    The solution could be sorted. ISP's even though some have huge customer databases should be partially responsible. If we simply do not allow known bad sites or known bad people on the net this would go a long way towards cleaning up the net. It would save huge amounts of money for the average consumer.
    People are getting wary of the net, especially first-timers just getting connected. I deal with people regularly that refuse to use their investment in IT to the full extend, worried about having on-line passwords stolen.

    Although it does boost my profits selling security solutions... ;)

    Its time we all stepped up and crack down. Good on google and the coalition.
    • What is the cost of the fix?

      "The solution could be sorted. ISP's even though some have huge customer databases should be partially responsible. If we simply do not allow known bad sites or known bad people on the net this would go a long way towards cleaning up the net. It would save huge amounts of money for the average consumer."

      But what would it cost the consumer, in increased ISP fees, to root out all the bad guys?
      • Cost of the fix

        If private doesn't do it then who will. If the government does it, is this 'free'? Not if you pay taxes.

        The point is we have a problem and that problem can only be cured by an application of 1) enforcing laws, 2) effort, 3) time, and, oh yes, money.
        It's not going to be free, but it's better than considering an on-going future of constantly nuturing my system( my time and some money) and having the efficiency of my systems degraded by the background tasks( again money ) that are protecting me and my data.

    • I disagree

      I don't like malware either. But I disagree when you start talking about blocking certain people or parties from accessing the Internet. The Internet should continue to be open to everyone, period. Badware does serve a good purpose in that it forces us to find solutions and fixes, much like our body produces antibodies to keep us healthy.
  • It seems a bit ironic

    That Spyware S&D alerted me (and blocked) two downloads of MediaPlex when I opened this news article.
    • And

      It just blocked AdAware.

      Duh. Hey Ziff-Davis - cast not the first stone..
      • Sorry - should have said "DoubleClick"

        not ad-aware
    • It didn't happen to me ,

      I to have spybot s&d , perhaps it was the fact that I'm using Mozilla Firefox .

      "In a world without walls and fences, who needs windows and gates ?"
      I'm Ye, the MS SHILL .
      • Now THAT's ironic :)

        If you use an Open Source browser you don't get eaten by the insects.

        If you use a closed source browser, the insects just march through the holes in the flywire screen.
      • Goody 4 U !

        How is it helpful to boast about how you are above being affected by badware? You obviously have antispamware installed that you lean on like a crutch. Your display of product loyalty amazes me, but it's fairly typical. Let's hope they don't find a way to malware you through the very programs you depend on for protection, and copy your harddrive to a remote location without you're ever knowing it, for example. It can happen; it has already been done. You are not as safe as you might think.
    • Why Ironic?

      You opened this news article from ZDnet.
  • Badware Hell! Stop Spam First, Really!

    Providers or someone is making money off of all of that e-mail. I'd love to see them at least put a dent in spammers!
    • Spam is not that annoying!

      spam - i can stop. Yahoo! and Google Mail do a great job with
      their spam filters. Now knowing which sites offer programs that I
      can trust is another question.
  • Cast not the first stone...

    Am I really reading this right? GOOGLE? BLOODY GOOGLE IS GOING TO FIGHT MALWARE?!?! Is this the same Google that just released the Google Pack features one of the oldest pieces of resource hogging, ad generating piece of trash out there, RealPlayer? Or who bundles Adobe Acrobat in there, which every time I install it wants to fill my system with links to their online garbage and the Yahoo! toolbar? Or the Google Desktop Search that has been riddled with security holes? Or the Google Toolbar which can track my every page view? Or who keeps extremely detailed records of every search I've ever done? Don't make me laugh, I might vomit in the process.

    Justin James
    • In Total Agreement

      I have had similar experiences with every toolbar you mentioned and many others. I have experience with RealPlayer which mimics yours. Same for Adobe Acrosplat - it's more self-serving for them than helpful for me. I reformat and reinstall programs quarterly, clean up my register weekly or better. About the Google Toolbar, they sell that tracked search info; but should we trust Google to watch out for our best interests? The feds are trying to get each of the big four search engines to comply with a demand for a week's worth of search terms from 2005, without any personally identifiable info, but just the same very big brotherly of them. I read that Google has firmly refused to share anything, but not Yahoo or MSN. Scary.
  • Spycatcher

    I wanted to warn ebveryone out there about a download that is fraudulent. It is called Spycatcher and includes a SpyPry in it without us knowing.It crashed my entire system.