Yahoo releases a toolbar for Firefox that includes free spyware scanning and removal.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Technology Solution Professional with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.
I've always liked Yahoo's toolbar for Internet Explorer because it incorporates PestPatrol, making spyware scanning quick and convenient from the browser. But I don't use Internet Explorer when I can help it.
A new version of HijackThis just came out, toting along some new features that will really help you clean out your computer. HijackThis already enjoys a great reputation as an essential tool for finding out what's on your computer.
While I'm on vacation this week, I leave you with some good sources for information on spyware. First, Spyware Warrior keeps you up to date with the latest information.
As an addendum to my earlier post about Qtech's nefarious habits, I found a clause in its license that lets it reinstall itself if you use an antispyware app to remove it. The license says "Qtech may store a cookie, computer file or other unique identifier on your computer to identify you and automatically repair and reinstall the Software if any third party application attempts to delete, disable or modify the Software.
After discovering a spyware component called Adroar recently, I spent some time investigating its origins and found some really scary aspects of its license. First off, Adroar seems to be built and operated by a company called Qtech.
Spyware companies make a lot of money by delivering ads, but what advertiser would want to be associated with spyware? Gambling and porn sites seem pretty indifferent to how they get their advertising seen, but often you see more reputable companies being advertised via spyware.
From the "it's about time" department, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down a rogue antispyware company. The company, named MaxTheater, was responsible for Spyware Assassin, a utility that had been listed on Spyware Warrior's rogue antispyware product list since July of last year.
Some enterprising spyware distributors have managed to make browsing with Firefox, Mozilla, and Netscape dangerous. They've engineered a Java applet that initiates spyware downloads when you browse a site with the aforementioned browsers.
After my post about advertising on 180Search, a PR person for 180Search contacted me, wanting to set up a call between me and various personnel at the company. They wanted to explain why 180Search would deliver an ad that seemed to do no service to either me or the advertiser.