April 18th, 2006
|jimbojones||02:55 am - lol spyware|
180 Solutions, probably the most mainstream famous of the big spyware vendors, has a long history of publicly claiming "oh no we're not a spyware vendor, that was a mistake, since then we've cleaned our act up. Really guys." Then of course maybe a week goes by before one or another of the anti-spyware mavens documents on video one of their spyware apps getting installed via browser exploits, installing even after you click "no thanks", getting installed blindly with no EULA... you name it.
But THIS is a new twist: now, they're installing, I kid you not, a hardcore child-porn browser (link does not contain child porn and is safe for work) on your PC. Wow. Forget slowing your PC down - these guys are looking to make you a felon if you install "ad-supported software" with their crap bundled in.
That's hardcore in more ways than one.
moral of the story: for the love of GOD stop installing "cute games you found for free" on the internet on sketchy-ass sites full of bouncing happy crap!
Current Mood: boggled
Very likely. "OMG FREE SCREENSAVERS!" is one of the most common ways to Trojan people, either with spyware or straight-out trojans.
The rule of thumb is, if you're downloading it from someplace either 1. you've never heard of, 2. excessively cheesy-looking (smilies and bouncing animated crap EVERYWHERE) or 3. with tons of banner ads ADVERTISING "free" stuff, you're screwing up.
In general, downloading from someplace large and reputable - MSN, ZDNet, Yahoo, or similar - is usually safe, WITH the proviso that you NEED TO READ THE EULA. A big site like that may still offer spywared-up things for download, but they will at least WARN you that they're going to install "ad supported software" or something similar in the EULA.
Open Source stuff is pretty much always okay. Anything that's ACTUALLY Open Source is definitely going to be okay, the problem is that eventually shady bastards will probably start lying and calling their products open source to trick you. If you're paranoid, only trust open source stuff from sourceforge.net - SourceForge is always safe.
You can also generally just google whatever it is you want to download before you download it. Check to see if people are complaining bitterly about what it did to their computer when they installed it - if it's spyware, you'll usually find out pretty quick.