The wolf in sheeps clothing, software that claims to be anti-spyware, but installs more spyware on your pc
The bad news is that the spyware situation for home pc users can be murkier every day. I remember a particular user who once installed an antivirus program because a popup appeared claiming to have found viruses on his drive, next thing he knew he was having all sorts of spyware problems, viruses found all the time (to “prove” the antivirus component was running.), etc. etc.
Spyware Confidential has the story on the latest wolf in sheeps clothing, something called spyaxe. This link shows a screenshot of one fake warning. One problem is how to describe to people how to identify legitimate versus illegit popups and warnings.
Among the bogus anti-spyware programs out there are Spytrooper, RazeSpyware, WorldAntispy, PSguard, Spy Sherrif, now spyaxe seems to be one of these bogus anti-spyware products. Now in the report at Spyware Confidential, spyaxe claimed that it was an “affiliate’s illegal advertising” of their product…. yeah….
In the past I’ve seen software of questionable legitimacy threaten lawsuits against spyware scanners and others who name them as what they are. I’ve seen others that try to “go clean” and take a legitimate approach to business. One of the halmarks of many of these is that it constantly detects problems, detects problems for free and offers to fix them for $$$, or in the case of many of these, never solves the problem it was installed to fix.
It sounds like spyaxe, may be detected as smitfraud (virus) by some antivirus vendors.
If you’ve got an infestation, this link has a good link of legit software that may assist.
If you curious about a piece of software and want to see if it’s a questionable product, one place to search is the rogue anti-spyware software list at spywarewarrior.com. I will likely add that to the handy links momentarily as well.
Another note is to beware of the “sponsored links” for products that show up in search results for spyware or spyware removal. Many of these may not be the reputable solutions you would find in the “authentic” search results.
Update — 11/14 –
The Sunbeltblog is getting some submissions on this, along the lines of “your software is not detecting __fill in bogus file___” The submissions are coming from windows security center replicas like warningmessage.com syserrors.com, security2k.net (These sites are bogus, visiting them could get you spywared… be cautious…)
Along the same lines, sunbeltblog has spotted another misleading page that is pushing something called spytrooper (mentioned above). http://www.notfound404.com/ is the site and when I visited I was presented with what appeared to be a page not found error, and at the top of it an authentic looking windows notification (like when an activex control tries to load), that said “the page you are looking for is blocked by the adware on your pc. Remove it with spytrooper software, click here.”) Now, of course, to Joe User it looks as though Windows is telling him how to fix the spyware problem that it claims he has (how userfriendly!!). Unfortunately spytrooper is one of the wolves in sheeps clothing among the “anti-spyware” software listed above.
Pretty devious little page….
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