FlemmingLeer´s english blog: That nasty spyware    
 That nasty spyware2 comments
2 Feb 2002 @ 07:19, by Flemming Leer Jakobsen

I found some 80 different spyware files on my computer and I am usually very restrictive in installing files on my computer!

An article from a danish internet news site said something about certain programs could install spyware which:
  • Logged information entered into forms like username and possibly passwords (With the program installed you have to enter a valid password twice!)
  • Could install other spyware if needed without my consent
  • Submitted information about the PC setup and programs installed
  • Plus it sends the information to a central server for storage
  • It makes popups ads on activity on the PC


    The Bad Guys (Courtesy of Counterexploitation @ http://www.cexx.org/vx2.htm )
  •  Mindset Interactive (mindseti.com), provider of downloadable screensavers, installs Transponder with the screensavers.
  • Blackstone Data Corporation (www.blackstonedata.com) appears to be the first company caught red-handed with this spyware. Although their Web page is no longer publicly accessible, their other servers are still up and running new campaigns.
  • Disk11 Technology Solutions (?) (www.disk11.com) is a Web hosting and technology company that currently has administrative privileges on the server, and may or may not have other involvement. They appear to have some responsibility for coding the spyware itself and/or testing it for reliability. Reportedly, Disk11 admits to having hosted the Blackstone Data Transponder "for a (very) brief period of time", but will not deal with Blackstone now or in the foreseeable future. However, as of January 27, 2001, they are still hosting an active account for Blackstone, complete with new and updated files.
  • AADCOM (www.aadcom.com, formerly USABanners.com) is also hyping its whiz-bang targeting technology, which turns out to be none other than Blackstone Data Transponder. Although they have many listings on Blackstone's ad server, they do not have administrator privileges. (They may just be reselling thru one of the listed admins.)
  • NetPal Interactive (www.netpal.com) is also distributing Transponder...as a stand-alone software utility! They promise Great Deals, Special Offers, yadayada, out the yin-yang if you install Transponder, which is a Free Gift, btw. Because they're just so nice. (Beware: Clicking on their "download" link will attempt to auto-install Transponder from a .cab file. Use caution!)
  • Internet Technology Corp. (www.internettechcorp.com) - Quite possibly the granddaddy of them all! They describe themselves as a "well funded business incubator for starting and growing Internet businesses". A veritable venture-capital breeder-reactor of seedy Internet companies, Internet Tech. Corp. spun off some or all of the above, excluding Disk11, including Mindset Interactive.

What did I do?

It all made me very suspicious and I downloaded Ad-Aware only to see it found some 80 different files on my computer!

What you can do?

You could use the information on the above url to check your registry keys and harddisk for the mentioned files or use Ad-Aware (www.lavasoftusa.com) and install Ad-Aware and Reghance. The first program searches your computer for spyware files and the second helps removing registry keys in you database. (Especially good if you are not a nerd and it is faster). Be sure to have the the latest reference update before you start.

And in the future I intend to be more careful in what I install and where I surf. Consider using NoAds (www.southbaypc.com/NoAds) for killing popups and ads in general.

ZoneAlarm (www.zonealarm.com) is also a good free firewall.

Updated (20. october ´02) Revised the add killer url, as Webwasher now is a trial version only




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2 comments

2 Feb 2002 @ 08:03 by bushman : Ad-Aware
Ive been using it for over 5 years now, the original antispyware was opt-out, and was sent to me form the inter offices of earthlink, earthlink is probably the only isp that accualy wants to keep stuff private for the customer, my bro works at thier main office in pasadena ca. Frankly, everyone should have antispyware installed on thier machine, I found 72 spys on my machine 5 years ago and that was just from retail software, I wasnt active on the net back then like I am now, so I run adaware when I do maitnece, but reguardless, you will always get doubleclick from your server, even if it gets removed your server will put it right back on , so adaware sees it as spyware but it is nessisary so your server can make ajustments in your service, thanks leer, Adaware has always done me good :}  


2 Feb 2002 @ 09:37 by fleer : Thanks
But guess who is working on fixing new passwords all around at the sites that I am a member of?

*phew*

Scatter Joy and Namaste  



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