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You see? This is what I'm talking about: Spyware

by parabraves / July 14, 2005 12:14 PM PDT

I started a computer security thread awhile back and was confused about the differences between programs. How exactly are we going to know the weaknesses, if any, if this is what we have to go on when choosing anti-spyware programs? Here are the known weaknesses for the more popular products per download.com:

Ad-aware- Ad-aware can only find spyware identified in its definition file, and may not find newer spyware.

Spy Sweeper- Spy Sweeper's definition file only catches known spyware.

Spybot- This program relies on a definition file and so doesn't block or find the latest spyware.

Spyware Doctor- Spyware Doctor can't find spyware that's not on its definition list.

Ummmmmm, thanks guys! How about telling us something it can't do that perhaps a free one can do?

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Bugs in the OS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 14, 2005 10:57 PM PDT

You could also write that you wanted a bug free OS while you are lamenting the tools.

-> What to do about spyware? I use the tools (most of what you listed) for the quick "Will it fix it?" pass and then move to HIJACKTHIS and human examination for what's left.

But just like a junkie on crack, what can you do if the owner reinstalls their P2P software or surfs with IE/OE only?


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Not lamenting the software Rob
by parabraves / July 16, 2005 7:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Bugs in the OS.

I'm criticizing the reviews. I absolutely LOVE the programs themselves, but in an attempt to find a better one, or at least a more suitable one for myself, I don't see any weaknesses listed. Can I stop with Spybot and Ad-aware? Must I install SpySweeper just in case? Do I have any use for Spyware Doctor?

I simply need to know when to quit, and the pros and cons section provides nothing we don't already know. OF COURSE we have to keep updating the definitions. I really wasn't asking a question with the post, I was merely pointing out what I eluded to in a previous thread.

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Ahh, the search for "the one."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 8:45 AM PDT

That's another myth worth skewering and tossing on the barbeque.

-> Just like the analog with the doctor curing an illness, not all doctors are proficient at curing all ills. Yes, we need multiple tools today.

Look at using a few tools for now with a HIJACKTHIS reading if you feel something is still amiss. And get your users off the software that lets it in.


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Not the one, I want the combo
by parabraves / July 16, 2005 9:23 AM PDT

I've always combined Spybot and Ad-aware, and threw in Spywareblaster for fun. Are you suggesting I add HijackThis to my current arsenal? I know we need multiple programs, but what the download.com reviews didn't say is why.

For example, I noticed that Spybot seems to shred the more malicious problems. When I had Spysweeper, I noticed that one tracked CoolWWW while Ad-aware didn't. Since download.com provides experiments by allowing malware and spyware onto computers, I figure they could tell us in the special section devoted to spyware what the REAL weaknesses are. Instead we get rephrased versions of the need to update definitions.

Again, this isn't a huge complaint, simply an observation. I wasn't even expecting any replies to the post, but in retrospect I should've dug up the old thread and added it there perhaps.

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Yes, I am.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 10:09 AM PDT

Your combo is about as good as it gets. Hijackthis however is not a spyware detector. That's done in HJT forums where people look over your logfile for what's interesting and out of place.

Hope this explains it.


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Something to make your day. . .
by Coryphaeus / July 14, 2005 11:46 PM PDT

Some of the anti-spyware program vendors are now being lobbied by spyware vendors to remove their definitions from the spyware removal utilities. And some are winning. Articles at PCMag and PC World.

I run:

Spybot Search & Destroy
Spyware Blaster
MS AntiSpyware Beta (for which there is an update)

It's the best a fella can do.


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Click here to see the CNet faces, learn a little about telephones,
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by byker49 / July 15, 2005 3:10 AM PDT

Spyware changes it's look everyday. Your assertion that Spysweeper only detects known spyware is correct. How would any program detect an unknown spyware? The program must "know" something first about the spyware.

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Your logic is incorrect.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 15, 2005 10:26 AM PDT

How do you think a doctor cures diseases?

Because someone else before him found the cure, and passed the knowledge on.

What happens when a new disease occurs, eg AIDS? People get sick, and many die.

Sorry for the bad analogy, but the logic is the same. Anti-malware products can only detect and prevent malware that it "looks" for. If a new malware type is created nothing can stop it immediately. Only until a cure is found, and the definition of that cure is downloaded to the people who use the anti-malware product can detection and prevention start.


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byker, MarkFlax
by parabraves / July 16, 2005 7:56 AM PDT

I suppose I jumped the gun when replying to Rob, but this will be a similar post. I was criticizing the reviewer of those programs for telling us what is rather redundant. We already know we have to spend the 20 seconds updating the definitions to catch the spyware. I, like most others run the update before every scan.

If they're going to compare utilities they could tell us why one would be more useful than the other. That would be very helpful, for example to those who run the dreadful yahoo scanner, LOL.

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