McAfee SiteAdvisor sued over ‘spyware’ tag

In a case that could tie the hands of companies trying to protect their customers from internet threats, a website owner with past ties to a notorious piece of spyware has filed a lawsuit claiming it is being unfairly maligned by warnings from McAfee that the site poses a risk to its customers.

7Search.com filed the complaint in US District Court in Illinois. It seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction ordering McAfee’s SiteAdvisor service to designate the site as safe. SiteAdvisor, which warns users when they are about to visit a site that may pose security threats, currently displays a warning that reads: “Feedback from credible users suggests that downloads on this site may contain what some people would consider adware, spyware, or other potentially unwanted programs.”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/28/7search_sues_mcafee/

Update on Products with Ask Toolbar

We don’t post updates information of security programs that bundles with Ask Toolbar because of it’s questionable status.  Today, I decided to test detection by antispyware programs whether any of them will still detect anything related with Ask Toolbar.  The result with screenshots is at:  http://www.dozleng.com/updates/topic16253

VIPRE, Malwarebytes, A-squared and Outpost Antispyware/Antimalware programs will detect something.

The installer of Ask Toolbar is also detected by some malware scanners.  The askPopStp.dll and askBar.dll files is also detected as risk.

So our stand to not to post update information on products bundled with Ask Toolbar remains the same.

If it’s clean.. they should work with these vendors to fix their claim as false positive.  Recommending to users to “temporarily disable” their NOD32 or other antivirus programs to allow the installation of products with Ask Toolbar (W32/Adinstaller etc) is NOT recommended.

If it’s undetected by many scanners, only then we should inform users that it is OK to use it (if you like another toolbar).

And if you want to know what programs have Ask Toolbar, please check the “Installers Hall of Shame (Unwanted add-on)” list.at:

http://www.dozleng.com/updates/calendar44514

Edit:  Our friend BillP (WinPatrol) received another invitation to bundle ASK toolbar in his WinPatrol.  This is the 2nd time he receive the offer and again, he said NO to ASK toolbar again.  Thanks Bill!

http://billpstudios.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-wrong-with-toolbars.html

Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner users can’t scan because of Adobe Reader 9

Some users reported that they could NOT run the scan using Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner after installing Adobe Reader v9. 

Discussion at http://boards.live.com/safetyboards/thread.aspx?threadid=606296

Dave (aka drawAblank) help the users by investigating what’s going on by installing Adobe Reader 9 and he found out that Adobe Reader alter the security setting of Internet Explorer (without prompting the user) by selecting “Allow Active content to run in my computer” in IE>Internet Options>Advanced>Security. 

When the user disabled “Allow Active content to run in my computer” (which is the default setting in IE), the user able to run a scan using OneCare Safety Scanner.

If anyone have the said problem with OneCare Safety Scanner and you have Adobe Reader 9, you might to review the above discussion.

Note:  I tried to reproduce the above issue but after installing Adobe Reader v9 while IE is not open and when I use Opera to download the Adobe Reader v9 installer in XP Pro, I cannot reproduce it. The setting here is the same… the “Allow Active content to run in my computer” is still unchecked and I can scan using OneCare Safety Scanner.