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Monday, June 28, 2010

Legal Software More Annoying than Most Viruses

Do you remember programs from Gator, MyWaySearch, Net.Net or 180Solutions? Are there still programs running on your computer that you really don’t want? 

You’re not alone! Most annoying programs now come from legitimate companies who know they’re not really adding value but do it to make share holders happy. There’s always been competition by companies to get their programs installed on the greatest number of computers.  When you notice your computer keeps getting slower you can blame it on these programs.  At least when AOL shipped out millions of CD’s you had the choice of installing it or not

I created my WinPatrol program to alert me if new programs are being added to the Windows startup procedure. Originally this popular feature was designed to prevent spyware from infecting your system. Now, the biggest problem doesn’t come from spyware or viruses, it comes from well known companies like Apple, Adobe, Google and even Microsoft. These programs have limited value but provide increased visibility and profit for software companies. Totally unrelated companies are encouraged(paid) to install these programs and receive a cash bounty if they can get you to install them. Sometimes it’s done without your knowledge, sometimes it because you don’t carefully read the purpose of every check box during setup.

In the past it was common for WinPatrol fans to report programs which were malicious, designed to steal data, monitor key strokes or create pop up ads. Sadly, the most common complaints I see now are for programs from legitimate companies.

Google continues to top the list of companies wanting to make sure you have their toolbar and updates of anything else they feel you need, like it or not. A large number of companies are paid to install the Google Toolbar via programs like Adobe Flash,  Cyberlink PowerDVD, IrfanView, PC Tools Spyware Doctor, Threatfire, RealPlayer, ZoneAlarm and more. The fact WinPatrol users are requesting Info on GoogleUpdater implies they have no clue how it was installed on their system.

Google Updater isn’t the only program that our users don’t understand why they have it. Continued below is a current, Where the hell did I get this from, and how can I get rid of it” list.  I’ve made the top ten hot links so you can click and see an example of some of the extra value provided by WinPatrol PLUS.

  Program Request   Company Name
1 GOOGLEUPDATER.EXE   GOOGLE INC.
2 ADOBEARM.EXE   ADOBE SYSTEMS
3 JUSCHED.EXE   SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.
4 READER_SL.EXE   ADOBE SYSTEMS
5 MDNSRESPONDER.EXE   APPLE INC.
6 WMPNSCFG.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
7 ITUNESHELPER.EXE   APPLE INC.
8 REALSCHED.EXE   REALNETWORKS, INC.
9 QTTASK.EXE   APPLE INC.
10 APPLEMOBILEDEVICESERVICE.EXE   APPLE INC.
11 CTFMON.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
12 IGFXTRAY.EXE   INTEL CORPORATION
13 IGFXPERS.EXE   INTEL CORPORATION
14 NVCPL.DLL   NVIDIA CORPORATION
15 MSFEEDSSYNC.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
16 SMSS.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
17 CLISTART.EXE   ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES
18 NWIZ.EXE   NVIDIA CORPORATION
19 ISUSPM.EXE   MACROVISION CORPORATION
20 MSASCUI.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
21 HKCMD.EXE   INTEL CORPORATION
22 HIDSERV.DLL   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
23 SIDEBAR.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
24 DUMPREP 0 -K   MICROSOFT CORPORATION
25 MSNMSGR.EXE   MICROSOFT CORPORATION


Not long ago our top requests were programs that served up spyware or adware like those below. Some free sample links below may not contain updated PLUS Info. Have you been around enough to remember these annoying infiltrations?

Common Name Program Detected by WinPatrol
MyWebSearch.com Hijacker MYBAR/MYWAY.DLL, MWSSRCAS.DLL, MWSOEMON.DLL
New.net NEWDOTNET.DLL
WinTools WTOOLSA.EXE, WTOOLSB.DLL, WTOOLSS.DLL
XUpiterSpyware - OrbitExplorer toolbar.dll
eXact Advertising NVMS.DLL, MSCB.DLL, MSBE.DLL
Internet Optimizer nem21*.dll - nem220.dll
Gator / Claria CMESYS.exe, GMT.exe, GAIN_Tickler*.exe
PowerREGISTER POWERREG SCHEDULER.EXE
Uploader-R TSM2.EXE
WinAd by TwistedHumor Winad.exe, WinAdTools.exe Winclt.exe, WinTaskAd.exe
Intercosmos Media Group SEARCHRELEVANCY.DLL
Addictive Technologies ATPARTNERS.DLL
WhenU.com VVSN.exe / Save.exe
180Solutions MSBB.EXE
LocalNRD - Trandponder - Mindset Interactive LOCALNRD.DLL
Neo Toolbar - Traffic Syndicate TBPS.EXE, btein.dll, stoolsbar.dll
Bridge Search Page Hijacker BRIDGE.DLL
W32 Supernova Worm SYSUPD.EXE
eUniverse / Keen Value WUpdater.exe, INCFINDFBO.DLL, PERFECTNAVBHO.DLL
CommonName Toolbar CNBABE.exe, CNBABE.DLL

 

If you’d like to learn more check out the Calendar of UpdatesInstallers Hall of Shame” at

http://www.calendarofupdates.com/updates/index.php?showtopic=16109. You’ll be amazed at how common this business practice as become.  This topic already has almost 300 comments to there’s a lot to read.

Meanwhile, download WinPatrol and easily clean up your startup programs. Upgrade a specially priced WinPatrol PLUS now for recent information on these annoying programs. WinPatrol works well along side any of the popular AV and security programs on the market.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a "legitimate" company, Adobe has to be the worst, right now. Adobe ARM, Adobe Air, Adobe.com. WTF? And do they really need their own downloader?

I have learned to get around the downloader and the freeloading programs, but why should this always be an issue?

What makes things worse is, Adobe always seems to be an enormous security problem, too. I used to always kill Adobe and Java update startups on my clients' computers. But lately there have been so many security updates I am rethinking that practice.

Why can't these programs simply use Windows Scheduler to look for updates once a week, or so. Or why not take a quick look for an update the next time the program runs?

Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight, Bill.

Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

8:54 PM  

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