Rogue Application Update

by Andy on March 3rd, 2008 in Rogues.

You may have noticed our rogue application definition update last week. It was prompted by the deluge of complaints to our support team about C-NetMedia's AdWareAlert program from people who thought they were buying Lavasoft's AdAware 2007. The update also follows on from the excellent article by Ben Edelman (assisted by our very own Calamity Jane!) on the subject. You can read it here: http://www.benedelman.org/news/021408-1.html.

We've noticed a few more of these applications popping up such as AdwarePro, SpywareRobot, and SpywarePro - we suggest you avoid them. For those who have been observing C-NetMedia's portfolio of applications, their rogue application SpywareBot's name has been changed to SpywareStop.

At Lavasoft we feel strongly about empowering people, so here are some tips to avoid getting caught by rogue applications:

  • Practice online skepticism. Be aware that rogue security software does exist on the web, and be vigilant about avoiding it. If you are suspicious about a product, check for reviews on trusted websites, magazines or from software outlets. Rogue applications often claim to be 'best on the market' and post review results on their own site where the product scores rave ratings; however, the actual review or who reviewed the product is not shown

  • Do not blindly trust individual sites offering anti-spyware. Refer to reputable lists of trustworthy anti-spyware programs and rogue/suspect anti-spyware programs like the one on SpywareWarrior.com.

  • An almost universal trait of rogue anti-malware applications is the scan result which, at first glance, appears to display plausible results. However, in order to clean the detected items you must "register" the product, which, in reality, means you must pay for the product. Get a second opinion. Visited a trusted source like Download.com, download a free anti-malware application, and scan again.

  • Take advantage of our experts on the Lavasoft Support Forum to assist you if you suspect that an application may not be legitimate. If Lavasoft's researchers have not encountered the program, they will analyze it and add it to detection if it meets detection criteria.