Spyware Research: April 2006 Archives

While Googling for downloading Hijackthis, i spotted a link from Google's Adsense program. Check out the following screenshot:


Click Image to enlarge

(Note the Red X is part of the SiteAdvisor program which can help users spot sites that use deceptive practices and is only displayed if you using the program.)

In above screenshot clicking the link ?HijackThis Free download? opens a site http://hijack-thisnet/. Naturally curiosity compelled me to dig deeper into this site and also I wanted to know what Merijn, the original creator of HJT had to about this site? It appears it struck his radar a long time ago and was not pleased the name of his product was being used to push other commercial products.

He states from http://www.merijn.org/

" April 22, 2005:
Just a short note on the domain HIJACK-THIS.NET: this is not mine! It has been registered by an affiliate of XoftSpy (who are also on the Rogue Antispyware List on SpywareWarrior.com) and they are luring people into downloading their software believing it is HijackThis. Also, they have registered a few AdWords at Google leading to the same result. We'll see where this goes. In the meantime, if you want to download any of my programs, the official domain is and always will be www.merijn.org."

UPDATE: April 29, 2005:
I just received word from Paretologic (the ownsers XoftSpy) that the affiliate responsible for the page has been terminated and the site will be taken down. That's one down, one to go. :) "

Let's dig into this mystery...

Any given day of the week (and many weekends) I keep myself busy with the task of trying to insure that end-user's computers are free of whatever the spy / ad / greyware of the day might be. Making sure that their shopping habits or surfing history are not transmitted to some faceless company. It is a never-ending struggle.

It came as a bit of a wakeup call that, no matter what I do to keep the desktop clean, there are still other dangers out there.

I am really ready to start tackling EULAs, so to kick things off I am revisiting a piece I did on the TinkoPal EULA months ago. Take a close look as I highlight some of the language and conditions you would accept in this EULA. For added value my comments will be in bold text surrounded by parentheses and are not a part of the EULA.

TinkoPal EULA Page: http://www.tinkopal.com/terms.html
Note: The original EULA is longer valid at this URL.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Spyware Research category from April 2006.

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