NEWS FROM THE LAB - Friday, July 7, 2006

What's In a Name? Posted by Kamil @ 14:53 GMT

There's a category of software that's rather difficult to define, or at least to name. Many term it as potentially unwanted applications or software (PUA/PUS). Companies pushing this type of software use every possible means to get you to download as many copies of their product as possible. Spamming, pop-ups, hijacking start pages, etc. Sound familiar?


What are we speaking of? Rogue anti-spyware and other so-called system optimization utilities. And they aren't just pushing one version, they're pushing many.


Some of these guys create one engine and then sell it under multiple names and interfaces. Their websites even look like they are copied from the same template. The sales pitch typically includes a "free" scan. The results of the scan are often doctored with items that you should remove or fix. Except in order to do so, you now need to buy a license.

Check out the results of this Google search. Most of the results are of suspected rogues and are hosted on the same server. What did we search for? A block of text from one site's privacy policy. Either all of the sites borrowed exactly the same text from each other, or they are in fact the same organization.

If your product is legitimate, why do you need 30 or more names for it?