Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Webroot Spy Sweeper Is "Out of Favor"

It started earlier this month when an image of the Spy Sweeper installer was posted at the SunbeltBLOG showing the Ask Toolbar and Search Assistant pre-checked as an opt-in. The comments ensued.

Anyone who is familiar with the security forums has most likely seen the sections of the forums with update information on the various anti-virus, anti-malware, firewalls and other security software programs posted in those forums. This is done not for the vendors but rather to provide information to visitors of the sites about reputable software available for their use. Information is provided on both pay and free software programs, generally including a brief descripton of the software and a link to the product information and/or download site. In addition, as the software is updated, information on the latest signature files is provided.

As you can imagine, maintaining this information takes a lot of work. There is a "crew" of dedicated individuals who maintain the updates for a number of sites. There is no remuneration by the software vendors to these dedicated people. However, many sites have discontinued providing update information for Webroot Spy Sweeper. Some removed the software from the public view while other sites have discontinued posting updates at this time. Although there are others, examples are here, here, here, here, here, and here.

As Microsoft MVP, Donna Buenaventura points out at her security site, Calendar of Updates:
"Ask Toolbar and Ask Search Assistant is flagged as O at most security forums. O means open for debate
Example: http://www.castlecops.com/tk31882-Ask_Sear...istant_BHO.html"
Donna also provided links to information on the Ask Toolbar, see
Also noted from the MVPS Hosts File article: "Dealing with Unwanted Spyware and Parasites":

"Other Highly Rated Anti-Spyware Programs

UPDATE: Minutes after publishing, I see that Calendar of Updates has also decided not to continue publishing updates to Webroot Spy Sweeper:
"Due to the default (pre-checked) opt-in of the Ask Toolbar and Search Assistant, it has been determined that this site will no longer provide update information for Webroot Spy Sweeper software."

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

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