Friday, January 18, 2008

Lavasoft Turning to the Dark Side?

Say what? Let's re-examine what is happening.

We know that Bill Pytlovany is sacrificing an early retirement to keep WinPatrol simple and pure and at the same time maintaining the high ethical standards expected by a security software vendor. We also know that others have not maintained this same high ethical standard. Consider what Bill said:
"The sales pitch to include a toolbar with WinPatrol was compelling. I’m told that the my reputation wouldn’t be affected and I would be providing my customers with a service by including the free toolbar."
Fortunately, Bill does not believe everything he is told. We know that many security forums discontinued providing information on Webroot and ZoneAlarm has been removed from the recommended firewall list or at least a warning provided about the toolbar by members of the security community.

Bill did not need to "ask" about the ethics of including "unasked for" software:
"I really hate companies that install additional software that I didn’t ask for. It’s not only rude, it’s just wrong."
With regard to the IAC contact telling Bill that
"All the companies currently installing the toolbar are very happy."
I am certain that the vendors are enjoying their new-found cash flow, provided at the expense of those using the software.

Finally getting to the point . . .
"He even leaked the news that another well known Anti-Spyware vendor who would be moving to the dark side soon."
I wondered about that and had thoughts of my own. Since it was getting late, I put those thoughts aside. However, today I took another look at Bill's post and there it was. Take a fresh look at Would you like Toolbar with your Software Order?, particularly the Labels.

From "About Lavasoft":
"With over a quarter of a billion Ad-Aware downloads worldwide, there are good things ahead! The spyware industry shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact it has become such an economic factor on the global market that the industry will surely strengthen their efforts as they continue to invade the privacy of individuals through home and office computers. Be assured, Lavasoft will be ready." [Emphasis added.]
"Over a quarter of a billion. . ." Money wins out over ethics.

People who have known me for any length of time also know that I used to provide volunteer support for Lavasoft's Ad-Aware product. I beta tested, interacting with other volunteer staff as well as Lavasoft employees, including Nicolas Stark, the original creator of Ad-Aware. As forum administrator, I also helped Lavasoft's corporate and licensed customers.

Times change, people change and, although I respond to an occasional question regarding Ad-Aware, I have not used the software for almost three years and it is definitely not installed on my current computer.

I am willing to provide one more bit of volunteer help with Ad-Aware.

  1. Click "start" on the taskbar and then click on "Control Panel".
  2. Double-click the "Add or Remove Programs" icon.
  3. A list of programs installed will be "populated". This may take a bit of time.
  4. In this list you will find the program Ad-Aware. Click "Change" (or "Change/Remove"):
  5. A wizard should then open, which will guide you through the uninstallation.

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


winchester73 said...

Amen ... been there, done that, read the book.

Dusty said...

I find it ironic as hell that a product that is supposed to protect you dumps this crap on you.

Corrine said...

Dusty, I guess its a case of when money talks, security walks. :(

Marcin Kleczynski said...


I stopped respecting Lavasoft when Ad-Aware 2007 came out initially. The product would not uninstall and I did not get a reply from the support team for months - I literally had to manually rip it out of my system. As for ethics, as Dusty mentioned - it is a bit ironic that anti-malware programs that remove malicious toolbars also install questionable ones.

Eric the Red said...

And what Marcin so modestly failed to mention is that Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware product, recently launched, is IMHO a far superior product to AAW