Do free anti-spyware programs contain spyware?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by rohit_nair, May 18, 2009.

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  1. rohit_nair

    rohit_nair Registered Member

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    I have downloaded a few free Windows tweaking softwares like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Advanced SystemCare Free but my system (XP) has become slower. A friend of mine says that these free softwares contain spyware, but I guess CNet's download.com could be trusted, so I need more opinions, plz help!
     
  2. Joeythedude

    Joeythedude Registered Member

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    Your friend is half right. A lot of free AV's that pop up if your browsing the internet are "rogueware" , and if installed will often falsely report viruses to trick people into paying for an "upgrade" etc.

    download.com apps should be fine.
     
  3. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    download.com sometimes contains adware/spyware/rogue programs, or programs that are bundled with adware/spyware/rogue software.
    The same is true for Majorgeeks and a few others. But usually these programs are clean.

    Regardless of from where you download the software - see above:
    Doing some research (software AND website to download from) to figure out if you get something good or bad is recommended.

    You might even want to scan the downloaded software before executing it.
     
  4. danny9

    danny9 Departed Friend

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    MBAM is fine. Alot of us use it here. Not spyware.
    I use it on demand only, the free version.
    If you're using the pd. version, then that involves another scanner running,which depending on your system set up could possibly slow it down.

    Advance SystemCare Free, I've never used, but others here have.

    I doubt if either have any spyware.
    Use your MBAM or av to run a scan just in case something came in on the download from Cnet.

    By the way, Welcome to Wilders! :D
     
  5. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    Do you have any examples of rogue AV/AS hosted on either of those sites,I can't recall ever seeing any?
     
  6. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I'd like a few examples also.
    I have used MajorGeeks downloads for years and this is the first I have heard of rogue/bundled software being available there.
     
  7. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    from the MajorGeeks Disclaimer...
    Note their use of the word "attempt". They do not say that they do test every program. :)
     
  8. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    No.

    It has been a very long time since I downloaded anything from those websites.

    But I remember downloading a few programs that fit in the category spyware/rogue software.
     
  9. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Everyone can make a mistake, even Softpedia with its 100% Clean Award offered "The Shield Pro" for download, but not anymore.
     
  10. cruxx

    cruxx Registered Member

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  11. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Your system has become slower ?

    I just took a look at that Advanced SystemCare, and one of the things it seems to do is messing with the registry.

    'Windows tweaking software' is generally a bad idea. At least, when we are talking about Windows XP or later.

    Some tweaks may have some advantages, but generally you have a lot more to lose than to gain. I would consider the use of a registry cleaner only appropriate if the alternative is to reformat and to reinstall Windows.
    And then <I> would just prefer to reformat and reinstall - except that I have a nice imaging setup :)
    With registry cleaners, in general the least risky things to 'fix' offer little if any benefit, and 'fixing' other things (I still remember an older version of Pctools' Registry Mechanic, 'deep scan') will sooner or later (probably) cause problems.

    It's possible to tweak a few things (not with any software I know of) to improve security, but then again, you have to know what you are doing - and many security applications don't play nice with the tweaks, which you may discover sooner or later.
     
  12. Retadpuss

    Retadpuss Suspended Member

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    There are now hundreds on hundreds of rogue AV, AMs, reg cleaners, system optimizers etc out there. Many are found through Google sponsered links - so watch out.

    My advice si not to use any of them. The ones you mention are clean, but pretty much worthless in security terms.

    Stick to the main apps like A-Squared, Avira, KAV, Norton, Prevx etc.
     
  13. nomarjr3

    nomarjr3 Registered Member

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    Advanced SystemCare Free is legit.
    I, too, use it on my system.

    I've scanned it with MBAM and SAS.
    OSS doesn't pick up any signs of malware activity either.

    VirusTotal also reports it to be free of malware.

    Perhaps you downloaded a rogue version of the softwares? I don't really trust Download.com, since a few of my colleagues say that some programs hosted on that server are "rogueware".

    You'd be better of downloading free programs in more reputable websites like Filehippo.com or fileforum.betanews.com
     
  14. jrjiri

    jrjiri Lurker

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    I'd scan anything you download before you install it no matter where it's from - whether it's from a reputable mirror or straight from the vendors site. download.com 'has' been hacked before and had downloads replaced with files that contained viruses. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.

    A large portion of the free software out there contains spyware. The thing that's interesting is that some spyware scanners do not list spyware found in legitimate corporate programs (some toolbars that you may have unknowingly installed with a piece of free software - usually when use of that free software requires you to leave said toolbar running in the license agreement). Meanwhile spybot S&D (and others I'm sure) list the potentially legit adware/spyware and allow you to remove it but provide a warning that you may be violating your license agreements for software by doing so. I prefer that option to the programs that don't list corporate spyware/adware.
     
  15. danny9

    danny9 Departed Friend

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    Exactly.
    Everything I ever download is saved, then scanned before I would even consider running the file.
    No matter what it is or where it came from.

    Welcome to Wilders jrjiri :D
     
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