Free Spyware Doctor Edition

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by Oleg, Jun 30, 2005.

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  1. PeakABoo


    The program works very well to which I agree with you. But there is something just not right. Will give the vendor an opportunity to provide an answer.
    For now and until the vendor provides an answer if he so chooses spyware doctor is considered "Suspect" imo. There is no ligitimate reason imo for spyware doctor to attempt opening of an internet connection.
    The issue of that strange dll also is bothersome.
     
  2. cheater87

    cheater87 Registered Member

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    my uncle has the pay version and his computer is pretty safe. i tested Adaware SE and it found a dialer that spyware doctor missed.
     
  3. doubtthat

    doubtthat Guest

    probably a false positive
     
  4. Hard Rocker

    Hard Rocker Registered Member

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    Hi, :)

    From my experience I have not had any F/P's with AdAware and nothing but F/P's with SpyWare Doctor. :mad:

    HR :cool:
     
  5. skylights

    skylights Guest

    Two things:

    Most people here have referenced the CNET version of Spyware Doctor, which allows scanning and cleaning, but no resident protection or immunization. But only one person mentioned, and I think it should be reiterated, that the version from the PCTools website is exactly the opposite: it enables the resident protection and immunization, and scans too, but cleaning is disabled. I got the latter; wonder if I could install the former too and have a complete Spyware Doctor for free?

    Regarding SD "calling home": I read somewhere in another forum that SD does this to check that your registration is legit.
     
  6. skylights

    skylights Guest

    I found out for myself that the two versions of Spyware Doctor can indeed be installed side by side - just install them into different directories and create separate start menu folders. If you want to run the scanning/cleaning version, you'll have to close the resident protection version first.

    PC Tools direct version - resident protection, immunization, scanning; no cleaning:
    http://www.pctools.com/downloads/sdsetup.exe

    CNET Download.com referral version - scanning, cleaning; no resident protection or immunization:
    http://www.pctools.com/downloads/sdinstall.exe

    There's no time limit on either version. It appears the only thing missing from both is automatic updates - you'll have to click "Live Update" yourself. One more thing - I almost uninstalled the resident protection version because it was using 100% of my CPU... but then after a few minutes it finished whatever it was doing and dropped off to nothing with only intermittent CPU spikes. So have patience. This seems to be a great resident antispyware.

    Anyone know of a web page that lists special, "referral versions" of software? The above is one example, another is the one year free trial of EZ Antivirus offered to Microsoft customers at http://www.my-etrust.com/microsoft/ . Others?
     
  7. WhereTheBeef

    WhereTheBeef Guest

    #Regarding SD "calling home": I read somewhere in another forum that SD does this to check that your registration is legit.#




    What registration? These are freeware, un-registered versions ! There is no auto-updare feature either.
    Soon as it was obvious the this program was trying to access the internet without permission it was removed from my computer. Several registry entries remain after removal that had to be manually removed.
    There are other programs that try this call-home bull. Just not on my computer. Just purchased and return a very nice photo program purchased at $40, it did just what spydoctor does, an was returned for a refund today after one hell of an argument with the store manager.
    Software is not suppose to call-home without the User's constant an if it does thats Trojanware imo. There is no excuse. Its why we install firewalls and detection programs.
     
  8. skylights

    skylights Guest

    A couple other minor things if you want to install and use both of these versions. To make the resident version (not the scan/clean version) always run on startup, you'll have to go to the Spyware Doctor console, Settings -> Startup Settings -> and uncheck Run at Windows Startup. (You can do this in either version and it will affect both versions.) The reason: when you run the scanning and cleaning version with the box checked, upon exit it will automatically set that version, and not the resident version, to run on startup.

    Next, put a shortcut to the resident version in the Startup group in the Start menu. If you want the program to start minimized to the system tray, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties. In the Target field add a space and "/Q" at the end of the program path. So, if for example you installed this version in the folder "Spyware Doctor," the Target should look like this:

    "C:\Program Files\Spyware Doctor\swdoctor.exe" /Q

    One other quirk. If you run the scanning and cleaning version, it will turn off the resident protection of the other version. When you restart the resident version (you can't run the two side-by-side), or when you restart your computer after a cleaning, you'll have to manually select Activate OnGuard Protection to get it going again. For this reason, as well as the need to update manually, you may not want the program to start minimized, so that you can do these things upon program start.

    Other than the minor user intervention required, these two together are almost the full pay version, and you don't even need a crack or a serial.
     
  9. pctools

    pctools Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    I am from PC Tools, maker of Spyware Doctor.

    Spyware Doctor attempts to "call home" each time the program is opened, in order to verify the license/registration details as well as any eligible updates.
    The next service pack for Spyware Doctor has the ability to turn off the "call home".

    Should you have any other queries regarding Spyware Doctor, please contact us on this link: http://www.pctools.com/contact/support/guide/spyware-doctor/

    Cheers

    PC Tools
     
  10. sclausen

    sclausen Registered Member

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    Hi all, I was told about this thread from a staff member and wanted to clarify a couple of points.

    1) Phone Home
    First of all I totally agree with you, the "phone home" should be able to be completely disabled, and it's due to the way we upgraded this free version to include updates that it isn't. A little background, originally we offered a free version that didn't include Live Updates, we found that people using the free version were starting to run with old definitions which was impacting effectiveness (not good for either us or the customer) so we decided to also open up the Live Update feature to trial users as well. This introduced a problem because our live updates are authenticated which means we had to come up with a quasi-registered state for the evaluation users. So in effect, even though people are using the free version it does use a generic (anonymous) license code to get live updates.

    The update request at startup is only used to tell the program the license code (in the case of free versions they all use 0-0-0-0) is valid, and whether there are new updates available This is how the "New Live Updates are available" taskbar message is generated. Anyone with a packet sniffer can confirm this, but for full disclosure here is a sample request:

    Code:
    CLIENT -> SERVER
    request=update
    code=0-0-0-0
    version=3.2.1.359
    
    SERVER -> CLIENT
    <xml>
    <subscription>
    <status>valid</status> /* used to say that evaluation code 0-0-0-0 is OK */
    <expires>20091231</expires> /* because the free version is a quasi-registered version it still has an expiry at the end of 2009 */
    </subscription>
    <update>
    <database>
    <item>…</item> /* list of new databases available */
    </database>
    <tools>
    <item>…</item> /* list of new updates (scanners, real-time monitors…) available */
    </tools>
    </update>
    </xml>
    That's it, a bit boring and sorry no secret tracking information! The new version of SD coming out soon will completely disable this if selected by the user.

    2) False Positives
    A few people mentioned false positives, and yes like any anti-spyware/anti-virus program Spyware Doctor does get them occasionally. I would like to say though that both SpywareWarrior.com and SpywareInfo.com reported none in their testing, in fact SpywareInfo commented it was the first time they had _ever_ tested a program that didn’t report any FPs. Please see the full story here: http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/articles/spyware/spywaredoctor.php

    That being said, we hate false positives and jump on them very quickly when they are reported. If you ever find one, we have a submission page available under "Research" on the site that goes directly to our malware research team. The direct URL is: http://www.pctools.com/mrc/submit/

    3) Support
    JRCATES mentioned in one of the posts that support times were lagging and this is something we are aware of and working hard to fix. Support is very important to us, and we prided ourselves in always being the first to respond to queries in our external quality testing. Recently though we have been going through tremendous growth, we have served over 30 million downloads of Spyware Doctor and have many millions of active trial and registered users. Importantly, we also do support our trial users, so even if you haven’t paid and have a problem we’ll do our best to sort it out. This is in stark contrast to some of our competitors and unfortunately does have a flow-on effect to all our support as we get more and more people using the trial version we get more and more inquiries. But we think it’s important to not leave people hanging regardless of whether they have paid us or not. We are rapidly increasing the team, I believe we hired another 10 people this month, so we are doing our best to get on top of this and bring support levels back to where they should be.

    4) MD5 issue peakaboo mentioned
    I’ve got some people looking into this, but as far as we are aware this is not being caused by us and we can not duplicate it. We are thinking it's potentially someone injecting into the binary which will break the checksum for the security certificate. Potentially this could be Kerio doing some additional app-level protection but we need to look into it further to see if we can duplicate.

    5) Finally
    I would like to say how much we appreciate the community and people taking the time to talk about our product and help us improve it. Even if you don’t see us posting we do have people following most of the forums to keep track of issues, and once support eases back a bit, hopefully taking a more active role. We also take it as quite a compliment that people would go so far as to run two copies of SD to get it for free! (Although FYI the full version does get new scanners and monitors that the trial doesn’t, also they get daily DB updates while the free version is delayed a couple of days) ;)

    Thanks to everyone that took the time to comment.

    Best,

    Simon Clausen
    CEO
    PC Tools
     
  11. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I'm glad to hear it, because false positives are really a SERIOUS problem, especially for ignorant users.
    So I appreciate your attitude towards false positives.

    Wise decision !!! Reporting problems isn't a privilege for users, who actually paid for SD.
    You would miss alot of info, when you excluded trial users.
     
  12. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Thanks for your explanation, Simon Clausen ;)

    Like ErikAlbert said, it's very nice to hear all these nice behavior and way of working from the PC Tools team...

    Hope we can see some improves in the SD engine to improve it's speed and reduce the resources usage.

    Regards
     
  13. Beefcarver

    Beefcarver Registered Member

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    michigan
    well Im impressed with this. and with the fact that the CEO of PcTools took the time out of there busy day to comment on these issues. and there honesty to the public of there product and how much there users mean to them and how they are commited to there product and wanting to improve it. way to go PcTools....
     
  14. sclausen

    sclausen Registered Member

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    Sorry for resurrecting this thread but just wanted to provide an update in regards to the resource issue, especially around some of the real-time tools. We have been working hard on getting these resolved and I'm pleased to say when you Live Update this week you will be getting updated real-time tools that remove the CPU spiking issues some people have been experiencing with OnGuard.

    These are currently going through QA and external beta testers and should be released to all customers early this week.

    Best,

    Simon
     
  15. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

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    Thank you for your posts here in Wilders forums regarding this topic, Simon. I think nearly every Spyware Doctor user greatly appreciates the updates and information that you are sharing.

    Which brings me to a topic I have been wondering about for some time now. Why doesn't Spyware Doctor and/or PC Tools have a dedicated forum devoted especially for users to ask questions and inquire about the product or features of the product? When I email tech support about things like false positives, I am at the mercy of tech support to get back to me, generally saying they will look into it, but with no definitive answer or result being provided. In a dedicated forum, other users could chime in, providing more details and more examples or potential problems so that Spyware Doctor could address and correct them. But as it is now, there's no where to go other than tech support, and that has been painfully slow in responses here lately, with several issues seemingly going unresolved. I also think that a forum could serve to quiet some of the critics of the product as well, because answers rather than questions would be forthcoming.....

    Just a thought.
     
  16. chaos16

    chaos16 Registered Member

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    i have spyware doctor free version that only scans i can enable the realtime protection if i pay but inot going to so i stay with the scan only.

    i would like to know if i can download the other version of spyware doctor as well that only has realtime protection and if i can wat are they seperate programs? or they will be both put in one?


    and as i use firefox and since yesterday opera well is there realtime protection worth it or all this is overkill?
     
  17. hollywoodpc

    hollywoodpc Registered Member

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    Took time out to come here ? lol . They do not answer emails ! I sent two to sales over a week ago and have gotten nothing . Wrote to tech support a month ago and got nothing . Others have complained about this too . Nice to come to a forum but , they have email addys for tech support and sales sooooooo , they ought to put them to use . And , I found the pctools website version does NOT give free immunization and resident protection .
    Something strange somewhere
     
  18. sclausen

    sclausen Registered Member

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    Hello,

    In regards to your question JRCATES we've put it off in the past as we preferred to manage support directly, but I'm going to look into it more and see what we can do about setting up a customer forum as it certainly would have some benefits.

    hollywoodpc, if you can PM your email address I will see what happened to your tickets. In 99% of cases when people don't get a reply it's because the ISP has filtered our reply and you don't receive it. We do not ignore inquiries and it's frustrating for us too when we reply, then receive another question from the same user asking again for a reply. Normally we will try and phone users if emails keep getting filtered but if we had no contact number then we would have had no other method to contact you with.

    Best,

    Simon
     
  19. Bubba

    Bubba Updates Team

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    Well....what better place than here at Wilders to set up that Forum :eek: ;)
     
  20. the_rippah

    the_rippah Guest

    Or maybe the CastleCops forums, they seem to have all kinds of different anti-malware vendors over there like Prevx, WinPatrol, NAV, Ewido, Ad-aware, Spybot, SpySweeper, Trojan Hunter, Proxomitron, etc.....even a forum for MSAS. ;)
     
  21. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Someone knows if a new version of SD will coming soon?

    Thanks
     
  22. Brandon

    Brandon Registered Member

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    Maybe contact there support and ask them?

    Regards,

    Brandon
     
  23. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

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    No "major" changes or new release will be forthcoming anytime soon, from what I have heard. But a few slight improvements and changes should be added here very soon. Spyware Doctor makes many of their changes through updates, so unless it is something major (cosmetic/new or replaced features, etc.), from what I have been told they apparently do not release a "new" version.....
     
  24. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Thanks, JRCATES ;)
     
  25. Beef

    Beef Guest

    To: Simon Clausen
    CEO
    PC Tools




    IMO, you violated the holy grail of computer privacy by having your program Call-home without the knowledge of the computer owner or the permission of the computer owner. This is classic Trojan behavior by a program thats suppose TO PREVENT SUCH BEHAVIOR!

    An you got caught!!

    well, a snake can change its skin.....but its still a snake.

    Its not at all important WHY your program Called-home just the fact that it did so without advising the public and without knowledge of the public is a violation of computer security and privacy. Thats my personal opinion....take it or leave it. But be of the clear understanding that no matter what you say or what you do.....your program began as a Trojan.....an will be consider as such by many.

    Thats all I have to say on this subject.
     
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