Having a weather servcie software safe?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by notageek, Apr 3, 2003.

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  1. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Does anyone know if that having a weather service software like weather watcher safe? Is it safe for it to auto update the weather?
     
  2. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I guess it would depend upon the specific application. While I don't use one, recently I was cleaning up a person's PC and noticed they had one running (WeatherCast, I think). I didn't think it was too bad having a weather icon in the systray, (it showed the current temp all the time, and a click on it would call up the full weather report, among other features). But, it also installed some spyware on their system.

    It was all the WhenU.com (Save, SaveNow) stuff. Spybot S&D removed all the spyware. (I ended up deleting the software since it turned out they didn't actually want it installed. It came via some download they say they didn't ask for.)

    Perhaps you just need to research the specific product in a few different forums. Check it post install with Spybot S&D and Ad-aware, as well as whatever other malware scanning tools you use, of course. Also, check it periodically until you're sure it isn't doing anything strange. SpywareInfo might be a good site for researching a specific product in terms of spyware components.

    For myself, I don't know about "weather watcher".
     
  3. root

    root Registered Member

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    I paid for WeatherBug to get away from the advertising, and Spybot still found two entries for minibug, whatever that is.
    I haven't been very impressed with it and would not recommend it to anyone.
    If you find a good weather program, let me know. ;)
     
  4. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    I installed Weather Watcher and ran Sybot S&D and ran Adaware6. Neither program found anything. I also ran a trojan check and a virus scan before I installed the program. I hope this will be enough. If anyone finds that I should run something else to check it let me know. :)
     
  5. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Hi.

    I haven't downloaded any weather programs,but I google searched and webattack.com has Weather Watcher and Weather Pulse.

    The website for Weather Watcher doesn't have a privacy policy.So,I don't know if they are safe or not.

    The website for Weather Pulse claims that they don't have adware or spyware.FWIW.
    This program does look similar to Weather Watcher.
    I'll download and install it just for curiosity's sake ;)

    http://www.tropicdesigns.net/weatherpulse.html.
     
  6. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    LOL Tester we did the same thing. I went to Webattack and looked for Weather Watchers home page to see if they had a privacy policy but no go. So now I'm going to unistall it. Let know what you think of Weather Pulse. Thanks for the Insight.
     
  7. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Hi Notageek.

    Weather Pulse seems to be clean as they said on the homepage.
    I scanned with Spybot and Spyware Eliminator and didn't find anything relating to Weather Pulse.
    I have to give internet access with my firewall for weather updates.That's it so far.

    One question for you...
    How are the graphics in Weather Watcher?
    The Temperature digits in the tray icon and the city names on the map in Weather Pulse aren't bad,but they aren't really clear.
     
  8. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    The graphics for weather Watcher is plain. There is the weather number that sits in the system tray. It also tells you the name of the city and if it's cloudy if you put your pointer over the little number icon in the system tray.

    I just installed Weather Pulse and find it odd that Sygate don't have to give it rights at all.
     
  9. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Re:Having a weather service software safe?

    I like and use Weather Watcher after discovering WeatherBug is full of spy and ad ware........ Singer's Creations is constantly updating the software and it is continually doing better. I have monitored Weather Watcher and find it accesses the following two sites: 1) Singer's Creations to check for updates if you want it to, and 2) www.weather.com where it retrieves the weather and forecasts.

    The only question that I have as far as security is that www.weather.com and weather.com is in Smartins Hosts file and HPGuru's Hosts File, so what does www.weather.com and/or weather.com do on their site that causes them to be included in these Hosts files?

    Regards,
    Kent
     
  10. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I checked my Hosts file (a mix of SMartin, hpguru's and more) and then to be sure, I downloaded a fresh copy of SMartin's file. The only entries with the word "weather" in these files are:

    127.0.0.1   ads.weather.ca
    127.0.0.1   ads.weather.com
    127.0.0.1   ads.weatherbug.com

    So only the ads level is targeted at weather.com, which I think is self explanatory.

    Edit: Actually, I just found an old original copy of hpguru's Hosts file and it did contain those two sites...

    127.0.0.1   weather.com
    127.0.0.1   www.weather.com

    Odd that when I merged it, those were dropped out. I guess he'll need to be contacted to find out why he had those in there...


    Now somewhat confused, ;)
    LowWaterMark
     
  11. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Thanks LWM ;) !

    Regards,
    Kent
     
  12. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Ah, not so quick. See edits above!! ;)
     
  13. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Re:Having a weather service software safe?

    LWM,

    :D .... Before I saw your edits, I went and DL'ed a copy of HPGuru's Host file and checked it and found those same two entries. Guess I will go to the Proxomitron Board and post the question to HPGuru.

    Sorry about the above post.... Seems we both were going down the same path :D !!!

    Regards,
    Kent
     
  14. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    I would like to state that Weather Pulse tries to connect to the internet when you're not logged on. (dial up) It called up my ISP and started to dial without me giving it an OK to do so.
     
  15. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Hi Notageek.

    I use Kerio.I haven't found anything in my firewall logs yet.TDS-3 scan didn't find anything either.

    I noticed that the default settings for Weather Pulse had it updating the weather every 5 minutes!That's way too frequent IMO.I set it for 2 hours update.
    I did work out the graphics problem.(well,sort of)After a reboot the tray icon digits are clear.I used the font change feature.
    The city names on the weather map are still blurry and I have fiddled with that size image box.I'm not overly impressed.

    Weather Watcher sounds like it may be better.
    Regarding Weather Pulse trying to call out,that's not good at all!I think that I'll try Weather Watcher.
    I'm surprised that there aren't more programs easily found.
     
  16. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Hi Tester, thanks for the info. I have a problem with the fonts also. Weather watcher has a feature in settings that lets you check for updates only if your connected to the internet. So if I start it without being coinnected it don't dial anything. I searched my log file in sygate and didn't find Weather Pulse calling anythere.
     
  17. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Hi Notageek.

    I installed Weather Watcher.
    I see the setting that you mentioned.(check for updates only when connected to internet)
    I haven't been able to get the radar or satellite maps to work yet(North America in the globe tab).
    I haven't given permission with the firewall.
    I think that WW is spyware/adware free.I can't find anything suspicious.
    Like Weather Pulse, there is a link to weather.com.
    I haven't tried using that.

    I'll mess with it and see if I get the radar/satellite pages to load.I wonder if there is local radar pages available?
    That's the only thing that Weather Pulse has that I haven't found in Weather Watcher yet.
     
  18. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Hi Tester, I don't recall it having a local radar.
     
  19. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Re:Having a weather service software safe?

    Hello all,

    Here is the response I have so far from HPGuru:

    "Thanks puff, I'll check it out. My guess is it is because of Weather Watcher. If it isn't spy-ware I'll remove the entries, otherwise they will stay.

    As best as I can tell Weather Watcher isn't spy-ware but I keep thinking there was another reason I added them. Could have been a report to the effect they are spamming or sharing user data, either of which would get them banned. Give me some time to think about it."

    I will let you know his response after he has "thought about it" :D .

    Regards,
    Kent
     
  20. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Thanks Kent!!

    It'll be interesting to see if he thinks there is a valid reason to block those since neither Steve Martin or Eric Howes seems to think so. (Not in there block lists.)
     
  21. hpguru

    hpguru Privacy Expert

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    Hi folks!

    The weather.com issue has been brought to my attention and so the two non-adserver weather.com entries will be omitted in the next update. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    BTW if anyone else finds a host blocked in my hosts file that should not be then please let me know at Arne's Proxomitron board in this thread.

    http://asp.flaaten.dk/proxo/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=104

    You will have to register to post. My hosts file currently contains 14513 entries and that's a lot for one person to keep track of so I need the help of others to keep innocent hosts out.


    hp
     
  22. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    thanks hpguru and welcome to wilders security forums!!

    and thanks for your hosts file. (i got my first ever hosts file from hpguru when he was discussing their uses over at dslr's security forum, well, a while ago now.) :cool:
     
  23. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Re:Having a weather service software safe?

    hpguru,

    I was just on my way here to report your reply at Arne's Proxomitron Board and see you beat me here ;) ......

    Thanks so much for your Hosts File as I use a combination of yours and SMartin's. You have an excellent Hosts file and I, for one, definitely appreciate all of your hard work. This is the first time I have ever had a question concerning your Hosts, but if I ever do again, I will definitely let you know :D .

    And by the way, WELCOME to Wilders :cool: !!!

    Regards,
    Kent
     
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