Spyware software - which one do you trust?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by Simon6776, Oct 15, 2006.

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  1. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    I have been using Kaspersky Internet Security for several months now, and also have Spyware Blaster installed as a back up, to prevent spyware being installed. Yesterday, I was asked to test XoftSpy, and was horrified to find it throw up no less then 110 instances of spyware in my registry. Of course, to remove these requires payment of a fee, so I thought I would see what some other spyware programs brought up. I tried Ad Aware, Spybot, AVG (Ewido) and also did a scan with Kaspersky, some of which picked out the odd cookie, but nothing on the scale of XoftSpy. I am now in a dilemma - do I believe what XoftSpy is telling me, and purchase it to remove the items, or is this a marketing ploy to make you buy the product?

    There are loads of spyware / malware scanners on the market, and they all seem to find different things that others don't. Surely, spyware is spyware? If there is a genuine tracking cookie or a keylogger on a machine, surely, all the spyware scanners should find it? How can we trust these applications to keep us safe, when they all seem to produce conflicting scan results? Is there one anti-spyware program which is actually accurate, and reports real genuine threats, 100% of the time, rather than worrying users with false positives, or trying to scare people into purchasing the product?

    I would happily purchase a product, if I thought it would offer me genuine full spyware protection, but to buy something, then find another product finds different things, doesn't instil confidence in the anti-spyware market as a whole. It's not surprising that people find ways round paying for several different products, if no individual anti-spyware application can be trusted.
     
  2. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    Not sure how much attention you should apy to what XoftSpy reveals. It is not what you would call'mainstream' and I believe that it has had a shady past. Having said that I would download and use either of the following (or both as I do) for on demand scanning for malware, ie, as a back up for KIS.

    SuperAntiSpyware: http://www.superantispyware.com/
    Spyware Terminator: http://www.spywareterminator.com/

    Thefirst is a paid application, with a slightly less functional free version. The second is free. Both have excellent detection rates and run light re. system resource.

    To be fair Spyware Terminator comes with a shady past but, having said that, the developes have recognised that, explained it and their change of direction.

    Both are highly rated in the forums...and as I said I have run both for a while and am impressed/will continue to use them as a back up to KIS.

    Hope that helps?:D
     
  3. john2g

    john2g Registered Member

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    I believe that BOClean will fit your bill. It detects trojans, worms, bots, hijackers, downloaders, spam proxies, rootkits, ad ware, spyware, keyloggers, "dialers" and other malware without the unnecessary inclusion of detecting those well known malware infectants (cookies). Coupled with a good AV, you are nearly fireproof :)
     
  4. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    Thanks for those recommendations, I am trying SuperAntiSpyware now, but I have to say it seems rather slow.

    BOClean also sounds promising, but don't they all? :) Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a trial version. :(
     
  5. Baldrick

    Baldrick Registered Member

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    I think that you should try Spyware Terminator, if you have not already. You will find it much quicker. Having said that SuperAntiSpyware 3.3 is at the pre-release stage (should be released very soon) and that promises an improvement of up to 40% in scanning speeds...so it may be worth waiting before you spend money on BOClean.:D
     
  6. john2g

    john2g Registered Member

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    If you don't like the program, you can get your money back with no questions asked.
     
  7. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    I had XoftSpy some years back and it is best to avoid it based on that experience. It gave false positives and trys to SCARE people into buying it in order to remove them! Unethical behaviour at a minimum.

    Here is a reference for you to check out reliable products and unreliable products. Remember that NO single product detects all spyware nor removes it. You need to use more that 1 and these of course overlap the coverage.

    I use Spy Sweeper active and and Adware SE, Systems Mechanic and ZA Pro had tools come with so I use those from time to time but not active.
    Spybot S and D monthly and Spyblaster.





    http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm#products
     
  8. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    two antispyware apps i trust are ewido and superantispyware.

    theres others i trust (but dont rele use) like spy sweeper and counterspy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2006
  9. muf

    muf Registered Member

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    I trust...(and in no particular order)
    SpySweeper
    Superantispyware
    SpywareBlaster
    Counterspy
    AVG Anti-Spyware
    Spybot


    When I say I trust them, I mean I trust their application, their integrity and honesty. I don't go outside this list currently. I use three of these(the first three in the list) but I wouldn't have any major hangups with using any of the others. I just choose not to. You have to draw the line somewhere!

    muf
     
  10. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    This is precisely my point! We don't have to install half a dozen firewalls or anti-virus applications on one machine (in fact, you can't), so why do we have to do so to get decent spyware protection? Can someone explain why one application shouldn't detect everything?
     
  11. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Because if there is AV, AS, AT, you have to pay 40$ per each, that is 120$.
    But would you be willing to pay for one aplication 120$ per year, I guess not.
    So it is quite simple, the more software they offer, the more money they will get.

    By the way, there is an aplication called MWAV, which detects everything, costs 99$.
    MWAV uses KAV engine a signatures = KAV detects almost everything, KIS costs 60$.
     
  12. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Sorry to disagree but since we last posted someone somewhere created
    Another virus/trojan/spy call it what you will.

    NO SINGLE PRODUCT DETECTS EVERYTHING!!!!! IT GIVES A FALSE SENSE OF SAFETY TO SAY SO. WORDS MATTER!

    NO SINGLE TOOL SET DETECTS EVERYTHING!!!! YOU COULD HAVE ALL TOOLS AND STILL ONE WOULD SLIP THROUGH. Mind you no one would have all tools deployed since all your computer would do is crash!!!

    Estimates vary but all tests are done against known malware, as we speak here someone has created another one that no tool detects.

    Get an active tool with good heuristics.

    :D
     
  13. muf

    muf Registered Member

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    Because it's all down to the vendors getting hold of samples of the malware. When something new hits the net then once someone realises they are infected they send copies of the malware to a vendor. Which vendor? That is precisely the problem. Lets say they send it to Vendor X. Ok if you are using vendor X's application then you'll be fine. But what if you are not? Well you have to hope that your vendor also has a copy of this malware. And that's the biggest problem. Vendors don't do that much sharing. Why would you? Would you really want to send a copy of some new malware you just detected out to your rivals? Nah. They may do, eventually. Or a copy of the malware will eventually reach the other vendors. But when? How long? This is the reason you should run more than one. Because one may detect something another doesn't, and vice versa.

    muf
     
  14. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    XoftSpy? I'd be suspicious of that program finding 110 instances of spyware in your registry.Sounds to me like the tactic a lot of shady antispyware apps use to induce a user to lay out some $.
    I'd lose no sleep over what it found.

    BOClean is a sound investment.

    A/S programs that I trust:
    AVG A/S.
    A-Squared.
    SUPERAntispyware.
    CounterSpy.
    Spyware Blaster.
     
  15. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    Good point, but there are plenty of free alternatives to the paid for programs, and also, you mentioned about paying $120 for combined AV, AS, AT - but isn't that what Security Suites by the likes of Kaspersky, F-Secure, Norton, and McAfee offer? Most of these retail at around £40 (approx $70).

    OK, understood, but doesn't that scenario also apply to the stand alone anti-virus vendors? As I already said, you can't run multiples of those on one machine, so are we saying that these are just as fallible?
     
  16. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    Thanks, I suspected as much, which is why I haven't paid for it. ;)
     
  17. muf

    muf Registered Member

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    Yes, it sure does! That is why most people use two AV's. One is for realtime and on-demand scans. The other is for on-demand scans only. I use KAV6 in realtime and NOD32 on-demand only for a second opinion. You will find that most security conscious people on here run two AV's.

    muf
     
  18. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    That's interesting. Whenever I have tried to install a new AV, they have usually demanded that all traces of previously installed AVs are removed. Hell, F-Secure wouldn't even let me have another spyware scanner on board! Which is why it bit the dust, in favour of KIS.
     
  19. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Only certain av programs do that.And even then you can get around that in some cases by order of installation.
    If program A notices program B is already installed.Uninstall B then install again after A is installed.;)
     
  20. gates

    gates Registered Member

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    I put all my trust to BOClean and SAS when I want to be safe. These two and my av makes me feel safe.
     
  21. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    From the apps i've used i've come to trust spysweeper, TM antispyware, avg antispyware, ad-aware and spybot.
     
  22. Ngwana

    Ngwana Registered Member

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    1. Trusting a product is one thing, but knowing how to safely and optimally configure it for one's specific system and user habits is another.

    2. There is no need for all the Anti-spyware products to find the same 'spyware' in exactly the same places in different computers. A poor analogy is that not all breast cancer sufferers has the cancer in the exact same position. Hopefully the AS apps are not looking for position, but a 'spy trace/signature' they can 'see'.

    3. 100% spyware detection all the time and never a false positive? The future of computing is promising and better AS apps will be written with better detection but there is learning involved. The 'enemy' keeps changing tactics too but we will see. :D
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I wouldn't trust XoftSpy, which is an ex-rogue Anti-Spyware.
    Even when it was delisted, I was still forced to buy it to remove the reported malwares, which is typical for rogue softwares.
    One of the reported malwares was a legitimate Windows object, which would have removed the Language Icon in my system tray. So it was a false positive.
    An Anti-Spyware scanner that removes a Windows object is too much for me and that means clearly for me that XoftSpy wasn't even tested. Also my patience has limits. :)
     
  24. Simon6776

    Simon6776 Registered Member

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    I now have Spyware Blaster, CounterSpy and AVG AntiSpyware running, but I feel this is slightly going into the realms of overkill, and it has significantly slowed down boot up time on my machine. I have disabled the 'on access' scanner in AVG, as this made file access like wading through treacle, so I am just trusting KIS for 'on access' scanning. I like the right click (in Explorer) function of AVG, to scan individually targeted files, and I also like the right click file shredder in CounterSpy, but this doesn't have the right click scan option. CS found more items than AVG did, and seemed to perform a complete system scan quicker, at 45 minutes, with AVG taking around 70 minutes. I have always used Spyware Blaster, so I will have to decide which one of the other two to keep, before the trial periods expire. Preferences, anyone? I also have SuperAS still installed, for occasional scans, along with SpybotS&D, and have removed XoftSpy completely. I think I probably have fully comprehensive cover now!
     
  25. Perman

    Perman Registered Member

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    Hi,folks: I used to ask this same question over and over again. Never got a clear answer. Therefore, I installed a good bunch of AS apps from grade AAA to BBB. It became my daily routine to be a ghostbuster, hoping to catch as many evils as possible. Then another question arose, what would I do with these conflicting findings;some detected A, while the other spotted B and C. Googled them or clicked onto spywareguide.com not always that lucky. So I worried, thinking what these malwares might do to my machine. Now I am a changing person in term of being a pc user. I adopted a controversial/untranditional approach; installed DeepFreeze Standard, reputable FW, excellent AV and C.I.P.S.(such as prevx1 or cyberhawk). The clear result: able to spend more and more time online doing things and less and less downtime on ghostbusting malwares (because there is NONE to catch). Just for you to entertain a bit. :)
     
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