What are your thoughts on CounterSpy?

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by dcdc, Jan 6, 2005.

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  1. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    While on the phone with a Dell tech support person, I happened to mention my dissatisfaction with Dell's recommendation of Pest Patrol as antispyware software in that a free scan of my system reported a large number of what were likely false positives (FP). He replied that now Dell is recommending CounterSpy.

    I went to their site, and similarly tried their free scan, which was rather brief, by the way. It found, or allegedly found, 7 items; of these I recognized at least two, clickability.com and passport.com, that Spy Sweeper has regularly trapped via the cookie shield. All 7 items were judged low risk cookies.

    Now I am not averse to buying software that detects items that my other AS have missed, but only if such items are genuine malware, not FP. I ran some scans with my other AS, and nothing came up, so I suspect CounterSpy is showing FP for whatever reason.

    I checked the net a little, and found some typically varied opinions at http://www.download.com/3302-8022_4-10337359.html. Most seemed positive, but some definitely not.

    There is also some info on this forum about how closely associated CounterSpy is with Giant, recently acquired by Microsoft, supposedly as the foundation of a MS antispyware package, as I understand it, and in a Beta version as we speak (or write).

    I already run in addition to the abovementioned Spy Sweeper: Ad-Aware SE, spybot, SpywareGuard, and SpywareBlaster. I think it is overkill to download every damned AS on the planet, but on the other hand I want to be reasonably protected against malware.

    Does anyone have some experience running CounterSpy on their system, either alone or in conjunction with other AS, along with an evaluation of how well it is ACTUALLY working, i.e., removing genuine spyware, rather than simply detecting and removing false positives? Novices such as myself are likely to be misled by software that is successful in removing what was never there in the first place.

    Just as a closing thought, it will be interesting to see how the upcoming Microsoft security software will affect independent vendors of similar products. I am beginning to wonder whether I should hold off acquiring any additional AS or AV until well after the MIcrosoft rollout, not because I think it will be a superior product (I don't), but just to see who is left standing in the aftermath. Marginally profitable vendors may well go under, leaving users with no tech support or product updates. I expect there will be a shakeout in this market once the 'Giant' moves in.
     
  2. S!x

    S!x Registered Member

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    I use it and have for about 2 months now... it had some false positives early on to be honest, but has cleared up nicely in the last 4 or 5 weeks.

    It is the same scanner as Giant Antispyware was ... actually alot of the intellectual property for the ex-Giant (now Microsofts Antispyware) belongs to Sunbelt Software who owns Counter Spy (such as support for 3rd party plug-ins) ... One of the deals Sunbelt has released since Microsoft bought out Giant is that Microsoft will provide all update signatures until 2008 for Counterspy.

    http://news.com.com/Microsoft buy comes with strings attached/2100-7350_3-5495994.html

    At the time i purchased CS the Giant app was $35.00 to buy and $35.00 a yr for definitions ... CS is $19.98 to buy and only $9.98 a yr for definitions.
    Giant was supplying the definitions to Sunbelt for CS ... so why waste your money on Giant was my thought?

    I am unsure how much Microsoft will eventually charge ...

    From Giants website:

    Details of the Microsoft solution beyond the planned beta, including product plans, pricing, and a timeline for delivery, are not yet available. The anti-spyware technology will complement the enhanced security features available in Windows XP Service Pack 2 to provide a higher level of protection for browsing and other Internet computing

    Here is a link to Sunbelt's CS ... It still has the 19.95 to buy and 9.98 a yr if anyone is interested ... i don't think it will be that cheap forever. :D

    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=410

    Just as a side note ... download.com isn't a very reputable place to get a good review. Competitors as well as spyware creators troll those forums and deliberately give programs bad reviews ... trust a reputable spyware site or your own experiences with a product.

    Spyware scanner comparison chart:
    http://spywarewarrior.com/asw-features.htm
    (only lists recommended products)

    The last time i looked at Download.com (a few yrs ago) at the Bonzi Buddy reviews (funny stuff to read) he was holding at about 80% in favor of it being a good app ... and its a spyware program that everyone i have ever known despises.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005
  3. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Location:
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    Hi S!x,

    Thanks for the info on both CounterSpy and Download.com. I had the impression that the latter was reputable, if only because no one had told me otherwise. It's pathetic that people would intentionally malign a product for their own advantage like that, but that's human nature for you.

    I am still troubled by the number of suspected false positives it gave me on the quick scan though. I did not attempt to remove them; who knows what might happen. Probably they are not deliberately planted FP, but I hear there are some worthless AS applications out there that do just that.

    Funny that you mention Bonzi Buddy. That came up as a false positive on a free scan on some AS site I tried a while ago.
     
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