Release candidate for Spybot S&D 1.3 available.

I hate spyware. With a passion. Not so much because it’s a problem on my computer, but because the asses that put that shit out there are so unscrupulous about getting people to install it that it’s always all over the PCs of my family members which I inevitably have to remove. On Easter day I spent part of my time at my in-law’s house cleaning up my mother-in-law’s PC of about 8 different spyware packages. Hate stupid spyware. Hate the stupid heads that make it.

Anyway, one of the two tools I primarily rely on to rid PCs of this crap is Spybot Search & Destroy because A) it’s open source free and B) it does a damned good job at what it does. For those of you who are also fans you’ll be happy to hear that the version 1.3 release candidate is now available. You can see a list of changes and get a download link here. Now go smash some spyware.

Found via Neil’s Smaller World when checking out a trackback link.

23 thoughts on “Release candidate for Spybot S&D 1.3 available.

  1. Thanks for the heads-up, but I don’t think Spybot is open source. It’s free, as in free beer, but not free as in freedom.

  2. Say, Les - mind telling us what virus-scan/removal tools you are using? Been shopping around for a good one…

  3. Spybot is good stuff.  It encourages donations, which is always good, too.  It’s a model for syndicalist-corporations.

    But, i recently encountered some hijack stuff that Spybot couldn’t remove (the elements that kept inserting Regedits after cleaning and after re-booting), which was all the result of my boyfriend merely visiting some porn sites (ok, i was on the road!) and subjecting my dev computer to popups ad infinitum.  It took me, mr. decidely non-naive, an hour to rip these alien-esque things from my system folder, etc.  This stuff is definitely getting nastier and stealthier.

    Which makes me ask, who is the porn industry (read: AT&T—yes, you read correctly) employing for their websites?  Answer: some very smart ugly boys.

    Hey, bzw, why don’t your links open in new windows?

    .rob adams

  4. Whoops! Looks like I mis-spoke. I’ll update the article accordingly. Thanks for pointing out my boo-boo Neil.

    Ingolfson, I was a pretty loyal Norton Antivirus user for years mainly because of Norton System Works which allowed me to get Anti-Virus and Norton Utilities in one package, but with the release of the 2004 editions where they’re using product activation to limit installs to a single PC I’ve since abandoned them. Without a volume discount for multiple PCs it would cost me a small fortune to virus protect all my boxes.

    So I started looking at the free alternatives out there and the one that seems like it does the best job of offering everything Norton and McAfee do and is updated regularly is Alwil’s Avast and they offer a free license for home users.

    Another free alternative is AVG Anti-Virus, but their automatic updates only occur at a scheduled time. Which is fine if you have broadband and leave your PC on all the time, but folks like my mother-in-law still have dialup and don’t leave their PC on all the time so it wasn’t updating the dat files like one would hope. Avast will detect dialup connections and attempt to update in the background if needed whenever a connection is established.

    Those are the two free ones I’ve had the most experience with and they both seem to work pretty well.

  5. Double dipping to reply to Rob:

    There’s a lot of debate out there on whether or not well-behaved websites should open links in new windows or the same window. At one time I used to program all my links to open in new windows, but the trend seems to be not to do it that way. I’ve considered adding a checkbox someplace that, if selected, would open all links in new windows, but that would affect internal links as well as external and I’ve been too lazy to figure out a way around that yet.

  6. I love techno-philosophical discsussions like “To open in new window, or not?”  This is the type of stuff the drives development teams into endless discussion loops for weeks.  Yeah, it’s clearly a matter of personal taste (for the website’s operator i think) on this ground:  do i want my user to stay or be encouraged/prodded to move on?

    But, for or me, a user i got thisaview:  I often read an article that, say, has a few links to external sites.  Your site’s entries do this a lot, for example.  So, as i read in my sesame-street-educated ADD-way (i always helped all my neighbors, 360 degrees around, finish their keep-in-the-lines work in kindergaarten like all good nascent communists) i like to go investigate the link, then return back to said article and continue to read further and click on more links.  So, when my clicking a link suddenly sends my lone browser window along its merry way, i sometimes forget to come back—or worse—return over and over (“Hmm, did i really read all the new stuff on that site?  I must have missed something.  Lemme check again.  [5 minutes later] Hmm?  Did i really read all the new stuff…)  In this way i’ve probably added 7 times my normal weight to various websites’ visitorlogs.

    Anonymous website owner:
    “Oh boy, this dude is either stalking my site, has no idea other sites exist, or has no short-term memory.”

    .rob adams

  7. Rob i’d just like to thank you for taking away my spot at the top of the “stupid Evil Comments” list… I was there for a whole 12 minutes.  and by way of a quote of sorts… In THIS way i

  8. I can understand where you’re coming from, Rob. And I’m a similar mindset myself which is why I love the Firefox browser as I can set it to open new links in separate tabs if I want.

    Philosophically, I have no problems adding the target option into my links so stuff opens in a new window if enough folks want it that way. As I said, quite a bit of my older posts were done that way. I only stopped out of a sense of being a good blog neighbor.

  9. I’ve gotten into the right-click open in new tab/window habit, but sometimes I do prefer to just keep going in the same window, especially when going through a purchase checkout. 

    I use Spybot, even sent the dude $20.  I’ve seen some comments on geek.com saying they use both Spybot and Adaware, b/c each picked up something the other missed.  Anyone here run both?  I was thinking about d/l’ing Adaware and trying it.

    My standard when I setup a system is Norton A/V, Spybot S&D, and ZoneAlarm.

  10. I use NAV, Spybot and AdAware on my own box and have added ZoneAlarm and HijackThis to my hubby’s because he’s a retard and I got tired of having to remove everything mucking up his system. :lmao:  I keep telling him to quit surfing “free” porn sites (I’m in the adult web industry for fuck’s sake, I KNOW there’s no such thing as REALLY free!), and if he insists on continuing to pay closer attention to what he clicks on, but it’s apparently beyond his capability.  At least once a month he comes to me in a panic because an “error message” popped up saying he’s infected with something.  Without fail, it’s an AD.  Gawd give me strength!

    How hilarious is it that our 12 year old is more computer-savvy than her old man? :lmao:

  11. Ragman, I mentioned in my entry that Spybot S&D is one of two programs I rely on and the other unmentioned was is, indeed, Ad-Aware 6.0. Between the two I can scape a good 97% of this crap off of any system I come across.

    When I come across something particularly stubborn like Rob mentioned earlier I’ll turn to a few more hardcore tools such as HijackThis that OB mentioned and CWShredder.

    One of the best places to learn more about this stuff is over at Broadband Reports.com in their Security forum. Also check their FAQ for greater detail on how to cure those stubborn programs.

  12. When cruising around (I haven’t surfed in years) I just keep my right thumb on the command (Mac) key in Safari to open links in a new tab. If you don’t use a Mac, it’s the key next to the space bar. I believe Firefox uses the same key on the Mac, or not.

  13. I’ve been using Spybot Search & Destroy for many months - Love it! And hate too that it’s getting to the point where you can’t even enter certain benign sites without first agreeing to install their version of a spyware tool. I guess that makes them somewhat less than benign after all.

  14. Well, I’m a bit puzzled. Sure, I get pop-ups all the time, and ‘Click here for eternal happieness while we install something’-boxes when surfing porn all the time (I’m always fearing I might accidentially hit ‘yes’ someday).

    And sometimes me and the ‘exit’-popups runa race to see if I can hit alt-F4 faster than they can load up new windows.

    BUT I never thought I could get ‘anything’ simply from viewing websites. Except cookies. Hhhhmmm.

  15. Make sure you read the SpyBot licencing agreement. Its a hoot! The only licencing agreement where the maker thanks his girlfriend.

    I am using Norton Internet Security. It is quite good. Apart from being a firewall, it blocks pop ups and block non pop up ads too. (so pages load faster) Only ad that gets through are those ads that force you to view the as page before proceeding.

    Although I am not too certain about this, I think if you purchase the ‘pro’ version of Norton you can install it in multiple computers. I recall seeing a software that allows installation on 5 computers but cannot remember it.

    I was wondering is it possible for you to connect to the Net through one computer then ‘farm’ it out to the rest of the computer such that only that one computer needs the firewall and antivirus. All this while still possible to access the net through the other computers but through that one protected machine.

    Another way to know some spyway come into your computer is to have a firewall that controls program access. And before installing anything take a quick look at it so you know if anything is being added without your knowledge.

    Before getting NIS, I had Zonealarm. And I use to kill pop up hell simply by turning on the internet lock which stops all traffic. The worst pop up hell are those ‘cyber-squatters.’ Type in any one of their control domains and it becomes impossible to leave. Why? If I wanted to buy a domain I am not going to buy one from a company that makes me angry.

  16. What a coincidence, there is a BBC report on spyware just out.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3633167.stm

    PCs ‘infested’ with spy programs

    The average computer is packed with hidden software that can secretly spy on online habits, a study has found.
    The US net provider EarthLink said it uncovered an average of 28 spyware programs on each PC scanned during the first three months of the year.

    Spyware is a broad term for programs that hide on a person’s computer without their knowledge.

    It has become so pervasive that lawmakers in the US are looking into ways to prevent or regulate it.

    Hidden away

    The Spy Audit by EarthLink reflects the results of scans involving over one million computers between January and March.

    It uncovered more than 29.5 million examples of spyware. These are parasite programs sometimes come attached to software downloaded from the web.

    The details are often included in the license agreement small print that most users click through without reading.

    But sometimes they do not even need your permission to download, but just bury themselves on a hard drive as you browse the net.

    With the exception of pop-up ads or a slower computer, people may not notice anything different when spyware programs are present, say experts.

    Insidious software

    EarthLink said the most common type of spyware it found was adware. These are programs that display ads on an infected computer and also send data about surfing habits.

    But it also found examples of more insidious spyware.

    “While most spyware is adware-related and relatively benign, it’s disturbing that over 300,000 of the more serious system monitors and Trojans were uncovered,” said Matt Cobb of EarthLink.

    “This figure represents how real a threat identity theft or system corruption is for users.”

    System monitors can surreptitiously watch what you do, steal personal information and despatch it across the web, while Trojans can allow malicious hackers to get access to a computer and steal information.

    “By tracking and publicising the growth of spyware, we can better educate consumers of its risks and encourage them to take steps to protect themselves and their families while online,” said Christine Stevenson of Webroot, which conducted the scans.

    People concerned about what might be lurking on their machine can download software such as the popular SpyBot to disinfect their computer.

    ——
    Some other sites mentioned in the report:
    http://www.earthlink.net/spyaudit/press/
    Free Privacy Test
    http://www.webroot.com/
    http://www.spywareinfo.com/

  17. Pop Tarts, yes what you’re asking is possible. Elwed and Daryl Cantrell (who posts on here occasionally) can both give you tips on how to do that. In fact I believe Daryl has his setup exactly as you describe.

  18. OB, why doesn’t he just hit the newsgroups? Usenet pr0n is the best!

    Yeesh, just what I need, something else that’ll inspire a slew of, “So, what do I do now?  What does this mean?  How do I find…?” questions! :lmao:

    Have I mentioned that he’s been online nearly as long as I have?  In the past 10 years I’ve managed to educate myself enough to secure a decent job (if not a career) in IT, while he’s still techno-challenged to the degree that he panics every time he sees an error message or gets caught in a circle-jerk of popups.  Good thing I love the dolt!  Otherwise he’d be in a world of hurt!

  19. “A circle-jerk of popups”! OMG!

    Ok, you get the prize today, OB! Hell, if I have anything to say about it, you’ll get it for the entire week!

    I’ll never be able to suffer a popup the same way again.

    Hey, is that a pop-up, or are you just happy to see me?

  20. :evillaugh:  My pleasure, Brock! :bow:

    BTW, “circle jerk” is actually the accepted nomenclature among adult webmasters for those sites built specifically to put the surfer into a never-ending loop of popups and popunders that are inescapable (or at least were until the advent of popup killer programs) unless you click on the link that’ll take you through to something that’ll make the webmaster money.  I’ve known a few people who made some good dough back in the day with their “CJ” sites.  Bastards!

    The ethical pornographers (like me) are usually easy to spot: They still have their day jobs :lmao:

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