3/22/2006

StopBadware First Report - Kazaa Is The Worst Badware

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 10:05 am

The StopBadware.org coalition, funded by Google Sun Microsystems and Lenovo has listed the Kazaa file-sharing application at the top of a list of noxious software programs that present a threat to business and consumer users.

The coalition recommends in its Badware Report that users stay away from Kazaa and three other programs that can be combined with Trojans and bots for use in data theft attacks.

StopBadware.org finds that Kazaa is badware because it misleadingly advertises itself as spywarefree, does not completely remove all components during the uninstall process, interferes with computer use, and makes undisclosed modifications to other software.

The Kazaa analysis:

  • Claims 鈥渘o spyware,鈥? but bundled software is considered spyware - Sharman Networks claims that Kazaa has 鈥淣O SPYWARE,鈥? based on a highly restricted definition of spyware (namely, that no personally identifiable information is sent by the program). However, Kazaa鈥檚 installation includes several bundled programs that are considered spyware under the common definition of spyware as software that subverts the computer鈥檚 operation for the benefit of a third party (see Anti-Spyware Coalition and Wikipedia鈥檚 article on 鈥淪pyware鈥?).
  • Bundled application cannot be closed
  • Fails to uninstall executables and system components - The uninstallation process does not eliminate all components related to Kazaa and its bundled programs. Executables and system components still remain, including the Kazaa Plus Installer.
  • Adds links to Windows Desktop - Kazaa and its bundled applications add two new links to the Windows Desktop: 鈥淵our Free Casino Chips!鈥? and 鈥淧lay Poker Now!鈥?The addition of these links is not disclosed to the user during the installation process.
  • Changes default 404 and DNS error pages in Internet Explorer - InstaFinder, one of the applications bundled with Kazaa, changes the default 404 page and DNS error pages in Internet Explorer. This modification is not disclosed to the user during the installation process.
  • Installs adware - Kazaa requires the installation of various adware programs, including TopSearch, AltNet Peer Points Manager, Cydoor, and The Best Offers.
  • Installs file-sharing anti-virus software - Kazaa requires the installation of file-sharing anti-virus software (BullGuard P2P).
  • Installs programs that modify Internet Explorer - Kazaa requires the installation of programs that modify Internet Explorer, including AltNet鈥檚 Need2Find Bar, InstaFinder, and RXToolbar. These programs add several new toolbars to Internet Explorer.


The other worst Badware found in this report(listed in order of “badness” ) are:

  • MediaPipe - MediaPipe identifies itself in its license as 鈥淢ediaPipe鈥?; it identifies itself in the main window and uninstall window of the application only as 鈥淒ownload Manager.鈥? It is advertised on Movieland.com as the 鈥淢ovieland Download Manager,鈥? and an apparently similar application is advertised on moviepass.tv.
    MediaPipe is badware because it does not fully disclose what it is installing, does not completely remove all components and 鈥渙bligations鈥? during the uninstall process, and modifies other software without disclosure.
  • SpyAxe (SpySheriff) - SpyAxe鈥檚 full name is 鈥淪pyAxe.鈥? It claims to be 鈥渢he latest and one of the most
    technologically advanced applications on the Internet for detection and removal of potentially undesired items.鈥?
    SpyAxe is badware because it fails to uninstall completely, is difficult to exit without purchasing the full version of the product, and because it interferes with computer use and modifies other software without disclosure.
  • Waterfalls 3 - Waterfalls 3 calls itself 鈥淟iving Waterfalls 3 Screen Saver.鈥? It advertises itself as 3D screen saver.
    Waterfalls 3 from Screensaver.com is badware because it includes components that are generally considered spyware, is bundled with a Trojan horse-like program, and modifies other software without disclosure.

 

One Response to “StopBadware First Report - Kazaa Is The Worst Badware”

  1. john phillips Says:

    This hacked in under a barrage of popups that overwhelmed my pc and before I could unplug . This site is trying to extort money from me , and will not let me remove thier crap. I cannot understand why the authorities are allowing this crimminal enterprize to continue to operate on the web. I have never ordered anything over the net or purchased anything and I sure do not watch movies or anything on my pc. I never signed up or ran thier program in to my pc, I saw an automatice down load start and tried to cancel or stop it to no avail. This site is a menace and should be stopped!

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