July 11, 2005 7:23 AM PDT

Microsoft denies its antispyware favors Claria

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
Microsoft is moving to quash claims that its antispyware tool is now giving preferential treatment to adware maker Claria.

The beta version of Microsoft AntiSpyware previously recommended that users quarantine several products from Claria, but this changed last week.

According to a statement published by Microsoft, the downgrade in threat level merely represents an effort to be "fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors."

The news comes at a sensitive time, as Microsoft is reportedly in acquisition talks with Claria.

The beta version of Microsoft AntiSpyware previously recommended users quarantine several products from Claria (previously known as Gator), but security researchers discovered earlier this month that Redmond had changed those classifications. Users now receive messages to ignore the products.

"All software is reviewed under the same objective criteria, detection policies and analysis process," Microsoft said. "Absolutely no exceptions were made for Claria.

"Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) continues to notify our users when Claria software is found on a computer, and it offers our users the option to remove the software if they desire...We firmly believe that people should have complete control over what runs on their computers."

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.


Correction: This report mischaracterized the origin of changes in AntiSpyware in relation to quarantining products from Claria. Security researchers discovered earlier this month that Redmond had changed related classifications. Users now receive messages to ignore the products.


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The Protector becomes the Enemy
Simply put, "The Protector becomes the Enemy!"
Posted by tbeckner (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft is going over to the Dark Side...
Well, if Microsoft find value in a company like "Gator", who's sneaky and damaging software I've been removing from poor helpless victims' computers for so long, then I have to feel that Microsoft's value as a major software provider has certainly diminished.

This is a sad turn of events.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Why would you say that?
MS is treating Claria in exactly the same way other AntiSpyware vendors are, if you look at their rating for the product. The change in the rating hasn't occurred in the last few weeks as some report, it has been there for months, it's just that no one cared to notice. And no one complained about that rating until the gossip about MS acquiring Claria started circulating.
Posted by Hernys (744 comments )
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Story Behind the Story Here
Whether you are a home user or managing a huge organization's network, you are at some point forced to make a decision: do you trust your ISP to also supply your anti-spyware, or do you install the best anti-spyware available on the market?

Frequently, there is a clash between how your ISP programs its own (or its licensed) anti-spyware for "your benefit" versus how you may chose to program your independant choice of an anti-spyware supplier's program for the best protection of your system.

Caveat emptor on two subtle points here - (1) your ISP is frequently not your best friend if you choose to use their own anti-spyware, as it may well be programmed more to manage their network rather than protect your system; (2) like anything else, you get what you pay for and this is particularly true in your selection of an effective anti-spyware vendor.

On a separate note, I'd thought MFST bot Giant to handle their anti-spyware. How many anti-spyware vendors does MSFT need to buy to get it right? Particularly when the firm well knows that many of its MSN clients from home users to large organizations will most probably stick with their independant selection of outside security vendors.

This statement equally applies to the other two major American ISP's. If you're friendly with a master tech at any of them, such IT pro's will be the first to tell you that they would never use their employer's security suite on their home computers for the exact reason mentioned above.
Posted by malabrm1 (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can Microsoft Blow Any More Spoke Up Societie's PC's
I'm speechless right know but not wordless, so listen up.
Actually read up on this review about Smiley's that ties into this
with the spyware Gator. Gator is KNOWN as the WORST PEICE of
SPYWARE EVER INVENTED as quoted by Kevin Rose of G4 Fame.
Spyware the Coundn't Easily Be Removed, Gator Spyware
Removal was buried DEEP in Claria Site.DEEP.
Now read on:

Cons: this software is owned by funwebproducts who
partnerships with MyWay. You have to download, install, and use
the MyWay Toolbar, which is riddled with spyware/adware, it
forces other crapware onto its toolbar that you have to have if
you want to use the smilies, such as, but not limited to, comet
cursor, freescreen savers, and casino games, has bundled
popups from GPC (golden palace casino) and have each one of
these "add ons" forces a registry directory called MSBB. you will
have GAIN, Gator, virtual bouncer, wintools-a and b, just to
name a few, hence you will be spending all of your free time
ridding adware/spyware, browser hijacks all that keep coming
back if you decide to keep this crappy product. even, once
ridded of, the residual cleanup is a pain, envolves disabling
system restore, clearing of all cookies, temp files, histories,
hijackthis for the browser add ons, full scans from spybot,
AdAware and various online scanners, and thats for starters,
editing the registry back to what it was is a pain as it does not
go away softly.....USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. these problems
are not limited to "it happens to some" IT WILL HAPPEN TO ALL
who use it. nothing is free, if you like smilies, google around for
online smiley generators, free of use and most completly
downloadable if you agree to share. why download.com does not
offer these softwares? i really don't know, but if you want cool
personilezed animations and gifs, by way of a complete software
search download.com for ulead, not free, but trialware, but not
expensive either and zero spyware/adware!

The important thing about this post was that it was nothing but
a pain in the but to remove any spyware and Claria owns at least
one piece on the list and I'm sure I could dig up more.

Claria shoudn't be bought by Microsoft, they should be sued by
the WORLD!

Later -Justin
Posted by OneWithTech (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Possible reason
I don't really know why Microsoft would want to buy Claria, but I doubt it's for their software. If you own an OS, do you need technology to install spyware on it? If MS wanted to insert spyware into Windows they would put that into the OS directly. No need to buy spyware.
On the other hand, Claria sells ads, and they have a nice portfolio of customers. Microsoft is looking to expand their ad placement business based on search. Most probably MS is buying claria not for their software but for their customer portfolio.
Posted by Hernys (744 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MS must like being sued
I'll definitly join the class action suit against them if they buy Claria. I've had to remove their software from several systems and it's always been a huge chore only slightly less painful than leaving that garbage running and interfering with your browsing.

The only reason I can see for MS to by that company is to shut it completely down.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Something about software
First, if you expierience software which appears to be "unwanted" go to the Software link inside your system and try to uninstall it. If it just comes back after you have restarted your computer, then it's so called "Spyware" and you need a antispyware program to get rid of the software that's unwanted. If software ends up being known with "Spynet" because it stays on the system after unsuccesfull uninstall, try and run your antispyware program using "Safe mode" when you restart. After the spyware is removed, restore your settings and startup in Normal mode again. This should work to help get rid of those nasty pests.
Posted by wim_thuiswerker (1 comment )
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