The Spyware Warrior List of  

Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites

Last Updated: May 4, 2007

About This Page - Please Read:

Those who have followed the development of this page since 2004 will have noted that the list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products has not been updated since May 2007. Unfortunately, other time commitments have precluded our efforts to keep that list up to date. Since the last update dozens of "new" rogue anti-spyware programs have hit the 'Net. The vast majority of them, however, are not really new, but are simply re-branded clones and knockoffs of the same rogue applications that have been around from years. In most cases, they are being pushed through the same deceptive practices by the same parties responsible for earlier versions. See in particular these "families" of anti-spyware products, which continue to live on through shameless re-branding: 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, & 23

If you are looking for information on the most recent rogue anti-spyware applications, we recomend visiting these sites:

On this page...

These pages are maintained by:

Forums: http://www.spywarewarrior.com/index.php

Blog: http://www.netrn.net/spywareblog/

 

"Rogue/Suspect" means that these products are of unknown, questionable, or dubious value as anti-spyware protection. 

Some of the products listed on this page simply do not provide proven, reliable anti-spyware protection or may be prone to ridiculous false positives. Others may use unfair, deceptive, high pressure sales tactics to scare up sales from gullible, confused users. A very few of these products are either associated with known distributors of spyware/adware or have been known to install spyware/adware themselves. Not all products exhibit the same problems, however. Please see this "note to readers" for more information.

Users are advised to rely on the short list of Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products with deserved reputations for quality performance.

Criteria & Testing

Criteria that we use to classify anti-spyware programs as "rogue / suspect" are discussed below in the Listing Criteria section.

Testing was performed with most of the apps listed below, though not all of them. The notes section below contains definitions and descriptions of some of the key terms used in the comments for the applications listed. Be sure to consult the Anti-Spyware Family Resemblances and Orphans & Outcasts companion pages for more information on the applications listed.

De-Listed Applications

Some applications that were originally included in this list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware programs have been de-listed after the vendors for those programs took steps to correct the problems identified on this page. For each program that has been de-listed there is a note explaining the circumstances at the bottom of the main "rogue/suspect" list. For more information on the process of de-listing application, see THIS discussion below.

Note: before contacting us about programs not included on the main list below, please check the list of lesser-known anti-spyware applications that we have tested as well as the list of legitimate, licensed clones of other anti-spyware programs.

More Information

For additional information on "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products, see the More Information section towards the bottom of the page. Suzi has put together a "Top 10 Rogue Anti-Spyware" list HERE.

For reports on more extensive testing with a select group of anti-spyware utilities, see HERE. A short list of anti-spyware applications that are recommended as useful and trustworthy can be found on the list of Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products below. An extended list of quality anti-spyware products is HERE.

If your PC is already infested with spyware or adware, see the instructions below for getting help

 
Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products
 
What follows is the main list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware applications, none of which can be recommended for anti-spyware protection. Be sure to consult the notes section at the bottom of the list for more information about the list and how it is constructed. Some applications with an entry below have been de-listed. Entries for those applications remain to point to explanatory notes below the main list If you don't find an application included on the main list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products below, you might also consult the list of lesser known anti-spyware applications that are not considered "rogue/suspect." And for a short list of reputable, recommended anti-spyware, see the Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products section.

Most recent additions:  AntiVirusPCSuite (5-4-07), ExpertAntivirus (5-4-07), SpyVampire (5-4-07), SpyWare Secure (5-4-07), Malware Stopper (4-22-07), AVSystemCare (4-22-07), Adware Remover (4-11-07), AntiVirus Protector (4-11-07), Antivirus Solution (4-11-07), Spyware IT (4-11-07), SpyLocked (4-11-07), AntiSpyZone (4-11-07), PerfectCleaner (3-7-07),  SpyAway (3-7-07), SpyDawn (3-7-07), SpyCrush (3-7-07), NeoSpace (3-7-07), Copperhead AntiSpyware (3-7-07), AntiVirusAdvance (3-7-07), Ad Armor (1-9-07), Fixer AntiSpy (1-9-07), Spy Analyst (1-9-07), Spy Officer (1-9-07)

Most recent de-listings:  TrueSword (12-26-06), 1-2-3 Spyware Free (12-26-06), Maxion Spy Killer & MaxNetShield (12-26-06)

Most recent re-listings: SpyCleaner (5-12-06)

Please read this note on the Trustsoft AntiSpyware application (8-21-05).

Total applications listed: 349
 

Product Domains Comments
1 Click Spy Clean 1clickspyclean.com
1clicksuite.net
Spybot S&D rip-off (1); dubious corp. associations (1) [A: 8-12-04 / U: 8-12-04]
#1 Spyware Killer 1spywarekiller.com
surfertools.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; dubious corp. associations (1); same app as  Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 10-5-04 / U: 2-7-05]
1stAntiVirus 1stantivirus.com
innovagest2000.com
uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, Winhound Spyware Remover; same app as KillSpy, SpyContra, SpyDeface, Ultimate Defender, & XSRemover [A: 1-14-06 / U: 1-14-06]
2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker adware.storesbiz.com
spy.storebiz4u.com
no trial version locatable; same app as AdDriller, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-23-04 / U: 2-14-05]
about:blank 2005 aboutblankremover.com no trial version available [A: 1-29-05 / U: 1-29-05]
Ad Armor adarmor.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Fixer AntiSpy, Spy Analyst, & Spy Officer [A: 1-9-07 / U: 1-9-07]
AdDriller addriller.com
cdmworldsoftware.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; falsely reports updating ref database; same app as 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 10-10-04 / U: 10-10-04]
Ad-Eliminator ad-eliminator.com
adeliminator.net
spam-driven, aggressive advertising (1, 2, 3); browser hijacking (1); unconscionable license terms (1, 2); Ad-ware knockoff (1); same app as Spy-Control - (Note: other domains associated w/ this app include: 123spywar.com, 1stspywar.com, adekit.com, adware-business.com, adware-gator.com, adwareindanger.com, adwareisgone.com, antiadwareco.com, antiadwarefoundation.com, antispawarechat.com, antispywareco.com, antispywarecoer.com, antispywaredirectx.com, antispawarefree.com, antispywarefreex.com, killadwareco.com, myspyerase.biz, realspyerase.biz, spydestroying.com, spyelimination.com, spywareindanger.com, spywarmegasite.com) [A: 8-1-04 / U: 8-29-04]
AdProtector adprotector.com
protectorsuite.com
redv.net
adware-supported by RedV Network (1, 2); download link broken? no trial version? [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Ads Alert pcprivacysoftware.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses out-of-date reference database w/ no update function [A: 8-10-04 / U: 8-10-04]
ADS Adware Remover adware-remover.net false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; early versions were Ad-aware knockoffs [A: 7-2-04 / U: 11-17-04]
Adware Agent  killersoftware.com no privacy policy (1); uses ActiveX "kill bit" database stolen from SpywareGuide.com (1) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
AdwareBazooka adwarebazooka.com
adware-bazooka.com
uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, CpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 12-21-05 / U: 12-21-05]
Adware Cops adwarecops.com
bulletproofsoft.com
front end for BPS Spyware & Adware Remover [A: 3-26-05 / U: 3-26-05]
AdwareDelete  adwaredelete.com
adware-delete.com
qspyware.com
deceptive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; dubious corp. associations (1); same app as AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 6-14-05 / U: 1-4-06]
AdwareDeluxe adwaredeluxe.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Adware Finder adwarefinder.com
engagemarketing.com
uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme & detections database [A: 7-8-06 / U: 7-8-06]
Adware Hitman adwarehitman.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla,  The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller  [A: 7-20-04 / U: 7-20-04]
AdwareHunter  adwarehunter.com
browser-page.com
report of browser hijack (1); no trial version locatable; dead? [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Adware-Nuker registry-doctor.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate information about app & company; no privacy policy; same app as AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 6-1-05 / U: 6-1-05]
AdwarePatrol  adwarepatrol.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database; no privacy policy; same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-1-05 / U: 3-25-05]
AdwarePro  adwarepro.com no trial version locatable; inadequate information about app & company; same affiliate program as NetSpyProtector (1) [A: 8-31-04 / U: 8-31-04]
AdwarePunisher adwarepunisher.com
adware-punisher.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising; desktop hijacking; uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwareBazooka, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 12-5-05 / U: 2-3-06]
Adware Remover adwareprotectionsite.com
platinumpartner.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as AntiVirus Protector, Antivirus Solution; same company as earlier family of apps [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
AdwareRemover adwareremover.ws
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus - [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
AdwareSafe adwaresafe.com same app as Adware Filter, AdwareX, & SpyAssassin; same company as Adware Filter [A: 9-10-04 / U: 4-22-05]
AdwareSafety adwaresafety.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Adware Sheriff adwaresheriff.com
adwaresheriff.net
sheriffcash.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising; same company as RegFreeze (1) [A: 2-14-06 / U: 2-14-06]
AdwareSpy adwarespy.com
spywarespy.com
false positives work as goad to purchase (1); same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 6-29-04 / U: 7-7-04]
AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal adwarespywareremoval.com false positives work as goad to purchase;earlier versions were same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; earlier versions were Ad-aware knockoffs [A: 7-23-04 / U: 11-17-04]
Adware & Spyware Firewall flyyasoft.com eval. version expires immediately, no trial possible [A: 8-2-05 / U: 8-2-05]
Adware/Spyware Remover adware.storesbiz.com
spy.storebiz4u.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same company as 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker [A: 2-14-05 / U: 2-14-05]
Adware Striker adwarestriker.com
bulletproofsoft.com
front end for BPS Spyware & Adware Remover [A: 3-30-05 / U: 3-30-05]
AdwareTools adwaretools.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
AdwareX adware.com same app as Adware Filter, AdwareSafe, & SpyAssassin [A: 6-30-04 / U: 6-30-04]
AdwareX Eliminator adwarexeliminator.com
athivision.com
false positives work as goad to purchase (1); falsely reports updating ref database; same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-8-04 / U: 8-19-04]
Ad-Where 2005 ad-where.com
privacytools2004.com
adwarespyware.net
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses outdated ref database & falsely reports updating ref database (1, 2); same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield [A: 2-6-05 / U: 2-6-05]
Agent Spyware agentspyware.com uses outdated ref database [A: 11-14-05 / U: 11-14-05]
AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover aguarddog.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate information about app & company; no privacy policy; same app as Adware-Nuker, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 11-6-04 / U: 3-27-05]
AlertSpy alertspy.com
adwaredeluxe.com
adwarexterminator.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database; exploits name "hijack this" (1); exploits name "spybot" (1, 2); same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus; same company as MicroAntivirus - (Note: other domains associated with AlertSpy include: adwaretools.com, nixad.com, spy-bot.com, spy-bot.net, spy-bot.org, spybotsd.com, swipespy.com) [A: 11-10-04 / U: 4-29-05]
AlfaCleaner alfacleaner.com
innovagest2000.com
drive-by-downloads, stealth installs (1, 2); same company as Anti Virus Pro, Winhound Spyware Remover, & XSRemover [A: 1-14-06 / U: 3-1-06]
AntiSpy Advanced antispyadvanced.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database; re-packaged version of  Mandel Enterprise's Spyware Remover  [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
Anti-Spyware Blocker anti-viruses.net
your-soft.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company & app; same company as Anti-Virus&Spyware [A: 2-17-05 / U: 2-17-05]
AntiSpyware Soldier antispywaresoldier.com aggressive, deceptive advertising, stealth installations (1, 2, 3); false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 8-21-06 / U: 8-21-06]
AntiSpyZone  antispyzone.com aggressive, deceptive advertising; stealth installs (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
AntiVermins (AntiVerminser) antivermins.com aggressive advertising (1); stealth installs (1) [A: 11-12-06 / U: 11-12-06]
AntiVirusAdvance antivirusadvance.com no trial version available; deceptive references on download page; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-7-06 / U: 3-7-06]
Antivirus Email  antivirus-email.com advertising supported service (1, 2); outrageous terms of service (1, 2); no trial version available [A: 10-24-05 / U: 10-24-05]
AntiVirus Gold /
AntiVirus Golden
antivirus-gold.com
antivirusgolden.com
aggressive advertising, desktop hijacks (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 6-2-05 / U: 6-13-06]
AntivirusPCSuite antiviruspcsuite.com no trial version available [A: 5-4-07 / U: 5-4-07]
Anti Virus Pro anti-virus-pro.com
innovagest2000.com
no trial version available; same company as AlfaCleaner, Winhound Spyware Remover, & XSRemover [A: 1-14-06 / U: 1-14-06]
AntiVirus Protector antivirusprotectionsite.com
antivirusprotector.com
antiviruspremium.com
virusscansite.com
platinumpartner.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Adware Remover Antivirus Solution;  same company as earlier family of apps [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
Antivirus Solution 6d-antivirus.com
platinumpartner.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as AntiVirus Protector, Adware Remover;  same company as earlier family of apps [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
Anti-Virus&Spyware  anti-viruses.net
your-soft.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; inadequate info about company & app; same company as Anti-Spyware Blocker [A: 8-7-04 / U: 2-17-05]
ArmorWall armor2net.com
spywarekiller.net
false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting [A: 7-15-04 / U: 7-15-04]
AVSystemCare avsystemcare.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1) [A: 4-22-07 / U: 4-22-07]
BestGuardPlatinum bestguardplatinum.com aggressive advertising, desktop hijacks (1); no trial version available [A: 3-19-06 / U: 3-19-06]
Botsquash  botsquash.com trial version expires immediately; uses inadequate, outdated ref database [A: 8-15-04 / U: 8-15-04]
BPS Spyware & Adware Remover  bulletproofsoft.com
spywarecops.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; company is known adware distributor (1); exploits name SpywareBlaster (1) & SpywareGuard (1); Ad-aware rip-off (1, 2); Spybot S&D rip-off (1, 2, 3); old version was same app as Real AdWareRemoverGold, Spyware Nuker, & TZ Spyware Adware Remover; new version uses "Spyware Cops" or "Spy Striker" front end [A: 6-26-04 / U: 12-19-05]
Brave Sentry bravesentry.com aggressive advertising, desktop hijacking (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 3-9-06 / U: 3-9-06]
BreakSpyware breakspyware.com misleading scan results [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
CheckFlow CheckSpy & Anti Spyware 2005 checkspy.com
checkflow.com
client app's scan reporting poor; client requires installation of Microsoft .NET framework; free scan prone to false positives that work as goad to purchase;  [A: 11-7-04 / U: 12-30-04]
CleanX cleanx.co.kr false positives work as goad to purchase (Korean) [A: 10-5-06 / U: 10-5-06]
Consumer Identity consumeridentity.com aggressive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4); false positives work as goad to purchase; web site down, domain inactive; same app as Adware Hitman, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller [A: 8-9-04 / U: 10-1-04]
ContraVirus contra-virus.com uses out-of-date ref database; deceptive scan reporting (Korean) [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
Copperhead AntiSpyware copperheadsecurity.com inadeqate ref database; confusing scan results [A: 3-7-06 / U: 3-7-06]
CurePCSolution curepcsolutions.com aggressive advertising, browser hijacks; false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
DIARemover diaremover.com aggressive advertising, desktop hijacking; false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 10-6-06 / U: 10-6-06]
Doctor Adware doctoradware.com
no-spy-ware.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Doctor Adware Pro doctoradwarepro.com
alertspy.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database; same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-20-05 / U: 3-20-05]
Easy Erase Spyware Remover easyerase.com scanner apparently broken; no update function; ref database is woefully inadequate; appears to be the same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-20-04 / U: 7-20-04]
Easy Spyware Killer easyspywarekiller.com scant info on home page, no privacy policy (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database (1); same app as PAL Spyware Remover, & JC Spyware Remover & Adware Killer [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
ETD Security Scanner etdscanner.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company; same app as 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker; AdDriller, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 10-16-04 / U: 10-16-04]
ExpertAntiVirus expertantivirus.com app plants the very files it detects as malware (1); false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 5-4-07 / U: 5-4-07]
Fixer AntiSpy fixerantispy.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Ad Armor, Spy Analyst, & Spy Officer [A: 1-9-07 / U: 1-9-07]
Flobo Free Anti Spyware Clean floborecovery.com non-existent scan reporting [A: 11-14-05 / U: 11-14-05]
Freeze.com AntiSpyware  freeze.com company is known adware distributor (1); questionable license terms, demands personal info, provides outdated trial version of Webroot Spy Sweeper (1) [A: 9-15-04 / U: 9-15-04]
Froggie Scan software4yoursuccess.com uses inadequate detection scheme; displays in-context banner ads; same app as Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware IT, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield [A: 3-29-06 / U: 3-29-06]
GoodbyeSpy  tekeffect.com no update function; false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 7-20-04 / U: 7-20-04]
GuardBar  guardbar.com weak anti-spyware protection (1); same company as SpyBouncer (1) [A: 9-18-04 / U: 9-18-04]
HitVirus hitvirus.com uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 12-21-05 / U: 12-21-05]
IC Spyware Scanner  allume.com
aladdinsys.com
ridiculous false positives; uses inadequate detection scheme; this application is bundled in Internet Cleanup (same company) as spyware protection [A: 12-10-04 / U: 11-9-07]
InternetAntiSpy  internetantispy.com
zendmedia.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising, browser hijacking (1, 2, 3, 4); no trial version locatable [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Internet Cleanup  allume.com
aladdinsys.com
ridiculous false positives; uses inadequate detection scheme; this application bundles IC Spyware Scanner (same company) for spyware protection [A: 3-13-05 / U: 11-9-07]
InternetShield  internetshield.com
softwareonline.com
certified-safe-downloads.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising  (1); vendor prosecuted by Washington AG (1) [A: 4-12-06 / U: 4-12-06]
iSpyKiller  ispykiller.com
esunsofttechnologies.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same company as MySpyFreePC & Max Privacy Protector; same app as Spyblocs 3.0, MySpyFreePC, Privacy Defender, SamuraiSpy, & Spy Crusher [A: 1-26-05 / U: 1-26-05]
JC Spyware Remover & Adware Killer  jcspyware-remover.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database (1); same app as Easy Spyware Killer & PAL Spyware Remover [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
KaZaaP  kazaap.org installs multiple adware/spyware parasites [A: 8-12-05 / U: 8-12-05]
KillAllSpyware killallspyware.com
mainstreamdollars.com
aggressive advertising (1); dubious corp. associations (1); no trial version locatable; inadequate information about company; web site promises "free download" but then demands payment; no privacy policy/EULA [A: 8-25-04 / U: 2-7-05]
KillAndClean killandclean.com installed through exploits; false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate/flawed scan/detection scheme; same app as Safe & Clean & UnSpyPC [A: 6-14-06 / U: 6-13-06]
KillSpy killspy.net uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, Winhound Spyware Remover; same app as 1stAntiVirus, SpyContra, SpyDeface, Ultimate Defender, & XSRemover [A: 11-25-05 / U: 1-6-06]
MalwareAlarm malwarealarm.com aggressive, deceptive advertising desktop hijacking (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as BraveSentry, DIARemover, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
MalwareScanner spywarecops.com
bulletproofsoft.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; latest version of BPS Spyware & Adware Remover [A: 3-10-06 / U: 3-10-06]
Malware Stopper malware-stopper.com
malwarepanacea.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 4-22-07 / U: 4-22-07]
MalwareWipe / MalwareWiper / MalwareWiped malwarewipe.com
malwarewiped.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising; uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 12-28-05 / U: 12-26-06]
Max Privacy Protector maxprivacyprotector.com
esunsofttechnologies.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; same company as MySpyFreePC & iSpyKiller;  same app as #1 Spyware Killer, SpyDoctor; SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro [A: 3-11-05 / U: 3-11-05]
MicroAntivirus microantivirus.com
microantivirusxp.com
platinumparter.com
no trial version locatable; inadequate information about company; no privacy policy; same company as AlertSpy  [A: 8-22-04 / U: 3-18-06]
Mr.AntiSpy mrantispy.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as BraveSentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
MyNetProtector  mynetprotector.com installs multiple adware/spyware parasites (1, 2, 3); aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2); dubious corp. associations (1); inadequate/broken scanning (1, 2) [A: 8-18-04 / U: 8-18-04]
MySpyFreePC  myspyfreepc.com
esunsofttechnologies.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; same company as Max Privacy Protector & iSpyKiller; same app as Spyblocs 3.0, iSpyKiller, Privacy Defender, SamuraiSpy, & Spy Crusher [A: 2-5-05 / U: 2-5-05]
MySpyProtector myspyprotector.com EULA includes adware terms [A: 11-12-06 / U: 11-12-06]
NeoSpace  neospacelab.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1,2,3); Ad-aware rip-off; inadequate scan results [A: 3-7-07 / U: 3-7-07]
NetSpyProtector  netspyprotector.com
spybot-spyware-removal.com
inadequate info about app, no trial version locatable; "free scan" prone to false positives (1); reportedly a variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, and Spyware Stormer (1) [A: 7-7-04 / U: 7-26-04]
NoSpyX  nospyx.com
interesoft.com
spywareboard.com
aggressive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; dubious corp. associations (1); variant of SpyVest, SpywareCleaner, Spyware Slayer, Spyware Stormer, Spyware Wizard, & X-Spyware (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 6-26-04 / U: 4-13-05]
Oxford Spyware Remover oxfordspywareremover.com no trial version available; inadequate info about company, no privacy policy (1) [A: 6-15-05 / U: 6-15-05]
PAL Emergency Response palsol.com
palsol.biz
palsol.net
no trial version available; same company as PAL Spyware Remover [A: 9-18-05 / U: 9-18-05]
PAL Spyware Remover  palsol.com
palsol.biz
palsol.net
aggressive advertising, browser hijacking (1, 2, 3, 4); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database (1); exploits name "spybot" (1); exploits name "spyware warrior" (1); same app as Easy Spyware Killer, & JC Spyware Remover & Adware Killer - (Note: other domains associated w/ PAL Spyware Remover include: 1spyware-removal.com, adwarebgone.info, adwarespyware.net, cybergations.com, espywarekiller.privacyregained.com, free-spyware-scan.info, jointventureforprofit.com/spy/, online-spyware-scan.com, paltek.net, petspatrol.com, shmyl.com/ierison, spybot-scan.com, spybot-scanner.com, spybot-virus-scan.com, spybot.com-xp.com, spy-spyware.com, spyware1.com, spywarefinder.net, spywarekiller.us, spyware-remover-software.net, spywarescout.com, spywarethis.com-xp.com, spyware-virus-scan.com, spyware-virus-remover.com, trojan-virus-scan.com, win-fix.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
PC AdWare SpyWare Removal pcadwareremoval.com false positives work as goad to purchase; flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate information about company, no privacy policy/EULA (1); same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog AdWare/SpyWare Remover, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 12-21-04 / U: 3-27-05]
PCArmor pcarmor.net no trial version locatable, inadequate information about company, no privacy policy/EULA (1) [A: 8-22-04 / U: 8-22-04]
PC Health Plan pchealthplan.com false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 5-6-05 / U: 5-6-05]
PerfectCleaner  perfect-cleaner.com same app as  AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyAway, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, TheSpyGuard, & SystemStable [A: 3-7-07 / U: 3-7-07]
PestBot pestbot.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
PestCapture pestcapture.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 10-6-06 / U: 10-6-06]
PestProtector pestprotector.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
PestTrap pesttrap.com
xpesttrap.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 1-18-06 / U: 4-12-06]
PestWiper pest-wiper.com
pestwiper.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as BraveSentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 3-10-06 / U: 3-10-06]
Privacy Champion  privacychampion.com reported hijacks/stealth installs (1, 2) [A: 11-3-04 / U: 11-3-04]
Privacy Crusader egeosoftware.com
redemptionengine.com
rewardsengine.com
ridiculous false positives; uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as Froggie Scan, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware IT, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield [A: 11-5-05 / U: 11-25-05]
Privacy Defender  pcsecurityshield.com false positives work as goad to purchase; poor, misleading scan reporting; deceptive advertising/"scan" on home page (1); advertises through adware (1); recruits affiliates through spam (1); dubious corp. associations (1); same app as Spyblocs 3.0, MySpyFreePC, iSpyKiller, SamuraiSpy, & Spy Crusher; also from this domain: The Shield 2004, PC Security Shield - (Note: other domains associated w/ Privacy Defender include: clixtrader.net, pcsecuritysheild.com, pcsecuritywall.com, pctoolworks2004.com, pctoolworks2005.com, threatlevel.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 9-7-05]
Privacy Tools 2004
(read note)
privacytools2004.com vendor threatens to distribute malware (1, 2, 3); vendor attempts to silence critics (1);  unconscionable license terms (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase (1, 2); previous version was same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, SpyBeware, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; previous version was Ad-aware knockoff - Read this note about Privacy Tools 2004. [A: 7-20-04 / U: 8-27-04]
Protect Your Identity myspywarescan.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses out-of-date reference database w/ no functional update function; same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller [A: 10-2-04 / U: 10-2-04]
PSGuard psguard.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2); reported stealth-installs, hijacking (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7); same app as Security iGuard [A: 6-14-05 / U: 1-4-06]
PurityScan / 
PuritySweep
clickspring.net
purityscan.com
puritysweep.com
adware-supported, "drive-by-downloads" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); stealth installs executables to foil uninstallation [A: 6-26-04 / U: 7-5-04]
QuickCleaner  quickcleaner.com online scan/detection service only; inadequate info about service; inadequate, flawed scan/detection; no uninstaller [A: 8-2-04 / U: 8-2-04]
RazeSpyware razespyware.com
razespyware.net
spywaredollars.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3); reported hijacks (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; same app as SmartSecurity - Note: other domains associated w/ RazeSpyware include: findmenow.info, scanthenet.com, spyware-spyware.org [A: 3-31-05 / U: 1-4-06]
Real AdWareRemoverGold  adwareremovergold.com
adremovergold.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); reported hijacks (1, 2); dubious corp. associations (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; Ad-aware rip-off; BPS Spyware & Adware Remover clone (1) - (Note: other domains associated with Real Adware Remover Gold include: iteens.com, sg08.biz) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
RegFreeze  actualresearch.com
antispylab.com
regfreeze.com
regfreeze.net
sheriffcash.com
ad-soft.net
aggressive advertising, desktop hijacks (1, 2, 3); false positives work as goad to purchase (1); dubious corp associations (1) [A: 8-8-04 / U: 12-24-05]
RemedyAntiSpy remedyantispy.com
remedy-antispy.com
uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 12-21-05 / U: 12-21-05]
Safe & Clean (Scan & Clean) scanandclean.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate/flawed scan/detection scheme; same app as KillAndClean & UnSpyPC  [A: 1-2-06 / U: 1-2-06]
SafeWebSurfer safewebsurfer.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 3-27-05 / U: 3-27-05]
SamuraiSpy  samuraispy.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Spyblocs 3.0, iSpyKiller, MySpyFreePC, Privacy Defender, & Spy Crusher [A: 3-20-05 / U: 3-20-05]
Scan & Repair Utilities 2006  scanandrepair.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company [A: 1-19-06 / U: 1-19-06]
Scumware-Remover  scumware-remover.org
smartestsearch.com
66.79.171.75
hijacks browser home page, HOSTS file (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); inadequate info about program and company; no EULA or privacy policy; crashes on test machine [A: 10-24-04 / U: 2-7-05]
SecureMyPC softsky.com.ua
gsiconcepts.com
false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 11-5-05 / U: 11-5-05]
Security iGuard securityiguard.com
privacycash.com
badgers users into purchase; reported hijacking by affiliates (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); dubious corp. associations (1, 2); same app as PSGuard [A: 11-7-04 / U: 1-4-06]
SlimShield slimshield.com
spyware-wiper.com
aggressive advertising, hijacking, stealth installation (1, 2, 3, 4); badgers users into purchase; false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; no privacy policy; inadequate info about company & app [A: 3-2-05 / U: 3-18-06]

SmartSecurity

smart-security.info no working scan in demo version; inadequate info about company (1); hijacking, aggressive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4, 5); same app as RazeSpyware [A: 5-8-05 / U: 1-4-06]
Spy-Ad Exterminator Pro oreware.com false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 8-8-04 / U: 10-10-04]
SpyAdvanced spyadvanced.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 2-23-06 / U: 2-23-06]
Spy Analyst spyanalyst.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Ad Armor, Fixer AntiSpy, & Spy Officer [A: 1-9-07 / U: 1-9-07]
Spy Annihilator adwaresoft.com inadeqaute info about application, no privacy policy (1);  free scan application uses outdated ref database w/ no update function; application uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 2-10-05 / U: 2-10-05]
SpyAssassin spyassassin.com exploits name of "Ad-aware" (1, 2); same app as Adware Filter, AdwareX, & AdwareSafe [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyAssault  spyassault.com installs Favoriteman parasite (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyAway spy-away.com same app as  AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, PerfectCleaner, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, TheSpyGuard, & SystemStable [A: 3-7-07 / U: 3-7-07]
SpyAxe spyaxe.com
spyaxe.biz
spyaxe.net
nospywaresoft.com
topantispy.com
spyaxeupdate.com
desktop hijacking, aggressive/deceptive advertising (1, 2); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 10-24-05 / U: 1-4-06]
SpyBan  spyban.net installs Look2Me & VX2/ABetterInternet  parasites (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); inexcusable false positives; same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller; dead? [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyBeware spybeware.com false positives work as goad to purchase; update function broken?; same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, Spy-Kill, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-23-04 / U: 7-23-04]
SpyBlast  spyblast.com
advertising.com
vendor prosecuted by FTC (1, 2); adware-supported (1, 2, 3); aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); drive-by-downloads, download link broken? no trial version locatable? [A: 6-26-04 / U: 8-4-05]
Spy-Block spy-block.com false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 6-1-05 / U: 6-26-05]
SpyBlocs/eBlocs.com eblocs.com
networkdynamicscorp.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7); false positives work as goad to purchase; previous versions were Ad-aware knockoffs; same company as CyberDefender; version 2.0 was same app as #1 Spyware Killer, SpyDoctor, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, & SpywareThis; version 3.0 was same app as Privacy Defender, MySpyFreePC, iSpyKiller, SamuraiSpy, & Spy Crusher [A: 6-26-04 / U: 2-20-05]
SpyBouncer  spybouncer.com
goggle.com
stingware.com
untdd.com
false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 6-26-04 / U: 4-22-07]
SpyBurn  neosoftlabs.com
spyburn.palsol.biz
false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as XoftSpy (please read this note about XoftSpy); Ad-aware knockoff; no longer available (dead domain) [A: 7-4-04 / U: 10-5-04]
SpyBuster spy-buster.com
remove-spyware.com
no trial version available [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
SpyClean spyclean.com
guardwall.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; requires installation of Microsoft .NET framework. [A: 7-9-04 / U: 7-9-04]
SpyCleaner cleanup-adware.com
pigeons.net
spycleaner.net
spycleaner-gold.com
topdownloads.net
free version installs WhenU Save! adware program (1); same app as SpyRemover - please read this note about SpyCleaner [A: 6-26-04 / U: 5-12-06]
SpyContra spycontra.com
innovagest2000.com
uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, Winhound Spyware Remover; same app as 1stAntiVirus, KillSpy, SpyDeface, Ultimate Defender, & XSRemover [A: 1-14-06 / U: 1-14-06]
Spy-Control spy-control.com installs Searchmeup parasite (1); unconscionable license terms; dubious implied endorsement (1); advertised via "spam" (1); Ad-ware knockoff (1); same app as Ad-Eliminator -  (Note: other domains associated w/ SpyControl include: bestnotospy.net, fightpycity.net, fightpyco.net, free-kazaa-spyware.info, spy-control-now.com, spywarecleanser.info, spyware-finder.info, spyware-list.info, spyzonetown.com, stop-spyware-now.info) [A: 2-1-05 / U: 2-20-05]
SpyCrush spycrush.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1,2); same app as SpyDawn, SpyHeal, SpywareQuake, VirusBurst, & VirusBursters [A: 3-7-07 / U: 3-7-07]
Spy Crusher  spy-crusher.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Spyblocs 3.0, iSpyKiller, MySpyFreePC, Privacy Defender, & SamuraiSpy [A: 3-20-05 / U: 3-20-05]
SpyCut spycut.com uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 3-10-06 / U: 3-10-06]
SpyDawn spydawn.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); same app as SpyCrush, SpyHeal, SpywareQuake, VirusBurst, & VirusBursters [A: 3-7-07 / U: 3-7-07]
SpyDeface spydeface.com
innovagest2000.com
uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, Winhound Spyware Remover; same app as 1stAntiVirus, KillSpy, SpyContra, & XSRemover [A: 1-14-06 / U: 1-14-06]
Spy Defence spydefence.com false positives work as goad to purchase  [A: 10-5-06 / U: 10-5-06]
SpyDeleter  spydeleter.com
209.50.251.182
aggressive advertising, hijacking (1, 2); vendor prosecuted by FTC (1, 2, 3); same company as SpyWiper/MailWiper (1, 2, 3, 4); no trial version locatable [A: 6-26-04 / U: 10-10-04]
SpyDemolisher spydemolisher.com
spyware-cash.com
inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 6-14-05 / U: 6-14-05]
SpyDestroy Pro spydestroy.com
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpywareRemoval, SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Spy Detector  spydetector.net questionable license terms; flawed, high pressure scan detection & results [A: 7-24-04 / U: 7-24-04]
SpyEliminator  securetactics.com  inadequate info about company & app, no privacy policy (1); no trial version locatable [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyFalcon spyfalcon.com desktop hijacking, aggressive/deceptive advertising (1); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 2-14-06 / U: 2-14-06]
SpyFerret  onlinepcfix.com
spyferret.com
Spybot S&D rip-off (1, 2); also from this domain: Lop Uninstaller, Xupiter Uninstaller [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyFighter spyfighter.com aggressive/deceptive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; advertises through adware (1) [A: 11-7-04 / U: 12-14-05]
SpyFirewall spyfirewall.com
spybloc.com
spyblocs.com
deceptive adevrtising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 2-1-04 / U: 2-1-05]
SpyHeal spyheal.com uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as SpyCrush, SpyDawn, SpywareQuake, VirusBurst, & VirusBursters; associated w/ SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpywareStrike [A: 7-8-06 / U: 7-8-06]
SpyiBlock spyiblock.com
spy-iblock.com
uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, Spyware Disinfector, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 12-21-05 / U: 12-21-05]
SpyiKiller spyikiller.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company & app (1); no privacy policy (1[A: 12-28-04 / U: 12-28-04]
Spyinator spyinator.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-2-04 / U: 7-2-04]
Spy-Kill spy-kill.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); falsely reports updating ref database; same app as 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, AdDriller, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, SpyBeware, & The Web Shield; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 10-12-04 / U: 10-12-04]
SpyKiller 2005 spykiller.com
spykillerdownload.com
free-spyware-scan.com
killercash.com
safer-networking.com
swanksoft.com
vendor prosecuted by FTC (1); aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3); false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 6-26-04 / U: 2-14-05]
SpyKillerPro  spykillerpro.com browser hijacking, aggressive advertising (1); dead? [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyLax healthycomputerclub.com
nospyware.info
false positives work as goad to purchase (1); poor scan reporting (1); successor to SpyDoctor (1); same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor; SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro -  Note: SpyLax's previous incarnation as SpyDoctor is not to be confused w/ Spyware Doctor, a completely different app by another company [A: 6-29-04 / U: 10-25-04]
SpyLocked  spylocked.com aggressive, deceptive advertising; stealth installs (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiSpyZone, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
SpyMarshal spymarshal.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as BraveSentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 12-26-06 / U: 12-26-06]
Spy Officer spyofficer.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Ad Armor, Fixer AntiSpy, & Spy Analyst [A: 1-9-07 / U: 1-9-07]
SpyOnThis spyonthis.net
hijack-this.net
false positives work as goad to purchase (1, 2); exploits name HijackThis! (1, 2) [A: 5-7-06 / U: 5-7-06]
SpyPry  logiguard.com
spypry.com
ridiculous false positives;  variant of known known family of app [A: 6-14-05 / U: 6-17-05]
Spy Reaper spyreaper.com ridiculous false positives; uses inadequate detection scheme; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware IT, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield [A: 2-14-06 / U: 2-14-06]
SpyRemover rizalsoftware.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses out-of-date reference database w/ no update function; same app as SpyCleaner -- Note: not to be confused with SpyRemover from itcompany.com [A: 8-10-04 / U: 1-8-05]
SpySheriff spysheriff.com
spy-sheriff.com
spyware-cash.com
antispynow.com
fzyonline.com
anosurfer.com
aggressive advertising, reported stealth-installs (1, 2, 3); false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpyTrooper, SpywareNo, & Spyware-Stop [A: 6-1-05 / U: 6-1-05]
SpyShield spyshield.org ridiculous false positives; uses inadequate detection scheme; uses out of date ref database; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyViper, Spyware IT, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield [A: 2-24-06 / U: 2-24-06]
Spy-Shield spy- shield.com aggressive/deceptive advertising, installs DirectRevenue/BestOffersNetwork (1); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme [A: 3-6-06 / U: 3-6-06]
Spy Sniper pimasoft.com false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 10-30-05 / U: 10-30-05]
Spy Sniper Pro spysniper.net promoted through spam (1); no trial version available [A: 8-21-05 / U: 8-21-05]
SpySoldier spysoldier.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1);  same app as Spyware Knight [A: 12-28-06 / U: 12-28-06]
SpySpotter  spyspotter.com aggressive/deceptive advertising, advertised via adware (1); same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator,  SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 8-9-04 / U: 4-22-07]
Spy Stalker spystalker.com ridiculous false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 10-19-05 / U: 10-19-05]
Spy Striker spystriker.com
bulletproofsoft.com
front end for BPS Spyware & Adware Remover [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
SpyToaster spytoaster.com false positives work as goad to purchase; flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate information about company; no privacy policy (1); same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 5-6-05 / U: 5-6-05]
SpyTrooper spy-trooper.com
spytrooper.com
spyware-cash.com
aggressive/deceptive advertising, stealth installs (1, 2, 3); same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpywareNo, Spyware-Stop [A: 9-10-05 / U: 9-10-05]
SpyVampire spyvampire.com false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 5-4-07 / U: 5-4-07]
SpyVest  spyvest.com poor scan reporting; variant of NoSpyX, SpywareCleaner, Spyware Slayer, Spyware Stormer, Spyware Wizard, & X-Spyware (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-20-04 / U: 4-13-05]
SpyViper spyviper.com
spyxpress.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate detection scheme; uses outdated ref database; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, Spyware IT, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield [A: 12-14-05 / U: 12-14-05]
Spyware & Adware Removal synergeticsoft.com uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme [A: 2-14-06 / U: 2-14-06]
Spyware Annihilator solidlabs.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase; no update function [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpywareAssassin spywareassassin.com
maxtheater.com
xp67.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2); vendor prosecuted by FTC (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase; no EULA/Privacy Policy; uses out-of-date reference database; same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller [A: 7-4-04 / U: 3-11-05]
SpywareAvenger  spywareavenger.com
idownload.com
no trial version locatable; company is known adware distributor (1); "strict no-refund policy"; advertises through adware (1); "negative option" coupled w/ outrageous pricing  [A: 9-22-04 / U: 12-28-04]
Spyware B1aster spyware-b1aster-software.com no trial version locatable online; inadequate info about company & app (1); exploits name SpywareBlaster (note: should not be confused with the JavaCool app of the same name) [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Spyware Bomber spywarebomber.com
websoftsecure.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; vendor connected w/ known spyware/adware distributor (1, 2); no trial version publicly available [A: 8-24-05 / U: 10-24-05]
SpywareBot spywarebot.com exploits name "Spybot Search & Destroy"; same app as AdwareAlert [A: 5-14-06 / U: 1-9-07]
SpywareCleaner  checkforspyware.com/sc/
myspywarecleaner.com/sc/
spywarecleanerdownload2.com
spywarecleaneronline.biz
vendor prosecuted by Washington AG (1, 2); aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); exploits name "hijack this" (1); uses insecure ordering page (1); variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, Spyware Slayer, Spyware Stormer, Spyware Wizard, & X-Spyware (1); Ad-aware knockoff - (Note: other domains associated w/ this app include: spw2a.com/sc/, spw2f.com/sc/, spw3e.com/sc/, spw4.com/sc/, spw8.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 2-12-06]
Spyware Cleaner spywarecure.net false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 11-17-05 / U: 11-17-05]
Spyware Cleaner & Pop-Up Blocker 

---

inadequate info about app and company; no trial version locatable online (1, 2) - (Note: distributed by GameMill publishing / Educational Initiatives Group; same company as for Spyware Suite 2005; alt. app names incl. AntiSpy & PopStopper; bundled w/ Net Cleaner & PC Accelerator; all apps branded "SpyMagic") [A: 7-7-04 / U: 7-7-04]
Spyware Cops spywarecops.com
bulletproofsoft.com
front end for BPS Spyware & Adware Remover [A: 3-5-05 / U: 3-5-05]
Spyware C.O.P. spyware-cop.com aggressive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller [A: 6-26-04 / U: 7-16-04]
SpywareCrusher  spywarecrusher.com no update function [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Spyware Defense  spywaredefense.com false positives work as goad to purchase; dubious corp. associations (1) [A: 9-4-05 / U: 9-4-05]
Spyware Destroyer  spyware-destroyer.com inadequate info about app, no trial version locatable; home page uses same "free scan" as NetSpyProtector; "free scan" prone to false positives (1) [A: 10-10-04 / U: 10-10-04]
Spyware Disinfector spywaredisinfector.com uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, SystemStable, & The SpyGuard [A: 3-10-06 / U: 3-10-06]
SpywareHospital spywarehospital.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate information about app & company; no privacy policy; same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, Super Spyware Remover, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 11-7-05 / U: 11-7-05]
SpywareHound  spywarehound.com advertises with/through known parasite (1); inadequate information about application  [A: 10-24-04 / U: 10-24-04]
Spyware Immobilizer halt-spyware.com
haltspyware.info
no trial version available for testing; inadequate info about company & app; no privacy policy; uses insecure order page [A: 4-7-05 / U: 4-7-05]
Spyware IT spywareit.com no trial version available for testing; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware Scrapper, & The Spyware Shield (1) [A: 4-11-07 / U: 4-11-07]
SpywareKilla  spywarekilla.com aggressive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller  [A: 6-26-04 / U: 7-16-04]
Spyware Knight spywareknight.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1);  same app as SpySoldier [A: 12-28-06 / U: 12-28-06]
Spyware Medic rosecitysoftware.com false positives work as goad to purchase - Note: publisher asserts that this product has been discontinued  [A: 3-11-05 / U: 10-23-06]
SpywareNo! spywareno.com
spyware-cash.com
aggressive advertising, reported stealth-installs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6); false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyTrooper, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, & Spyware-Stop [A: 5-21-05 / U: 6-1-05]
Spyware & Pop-Up Utility  softwareoasis.cc inadequate, confusing info about app on home page; no trial version locatable [A: 7-9-04 / U: 7-9-04]
Spyware & Pest Remover spyware-pest-remover.com false positives work as goad to purchase; falsely reports updating defs database; inadequate info about company & app (1) [A: 1-13-05 / U: 1-13-05]
Spyware Protection Pro 3bsoftware.com false positives work as goad to purchase; earlier versions were same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter; & SpywareThis; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 12-14-04 / U: 8-14-05]
Spyware Quake spywarequake.com
spywarequake.info
aggressive/deceptive advertising, stealth installs (1, 2); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as SpyCrush, SpyDawn, SpyHeal, VirusBurst, & VirusBursters; associated w/ SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpywareStrike [A: 3-25-06 / U: 7-8-06]
SpwareRemoval spywareremoval.ws
platinumparter.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro,  SpywareRemover, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 3-25-05]
Spyware Removal Wizard  spywareremovalwizard.com
xtremeinnovations.net
false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan results [A: 8-1-06 / U: 8-1-06]
Spyware Remover topics-ent.com no trial version locatable online; inadequate info about company & app (1) [A: 12-20-04 / U: 12-20-04]
Spyware Remover adware.privacy-solution.com uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; uses out-of-date ref database [A: 4-7-05 / U: 4-7-05]
Spyware Remover  alwaysfreealways.com stub downloader downloads & installs a completely different product (WindowsClenaer) [A: 10-5-06 / U: 10-5-06]
SpywareRemover hijack-this.com
msantispy.com
microsoftantispyware.net
microsoftantispy.com
free-spybot.com
spy-bot.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database; expolits name "spybot" (1, 2); exploits name "Microsoft AntiSpyware" (1, 2, 3); exploits name "Hijack This" (1); same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, & SpywareXP; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-25-05 / U: 9-18-05]
SpywareRemover  spy-ware-remover.com front for BPS Spyware & Adware Remover (itself an Ad-aware rip-off); associated w/ SpyForce.com [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Spyware Scrapper spywarescrapper.com uses inadequate detection scheme; uses outdated ref database; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware IT, & The Spyware Shield  [A: 5-7-06 / U: 5-7-06]
SpyWare Secure spyware-secure.com scaremongering scan results summary [A: 5-4-07 / U: 5-4-07]
Spyware Sheriff spywaresheriff.com
antispylab.com
aggressive/deceptive advertising,  stealth installation (1); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, SpywareStrike, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast [A: 5-7-06 / U: 5-7-06]
Spyware Slayer  freepcscan.com aggressive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; questionable EULA/Privacy Policy (1, 2, 3); included in SurfSafe; variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, SpywareCleaner, Spyware Stormer, Spyware Wizard, & X-Spyware (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 10-10-04 / U: 9-8-05]
Spyware Sledgehammer spywaresledgehammer.com inadequate info about app & company, no privacy policy (1); uses inadequate ref database & scan detection scheme [A: 2-3-06 / U: 2-3-06]
Spyware Soft Stop spywaresoftstop.com
spywaresoftstop-cash.com
app plants the very files it falsely detects as malware (1); aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 4-17-06 / U: 4-17-06]
Spyware Stormer  spywarestormer.com aggressive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4); drive-by-downloading (1); false positives work as goad to purchase (1); variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, SpywareCleaner, Spyware Wizard, & Spyware Slayer (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 6-26-04 / U: 7-20-04]
SpywareStrike spywarestrike.com aggressive/deceptive advertising,  desktop hijacking (1); uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, TitanShield AntiSpyware, & VirusBlast   [A: 1-5-06 / U: 1-5-06]
Spyware-Stop spyware-stop.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate scan reporting; same app as Brave Sentry, DIARemover, MalwareAlarm, Mr.AntiSpy, PestCapture, PestTrap, PestWiper, SpyDemolisher, SpyMarshal, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, & SpywareNo [A: 1-16-06 / U: 1-16-06]
Spyware Suite 2005 

---

inadequate info about app and company; no trial version locatable online (1) - (Note: distributed by GameMill publishing / Educational Initiatives Group; same company as for Spyware Cleaner & Pop-Ip Blocker) [A: 12-20-04 / U: 12-20-04]
SpywareTek / Spyware Removal System spywaretek.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company & app (1); no privacy policy; inadequate ref database; requires installation of Microsoft .NET framework [A: 12-7-04 / U: 12-7-04]
SpywareThis  spywarethis.com
achtungachtung.com
false positives work as goad to purchase; no update function; same app as #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
Spyware Wizard  spywarewizard.com
spywarewizard.net
aggressive, deceptive advertising, browser hijacking (1, 2); variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, SpywareCleaner, Spyware Slayer, Spyware Stormer, & X-Spyware (1) [A: 3-12-05 / U: 12-6-05]
SpywareXP spywarexp.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database;  same app as AdwareDeluxe, AdwarePatrol, AdwareRemover, AdwareSafety, AdwareTools, AlertSpy, Doctor Adware, Doctor Adware Pro, PestBot, PestProtector, SpyAdvanced, SpyDestroy Pro, SpywareRemoval, & SpywareRemover; same company as MicroAntivirus [A: 3-18-06 / U: 3-18-06]
SpywareZapper  spywarezapper.com front for TZ Spyware Adware Remover (download link is for TZ Spyware Adware Remover, itself a BPS Spyware & Adware Remover clone) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
SpyWiper  mailwiper.com deceptive advertising, browser hijacking, drive-by-downloading (1, 2, 3); vendor prosecuted by FTC (1, 2, 3); same company as SpyDeleter (1, 2, 3, 4); no trial version locatable [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
StopGuard  stopguard.com
genericscanner.com
vantagesoftware.com
aggressive advertising, browser hijacking (1, 2, 3); dubious corp. associations (1); false positives used as goad to purchase; poor scan reporting; no EULA or privacy policy; inadequate info about company; no uninstaller  [A: 8-30-04 / U: 9-9-04]
StopItBlockIt 2005 stopitblockit.com false positives work as goad to purchase; inadequate info about company; no privacy policy [A: 3-11-05 / U: 3-11-05]
Super Spyware Remover  shareware4web.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); inadequate info about company & program, no end user privacy policy (1); same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, The Spyware Detective, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 10-20-04 / U: 3-27-05]
System Detective  affiliatesuccess.net
jeanharris.com
spyware-removal.net
systemdetective.com
inadequate info about app, no end user privacy policy (1); no trial version locatable; parent company primarily an affiliate program (1) [A: 6-27-04 / U: 6-27-04]
SystemStable  systemstable.com aggressive, deceptive advertising; false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as  AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, & TheSpyGuard [A: 12-8-05 / U: 12-8-05]
TeoSoft Anti-Spyware  teosoft.com
teosoft.biz
teocash.com
shootspyware.com
"free scan" severely crippled; company uses spam to promote products (1[A: 9-14-05 / U: 9-14-05]
Terminexor terminexor.com unauthorized Spybot Search & Destroy clone (1, 2); no privacy policy or EULA [A: 12-23-04 / U: 12-23-04]
The Adware Hunter theadwarehunter.com deceptive detection reports (1); prone to inexcusable false positives (1); uses out-of-date reference database (1); same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, & TheSpywareKiller [A: 8-7-04 / U: 8-7-04]
The SpyGuard thespyguard.com
the-spy-guard.com
adwarepunisher.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3); uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; same app as  AdwareBazooka, AdwarePunisher, HitSpy, RemedyAntiSpy, SpyCut, SpyiBlock, Spyware Disinfector, & SystemStable [A: 12-5-05 / U: 12-21-05]
The Spyware Detective thespywaredetective.com
fastlink2.com
false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster,SpywareHospital,  Super Spyware Remover, & WebSafe Spyware Secure [A: 12-21-04 / U: 3-27-05]
TheSpywareKiller thespywarekiller.com
inicom.dk
deceptive detection reports (1); false positives work as goad to purchase (1); uses out-of-date reference database (1); same app as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, & The Adware Hunter [A: 7-17-04 / U: 7-17-04]
The Spyware Shield thespywareshield.com ridiculous false positives; uses inadequate detection scheme; same app as Froggie Scan, Privacy Crusader, Spy Reaper, SpyShield, SpyViper, Spyware IT, & Spyware Scrapper [A: 2-14-06 / U: 2-14-06]
The Web Shield pcspytool.com no trial version locatable; same app as AdDriller, 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, ADS Adware Remover, AdwareSpy, AdWare SpyWare Blocker & Removal, AdwareX Eliminator, Ad-Where 2005, ETD Security Scanner, Privacy Tools 2004, Spy-Kill, & SpyBeware; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 7-7-04 / U: 7-7-04]
Titan AntiSpyware titanantispyware.com no trial version available; inadequate info about company & app [A: 10-30-05/ U: 10-30-05]
TitanShield AntiSpyware titanshield.com
a
ntispywarebox.com
hotwinupdates.com
cashunlim.com
app plants the very files it falsely detects as malware (1); aggressive, deceptive advertising, stealth installations (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, & VirusBlast [A: 6-13-06 / U: 6-13-06]
TrueWatch  truesuite.com false positives work as goad to purchase; "free scan" uses out-of-date reference database w/ no update function [A: 7-27-04 / U: 7-27-04]
Trust Cleaner  trustcleaner.com aggressive/deceptive advertising, stealth installs (1); false positives work as goad to purchase [A: 6-13-06 / U: 3-7-07]
TZ Spyware Adware Remover  trackzapper.com false positives work as goad to purchase; Ad-aware rip-off; BPS Spyware & Adware Remover clone [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
UControl whenu.com
aluriasoftware.com
adware-supported (1, 2) -- Note: this app. has been discontinued. Read this note about UControl [A: 12-4-04 / U: 3-2-06]
Ultimate Cleaner ultimatecleaner.com adware-supported (1, 2); prone to ridiculous false positives  [A: 12-28-04 / U: 12-28-04]
Ultimate Defender udefender.com uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same app as 1stAntiVirus, KillSpy, SpyDeface, SpyContra, & XSRemover [A: 3-1-06 / U: 3-9-06]
Ultimate Spyware-Adware Remover pimasoft.com false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as  #1 Spyware Killer, Max Privacy Protector, SpyDoctor, SpyFirewall, Spyinator, SpyKiller 2005, SpyLax, SpySpotter, SpywareThis, & Spyware Protection Pro; Ad-aware knockoff [A: 4-17-06 / U: 4-17-06]
UnSpyPC unspypc.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1, 2, 3); inadequate/flawed scan/detection scheme; same app as KillAndClean & Safe & Clean  [A: 9-5-05 / U: 4-12-06]
VBouncer/AdDestroyer spywarelabs.com
virtualbouncer.com
drive-by-downloads (1, 2); resident scanner w/ little feedback/control; questionable license terms (1, 2) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 6-26-04]
VirusBlast virusblast.com aggressive, deceptive advertising, stealth installations (1); false positives work as goad to purchase; same app as AdwareDelete, AntiVirus Gold, MalwareWiped, SpyAxe, SpyFalcon, SpyLocked, Spyware Sheriff, SpywareStrike, & TitanShield AntiSpyware [A: 8-1-06 / U: 8-1-06]
VirusBurst virusburst.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1), uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as SpyCrush, SpyDawn, SpyHeal, SpywareQuake, & VirusBursters [A: 10-5-06 / U: 10-5-06]
VirusBursters myspyprotector.com variant of VirusBurst (1);  uses inadequate scan/detection scheme; same app as SpyCrush, SpyDawn, SpyHeal, SpywareQuake, & VirusBurst [A: 11-12-06 / U: 11-12-06]
VirusGuard  virusguard.com no trial version locatable  [A: 2-3-06 / U: 2-3-06]
VirusRescue virusrescue.com aggressive, deceptive advertising, stealth installations (1) [A: 8-21-06 / U: 8-21-06]
WareOut Spyware Remover wareout.com aggressive advertising (1); drive-by-downloads (1, 2); false positives work as goad to purchase; uses inadequate ref database [A: 12-11-04 / U: 2-7-05]
WebSafe Spyware Secure websafesecure.com false positives work as goad to purchase (1); flawed, inadequate detection scheme (1); no privacy policy; same app as Adware-Nuker, AGuardDog Adware/Spyware Remover, PC AdWare SpyWare Removal, SafeWebSurfer, SpyToaster, SpywareHospital, Super Spyware Remover, & The Spyware Detective [A: 3-27-04 / U: 3-27-05]
WinAntiSpy 2005 winantispy.com
winsoftware.com
softwareprofit.com
no trial version available; same company as WinAntiSpyware 2006, WinAntiVirus 2006, & WinFixer [A: 1-9-06 / U: 1-9-06]
WinAntiSpyware 2006 winantispyware.com
winsoftware.com
softwareprofit.com
aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3); same company as  WinAntiSpy 2005, WinAntiVirus 2006, & WinFixer [A: 9-4-05 / U: 6-13-06]
WinAntiVirus 2006 winantivirus.com
winsoftware.com
softwareprofit.com
aggressive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4); false positives work as goad to purchase; inappropriate collection of Personally Identifiable Information; same company as WinAntiSpy 2005, WinAntiSpyware 2006, & WinFixer [A: 5-21-05 / U: 6-13-06]
Winhound Spyware Remover winhound.com
innovagest2000.com
stealth installs through exploits, system hijacking (1, 2, 3); scare-mongering used as goad to purchase; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, XSRemover [A: 11-29-05 / U: 1-14-06]
Winkeeper  winkeeper.net uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme; exploits name "Spyware Doctor" (1) [A: 6-9-05 / U: 6-9-05]
WinSOS winsos.com false positives work as goad to registration [A: 11-14-05 / U: 11-14-05]
WorldAntiSpy worldantispy.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2); desktop hijacks (1, 2, 3, 4) [A: 8-21-05 / U: 9-10-05]
X-Con Spyware Destroyer x-conspywaredestroyer.com
x-con.freedomofidiom.ca
ridiculous false positives; poor, inadequate scan reporting [A: 4-2-06 / U: 4-2-06]
X-Spyware  x-spyware.com false positives work as goad to purchase; uses flawed, inadequate detection scheme [A: 12-7-04 / U: 6-7-05]
Xmembytes AntiSpyware xmembytes.com uses stolen database; questionable license terms [A: 6-13-06 / U: 6-13-06]
Xspyware  xspyware.net dubious license terms (1, 2); variant of NoSpyX, SpyVest, Spyware Cleaner, Spyware Slayer, Spyware Stormer,  Spyware Wizard, & X-Spyware  (1); Ad-aware knockoff [A: 12-7-04 / U: 1-29-05]
XSRemover xsremover.com
innovagest2000.com
uses flawed, inadequate detections scheme; same company as AlfaCleaner, Anti Virus Pro, & Winhound Spyware Remover; same app as 1stAntiVirus, KillSpy, SpyContra, SpyDeface, & Ultimate Defender [A: 11-30-05 / U: 1-14-06]
ZoneProtect AntiSpyware  zoneprotect.com app crashes after install; installs AdBlaster parasite; inadequate info about company & app, no privacy policy (1) [A: 5-8-05 / U: 5-8-05]

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Notes:  

Testing: Testing was performed with most of these apps. Apps not tested include: 2004 Adware/Spyware Remover & Blocker, about:blank 2005, AdProtector, Adware Hunter, AdwarePro, Adware & Spyware Firewall, Elimiware, AntiVirusAdvance,  AntivirusPCSuite, Anti Virus Pro, BestGuardPlatinum, InternetAntiSpy, KillAllSpyware, MicroAntivirus, Oxford Spyware Remover, NetSpyProtector, PAL Emergency Response, PCArmor, SpyBlast, SpyBuster, SpyDeleter, SpyEliminator, SpyKillerPro,SpyWiper, SpywareAvenger, Spyware Cleaner & Pop-Up Blocker, Spyware Destroyer,  Spyware Immobilizer, Spyware Remover (alwaysfreealways.com), System Detective, Spy Sniper Pro, Spyware B1aster, Spyware Remover, Spyware Striker Pro, Spyware Suite 2005, The Web Shield, Titan AntiSpyware, VirusGuard, WinAntiSpy 2005, XSRemover.

False positives: In cases where it is noted "false positives work as goad to purchase," the apps in question produced inexcusable false positives on a "spyware-free" system (previously scanned with AVP 3.5, Trojan Hunter 4, Ad-aware SE, Spybot S&D 1.3, & Spy Sweeper 3) and then demanded payment to clean that non-existent "spyware"/"adware." Scan logs, reference database files, screenshots, and other related files from the tests have been archived. "Ridiculous false positives" are noted in cases where an app produced inexcusable false positives on a "spyware free" system but did not demand payment to clean that non-existent "spyware" / "adware."

Poor scan reporting: This means that the application either did not provide information about what it found (e.g., it simply reported "8 spyware items found" without identifying particular parasites by name) or did not report enough information about the basis for the items it found (e.g., it reported finding the Look2Me parasite, but did not report what Registry keys, files, or folders it had identified as Look2Me).

Knockoffs/rip-offs: The term "knockoff" means at the very least that the app in question substantially imitates the look, feel, and experience of another program (usually Ad-aware). With some of these "knockoff" apps there may be evidence (e.g., scan logs) of more serious borrowing from other programs, but there are no specific allegations to that effect as yet from the affected parties. The term "rip-off" means that there are specific allegations from the affected parties of unauthorized borrowing from their applications (usually Ad-aware or Spybot Search & Destroy). See the Anti-Spyware Family Resemblances companion page for screenshots of most of these applications. (Screenshots for applications not included on the Family Resemblances page can be found on the Orphans & Outcasts page.)

Aggressive/deceptive advertising: "Aggressive" advertising consists of the obnoxious, intrusive, use of pop-ups, false GUI elements, or other advertising techniques designed to badger, pressure, or coerce users into buying the application advertised. "Deceptive" advertising employs advertising techniques and information designed to create a false sense of alarm among users in order to stampede them into purchasing the application being advertised.

Flawed, inadequate detection schemes: "Flawed, inadequate detection schemes" refer to scanning techniques that are insufficient to produce reliable detections of spyware, adware, and malware. These detection schemes typically rely exclusively on matching file names/path and Registry names/paths without using MD5 hash checking or signature matching to uniqiuely identify detected components. In some cases, there may be other problems with the detection scheme, such as failing to scan all drives on a system or skipping key system areas during scanning.

Dates: Significant dates are listed in the format MM-DD-YY. A: date that entry for application was added to list; U: date that application was last checked/tested or entry was last significantly modified/updated.
  

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Listing Criteria:

When we evaluate an anti-spyware product, we look at the complete package, including the performance of the application itself as well as the advertising and marketing used to promote the product.

The following practices are guaranteed to get a program listed as "rogue/suspect":

1. Installing adware, spyware, or malware

2. Hijacking users' browsers & desktops

3. Being installed by adware, spyware, or malware

4. Being regularly or frequently advertised through adware or spyware

5. Being aggressively or stealthily installed without users' full, knowing consent

6. Being pushed through aggressive, deceptive, or misleading advertising

7. Being offered by a known adware/spyware vendor or being strongly associated
    with a site known to install malware

8. Using false, deceptive, misleading, or confusing scan reports or other GUI elements
    to badger, coerce, or trick users into purchasing the product

We also evaluate such things as:

1. Sophistication and comprehensiveness of the scan (including the design and execution
    of the scan detection scheme)

2. Accuracy and reliability of the scan (including the nature and quantity of false positives)

3. Nature and accuracy of the scan reporting

4. Information about company and program available online

5. User reports of experiences with program

6. Currency of definitions

Not every program will exhibit all of the problems listed above, and in some cases our decision to list a program as "rogue/suspect" is a judgment call based on our extensive knowledge of and experience with anti-spyware scanners.

It is worth noting that quality anti-malware applications are difficult programs to develop and maintain. For information on what makes quality anti-malware applications difficult to develop and maintain, see these discussions: 1, 2, 3.

Properly evaluating anti-spyware applications and the advertising used to promote them can also present challenges. For information on the problems associated with evaluating anti-spyware applications, see these discussions: 1, 2. False positives, in particular, are tricky to evaluate, since all anti-malware scanners will produce false positives as some point. For discussions of how we evaluate false positives, see these forum threads: 1, 2, 3.

Note to Readers:

Please keep in mind that anti-spyware applications can appear on this list for a variety of reasons. On the low end, some applications might have a problem with egregious false positives or a poorly designed and implemented scan engine. On the high (dangerous) end, some of these applications might hijack users' PCs or install adware, spyware, or malware themselves. For each application we list the specific problems that we observed, and readers should take care not to make unwarranted assumptions about applications beyond the problems that we specifically list on this page.

Put another way, the characterization "rogue/suspect" does not mean that every product listed on this page is a "scam" or that every product listed here is "dangerous" and installs malware itself. It simply means that in light of the established, proven alternatives that exist, we cannot recommend that users rely on the apps listed on this page.

For Vendors: De-listing Process

We have de-listed applications from the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page when the vendors of those programs have made sufficient changes or corrections to their programs or advertising/marketing to warrant a de-listing. When an application is de-listed, an entry for the program remains in the main list, however, that entry serves only to point to an explanatory note in the De-Listed Applications section below. After the application has been de-listed for one year, we remove the entry for the program from the main list, however, the explanatory note remains.

Vendors who wish to dispute a listing on this page and request a review of their products may email Spyware Warrior. In that email, vendors should clearly lay out their reasons for disputing a listing and requesting a review. Reasonable requests for review will be given timely and careful consideration. Threats will not only be disregarded, they will be publicized and discussed on this page and elsewhere on the Net. Vendors who are interested in disputing a listing on this page and requesting a review of their products are strongly encouraged to read THIS discussion thread at Spyware Warrior.

Please note that it is our policy to restrict vendors to one review every three months. Once a product has been reviewed, we will not reconsider a decision to continue listing the product until three months time has lapsed.

One final note: although we will provide feedback to explain our decisions to continue listing programs on this page, it is not our responsibility to fix vendors' products. Thus, we will not be drawn into extended discussions in which we essentially provide free consulting for vendors. By turns, it is our policy to refuse all requests to perform consulting in return for compensation from vendors whose products are listed on this page. The reviews we provide are free, however, they are limited to providing sufficient explanation to justify the listing of an application on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page.
 

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Special Cases:

Occasionally there is additional information about the applications listed above that cannot be fit into the standard note form used in the main list itself. In such instances, additional information is provided below.
 

Note on Privacy Tools 2004: On August 27, 2004 a new version of Privacy Tools 2004 was released. Included in the license for this new version are three clauses that prevent me from reporting on the performance of this new version of Privacy Tools 2004 or displaying images of it:
 
3. COPYRIGHT.
All title and copyrights in and to the software product (including but not limited to any
images, photographs, animations, video, audio, music, text, and "applets" incorporated into
the software product), the accompanying printed materials, and any copies of the software
product are owned by the Author of this Software. The software product is protected by
copyright laws and international treaty provisions. Therefore, you must treat the software
product like any other copyrighted material except that you may install the software product
on a single computer provided you keep the original solely for backup or archival purposes.

[...]

12. By using this software you agree not to take or use screenshots of the software and 
understand doing so will result in legal action being taken against you. You understand 
Screenshots are copyrighted protected material of the software owner.

13. By using this software you agree that you are not the owner of, affiliated with, or a 
member of spywarewarrior.com

The last version that I tested (a beta version) still generated horrendous, inexcusable false positives just like its predecessor (1). Whether the final release also does so I cannot say, as I have been unable to test the software. 

Clearly the vendor for Privacy Tools 2004 wants to shut up critics and prevent critical information about his software from being disseminated. Moreover, the vendor for Privacy Tools 2004 has threatened to distribute malware himself (1), making him a completely irresponsible source for anti-spyware protection. Thus, my recommendation to users is to stay away, as the software and the vendor cannot be considered trustworthy or reliable in my opinion.
 

Note on UControl: UControl was an adware-supported anti-spyware program offered by the well-known adware vendor WhenU (1, 2). The UControl anti-spyware scan engine was supplied by Aluria Software, makers of Aluria Spyware Eliminator, a well-known anti-spyware program. On Oct. 27, 2004 Aluria announced that it had "certified" WhenU's adware applications as "Spyware-Safe" (1). Within days after that announcement it became known that Aluria had decided not just to stop presenting WhenU applications to users as "spyware" or "adware" (1) -- it had decided to partner with WhenU and offer an adware-supported anti-spyware scanner (1, 2) through WhenU's WhenUSearch toolbar. (Aluria has also supplied the scan engine for the America Online [AOL] Spyware Protection program, though AOL apparently stipulated that WhenU would remain targeted within that application. [1]) Sometime during the course of 2005 (the exact timing is unclear) WhenU and Aluria discontinued their partnership and WhenU stopped distributing UControl.

As explained in my several postings to the DSLReports.com Security forum (1), it is important to recognize that there are two distinct and separate issues here: 1) Aluria's decision to "certify" WhenU as "Spyware-Safe"; 2) Aluria's decision to partner with WhenU, an adware vendor. Even if WhenU merited certification because of improvements to its privacy practices (a point we dispute), Aluria should never have entered into a partnership with an adware vendor because of the serious conflict of interest problems that such a deal raises. Not only did it put Aluria in the untenable position of having a financial stake in the adware advertising market, but Aluria and WhenU were offering a anti-spyware scanner that removes competitors to WhenU. That undeniable conflict of interest made both Aluria and WhenU untrustworthy sources for an anti-spyware program, and other reputable critics agreed with this assessment (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). 

It should be noted that several reputable anti-spyware companies have also been approached by adware vendors looking for similar deals (1, 2, 3, 4). They all refused on principle, as one would expect an anti-spyware firm to do. In choosing to partner with WhenU, however, Aluria effectively decided to keep company with other disreputable vendors that bundle adware with their anti-spyware programs (1, 2), all of which are listed on this page. Just why Aluria and WhenU ended their relationship in 2005 is unknown.

Even putting aside the controversy over the Aluria/WhenU deal, we simply cannot recommend an anti-spyware scanner that bundles adware, as the UControl scanner did, given that there are a number of excellent adware-free alternatives available to those looking for an anti-spyware scanner (1, 2). In this judgment we are completely consistent with our earlier decisions to list other anti-spyware applications that are adware-supported or that install spyware. Neither can we recommend Aluria's Spyware Eliminator in the light of Aluria's earlier decision to partner with WhenU, for all the reasons elaborated above.

Note: At one time, you could read Aluria's several responses to criticism of its partnership with WhenU here: 1, 2, 3. At present, the first two articles have been removed from Aluria's web site (the interview with Aluria still remains at CastleCops.com). You can still read WhenU's defense of its privacy practices here: 1, 2.

 [A: 12-4-04 / U: 3-4-06]

Note on Trustsoft AntiSpyware: In August 2005, Trustsoft released its new anti-spyware product, Trustsoft AntiSpyware. We have tested and reviewed this product and can find nothing in the performance of the product itself to suggest that it should be listed here on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page.

Nonetheless, we do urge users to exercise caution with this product, as the vendor behind this product was prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission in June of 2005 for a range of unfair and deceptive practices related to the company's earlier anti-spyware product, SpyKiller 2005. See below for more details on this case.

As always, we urge users to stick to the short list of "trustworthy" anti-spyware products listed below or the expanded list of anti-spyware products listed HERE

[A: 8-21-05 / U: 8-21-05]

Note on SpyCleaner:  SpyCleaner was originally listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. In early March 2005, a new version of SpyCleaner was released, followed by new definitions. Testing with that new version indicated that the problems with earlier versions had been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we decided to de-list SpyCleaner from the main list of "rogue/suspecy" anti-spyware on 31 Mar. 2005.

In May 2006, however, it became known to us that SpyCleaner was bundling WhenU Save, an adware application, with the free version of its application. Given that such behavior is clear grounds for listing on the "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware list, we re-listed SpyCleaner on 12 May, 2006.

[A: 6-26-04 / U: 5-12-06]
 

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De-Listed Applications:

Some applications that were originally included in this list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware programs have been de-listed after the vendors for those programs took steps to correct the problems identified on this page. An entry for each of the applications de-listed during the past year remains in the main list above solely to point to the explanatory notes below, which detail the circumstances of the de-listing. Applications de-listed over a year ago are listed on a separate historical page.
 
That an application has been de-listed should not be understood as an endorsement or recommendation of any kind. We still recommend that users consult the short list of "trustworthy" anti-spyware applications. For more information on the process for de-listing application, see THIS discussion in the Spyware Warrior forums.

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Not On the List:

There are a number of lesser-known anti-spyware applications that we have tested but decided were not appropriate to include on the "Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware List" above. We used to keep a list of these "other" programs here. We called it the "not-on-the-list list," and it was essentially a list of programs that folks didn't need to email us about because we were already familiar with those apps.

Unfortunately, all too many users simply ignored our blatant disclaimer that the "not-on-the-list" list was not another list of rogue/suspect products and began treating the list as a kind of black list. As a result, we were forced to withdraw the list because some irresponsible users were using it to tarnish the names of products on the list when that was never our intention.

The upshot of all this is that we encourage you to email us about anti-spyware products and anti-malware products that are new and that you think might warrant investigation. If you email us about the product and we haven't seen it before, we will acknowledge your email and begin looking into the product. If, however, you email us about a product that we're already familiar with and have decided is inappropriate for the list, we may or may not respond to your email. If you don't receive a response, that's a good indication that we're already familiar with the product.

Please keep in mind that the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware list does not include such programs as:

  • rogue system snoopers (e.g., key loggers, screenscrapers, etc.)
  • rogue system/Registry/drive cleaning applications
  • other types of rogue privacy & security products

So, we ask that readers not email us to suggest that programs like ErrorFixer, WinFixer, Drive Cleaner, and the like be added to the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware list, because such programs aren't anti-malware applications that we would consider listing here.

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Old News

FTC Strikes a Third Time [4 August 2005]

On August 3, 2005, just five months after moving against SpywareAssassin and two months after moving against SpyKiller 2005, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it had settled a complaint against Advertising.com, the company behind SpyBlast, an "anti-spyware" product that has been listed on these pages since June 26, 2004 (the very day this list was first published). In its complaint, the FTC specifically noted that the SpyBlast program installed adware that tracked users' surfing activity without clearly and conspicuously notifying users outside of the EULA that such adware would be installed. According to the FTC:
 

Consumers ... were shown an Active X "security warning" installation box, with a hyperlink describing SpyBlast as "Personal Computer Security and Protection Software from unauthorized users" and telling them, "once you agree to the License Terms and Privacy policy - click YES to continue." The hyperlink did not indicate the nature and significance of the terms of the licensing agreement namely that adware would be installed on their computers. Consumers were not required to read the agreement before installing the software. If consumers had read the agreement, they might have seen a statement saying that by accepting the software, they agreed to receive marketing messages, including pop-up ads, based on their Internet browsing habits. [...]

The complaint charges that in representing that SpyBlast is an Internet security program, the respondents did not adequately disclose that SpyBlast included adware that caused consumers to receive pop-up ads. It alleges that the presence of the bundled adware would be material to consumers deciding whether to install SpyBlast, and, therefore, that the failure to disclose it adequately was deceptive.

You can read more about the FTC's action against SpyBlast and Advertising.com here:

The FTC and Advertising.com settled on a consent order that "prohibits the respondents from making any representations about the performance, benefits, efficacy, or features of SpyBlast or any of their other programs promoted as security or privacy software, unless they clearly and conspicuously disclose that consumers who install the program will receive advertisements, if that is the case."


FTC Strikes Again [26 June 2005]

On June 23, 2005, just 3 months after moving against SpywareAssassin, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it had taken action against Trustsoft, the company behind SpyKiller 2005, an "anti-spyware" product that has been listed on these pages since June 26, 2004 (the very day this list was first published). In its complaint, the FTC specifically named several of the more deceptive and unfair practices that are employed by many of the "anti-spyware" applications listed on this page, namely:

  • falsely claiming to have scanned users' PCs remotely and detected "spyware"
  • using high pressure sales tactics through pop-ups and spam to compel users to buy its application, SpyKiller 2005
  • selling an "anti-spyware" product that falsely detects "spyware" on users' PCs
  • selling an "anti-spyware" product that fails to remove a substantial amount of "spyware" from users' PCs

You can read more about the FTC's action against SpyKiller 2005 here:

The FTC secured a temporary restraining order on June 1, followed by preliminary injunction on June 14. (Please note that SpyKiller 2005 is a different product from Maxion Software's SpyKiller, which is also listed on this page.)

Update (8-21-05): Please read this note on the new Trustsoft AntiSpyware application.
Update (1-6-06): Trustsoft has now settled with the FTC.


Rogue/Suspect List Hits 200 Apps!   [9 June 2005]

Almost one year after the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page at SpywareWarrior.com was launched, Spyware Warrior added the 200th application to its list of sub-standard anti-spyware applications. Credit goes to Simon Clausen of PC Tools for pointing us to the 200th rogue/suspect anti-spyware application, Winkeeper, which was added to the list on June 9, 2005. (The Rogue/Suspect page was officially launched on June 26, 2004.)

A Dubious Milestone

This event in itself is a dubious milestone. It does serve as painful reminder that the majority of anti-spyware applications to be found on the internet are woefully short of offering the kind of robust protection from unwanted advertising software that all too many spyware/adware victims are desperately in need of.

Why So Many?

We at Spyware Warrior are often asked why so many poor quality anti-spyware applications exist. The answer is a simple one: spyware and adware are afflicting millions of innocent victims, leading to an exploding market for anti-spyware tools. These victims are desperate to fix their hijacked web browsers and trashed PCs, which are overrun with unwanted toolbars and popup advertising. These users are angry, frustrated, and even scared. Unfortunately, they also have problems distinguishing between the small number of quality anti-spyware applications available from reputable vendors and the great mass of disreputable anti-spyware utilities

This combination of fear, frustration, ignorance, and desperation makes spyware and adware victims ripe to be exploited again -- this time by disreputable anti-spyware vendors, many of whom have simply rushed out poor quality applications to rake in money from a hot market and who do not shirk from using aggressive, misleading, and deceptive advertising to bamboozle scared and confused spyware and adware victims. Sadly, some of these vendors are not above installing adware and spyware themselves onto victims' PCs.

Why We're Here

That's what makes the 200th application such a dubious milestone -- and a troubling monument to the myriad ways that greed can exploit fear, confusion, desperation, and ignorance. And it's just this unfortunate trend that the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page has been designed to combat, by offering users good information about the whole range of anti-spyware products -- from the ever-growing number of untrustworthy tools to the small handful of quality applications that do exist.


FTC Busts Rogue Anti-Spyware Vendor!   [11 March 2005]

On March 11, 2005 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission took action against MaxTheater, the company behind SpywareAssassin, an "anti-spyware" product that has been listed on these pages since July 4, 2004. In its complaint, the FTC specifically named several of the more deceptive and unfair practices that are employed by many of the "anti-spyware" applications listed on this page, namely:
 
  • falsely claiming to have scanned users' PCs remotely and detected "spyware"
  • using high pressure sales tactics through pop-ups and spam to compel users to buy its application, SpywareAssassin
  • selling an "anti-spyware" product that falsely detects "spyware" on users' PCs
  • selling an "anti-spyware" product that fails to remove a substantial amount of "spyware" from users' PCs

You can read more about the FTC's action against SpywareAssassin here:

And for a discussion of this news, see THIS thread at DSLReports.com and THIS blog entry here at Spyware Warrior.

Update (1-6-06): MaxTheater has now settled with the FTC.

 
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Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Sites
 
As the problems with spyware and adware have exploded over the past few years, a number of web sites have sprung up to provide information and even to recommend anti-spyware programs. All too many of these sites are not trustworthy as guides to spyware solutions. Especially bad are the many anti-spyware "review" sites that purport to provide "objective" reviews of anti-spyware programs. The problem with these "review" sites is that many of them push "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware applications. Indeed, many of these sites are affiliates for the very products they "review" and recommend. Most of these sites advertise heavily on Google. (For a list of reputable, quality anti-spyware information sites, see below.)
 
Name Domains Comments
--- 2dollarfix.com purports to sell info/advice available for free

Spyware/Adware Removers 2004

2004spywareremovers.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- 5spynetwork.com pushes rogue/suspect products (currently NetDetective & System Detective)
--- add-aware.com pushes rogue/suspect products

Adware Report

adwarereport.com site webmaster is affiliate for products reviewed (1)
--- adware-spyware-review.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- antispywaredownloads.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- antispyware.neonant.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- antispywarereviews.info pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- Anti-Spyware-Review.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- anti-spyware-review.
toptenreviews.com
advertising/marketing front for products reviewed (1, 2, 3, 4)
--- anti-spyware-reviews.net pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- bewareadware.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- compareeasy.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- CompareSpywareRemovers.com
CompareSpywareRemoval.com
SpywareRemoverComparisons.com
SpywareRemoversReview.com
pushes rogue/suspect products
--- compu3.com/spyware.html purports to sell information available for free on Net
--- defeatspyware.org pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- download-spybot.com pushes some rogue/suspect products

e-Spyware.com

e-spyware.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- get-spybot.com
spybot-2007.com
requires membership to download free product;exploits Spybot S&D
--- likesurfing.com aggressive, deceptive adevrtising (1); pushes rogue/suspect products
--- mambomarket.com aggressive, deceptive advertising (1); pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- megalithusa.com pushes rogue/suspect products (currently SpywareNuker 2004)
--- merign.org pushes rogue/suspect products; reported hijack (1)
--- noadware.com pushes rogue/suspect products

NonToxic-Internet.com

nontoxic-internet.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- no-spybot.com pushes some rogue/suspect products

Online-Survival-Lab.com

online-survival-lab.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- pcspyremover.com pushes rogue/suspect products; deceptive info

Privacy Software Report

privacysoftwarereport.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- radownload.com pushes some rogue/suspect products

Consmer Review of Anti-Spyware

RateSpywareRemovers.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- revieweasy.com/spy/ pushes rogue/suspect products
--- safespy.net pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyads.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spybot.com
spybot.net
currently re-directs to pcsecuritynews.com
--- spybot.org currently re-directs to dsoexpliot.com
--- spybot-spyware.com
sdspybot.com
pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- spyware.com-rr.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spy-deleter.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyforce.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyhunter.com dead?
--- spy-hunter-detector.com dead?

SpySoftCentral.com

spysoftcentral.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- spyware.net pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware-adware-download.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- spyware-adware-removal.net pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- spywarealert.com
removespyware.com
pushes some rogue/suspect products; reported hijacks (1, 2)
--- spywareb1aster,com pushes rogue/suspect products (currently, BPS Spyware & Adware Remover); exploits name SpywareBlaster; Note: this site has no relation to JavaCool's SpywareBlaster program
--- spywarehub.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware.junglebee.com pushes rogue/suspect products

SpywareHelpNetwork

spywarehelp.net purports to sell info/advice available for free; aggressive advertising, dubious associations with known hijackers (1, 2, 3, 4); "suspended for spam & abuse" (1)
--- SpywareInfoooo.com dead?

Spyware Online Scanner

scanner.altmaster.net pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spy-review.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware.my-anti-virus-software.info pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spywareonline.org pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- SpywareRemovalAuthority.com pushes rogue/suspect products (currently SpyClean)

SpywareRemovalUtilities

spywareremovalutilities.com pushes rogue/suspect products; site is affiliate for products reviewed
--- spywareremoval.ec-force.com pushes rogue/suspect products

Spyware Removal (blog)

spyware-removal.blogspot.com pushes rogue/suspect products (1)
--- spywareremove.org
removespyware.ru
pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware-removers.org pushes rogue/suspect products; aggressive advertising (1)
--- spywarereview.info pushes some rogue/suspect products

Spyware Scan Review

spywarescanreview.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware.speedylearning.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- spyware-spybot.net pushes rogue/suspect products
--- successalert.com pushes rogue/suspect products

TeslaPlus

teslaplus.com pushes rogue/suspect products

The Spyware Review

the-spyware-review.com pushes rogue/suspect products
--- theshopontop.com/
spywareremovers/
pushes rogue/suspect products

The Spyware Zone

the-spyware-zone.com
spyware.1000recursos.com
pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- topadwarereviews.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- topspywareremovers.com pushes some rogue/suspect products
--- Trojan-Scan.com pushes rogue/suspect products

 
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Bogus Security Pages

Rogue anti-spyware products have long been known for using aggressive, misleading advertising and marketing, but in the Fall of 2005 a number of these programs began to be pushed on users through incredibly deceptive web pages that were often forced on users through browser hijacks. Many of these pages are deliberately crafted to look like the Windows XP SP2 Security Center, and they may be coupled with flashing tray icons that are designed to look like notices from the Security Center as well as false warnings that malware has been detected on the user's PC.

The Sunbelt Blog discusses a number of these bogus security pages:

 

 
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Legitimate/Licensed Clones 
 
There are licensed clones of legitimate anti-spyware applications. What follows is a list of rebranded versions of legitimate anti-spyware products and/or prominent affiliate web sites for legitimate anti-spyware products. (For a short list of recommended, trustworthy anti-spyware products, see below.)
 
Product Domains Comments
AOL Spyware Protection  aol.com formerly powered by Aluria (licensed); now powered by Pest Patrol (licensed)
Comcast Anti-Spyware  comcast.com powered by Pest Patrol (licensed)
Earthlink Anti-Spyware Protection earthlink.net formerly powered by Webroot (licensed); now powered by Aluria (licensed)
ExactSeek Toolbar exactseek.com front-end for X-Clean Micro scanner (licensed)
Exterminate pcpitstop.com powered by Pest Patrol (licensed)

F-Secure Anti-Spyware

norman.com powered by Ad-aware (licensed)
gogo DATA AdBuster gogodata.com front-end for X-Clean Micro scanner (licensed)
Invisus Pest Patrol myinvisusdirect.com formerly licensed Pest Patrol 4 clone; now a Sunbelt CounterSpy clone

---

Parasiteware.com
Parasite-ware.com
Xblock affilaites/resellers
--- PestRemovers.com Pest Patrol afffiliate/reseller

---

PrivacyAssure.com Aluria front
--- SecureIE.com
spyware-appz.com
McAfee AntiSpyware affiliate/reseller
Microsoft AntiSpyware microsoft.com powered by GIANT (now owned by Microsoft)

Norman Ad-Aware

norman.com licensed Ad-aware clone
Privatefirewall privacyware.com includes licensed version of Pest Patrol
SpyGone  spygone.com earlier version was Spybot S&D rip-off (1, 2, 3); now "powered by Aluria"
SpyStopper itcompany.com licensed SpyBlocker clone
SpyRemover itcompany.com licensed SpyBot S&D clone

---

SpySweeper.com
SpySweeper.net
Spyware-Removal.com
SpywareScanner.com
YourSpySweeper.com
Webroot Spy Sweeper affiliates/resellers
Spyware Fighter ewido.net powered by AVG Anti-Spyware (ewido) (licensed)
Spyware X-terminator stompsoft.com licensed Pest Patrol clone
Steganos AntiSpyware  steganos.com licensed Webroot Spy Sweeper clone
Sunbelt CounterSpy sunbelt-software.com version 1.x powered by GIANT (code independently owned by Sunbelt)
Yahoo AntiSpy yahoo.com formerly powered by Pest Patrol (licensed); now powered by Norton AntiSpyware

 
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Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products
Protecting your PC w/ quality anti-spyware applications...

 
When choosing anti-spyware protection, you should rely on products with deserved reputations and proven track records. That means avoiding the new and unknown, and not succumbing to impulse buys of anti-spyware products that you see on the Net, esp. those included in the "rogue/suspect" list on this page or advertised on Google

At the very least, you should have an anti-spyware scanner, and there are several reputable anti-spyware scanners available on the Net -- some even for free. But anti-spyware protection goes beyond having an anti-spyware scanner like Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware. Even after installing and running an anti-spyware scanner, you should take steps to lock down your browser and protect your system against further infestation by spyware and adware.

What follows below is a set of recommended steps for installing anti-spyware protection for your PC. If your PC is already infested with spyware or adware, see the instructions for getting help included later on this page.

1.   Install an anti-spyware scanner (or two...)
     

One basic tool in every user's toolbox of software ought to be an anti-spyware scanner. There are several excellent anti-spyware scanners available -- some free, some for pay. These include (but are not limited to):

Note to Vendors: please do not email me and request to be added to the above list of "recommended" products. This list of "recommended" products is based on extensive experience with the listed products and is not a list to which one can apply for admission.
 
Disclaimer: the maintainers of Spyware Warrior have enjoyed consulting relationships with Sunbelt Software, makers of the CounterSpy anti-spyware application. Given that relationship and the inherent conflict of interest it represents, we refrain from recommending CounterSpy. Spyware Warrior has no financial relationship with any of the companies whose products are listed or recommended above. We are not employees, affiliates, representatives, or other agents of any of these companies.

In addition, there are other "freeware" scanners that you may find useful:

Anti-spyware scanners work much like anti-virus applications (such as Norton Anti-Virus, McAfee VirusScan, et al), except that instead of scanning your PC for viruses, trojans, and worms, they scan your computer for spyware, adware, and dialers. 

You should not rely exclusively on this short list of anti-spyware applications, however. Rather, you should investigate and test a range of reputable anti-spyware programs to find the programs that are best suited to your own privacy and security needs. (You can find a more complete list of anti-spyware applications HERE as well as a breakdown of the features offered by the most reputable anti-spyware programs HERE. And for reports on testing with many popular anti-spyware utilities, see HERE.)

We recommend using at least two anti-spyware scanners regularly, as one will often pick up items that the other misses. Even after you install an anti-spyware scanner, be sure to keep it updated because new spyware and adware appears on the Net almost daily.

Anti-Spyware for the Mac

We're starting to get more and more questions from Mac users about anti-spyware. At this time, the only anti-spyware program that we know of for the Mac is:
 

Anti-Virus & Firewall Applications

In the past year, several anti-virus, anti-malware, and personal firewall applications have incorporated robust anti-spyware detection and removal. These programs include:
 

Although these anti-virus and personal firewall products may offer some protection against spyware and adware, we still recommend that users not rely exclusively on one of these products in lieu of a dedicated anti-spyware product, such as those listed earlier on this page.

Disclaimer: the maintainers of Spyware Warrior have enjoyed consulting relationships with Sunbelt Software, makers of the CounterSpy anti-spyware application. Given that relationship and the inherent conflict of interest it represents, we refrain from recommending CounterSpy. Spyware Warrior has no financial relationship with any of the companies whose products are listed or recommended above. We are not employees, affiliates, representatives, or other agents of any of these companies.

     
2.   Install anti-malware protection
     

Basic Free Protection

Scanning for spyware and adware isn't enough to protect your PC. You also need to take preventative steps to ensure that unwanted software doesn't come back. One effective way to prevent spyware and adware from returning is to install an anti-spyware prevention program such as:

SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard are excellent, free programs from JavaCool. I recommend installing and using both, as they protect your computer in different ways. SpywareBlaster "inoculates" your Internet Explorer browser against the installation of unwanted spyware and adware from the internet. SpywareGuard actively monitors your PC and prevents spyware infestations. Both are easy to install and update.

Advanced HIPS & Rootkit Protection

In the past few years a new generation of anti-malware protection products has emerged. This new type of anti-malware protection, called HIPS (Host Intrusion Protection System), works at the kernel level to intercept malware before it hits your hard drive and infects the system. Although this technology is still maturing, a HIPS defense may be worth looking into for some users. For a run-down of the latest HIPS applications, see this discussion on the Spyware Warrior forums:

Advanced users may also be interested in the broadening array of anti-rootkit programs that are available:

Please keep in mind the HIPS and anti-rootkit applications are both emerging technologies that may not be appropriate for home users who aren't technically savvy.

     
3.   Lock down your browser
     

One of the most prevalent means for spyware and adware to be installed is through Internet Explorer. To prevent spyware and adware from installing without your knowledge and permission, you need to "lock down" Internet Explorer. There are several ways to do this.

Securely configure the Internet zone

First, you can securely configure the Internet zone of Internet Explorer and add sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone. This means that by default web sites will not be able to use "active content" (i.e., ActiveX controls, Java applets, and scripting) until you explicitly choose to trust those web sites. See this page for instructions on how to securely configure Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings

By turns, you could also use this free program, which will automatically configure Internet Explorer for you:

Enough is Enough!

One potential downside to securely configuring the Internet zone is that some web sites will not work properly until you add them to the Trusted sites zone -- a process that some users find cumbersome.

Add bad sites to the Restricted sites zone

Second, you can use another approach to "locking down" Internet Explorer which avoids the hassle of broken web sites by adding known "nasty" sites to the Restricted sites zone. Doing so gives your PC protection against known threats while still allowing most web sites to work by default. To put the clamp down on a long list of undesirable web sites, you can install and use this free program:

IE-SPYAD

If you choose to use the Restricted sites approach of IE-SPYAD, be sure to update your copy of IE-SPYAD regularly, as new web sites are constantly being added to the list.

     
4.   Use an alternative browser
     

Internet Explorer is not only the most popular browser on the Net, it is also the browser most widely and easily exploited by spyware pushers to install spyware and adware behind users' backs. Thus, you might decide that Internet Explorer is simply not worth the hassle or risk. In that case, you can install and run an alternative, non-IE browser such as:

All three of these browsers are mature, robust, and fast. Moreover, they have built-in pop-up blocking and several other nice features that Internet Explorer simply lacks. More importantly, all three of these browsers are much less susceptible to unwanted adware and spyware installations. And all three are free.

Note: even if you do switch to an alternative browser, you should still lock down Internet Explorer, as described above. Given that Internet Explorer has effectively been integrated into Windows, it can still be exploited by adware and spyware that gets installed to your system through other means. Thus, locking down Internet Explorer remains important even if you're not regularly using Internet Explorer to browse the internet. 

     
5.   Keep your system safe & secure with Windows Update
     
    To prevent unwanted spyware and adware from being installed behind your back, you need to install all the latest "Critical Updates" from Microsoft. Doing so is easier than you might think. 

Microsoft has an entire Windows Update site devoted to automatically updating users' systems with all the latest fixes and patches for a wide range of Microsoft software, including Windows, Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), and Internet Explorer. 

We strongly urge you to take your system past the Windows Update site and let that site download and install the appropriate fixes for your computer. Doing so just might save you some grief and headaches down the road:
Windows Update
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

Much of the update process at Windows Update is automated, so it's simple and convenient. The Windows Update site will install a small program to analyze the software on your system and recommend the appropriate fixes. This process takes only a few minutes. 

Once Windows Update has finished analyzing your system, you'll be presented with a menu of downloads that Windows Update deems appropriate for your computer. At a minimum you should let Windows Update install the fixes marked as "Critical Updates." The other available updates ("Recommended Updates," "Drivers and Enhancements") are optional.

Check the boxes for the updates that you wish to install ("Critical Updates" are checked by default). Then click the appropriate button to start the download and installation process. You'll be shown a summary of the updates that you've selected, and then you'll presented with a "License Agreement." After you click through the "License Agreement," the download and intallation process will start.

Since the entire download and installation process is automated, there's almost nothing for you to do except reboot the computer after all the updates have been installed.
     
6.   Read Licenses & Privacy Policies
     
   

Anti-spyware applications alone can't protect you entirely from unwanted spyware and adware. You have to do your part as well by being vigilant in your online behavior.

One of the more common sources for spyware and adware is "freeware" (e.g., Grokster or KaZaA) that bundles unwanted third-party applications. Another common source involves third-party web sites that automatically start the installation of spyware and adware when you visit those sites. These auto-installed spyware and adware programs may initially appear to be plug-ins necessary for the web site itself, though usually they are not.

Wherever you happen to encounter spyware and adware, you will usually be presented with a EULA (End User License Agreement) and/or Privacy Policy. Do not blindly click through these documents. Read them carefully and look for the tell-tale language that discloses the presence of adware or spyware. For tips on what to look for, see these pages:

 
Most if not all of the "adware-supported" or "advertising-supported" applications on the Net have adware-free equivalents. There's simply no need to use advertising-supported applications. If you're looking for truly free software without any unwanted surprises, see the following sites:
 
     

Other Anti-Spyware Tools

     

There is a wealth of specialized anti-spyware tools on the Net, many free for the taking. For a more complete list of anti-spyware products, see:

  

 
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If Your PC is Infested w/ Spyware...
Getting help online...

 
If your PC is already infested with spyware and adware, resist the temptation to succumb to impulse buys of anti-spyware products that you see on the Net, esp. those included in the "rogue/suspect" list on this page or advertised on Google. Instead, you can get help online from a corps of savvy volunteers who specialize in busting spyware.

To get help with a spyware infestation:

1. Clean your PC as best you can
     

Download and run one (or all) of these free anti-spyware scanners and remove whatever spyware and adware it finds. 

You should also scan and clean your computer with whatever anti-virus program you happen to have installed on your computer. If you don't have an anti-virus program, you can scan your computer with one of these online anti-virus scanners:

... or download and run one of these free standalone virus removal tools:

     
2.  

Visit a spyware removal forum

     

Once you've cleaned your PC as best you can, visit one of the following spyware removal forums:

     
3.   Follow the instructions for posting a HijackThis! log
     

Most of the above forums will request that you post a HijackThis! log. HijackThis! (HJT) is a free program that will scan key system settings on your PC and generate a plain text log that you can copy and paste into a post. The volunteers at the above forums will examine that HJT log and recommend a course of action to fix your PC. HijackThis! can be downloaded from HERE

Each forum has its own set of instructions and procedures for requesting help and posting a HJT log, so abide by the requirements of the forum you're visiting. Also, do not attempt to use HJT on your own to fix problems. Let one of the expert volunteers examine your HJT log and advise you on what to fix.

     
4. Help the volunteers help you
     

In order to help you clean your system, the volunteers at these anti-spyware forums need a good sense for what's going on with your computer. When you're ready to post and request help...

  • Start a new discussion topic/thread.
  • Give your discussion topic/thread a distinctive title.
  • Describe the symptoms and problems you're experiencing.
  • Describe what you've already done to solve the problem.
  • Copy and paste your HJT log into your post.
  • Be patient while waiting for a response.

Note that some of the forums listed above may require you to register for free before posting.

     
5.   Follow removal instructions precisely
     
Once a volunteer does give you advice for cleaning your PC, follow those instructions precisely and report back what the results are. Also, you may be asked to download and run other specialized anti-spyware tools to remove the particular spyware that's on your computer.
     
The volunteer spyware busters who work these anti-spyware forums do this kind of thing all day long, so you'll be in good hands. At times they can be a bit overwhelmed, so please be patient while waiting for help.

Once your PC has been cleaned, be sure to take steps to prevent it from being overrun with spyware adware again.
 

 
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Google & Anti-Spyware Products
Be wary of paid search results...

 
Vendors of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products advertise heavily via Google's "AdWords" ("Sponsored Links" on Google's own search pages) and "AdSense" (Google-driven advertising delivered to third-party web sites). 

Users should be aware that a search on the term "spyware" (or any related term) at Google will turn up a variety of anti-spyware products and web sites -- some reliable and trustworthy, some not. The key to distinguishing trustworthy anti-spyware products and sites from non-trustworthy products and sites in Google's search results is learning to distinguish "regular search results" from "paid search results," otherwise known as "Sponsored Links."

Google Search Results for "spyware"
Google Search Results for "spyware"

The "regular search results" are those results that are ranked highly and are popular among actual users. For the most part, these are trustworthy. "Sponsored Links," by contrast, are paid for by vendors themselves. These "paid search results" are generally not trustworthy and should be avoided.
 
You may encounter similar Google-driven advertising on other web sites. These advertisements are clearly labeled as originating from Google's AdSense ("Ads by Google"). They usually appear on the top, bottom, or sides of web pages and web sites (see screenshot to the right for an example).

Even on such third-party sites, the advertising for "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products looks similar to the "Sponsored Links" (see above) and is just as untrustworthy.

As always, users are advised to stick to the "regular search results" on Google's site as well as to those anti-spyware products and web sites that enjoy good reputations among users (see above).

To Google's credit, it has stepped up efforts to remove some of the more objectionable and disreputable anti-spyware advertising over the past 9 months. As a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed (1, 2, 3), however, many users still have difficulty distinguishing between legitimate search results and sponsored search results.

Google AdSense (3rd-party site)
Google AdSense (3rd-party site) 

 
What's Being Advertised on Google? *
Frequent/Heavy Infrequent/Light
AdwareAlert
PAL Spyware & Adware Remover
Spyblocs/eBlocs
SpywareBeGone

 
ADS Adware Remover
AdwareSpy
Elimiware
Spyware Remover
SpySpotter
Spyware Cleaner
SpywareVanisher
SpywareZapper (BPS)
* Products advertised via "Sponsored Links" for search terms "spyware" & "adware." Last checked: November, 2005
 

Webmasters: if you host Google AdSense advertising on your site and would like to filter out ads for dodgy anti-spyware applications, there's a filter list that's being maintained at Short-Media.com:

Adsense Filtered URL list

A Note on Internet Download Sites

Users should also be wary of downloading anti-spyware applications from major software download sites on the Net. Although many of these major download sites have begun to police the anti-spyware programs listed on their sites, all too many "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware programs can still be had from their listings. Still worse, it is not unknown for vendors of dodgy anti-spyware products to solicit and pay for positive "user reviews" to be posted on these software download sites to boost the apparent popularity of their applications.
 

 
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More Information
Other sources for the curious...
More information...

For additional information on "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products, see:

Also, there is a dedicated "rogue anti-spyware" remover application that clenas many of the worst applications listed on this page:

News stories...

Several news stories have been written about "rogue" anti-spyware in the past year:

Complaints & enforcement...

Early in 2004 the Center for Democracy and Technology filed a complaint with the FTC regarding SpyWiper/MailWiper:

In Oct. of 2004, the FTC filed a complaint against Seismic Entertainment over SpyWiper/MailWiper:

In Apr. 2005 the FTC amended its complaint in the SpyWiper/MailWiper case to include one Rob Martinson:

On Mar. 11, 2005, the FTC announced that it had moved against MaxTheater, the company behind Spyware Assassin:

On Jun. 23, 2005, the FTC revealed that it had taken action against Trustsoft over its SpyKiller 2005 application:

On Aug. 3, 2005, the FTC announced a settlement with Advertising.com over its SpyBlast product:

On Nov. 10, 2005, the FTC announced that it had shut down Enternet Media, the company behind the dreaded SearchMiracle/Elitebar spyware application as well as the anti-spyware application Spyware Bomber:

On Jan. 6, 2006, the FTC announced that it had settled with both MaxTheater (SpywareAssassin) and Trustsoft (SpyKiller 2005):

On Jan. 25, 2006, the Attorney General for the state of Washington announced that it had filed a complaint against Secure Computer LLC, makers of Spyware Cleaner:

On Apr. 11, 2006, the Attorney General for the state of Washington announced that it had filed a complaint against SoftwareOnline, makers of InternetShield:

On May 4, 2006, the FTC announced that had secured favorable rulings in its complaints against Odysseus Marketing and Sanford Wallace over SpyWiper/MailWiper:

On Nov. 21, 2006, the FTC announced that it had reached a final settlement with Walt Rines and Odysses Marketing in the SpyWiper/MailWiper case:

Anti-spyware information sites...

There are number of reputable anti-spyware information sites on the Net. Among the best are:

 

 
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About These Web Pages
A few closing words...

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Linking to these pages

These pages have been getting a lot of attention since they were first posted on June 26, 2004, and we've had many requests from other webmasters to mirror or copy them. Given the sensitive nature of the information contained here, we would prefer that there were only one copy of these pages on the Net for us to worry about.

Thus, we must request that visitors not copy, mirror, or otherwise reproduce these pages -- including the "Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware" page, the "Anti-Spyware Family Resemblances" page, and the "Anti-Spyware Orphans & Outcasts" page -- on any other web site in whole or in part. That includes hot-linking to these pages via frames of any type. 

You may use these pages as a reference -- e.g., cite or summarize the particular facts, conclusions, observations, and judgments offered on these pages. But please do not copy, display, or produce derivative versions of these pages, which are protected by copyright.

If you want to link to these pages, by all means do so. You can even include a short teaser description or summary with your link.

As these pages are updated frequently, we are not responsible for any inaccurate, outdated, obsolete, defamatory, misleading, or otherwise erroneous information that may be contained on unauthorized versions of these pages elsewhere on the Net. The only authorized versions of these pages on the Net are those here at Spyware Warrior.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

SpywareWarrior.com

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Questions & Contact

If you have questions or comments about any of the information presented above, please don't hesitate to ask. If you're a vendor whose program is listed on this page, please read THIS discussion of listing criteria and the de-listing process above before emailing us. Also, before contacting us about programs not included on the main list of "Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products," please check the list of lesser-known anti-spyware applications that we have tested as well as the list of legitimate, licensed clones of other anti-spyware programs.

Best regards,

SpywareWarrior.com

Full disclosure: the maintainers of this page have performed consulting work as independent contractors for Sunbelt Software, makers of CounterSpy. Because of that relationship and the conflict of interest that it represents, we must recuse ourselves from public comment on CounterSpy. That means that we cannot and will not publicly evaluate, test, or even recommend Sunbelt's anti-spyware product. The anti-spyware products that we do recommend, all of which are competitors to CounterSpy, are included above. Moreover, the opinions, judgments, and conclusions found on these pages are those of SpywareWarrior.com alone.

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Last Updated:May 4, 2007

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