This web site uses the icon to indicate applications or Internet sites that are "popularly recommended by other users."
Programs or Internet sites that are "popularly recommended by other users" are just that: programs or web sites popularly recommended by other users, not necessarily the author of this web site. That an entry is shaded does not indicate any kind of endorsement by the author of this web site. Nor does the lack of a shaded entry necessarily indicate a problem with a program or web site.
The author of this web site does not "endorse" third-party programs or web sites for any reason, nor does the author of this web site partner with or receive compensation from any other party for product and web site recommendations and placements.
A Note on Links to Programs & Web Sites:
On this web site you'll find links to thousands of web sites and programs. When adding links to web sites and programs I try to be as inclusive and non-judgmental as possible. The programs and web sites you do see listed here may vary widely in quality, but I do not personally endorse or recommend any web site or program over another. Nor do I accept money or any other form of compensation for product placement or listing.
I do occasionally see complaints in newsgroups or on web boards about some of the programs and web sites you'll find here. Unless a program or web site does something absolutely intolerable or is a flat-out scam, however, I will list it and let the users themselves sort it out. I have encountered programs and web sites that I've refused to list for one reason or another, but those are rare cases. There are plenty of web pages out there that list only a few "pet favorite" web sites and programs, but I want to do something different with this site. My policy is simply to say, "Here they are," and let the users investigate.
Why are there links to malware programs like Sub7 and NetBus?
I do occasionally receive questions about the links to Sub-7, BackOrifice, NetBus (to name a few just a few of the programs listed on the Snooping Utilities page). It is a fair question, admittedly.
This web site was set up first and foremost for the classes I taught at the University of Illinois -- see the Introduction: Why This Web Site? for more details on what the students did in those classes. To help my students understand the gravity of privacy and security problems on the Internet, I wanted them to gain an appreciation for what widely available malicious applications are capable of doing. Indeed, I even advised them to visit the web sites for Sub7, Back Orifice, and NetBus and check out the feature sets described on those pages. It's an eye-opening experience, to be sure -- and not just for my students. I've pointed a number of people to those web sites in order to reinforce the nature of the privacy and security threats that one faces on the Internet.
While I do have some qualms about providing some of those links, nearly all of those programs are fairly widely known at this point -- it's not as if these are links to little-known, "underground" applications. The same is true for most, if not all, of the hacking/cracking sites listed in the Information section.
I might point out that I'm not alone in doing this kind of educational linking. I
got the links to many of these programs from AntiOnline, though I understand that the individual behind that web site is himself a controversial figure.
Are there limits to what I'll link to? You bet. Right after the "AnnaKournikova" outbreak I briefly considered linking to the site that carried the virus/worm-authoring toolkit used to create that worm, but I decided providing a link to the toolkit would be "over the line." At least trojans and RATs like Sub7 and NetBus require some amount of time, effort, and skill to use properly (though the threshhold is admittedly dropping). By contrast, that virus/worm-authoring toolkit demonstrably enables even the most inexperienced and clueless to cut a wide swath of destruction with minimal effort (or reflection).
While I realize that such answers and justifications as I've offered above may not satisfy everyone, I'm comfortable with the site on those terms. I'm always open to someone's making the case that linking to a particular site or application is uncommonly irresponsible, even uniquely dangerous.
Before You Install:
Before installing any program you should first
make sure that you have:
- a recent backup of your critical data
- a recent backup of your Windows registry
- a good understanding of the program as well as any
accompanying EULA (End User License Agreement)
Alphas & Betas:
Some of the web pages on this site provide links to alphas and betas of programs. Alphas and betas are test versions of programs that are distributed for the purpose of finding and squashing bugs. Some alphas and betas will be more stable than others. If you do decide to download and install alpha or beta quality software, be sure to read the distributor's notes, warnings, and disclaimers.
Read the Documentation:
Do yourself the favor of fully reading any and all documentation
provided with a program or by a web site before installing software you have downloaded or implementing advice given on a web page.
Service & Support:
Given the sheer number of 3rd party applications for which this web site provides links, I simply cannot provide service, support, or advice regarding the installation, uninstallation, or use of these products. If you are having problems of any kind with a program to which this page provides a link, please contact the author or owner of that program for service and support.
I occasionally receive offers to donate money to help support this web site. While I appreciate these generous offers, I'm not in the habit of taking folks' money. That's a personal decision, by the way, and should not be interpreted as casting aspersions on the legitimate requests for donations and support that other fine privacy-oriented web sites may make.
If you do want to make a donation to help protect the privacy and security of ordinary Internet users, please consider donating to or joining one of the following excellent non-profit organizations:
I am not formally affiliated with any of these organizations, but I can tell you that they do invaluable work to ensure that your personal privacy on the Internet receives the robust protection that it deserves. If you'd like to look into other fine privacy and security organizations and groups, see the list on THIS page.
Targeting & Inclusion Policy for IE-SPYAD & AGNIS
I do publish a policy that describes what sites and domains are targeted in the IE-SPYAD "Restricted sites" list and the AGNIS block lists. You can read that policy HERE.
License & Disclaimer for Programs & Packages On This Site
I am, of course, more than happy to answer questions about any of the programs and packages that I have written and placed on this web site:
/ AGNIS for AdShield
/ AGNIS for Outpost
/ WSH Uninstaller
/ Enough is Enough!
Each of those programs is covered by a License, which you should read. Copies of
that License are included in each of the download packages for those programs --
see the files LICENSE.TXT and COPYING.
All of these programs and packages are Copyright (c) 2000- -2004 Eric L. Howes.
These programs and packages are free software; you can
redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of the
GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
any later version.
These programs and packages are distributed in the hope that
they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even
the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for
Some files distributed with these packages may not be
covered by the GNU GPL. Those files remain the property of
their original owners and are covered by the licenses under
which they were originally distributed.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
You should receive a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with any and all of these programs and packages listed
here; see the file COPYING. If not, write to the Free
Software Foundation, 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA
If you have issues with any of the above packages, please feel free to email me at:
You can get my PGP public keys HERE.
Background & Bio
I am currently Director of Malware Research at Sunbelt Software.
Prior to joining Sunbelt I was a graduate student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For twelve years I taught business and technical writing at the University of Illinois. During 2004-2005 I taught a course in GSLIS
in the Information Age." For three years I also taught composition courses at Parkland Community College in Champaign.
Over the past five years I have maintained a personal web site -- first at at the University of Illinois; now at Spyware Warrior.com -- to supply internet users with resources to protect their privacy and security on the internet. Among those resources are several utilities and "block lists" that allow users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser to protect themselves against the flood of unwanted software and content pushed on them by aggressive advertising and marketing entities.
In June 2004 I began collaborating with Suzi of
SpywareWarrior.com to create and
maintain a number of pages with information on anti-spyware applications,
including the "Rogue/Suspect
Anti-Spyware List." I attended the FTC's Spyware Workshop
(April 2004) and was a panelist at the CNET AntiSpyware Workshop (May 2005) as well as the AntiSpyware Coalition Workshop (Feb. 2006).
In recognition of my work to help internet users protect their privacy and security, Microsoft awarded me its MVP (Most Valued Professional) Award (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/).
Full disclosure: from late November 2004 to December 2005 I performed part-time consulting work as an independent contractor for Sunbelt Software, makers of CounterSpy. In January 2006 I became a full time employee of Sunbelt Software. Because of that relationship and the conflict of interest that it represents, I must recuse myself from public comment on CounterSpy. That means that I cannot and will not publicly evaluate, test, or even recommend Sunbelt's anti-spyware product. The anti-spyware products that I do recommend, all of which are competitors to CounterSpy, are listed here.