(FunWebProducts) Flagged as "Hijacker" by Pest Patrol
We've been flagging FunWebProducts (SmileyCentral) as adware and SEM (Search Engine Manipulator) for a long time (See http://thundercloud.net/infoave/askjeeves-rant.htm ). Most newsletters and anti-spyware sites dance around this issue. Why? We don't really now. Maybe it's because of the Ad-Aware decision. Ad-Aware decided quite a while ago that their company and their income is more important to them than your protection and telling the truth. Fear of litigation among anti-spyware sites and anti-spyware developers prevents them from informing you of the truth. Well, maybe we're stupid - but, we think you ought to know the truth. And the day someone can sue you for telling the truth is the day we're all in trouble.
On November 22, 2005, Computer Associates join a small group of anti-spyware vendors who flag SmileyCentral and FunWebProducts as undesirable software. According to Computer Associates' Pest Patrol Anti-Spyware, FunWebProducts (aka SmileyCentral, et.al.) which is a product of AskJeeves (the once trusted search engine company) is adware and a search engine hijacker. Not only this but Pest Patrol also backs up our claim that installing FunWebProducts leaves an open door to your computer through which AskJeeves can install basically anything on your computer they want under the guise of "updates". Theses so-called "updates" are installed without the users' knowledge or permission. And updates can be anything from yet another hijacker/adware program from this company to real updates. Since FunWebProducts first came on the scene a few years ago they've expanded their suite of questionable products to a dozen or more. All of which are installed when you install any one of them. And, all of which, by default start with Windows, causing a serious drain on system resources.
The following information was posted on 22 November 2005 by Computer Associates' Pest Patrol at http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=453094250
<QUOTE> During Testing
conducted on 11.22.2005: Based on eTrust PestPatrol® Spyware Scorecard
v2.05.03, FunWebProducts violates the following criteria: '2. Installs
itself or any other item without user permission or knowledge. at time of
installation.' '4. Changes browser settings, for example the default search
provider, home or error page(s) etc., without user permission at time of
change.' MyWebSearch Toolbar is installed and changes browser settings. '11.
Updates itself or any other item without user permission or notice at time
of update.' FunWebProducts updates without, (a) informing the user of this
during installation, (b) gaining the user's consent prior to the update, or
(c) giving the user any configurable updating options.
MyWebSearch Toolbar · MyGlobalSearch Toolbar · SmileyCentral · MyEmailStationery · Popular Screen Savers, MyCursors, PopSwatter, etc. Are all part of "FunWebProducts".
"FunWebProducts" furtively advertises itself
in your browser tags where you would not normally see it. However, every Web
site you visit "sees" it and this information is stored in their server
logs. Such behavior is reprehensible because there is no reason at all for
FunWebProducts to insert anything into your browser tags. It appears to be a
game of letting every Webmaster know how many people this outfit has duped
into installing this questionable suite of products. Such behavior is not
necessary and isn't befitting a huge conglomerate like InterActive Corp
(AskJeeves). Would you like to check to see if your browser tags have been
violated by this company? Visit
http://thundercloud.net/start/useragent.htm . If you see
"FunWebProducts" in your browser tags, we strongly urge you to run a good
anti-spyware program and get it off your computer.
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