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  1. #1
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    SEATTLE, May 26 (Reuters) - Internet media company Yahoo Inc. unveiled a feature on Wednesday for its Web browser toolbar aimed at making it easier for users to remove unwanted "spyware" programs that snoop on Web surfing habits and other other activities.

    Yahoo's move comes amid increasing competition for Web surfers against rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which also offer popular browser toolbars, in the market for search and information services, along with related advertising.

    Anti-Spy for the Yahoo! Toolbar, which is being released as a beta, or test, version, allows users to identify potentially unwanted software that creeps into personal computers.

    Spyware often monitors Web surfing habits and can also cause issues such as displaying advertising and redirecting users to a particular home page. Some spyware can creep onto PCs without a user's knowledge and others come attached to other programs.

    Julie Herendeen, vice president of Yahoo's networking products, said that the anti-spyware features is the first offered by a major Web portal to a broad Internet audience for free.

    "Spyware is a serious issue, Herendeen said, but did not give a date when the full release version of the toolbar with anti-spyware would be released.

    After scanning a PC, a user has the option to disable, remove or keep spyware. Yahoo said its anti-spyware technology is based on Pest Patrol's software.

    Yahoo's toolbar also features other tools such as a search window, a pop-up advertising blocker, bookmarks and other customizable features.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Good for Yahoo!

    I hope millions of people use it to remove Ebates, WhenU, 180, and all the others that load themselves on computers without permission, or piggyback on other software downloads.

    That'll show everyone how much "value" those programs provide.

    Andy

  3. #3
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    Here's the problem Andy until this year when I started AM I had not idea what Spyware was all about. Even after that until I found this forum I did not know I had several program loaded on my computer.

    I think it great that Yahoo is trying to address it I'm just not sure how many people will use. The average person just does not understand and has fear of messing up their computers.

    Later,

    Spider Man

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'll try it out as I have both Altavista and the Google toolbar installed. Both have well behaved easy to enable/disable popup blockers. Only problem with PestPatrol is it whacks all the major networks cookies due to data mining clickstream web bugs for selling off info to the IAB/DMA members and their own contextual/search initiatives.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  5. #5
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    I shuddered a bit when I first read this and that they were basing it off of Pest Patrol. My concern of course being whether or not they would flag affiliate tracking cookies. Pest Patrol flags quite an extensive list of tracking cookies.

    I'm happy to say they don't look at cookies at all! At least not in this beta version. Hopefully that will carry over to the full release. The default is to scan just for spyware. However many of the apps we are concerned about get flagged. Some of their flags aren't accurate as for as what they are calling the application for the particular file flagged. But it seems to be doing a pretty good job detecting the different applications (right name or not).

    You can also do a check box to scan for adware also and this yields more results. Again cookies are not being detected.

    Finally something that doesn't detect our cookies! Now that is good news.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well I reported a Yahoo and Google spammer when search for the Yahoo spyware toolbar where a bunch of #1 listings turned up a few redirects to www.toolbar-toolbars.com Damn site actually a database feed of keyword stuffed doorway pages. The operator is Marty R. Milette and Maverick Media, Box 160, Newburgh Ontario Canada K0K 2S0
    http://www.custom-toolbars.com/

    I swear my system was clean before getting fooled into a link to his www.toolbar-toolbars.com site and clicked on multiple links to read his crap. Guy even runs an affiliate program. If you think like me I'll report him to Google and Yahoo for SE spamming.

    Domain Name: CUSTOM-TOOLBARS.COM

    Registrant:
    Maverick Media
    Marty R. Milette (marty@milette.com)
    Box 160, 73 East St.
    Newburgh
    Ontario,K0K 2S0
    CA
    Tel. +7.8125534028

    Creation Date: 22-May-2003
    Expiration Date: 22-May-2005


    ______________________________

    Domain Name: TOOLBAR-TOOLBARS.COM

    Registrant:
    Maverick Media
    Marty R. Milette (marty@milette.com)
    Box 160, 73 East St.
    Newburgh
    Ontario,K0K 2S0
    CA
    Tel. +7.8125534028

    Wouldn't be surprized if this guy studied the scumware "Xupiter toolbar" which private labels it for sleezeball affiliates who do drive-by installs.

    On a related note a search of Google for Yahoo spyware toolbar shows andother tricks for click player in a top position leading to http://www.internetserviceinfo.com/g...e-toolbar.html

    http://www.dragonfiremarketing.com/p...re-toolbar.php

    SE Deception leading to a page full of links that earn some sleezeball some bucks while play off a non-existant Google tool bar. Some links go to programs which actuall install Malware and adware along with the so called removal/free scan tools. God do I hate these sleezeball affiliates doing pure play SEO/SEM trickery and I'll report everyone of them I find to the SE abuse dept.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  7. #7
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    I'm confused here. From what I've gathered the Parasite, Spyware, Adware issue came about the time the Privacy and Copyright infringement lawsuits began. Is it a result of the Advertising industry of the Big SE's? They are the ones that first started the toolbars for I.E or NAV. Actually anywebsite that offers downloads or surveys, mail lists, anything that gets a customer to communicate with you and leave their info with you is a problem, it's how you use that info that results in the legalities of the issue.

    I got tired of using the Major SE's because of all the Popup ads when you used them. Then other strange things happened, that just wasn't in my control. I used a viurs software.

    Then I found out as I surfed the web, I started getting emails from some of the sites I visited but didn't leave any personal info. That kind of interested me. How did that happen? Then the Porno, Only visited one site that was porno and it was a link I followed from the US Div. Aging site for some info in Missouri. Clicked on the link and bam, windows started opening I couldn't close them fast enough actually had to restart.

    Now all the firewalls and software come with things to block all this stuff I didn't know about.

    If I remember correctly, Amazon, and many other BIG Aff programs, the SE's are affiliate of as well, or profit from them for Advertising $$.

    Now we must pay to get listed with them. It's just amazing how everyone of them are very profitable.

    Well, enough for now on this subject.

  8. #8
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    MS. B,

    Love the avatar! When U and Gator beware with agent B on the case. lol!

    Cheers,

    Beth

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I've noticed that the Yahoo popup blocker has to be turned off to post a reply at ABW. Also can't generate BF product link codes with it on. Everyone write Yahoo beta testing about this feature having opposite effects then the Google toolbar popup stopper. Altavista popup stopper also behaves fine.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Bet the DMA and IAB members are getting concerned as they see their browser spammers getting whacked right and left. Infection is the game and my bet is MSN and Google will follow suit and add spyware/adware removal features in their toolbars too. Major news storys today on the Yahoo announcement.

    ____________________________
    From Direct marketing News...

    Yahoo will offer anti-spyware software as part of its Internet browser search toolbar, the Sunnyvale, CA, company said yesterday.
    The company said it would offer Pest Patrol's software free to Yahoo Toolbar users. Pest Patrol helps users identify and remove unwanted programs on their computer, including spyware, which is generally defined as computer programs loaded on a user's computer without consent. Some programs track Internet behavior, even stealing credit card numbers and passwords, while adware serves pop-up advertising tied to Web browsing habits.

    The beta version of Anti-Spy for the Yahoo Toolbar lets users click on a button to receive an audit of what potential spyware and adware are on their machine. Users can choose to uninstall the software. The toolbar includes a Web search box, pop-up blocker and links to Yahoo content areas.

    Critics of adware companies such as Claria and WhenU assert their pop-up advertising software is spyware, a charge the companies deny. Lawsuits are pending against both Claria and WhenU, claiming many of their combined 70 million users do not know they have the software.

    Congress is considering spyware-related bills. The Federal Trade Commission convened a one-day meeting in April to discuss spyware. Utah enacted a controversial spyware law. New York and California are considering spyware legislative measures.

    Yahoo is not the first Internet service to target spyware. AOL, MSN and EarthLink offer spyware-removal software for subscribers. EarthLink said in April that it had found 1 million computers with 29.5 million pieces of spyware installed since it began sniffing for spyware in January. EarthLink said the majority were adware programs.

    Yahoo's move comes a week after Google weighed in on spyware by posting a proposal to fight deceptive software. The guidelines urge that companies make abundantly clear to consumers when they are downloading software, casting doubt on the common practice of paying for bundling with popular free software. For example, Claria gets most of its downloads from its bundling with file-sharing program KaZaA.

    In addition to the spyware-removal software, Yahoo said it would open a forum for news on fighting spyware. The hazy line between legitimate software and spyware is shown in Pest Patrol's top five "pests of the week." The No. 1 pest is CometSystems, an adware program recently acquired by paid search company FindWhat.com"......

    __________________________________
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Guess the vocal anti-BHO crowd here has refused to push Yahoo companion toolbar on their shoppers.....
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  12. #12
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    WebSearch keeps turning my Yahoo Toolbar off

    Those running detection scripts may want to suggest this to their users as it is the only detection/removal program I know of so far that doesn't tag affiliate cookies.

    Mike, is the popup feature on yours working? I can't get it to work on mine.

  13. #13
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    This is all ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff.

    I prefer a fence at the top - change browser, or change OS.

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The Popup blocker has stopped 131 pops so far. Just push that function and turn it off or on with a check mark.

    SyywareBlaster 3.1 is the only program I know of that blocks drive-by and bundled installs of adware/spyware and those web bug cookies. Be sure to warn your shoppers to turn off blocking the CJ -BF and LS cookies as most just check block all spyware cookies. The feature to auto block malware sites in the HOSTs file, including drive-by affiliate sites in their "restricted list", is a nice one as is their system restore snapshot.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  15. #15
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    Thanks. I've clicked and checked and pushed. Not a pop blocked. Most likely another application is keeping it from working. The pop up feature was not new to this beta version.

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I've noticed on several systems that the Yahoo toolbars OEM version of PestPatrol won't perminently remove certain detected Malware/Adware programs. Hopefully Yahoo, Google, AOL and MSN will bann all sites that do drive-by installs from their listings as well as any BHO who uses an affiliate program to spread their Malware.

    Cut off the traffic, commissions and infection fees seems to me to be a pretty straight forward to end this reign of commission terrorism. Bann all BHO's from having an affiliate program!!!

    The ones so far I see that require manualy Windows registry editing to remove or they re-install are...
    Netpal
    StopPop
    Stop-Popup-Ads-Now
    Huntbar.BTin
    IEaccess
    ISTbar
    Coolsearch
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Hot off the SlashDot website....

    Yahoo's new browser toolbar is advertised to clean out adware and spyware from the user's PC and from the sound of it is a good tool to rely on. Not so, says eWeek, whose Matt Hicks notices that Yahoo excludes by default two popular adware/spyware applications - Claria (ex-Gator) and WhenU.com - Claria has commercial bonding with Yahoo! Inc.

    Link to article - http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...1/tc_zd/128565
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  18. #18
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    Just read that as well. People should we really promote this article to show how insidious this stuff really is. Pretty scummy move by yahoo, I hope there is serious backlash.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    It figures. One foot on the dock, the other in the boat. Yahoo needs to decide whether it's more important to provide a helpful tool to consumers, or collect income from the dark side. They can't have it both ways.

    If they don't clear this up, IMO, the Yahoo toolbar is worthless as an anti-spyware tool.

    Andy

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