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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I was checking out websites that link to one of my sites today and one tried a drive by download of the “Sqwire Toolbar”. Curious sole that I am, I visited http://www.sqwire.com to check them out. No mention of the tool bar on their main page (and no drive by attempts at download here), just looks like a run of the mill directory/SE, so I decided to try a few searches. Searching for TigerDirect I found that all of the listings were for affiliate sites with a couple of notable results:

    Number 4:

    quote:

    Buy Computer Systems and Parts From Tiger Direct
    Tiger Direct has more than 50,000 computer products in stock.
    http: //service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=xxxxxxxxx&siteid=xxxxxxxxxx&bfpage=homepage



    I don’t know if this is the site owner’s affiliate link or if someone submitted this site to the directory. Although I didn’t see a place to submit a site.

    Number 14 is very interesting:
    quote:

    Tiger Direct Coupons - Ebates
    Get Tiger Direct products at low prices with Ebates, and scout around for coupon offers. Sign up now to become a member.
    http: //ebates11.cpcmanager.com/?1165440



    This links to an ebates sign up page. Is ebates advertising using the TigerDirect name? ahem trademark?

    The rest of the Tiger links looked like they went to normal affiliate sites.


    As far as the toolbar, I couldn’t find much information about what its supposed to do, other than to monitor users surfing habits and collect the information entered into online forms:
    quote:
    SQWIRE'S TOOLBAR SERVICE COLLECTS AND STORES INFORMATION ABOUT THE WEB PAGES YOU VIEW, THE DATA YOU ENTER IN ONLINE FORMS AND SEARCH FIELDS, AND THE PRODUCTS YOU PURCHASE ONLINE WHILE USING THE TOOLBAR SERVICE. ALTHOUGH SQWIRE DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO ANALYZE WEB USAGE DATA TO DETERMINE THE IDENTITY OF ANY SQWIRE USER, SOME INFORMATION COLLECTED BY THE TOOLBAR SERVICE IS PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE. SQWIRE AGGREGATES AND ANALYZES THE INFORMATION IT COLLECTS TO IMPROVE ITS SERVICE AND TO PREPARE REPORTS ABOUT AGGREGATE WEB USAGE AND SHOPPING HABITS.



    They don’t have any sales pitch for the tool bar, probably why they have to do drive bys. They do have a section in their FAQ about uninstalling the toolbar. All you have to do is click a link and allow the uninstaller to install itself on your computer. I couldn’t find anything about uninstalling the uninstaller.

    Ah joy, yet another one! What do you guys make of it?

    Jason
    “That’s the song I’ve been sangin for years, that’s the way the wild wind blows” – Robert Earl Keen

    [This message was edited by NewcastleB on January 10, 2003 at 03:29 PM.]

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Looks -walks and talks like a parasite duck. It smells like a skunk seeking a backdoor to populate some Adwarez and call home privacy information. Driveby hidden installs are the perfect indicator that this shady operator wants to fly under the radar till they can suck up some bucks from unsuspecting merchants.

    Webmaster Mike

    "Anyone can make a dollar, it is when you make sense that it starts to add up."...does your eBiz plan make sense?

  3. #3
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Oh joy. It's a new variant of good* old Xupiter.

    (* - not technically good)

    Thanks for the heads-up, will add to my info page.

    --
    Andrew Clover
    mailto:and@doxdesk.com
    http://and.doxdesk.com/

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    January 17th, 2005
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    Hello everyone!

    I had a horrible experience today with a company called Sqwire. I believe that they are somehow trying to get accepted as affiliates with the CJ interface. I use the word “believe” because I am not 100% sure, but pretty darn confident. Today I was reviewing applications and within 1 of the applications (which I was not able to identify) was a web site which somehow downloaded a few programs. These programs did several very bad things:

    1- They added a search box to my toolbar which is also a spawn of Sqwire
    2- They added a plethora of “favorites” to my browser (casino related)
    3- They installed several programs to my computer without my knowledge or approval
    4- They made it very difficult to remove from my computer

    These guys are crafty. Whatever they download to your computer causes several adverse effects. First off, whenever you try to perform any kind of search or type in a domain, then your browser redirects you to a site of Sqwire’s choosing. It also makes your computer run very, very, slow-especially while browsing on the internet.

    Here is how I removed the programs:
    You have to delete several programs from your computer (a Swimsuit pop-up program, a launcher program, a sqwire program, etc.). I pretty much had to go to “add/remove programs” and choose all the ones that I was unfamiliar with. When I removed these programs, it then caused a lot of default settings on my computer to change. It changed the fonts and size of my desktop, along with a lot of other annoying things. I then had to run the parasite removing program-adaware, which removed a large number of stowaways from my computer. However there were still 3 programs which it could not remove b/c they were running on my computer at the time I tried to delete them (they basically are always running, but you don’t have a way of disabling them from running). These programs could not be deleted b/c they were running and yet they could not be stopped form running (very sneaky). So you basically have to start your computer, run it in safe mode and manually delete the files yourself. Finally you should run adaware 1 more time to ensure you caught everything. What a mess!

    Anyway I thought this was relevant b/c some companies are making a lot of money by partnering with Sqwire. They have total control to redirect you to whatever site they wish. I am pretty confident that without the help of a few friends, I would have had to go through a reinstall of my entire computer to remove this software.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Nice! It really irks me when websites attempt to download stuff without asking first.

    Actually, it irks me when they ask first as well.

    Hint to webmasters: If you want to offer a download on your site, do so in a way that allows the user to ask for the download, instead of just assuming they will want it. This goes for music as well!

    Andy

    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Josh your drive-by BHO problems are very common. CJ's site bot should be programs to detect hidden drive-by installs of these perverted Ad-nausium spywarez programs on affiliate sites. They even design popup & under hellholes sneaking in these backdoor installers. Some sleezebag affiliates are like dogs eating their own vomit...

    The largest single service call warranty problem for the system manufactuers is parasite/spyware programs. The offshore programmer perps program these apps in between launching their next computer virus. The scum of the affiliate industry are willing to install and hoist them to suck in 10 cents per infection.

    The networks should perminently blacklist all affililiates who push PPC/PPA hidden installs on their sites with no exceptions. Gator and WhenU and all P2P networks included.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ShoreMark's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    CJ's site bot should be programs to detect hidden drive-by installs of these perverted Ad-nausium spywarez programs on affiliate sites...The networks should perminently blacklist all affililiates who push PPC/PPA hidden installs on their sites with no exceptions. Gator and WhenU and all P2P networks included.
    That's what the CJ bot is designed to do, isn't it?

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