AdWare.Win32.AdSquash.b not Badware
There is such a big hype in the whole information technology business with huge warnings against adware going around. What people don’t know is that all adware are badware.In the war against spyware, are legitimate advertising firms getting caught in the crossfire? Microsoft has received no small amount of flack for their decision to downgrade their spyware detection in the latest anti spyware software. Though their software is still detected, the recommended action is now set to ‘Ignore’. Previous versions of the anti spyware had recommended their software be removed.
Critics allege that it uses deceptive ‘two-click’ installs. The first occurs when the user clicks the banner ad for the software; the second when clicking YES to a dialog that asks whether you want to install and run the “ad-supported downloads that display (i) exact time/date, and (ii) software-branded pop-ups and other ads based on websites you view”.It’s difficult to imagine how this particular dialog might be made more clear to its critics. After all, it does state that it will deliver ads and pop-ups and it does state that these ads will be based on websites you visit. And obviously, in order to deliver ads based on websites you visit, there is some form of tracking involved.
Up to where is the degree of threat do these “ware” contain? To deal with the varying degrees of adware and spyware, the anti spyware provides users the option to choose whether to “Always Ignore,” “Ignore,” “Quarantine,” or “Remove” a given program. The default option signifies the level of threat Microsoft has assigned the program. If the program exhibits deceptive behavior, it is assigned a Remove or Quarantine recommendation. Programs that do not exhibit deceptive behavior may be assigned either an Ignore or Always Ignore recommendation. Adware such as AdWare.Win32.AdSquash.b is not a badware and must not necessarily be ignored. The recommended action can be easily changed by the user, i.e. an Ignore recommendation can be changed to Remove and the anti spyware will then remove the designated application.
At least one report alleges that the software violates this policy in their bundle with the shareware game Dope Wars. According to benedelman.org, the Dope Wars game installs the software but does not provide a separate uninstaller under Add/Remove programs. We tested this complaint and found that the Dope Wars uninstaller, listed in Add/Remove programs, also uninstalled the adware. This would be in keeping with the shareware license terms which clearly states that Beermat Software (makers of Dope Wars) can “provide you this version of Dope Wars for free because it is supported by advertising delivered via the network. The program also warns that ads may be displayed. The user must then click Next and accept the licensing agreement before installation takes place. In short, no pain, no game.
Anyone who has installed the free Dope Wars and wishes to rid themselves of the adware component can simply follow the licensing terms and uninstall the game. This kind of measure will at least give you a safer and more secure internet connection.