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Thread: Owner of Privacy Tools 2004 Announces Plan to INFECT Others

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Exclamation Owner of Privacy Tools 2004 Announces Plan to INFECT Others


    I am very new to your forum and was introduced to it by members of another computer/security-related forum, the name of which escapes me at the moment. This post concerns the owner of a British company that produces a "PAL Spyware Remover" called Privacy Tools 2004 - http://www2.** BE_CAREFUL. Eldar, a member of another forum site which I am a member of, Spyware Warrior, downloaded, installed, updated, and tested Privacy Tools 2004 on his system. He did not like PT 2004 and posted the following Negative review (opinion) at (Eldar also posted his review on Page 1 of the SW thread - ):

    "Cr@p - Stay away"
    Scanned my system with Ad-aware, Webroot Spy Sweeper, Spyware Doctor and Spybot S&D and everything was clean. Installed this tool and it found 2 programs and 534 registry keys. On looking at the keys I realized if someone would actually remove those, his system would suffer badly. It even pointed to Outpost as spyware."

    Eric L. Howes, creator of IE-SPYAD (restricted Sites List), AGNIS (Ad Block List), and Pro WAGoN (Block List Utility) has written this review of Privacy Tools 2004 (Page 1 of the Spyware Warrior thread):


    I've tested your new beta of Privacy Tools 2004. Unfortunately, I ran into the same horrendous false positives as with the earlier versions.

    First, four screenshots of the scan results, starting with the scan summary (click links to view screenshots):

    A couple of observations:

    1) The beta identified completely innocent files for the following applications as "spyware" or "malware" of some sort:

    * Advanced Replacer
    * Sam Spade
    * NeoTrace
    * SpywareBlaster
    * Spyware Doctor
    * UPX

    These detections are a mixed bag. In some cases the beta correctly identified the program (e.g., Sam Spade), but provided no good reason why that app should be flagged as malware. In other cases, the beta completely misidentified the app, as when it flagged a plain text license file for UPX as part of "AGM65's FileCD Key Harvester 0.1."

    2) The beta identified a number of completely innocent Registry keys as malware-related in some way, including keys for:

    * AdShield
    * SpywareGuard
    * Internet Explorer (Radio Bar)
    * FlashGet
    * Neotrace

    All of these Registry keys are completely innocent -- even the FlashGet keys, which are from the "for-pay"/non-adware version of FlashGet.

    3) The beta identified several Registry keys as "Suspicious ActiveX control," without bothering to explain why those ActiveX controls would be "suspicious."

    4) The beta identified hundreds of "ActiveX Compatibility" keys as malware-related. In fact, those keys (and the associated DWORD:00000400 values) were set by either SpywareBlaster or Spybot S&D to block the installation of known spyware-related ActiveX controls. This method of setting the kill-bit against ActiveX controls is a well-known means for protecting users from spyware installations through Internet Explorer, and has been in use for several years now in the anti-spyware scene.

    5) The beta performed very poorly in identifying actual spyware files. I happened to have a directory on my E-drive that houses dozens upon dozens of spyware installers and other spyware-related files. PT2004 identified only one installer -- SaveInstWm.exe, a SaveNow installer. The rest went completely unremarked by PT2004.

    I understand this is a beta, but more work seems to have been put into making the interface look slick than in actually fixing the underlying problems with the detections. Indeed, this new version of Privacy Tools 2004 looks to be just another clone of the new version of ADS Adware Remover (from the same family of applications) that was released just recently:

    Even the license files are identical.

    I don't know when you planned to release this new version, but you've got a long way to go before you have a usable anti-spyware utility.

    One final bit of advice. Given that you've been batting 0 percent for the past month or so -- all the while selling a spyware utility you should have known was junk to unsuspecting victims (and having even admitted to not doing proper QC) -- and given that you've been been telling me and anyone else who will listen that you've got your independent developers fixing all the problems with your software in this new version and, given that these extraordinary claims seem not to be true at all, I would suggest that you adjust your attitude when addressing the other members of Spyware Warrior in this thread. These are the people who actually have some knowledge about spyware (knowledge which your developers seem to be sorely lacking) and who have been using that knowledge to help spyware victims remove unwanted malware from their systems day in and day out.

    While you've been bragging to the world about your worthless, broken anti-spyware utility and selling it to unsuspecting users, condescending to the volunteers here at Spyware Warrior and refusing to answer their perfectly legitimate questions, as well as threatening me and Spyware Warrior with frivolous lawsuits, these volunteers have actually been doing the thankless job of providing real help to real victims, and all for free. That's a hell of a lot more than you can claim.

    Until you get your own house in order, you have no business whatsoever bad-mouthing the volunteers here at Spyware Warrior or giving them an attitude."

    Post link:

    At this point Ashley (aka "ash[b]1[b]ley"), the 22-year old owner of Privacy Tools 2004, - - became so frustrated with other member's criticism of PT 2004 that he publicly announced his plans to have his developers write and distribute spyware:

    "And to be honest i'm even thinking of having some programmers write me some spyware. Yep, actual spyware to infect ppls machines. Why? Cus you all suck. I'm trying to work with you but you couldnt give a sh1t. So why try and work with the anti-spyware community when there only against you? You guys are against me so much that i'm going to start distributing spyware myself, its not hard. UNDETECTABLE stuff too. To be honest theres probably more money in this then the actual spyware removal."

    Post link:

    The criminal act of distributing spyware with the intent to maliciously infect other people's machines is a clear violation of Britain's Computer Misuse Act, 1990. When Ashley was confronted with the legal implications of criminally distributing spyware that would violate the UK's CMA he wrote the following:

    "At the end of the day it wont be hard to pay someone to run my business from another country to ensure I dont get stung by any laws in this country."

    Post link:

    I wanted to spread the word about "Ashley's" plans to have his programmers write "undetectable spyware" programs with the express purpose of infecting innocent user's machines, all in the name of money (he blatantly & repeatedly states that pursuit of the almighty dollar, or pound, as the case may be, is his primary reason for founding his business).

    I am asking all who read this to share the story with people that they care about.

    Ashley needs to be stopped.

    P.S. My username at Spyware Warrior is "Harry Letterman".

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Very interesting story, and it's unfortunate that Ashley has decided to go that route. Do you mind if I just copy/paste this story you've put here to a couple of forums (if I think it's worth the effort, that is) instead of re-writing it? Either way, thanks for the story and the information.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    I do not mind at all if you reproduce the entire post but if you can wait about an hour I will post a list of forums where this topic has already been posted, to avoid multiple postings.

    Thanks for asking, btw!

  4. #4
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    if his spyware is as good as his spyware detection.. what do i say?

    the demo's told me the story.. never tried any recent stuff.. all the latest noise says is don't bother even giving his software another chance..

    Thanks crocNduck saw this message earlier on virtualDr..

    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    List of Forum Sites where this Subject has already Been Posted:

    Aluria Software Forums (my thread) -

    AntiOnline Forums (my thread) Ė

    AumHa Forums (Siljís thread) -

    B.I.S.S. Bluetack Forums (UK) (my thread) -

    BleepingComputer Forums (my thread) -

    Calendar of Updates Forums (my thread) -

    ComputerCops Forums (TeMercís thread) - Forums (blenderís thread) -

    Cyber Tech Help Forums (my thread) -

    CyberwizardPit Forums (my thread) -

    DSLReports Forums (eburger68ís thread) -

    DSLReports Forums (TeMercís thread) -

    Information Exchange Forums (UK) (my thread) -

    Kill Spyware Forums (TeMercís thread) -

    Mischel Internet Security Forums (my thread) -

    Net-Integration Forums (R.B.ís thread) -

    PC Magazine Forums (TeMercís thread) -

    PC Pitstop Forums (TeMercís thread) -

    Security Forums Dot Com Forums (my thread) -

    SpyBlocker Anti Spyware Forums (my thread) -

    SpyWare BeWare! Forums (my thread) -

    SpywareInfo Forums (my thread) -

    SuraSoft Forums (my thread) -

    Tech Support Guy Forums (my thread) -

    TweakXP Forums (TeMercís thread) -

    VirtualDr Forums (my thread) -

    Wilders Security Forums (my thread) -

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Originally posted here by Und3ertak3r
    if his spyware is as good as his spyware detection.. what do i say?

    the demo's told me the story.. never tried any recent stuff.. all the latest noise says is don't bother even giving his software another chance..

    Thanks crocNduck saw this message earlier on virtualDr..

    Whoops, I didn't realise that someone had already posted this info. here. Maybe the info. could be merged (esp. my list of other forum boards).

    BTW, I am "206WRC" at VirtualDr.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    its scary knowing that there are people out there like that
    kinda like dr. jekkl & mr. hyde (pardon my spelling)
    Well...its not gonna get much better than linux!

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