Thursday, September 21

StopBadWare.org

StopBadWare.org is setup by Harvard, Oxford, Google, Lenovo, Sun and other companies. It helps Internet users to avoid disaster when browsing the net:
You or someone you know has downloaded something from the internet that seemed harmless enough at the time. Next thing you know, the computer has slowed to a crawl. Pop-up advertising starts to appear out of nowhere. Private information gets sent to some company you've never heard of. And the worst part? Trying to uninstall the software sometimes makes the problem worse.
How do this website implement such a big task? When you use google to search information, if the search result contains a malicious website which has "BadWare", and you want to visit that website, Google will bring you to warning page first, let you know the dangeous of visiting this website. If you think it you are confidence to visit that website, sure you can still do whatever you want, but at least, you've been warned.

The definition of "BadWare" is ambiguous. Usually we think a software that can install itself quietly without user's permission is not welcome by users. At least it is unsolicited. If a software doesn't provide an elegant way to uninstall itself, that makes user hard to delete it, and its existence againsts user's will, then we can call it "bad". Talking about actions of them, some softwares do something in the user's back, such as sending out personal information without permission. These are infamous Spyware. Some softwares pop up advertisement windows so that the developer can get money from ad venders. These are Adware. There are some other BadWare such as virus, trojan horse and joke ware. Yes, sometimes joke ware is treated as bad. You get an email from a friend, but when you open the attachment, you are told that your documents are deleted. It is only a joke, but maybe you don't want to get caught by this kind of surprise.

If you read yesterday's blog, apparently Sony's rootkit is a badware: It install itself without permission; It doesn't provide uninstall function; It do things user doesn't like; And it send user's personal information to its website.

Today when I tried to search serial number of a software. (/shame, sometimes I do that)I clicked two links from the search result, and both of them bring me to a StopBadWare.org page:
Warning: The site you are about to visit may harm your computer!
I am quite confidence with my computer, because I know every software I installed, and I have up-to-date antivirus software, I disabled unwanted system service, I update my Windows system on time, and I have firewall running. So I clicked the link to visit those websites. But I don't see anything special. I got the serial number I wanted from both website, and none of them send me any BadWare.

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1 Comments:

At September 21, 2006 9:36 PM, Blogger Ben said...

So, it leads me to think: StopBadWare.org is not working to stop malicious software, but to protect copyright, prevent people from getting serial number?!

10 minutes later, I realized I was using Firefox. Then I opened the two links using IE. One of the pages prompted to send me a "Internet Explorer add-on" from "Inter Technologies Ltd". Yes, that's right. But another page is clean, and I don't know why.

Apparently, Firefox stop the BadWare from showing up. StopBadWare.org should promote the usage of Firefox, so that whenever people go to this kind of webpage, they are immunized.

 

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