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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Everything is grey

Nothing is black or white these days. Everything is grey (or gray for my US readers). Take for instance this year's (2008) Virus Bulleting conference. The second larges sponsor (gold sponsor) is a company called ParetoLogic. Now if you look at their products page, you will see something called XoftSpySE Anti-Spyware.

If you do a little searching around, you will find that the previous version of this program (XoftSpy) was considered a rogue anti-malware product. Supposedly later the company rectified the problems, however you can find the original reasons for listing it on the Spyware Warrior website.

They still seem to have an affiliate program (this is in fact how I stumbled on them today - I was investigating an other suspected rogue product, which linked from their site to the XoftSpySE site). They edit their wikipedia pages in a non-objective matter (not that it is a crime or that other companies aren't doing the same) and are selling products which seem to cause more harm than good judging by the results which come up when you plug their name in a search engine.

In conclusion: I know that getting sponsors is hard. But an industry organization should really do a background check before accepting donations. Or maybe this is an other sign how the Virus Bulletin is slipping.


  1. Anonymous9:44 PM

    hm, may be antivirus software are rogue too? Count the advantages and disadvantages which comes with AV products. Are AV programs cost 30-50 Euro/USD? Much more if you count productivity loss and TCO. And which protection they offer? 99% in Virus Bulletin differs from 0-30% on Virustotal.

    Antivirus software ARE rogue software because based on FUD and lie.

  2. As I said: everything is gray (or grey :-)).

    As I elabore in the next post the line between rogue and legitimate is very blurry. All you can do is to make sure that you choose products which are at the very end of the spectrum (which are definitely not rogue).