StopBadware.org adds to its hall of shame list

StopBadware.org (http://www.stopbadware.com), the organization dedicated to highlighting software that consumers might prefer to avoid, Wednesday added another round of software programs to its "Badware Watch List."

The latest inductees into this hall of software shame include four programs: FunCade, a gaming application that comes bundled with BullsEye and NaviSearch; Team Taylor Made's "Jessica Simpson Screensaver"; a scanner called "UnSpyPC; and WinFixer 2005 and 2006. Each was cited by StopBadware.org for specific reasons that relate to deceptive installation, causing harm to other computers, modifying other software or transmitting user data, interfering with computer use or being difficult to uninstall completely.

These four software programs are the second round of selections for the Badware Watch List, following the first batch of "badware" announced last March, which included Kazaa, MediaPipe, SpyAxe and Waterfalls 3.

FunCade is named as spyware which when removed, does not uninstall bundled adware and spyware programs, according to SteopBadware.org.

Team Taylor Made's "Jessica Simpson Screensaver" is said to bundle more than a dozen pieces of software, including undisclosed adware, a 'dialer' which automatically dials for pay-porn sites with a modem, and toolbars that modify the installer's browser.

John Palfrey, co-director of StopBadware.org and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, called the Jessica Simpson Screensaver from Team Taylor Made "one of the worst badware applications we've ever seen," adding, "It's almost a textbook example of a small software vendor using deceptive means to fund a software business."

"UnSpyPC" is described as identifying legitimate software, such as VMWare, WinPatrol and Windows Defender as spyware. It's also said to add an UnSpyPC icon to Internet Explorer without notification.

In the case of WinFixer 2005 and 2006, StopBadware.org says both versions "deceptively attempt to get the user to purchase the full version of its software by making exaggerated claims about 'severe system threats' on the user's computer, while also making it difficult to opt out of purchasing the software altogether." WinFixer 2005 is said to install a rootkit, making the program difficult to detect and remove.

StopBadware.org, (originally called "The Stop Badware Coalition") is the group formed with Harvard University, Oxford University and Consumer Reports last January to identify unethical and harmful software programs through lab testing and legal reviews of end-user licenses and other documentation.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?