Oct 13 2008

Spyware Doctor failure?, part 2

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The Register coincidentally ran a story on Internet security suites that fail to block exploits, so soon after they ran a story on the XP Antivirus 2008 scam. So, following up on my un-scientific tests…

The full registered version of Spyware Doctor failed to even detect SpyAxe — despite the fact they run Google ads specifically claiming to remove it.

Spyware Doctor scan settings

Spyware Doctor scan settings

I first ran Spyware Doctor in its default settings, without “Scan for rootkit hidden files” checked. It failed to detect SpyAxe. I then configured it to run a full scan at bootup and I rebooted the system. Again it failed to detect SpyAxe. I then checked the “rootkit” box and rebooted the system. Again it failed to detect SpyAxe during its full scan.

I then booted Windows XP into safe mode. Spyware Doctor again failed to detect SpyAxe during its full scan. Color me unimpressed.

But I’ll let them keep my $29.95 registration fee. Let’s hope they put it toward R&D.

It also surprised me how easily I removed SpyAxe by hand — and this makes me doubly unimpressed. Among other things, SpyAxe stops scamvertising if you tell Windows to “always hide” its system tray icon. Tsk tsk tsk. Then it collapsed when I launched a simultaneous killproc attack.

“Good grief, Rob! You just told the author of SpyAxe how to improve his scam.” Bah, no need to worry. Spyware Doctor will protect you…

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