The Spyware Warrior List of  

De-Listed Anti-Spyware Products

Last Updated: May 4, 2007
Historical List of De-Listed Applications:

Some applications that were originally included in this list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware programs have been de-listed after the vendors for those programs took steps to correct the problems identified on this page. For each program that has been de-listed there is a note explaining the circumstances at the bottom of the main "rogue/suspect" list (see below for those notes). For each of the applications de-listed during the past year an entry remains in the main list solely to point to the explanatory notes on the main page. Applications de-listed over a year ago have only a note below on this historical page.
 
That an application has been de-listed should not be understood as an endorsement or recommendation of any kind. We still recommend that users consult the short list of "trustworthy" anti-spyware applications. For more information on the process for de-listing application, see THIS discussion in the Spyware Warrior forums.

De-listed apps from 2004 include: SpywareNuker/pcOrion, eAcceleration Stop Sign, Enigma SpyHunter, ZeroSpyware, SpyWare Killer, NoAdware, XoftSpy
De-listed apps from 2005 include: SpyZooka, SpyCleaner, SpyEmergency 2005, No-Spy/Sin-Espias, Ad-Protect/SpyOut, GarbageClean, Spyware Shield,
                                                              Malwhere, SpywareKill, AdwareAlert, Doctor Alex, MyPCTuneUp
De-listed apps from 2006 include: Spyware Detector, Advanced Spyware Remover, Spyware Terminator , CyberDefender, RemoveIt Pro,
                                                              SpywareBeGone/SpywareVanisher, Easy Spy Remover, PC Safe Adware Filter, SpyNoMore, 1-2-3 Spyware Free,
                                                              MaxNetShield/Spy-Killer, TrueSword
 
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Note on SpywareNuker & pcOrion:  Spyware Nuker and pcOrion are re-branded clones of one another; both are distributed by TrekBlue/TrekData. Spyware Nuker and pcOrion were listed on this page on this page primarily because of issues surrounding Version 1 of Spyware Nuker, because of TrekBlue's murky relationship with the adware distributor BlueHaven Media, and because of objectionable advertising that used to appear on the pcOrion home page.

Version 1 of Spyware Nuker had a deservedly poor reputation. It was a clone of BPS Spyware & Adware Remover, which itself is a rip-off of Ad-aware (1, 2) and Spybot Search & Destroy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Moreover, it was prone to ridiculous false positives, like the other clones of BPS Spyware & Adware Remover. (Contrary to allegations on the Net, no version of SpywareNuker or pcOrion, so far as we can tell, has itself installed adware or spyware.)

In the late spring or early summer of 2004, TrekBlue released a new version of SpywareNuker (version 2, also known as SpywareNuker 2004) which is not built on the codebase licensed from BPS (1). Testing with this new version  -- also released under the name pcOrion -- indicates that it does detect and remove spyware and adware. Moreover it is not prone to inexcusable false positives, as its predecessor was. Thus, the new SpywareNuker 2004 is a significant improvement on the justly discredited original version of SpywareNuker. Still further, the objectionable advertising on the pcOrion home page has been removed, and TrekBlue/TrekData has taken steps to clarify the history of its relationship with BlueHaven, which is no longer a TrekBlue/TrekData company. (1, 2)

Given that the issues surrounding Spyware Nuker and pcOrion have been addressed by the TrekBlue/TrekData, we can no longer consider Spyware Nuker or pcOrion to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: nuker.com, spywarenuker.com, trekblue.com, trekdata.com

(Note: other domains associated w/ SpywareNuker & pcOrion include: 1spybot.com, add-aware.biz, adawareinfo.com, catlab.us, dbxml.org, endadware.com, nukerdownloads.com, nuke-spyware.com, spy-bot.biz, spybotfinder.com, spywarealert.com, spyware-killer.com, spynuke.com, spywarenuker.us, spyware.pcwash.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 9-24-04]
 

Note on eAcceleration Stop-Sign:  eAcceleration's Stop-Sign anti-malware scanner was listed on this page primarily because of the company's history of employing deceptive advertising and drive-by-downloads (1, 2, 3, 4). The company was also known for removing and/or disabling competing apps. These objectionable business practices were employed primarily during the years 2002-2003.

Sometime during 2004 the company underwent reorganization. Not only have the worst of the company's download and installation practices been halted, but the company has completely overhauled its stub installer application, giving users much more control over the software modules to be installed on their systems (1, 2).

While testing indicates that the "threat scanner" is still slow and has occasional problems with false positives -- in large part because of the use of heuristics, which cannot be turned off by the user -- we can no longer classify this application as "rogue/suspect." Nonetheless, this anti-malware application -- at least in its current state -- cannot be recommended, given the many excellent competing anti-virus, anti-trojan, and anti-spyware applications that are available (some for free).  

Domains: eacceleration.com, eanthology.net, stop-sign.com, veloz.com

(Note: other domains associated with this outfit include: accelerationsw.com, buttonware.com, buttonware.net, clicksales.com, downloadsales.com, homepageware.com, oodlz.com, signupsales.com, webcelerator.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 8-7-04]
 

Note on Enigma SpyHunter:  Enigma's SpyHunter anti-spyware application was listed on this page primarily because of the company's history of employing aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The company was also known for exploiting the name "spybot" in its domain names and online advertising. These objectionable business practices were employed primarily from late-2002 to mid-2004.

Sometime during summer of 2004 the company halted the most obnoxious and objectionable aspects of its online advertising. It also unloaded all the "spybot" domains (which were promptly picked up by Paretologic for its XoftSpy anti-spyware application).

While there are still unresolved allegations that SpyHunter transmits the Windows Product ID from users' PCs (1), we can no longer classify this application as "rogue/suspect." Nonetheless, SpyHunter -- at least in its current state -- cannot be recommended because of its mediocre performance as an anti-spyware scanner. Testing indicates that it does not recognize some well-known spyware installations and has difficulty removing critical spyware/adware files even from those it does recognize (1). Given the many excellent competing anti-spyware applications that are available (some for free), users would do better looking elsewhere for trustworthy anti-spyware protection.  

Domains: enigmasoftwaregroup.com, spywareremove.com, uninstallxupiter.com

[A: 6-26-04 / U: 8-22-04]
 

Note on ZeroSpyware:  ZeroSpyware was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the nature of its detections and scan reporting (1, 2). In early September 2004, a new version of ZeroSpyware was released. Testing with this new version indicates not only that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved, but that the application does provide usable anti-spyware protection. Thus, we can no longer consider ZeroSpyware to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: zerospyware.com, zeroads.com

[A: 6-26-04 / U: 9-10-04]
 

Note on SpyWare Killer:  SpyWare Killer (1, 2) and SpyWare Killer Pro  (1) -- originally from Cosmi, but re-branded for Anonymizer.com -- were were listed on these pages because of inadequate info on the home pages (1, 2) for those applications and the fact that no trial version available. Earlier versions also used an out-of-date reference database. In recent months Cosmi and Anonymizer.com have added information to their web pages about the application and made a trial version available (from Anonymizer.com). Moreover, the application now appears to use a more recent definitions database. Thus, we can no longer classify SpyWare Killer as "rogue/suspect anti-spyware."

Domains: anonymizer.com, cosmi.com

[A: 6-26-04 / U: 11-17-04]
 

Note on NoAdware:  NoAdware was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the use of aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3) including exploitation of the name "ad-aware" (1). Earlier versions of NoAdware were also the same underlying application as Adware Hitman, Consumer Identity, Protect Your Identity, SpyBan, SpywareAssassin, Spyware C.O.P., SpywareKilla, The Adware Hunter, & TheSpywareKiller. Over the past few months, NoAdware has taken aggressive steps to reign in its affiliates (who were primarily responsible for the unsavory advertising) and released a new version of NoAdware (version 3.0) that addresses our concerns with false positves. Given these changes we can no longer regard NoAdware as "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: no-adware.com, noadware.biz, noadware.net, no-adware.net

(Note: other domains associated with NoAdware include: adware-free-download.com, adawareinfo.com, adwarenomore.net, adware-real-free-scan.com, adware-removal.biz, adwareremoval.net, free-adware-remover.org, free-adware-removal.net, free-adware-remover.org, free-adware-scan.com, free-spyware-check.com, nomorespyware.net, online-spybot-scan.com, spybotfinder.com, spyware-destruction.com, the-spyware-adware-remover.com,  thespywarepros.com) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 11-17-04]
 

Note on XoftSpy:  XoftSpy was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives (1, 2, 3, 4), questionable license terms, and the use of aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2), including exploitation of the name "spybot" by affiliates. Earlier versions of XoftSpy were also Ad-aware knockoffs. (There was clone of XoftSpy named SpyBurn, but that application is no longer available.) 

Over the past few months, XoftSpy has taken aggressive steps to reign in its affiliates (who were primarily responsible for the unsavory advertising), revised its license text, and released a new version of XoftSpy (version 4.0) that addresses our concerns with false positves. Given these changes we can no longer regard XoftSpy as "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: paretologic.com

(Note: other domains associated with XoftSpy include: adware-destroyer.com, adware-elimination.com, adwarekillers.com, adware-real-free-scan.com, adwares.net, anti-adware.net, antispywares.com, deletespyware.net, nomorespyware.net, removespyware.net, softspy.net, softwho.com, spywarebest.com, spyware-detection.net, spywareprof.com, spywarepurge.com, spywarerem.com, spywareremoval.net) [A: 6-26-04 / U: 12-7-04]

Note on Spyzooka:  Spyzooka was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the nature of its detections. In early March 2005, a new version of Spyzooka was released. Testing with this new version indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider Spyzooka to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: spyzooka.com

[A: 1-13-05 / U: 3-11-05]
 

Note on Spy Emergency 2005:  Spy Emergency was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the nature of its detections. In late March 2005, a new version of Spy Emergency was released. Testing with this new version indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider Spy Emergency to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: spy-emergency.com

[A: 3-11-05 / U: 3-31-05]
 

Note on No-Spy/Sin-Espias:  No-Spy (Sin-Espias)  was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. In late April 2005, a new version of No-Spy was released, followed by new definitions. Testing with this new version indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider No-Spy (Sin-Espias) to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: no-spy.com, sin-espias.com, sunmoon.com

[A: 3-2-05 / U: 5-8-05]
 

Note on Ad-Protect & Spy-Out:  Both of these programs were listed on this page because they are clones of products (Ad-Eliminator & Spy-Control) that have been promoted through aggressive, spam-driven advertising. Based on discussions with the vendor for Ad-Protect, which insists it is a different company than the entity responsible for Ad-Eliminator and Spy-Control, it appears that Ad-Protect and Spy-Out are being independently developed and have not themselves been promoted through the same means and methods as Ad-Eliminator and Spy-Control. Thus, we can no longer consider Ad-Protect and Spy-Out to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: adprotect.com, adprotectplus.com, spyout.net, spy-out.com

[A: 2-8-05 / U: 6-5-05]
 

Note on GarbageClean:  GarbageClean was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the fact that the site was collecting email addresses for the purpose of online registration without addressing that data collection in its privacy policy. The publicly available beta version of the software also exhibited problems on some systems. In late June 2005, a new version of GarbageClean was released, followed by new definitions and an updated privacy policy. Testing with this new version indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider GarbageClean to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: securemywindows.com

[A: 6-2-05 / U: 6-27-05]

Note on Spyware Shield: Spyware Shield was listed on this page out of concern that the author used the research of others without giving proper credit and without following license for products used. Given that the author of the program has taken steps to redress these problems, we can no longer consider Spyware Shield to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: mntolympus.org

[A: 8-21-05 / U: 9-6-05]

Note on Malwhere: earlier versions of Malwhere installed multiple adware/spyware parasites. (1, 2, 3) The most recent version of Malwhere is adware-free, and the vendor insists that Malwhere will remain adware-free. Given the serious breach of users' trust exhibited by this vendor with prior versions, we initially refused to de-list this application from the Rogue/Suspect list, insisting that the vendor establish a credible track record of adware-free performance of at least three months duration. As the vendor has now done that, we can no longer consider Malwhere to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.  

Domains: malwhere.com, softbulldog.com

[A: 9-13-04 / U: 9-19-05]

Note on SpywareKill:  SpywareKill was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and poor scan reporting. Testing with the latest version of SpywareKill  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider SpywareKill to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: spywarekill.com

[A: 2-14-05 / U: 10-30-05]

Note on AdwareAlert:  AdwareAlert was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the lack of information about the company and its privacy practices. In late fall of 2005, a new version of AdwareAlert was released, followed by new definitions. Testing with this new version indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider AdwareAlert to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: adwarealert.com, webalias.com/spybot, spywarealert.com

[A: 5-8-05 / U: 12-15-05]

Note on Doctor Alex:  Doctor Alex was listed on this page because of concerns with the lack of information about the company and its privacy practices, as well as the false use of TRUSTe seal on the Doctor Alex web site. In December 2005, the vendor behind this application took steps to address all of our concerns. Thus, we can no longer consider Doctor Alex to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: doctor-alex.com

[A: 4-23-05 / U: 12-24-05]

Note on MyPCTuneUp:  MyPCTuneUp.com offers an uninstaller utility for advertising software (i.e., "adware") installed by or from DirectRevenue (1, 2). 

MyPCTuneUp was originally listed on these pages because of concerns regarding its connection with DirectRevenue -- a company whose software is targeted by reputable anti-malware vendors (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) -- and because the MyPCTuneUp uninstaller uses a Transponder component program ("thinstaller"/"thunst.exe"), which transmits a good deal of system information to its controlling server (thinstall.abetterinternet.com) when uninstalling DirectRevenue's advertising software (1, 2). "Thinstaller" software is also capable of transmitting data about competing advertising programs and anti-malware programs that may be installed on the user's hard drive (1, 2). Indeed, DirectRevenue's software has been known to remove other software from users' PCs (1).

Limited testing with the MyPCTuneUp uninstaller indicates that it does remove DirectRevenue's software. Moreover, as it has never been the policy of this page to list vendor-supplied uninstallers for advertising software programs, we can no longer justify listing the MyPCTuneUp uninstaller in the main "Rogue/Suspect" list. 

This de-listing was prompted by a letter from DirectRevenue's law firm. You can read DirectRevenue's letter to Spyware Warrior HERE and Spyware Warrrior's response HERE. Both are PDF documents.

Domains:  mypctuneup.com

[A: 2-7-05 / U: 3-20-05]
 

Note on Spyware Detector:  Spyware Detector was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. Testing with the latest version of Spyware Detector  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider Spyware Detector to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: spywaredetector.net

[A: 7-10-05 / U: 1-10-06]

Note on Advanced Spyware Remover:  Advanced Spyware Remover was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. Testing with the latest version of Advanced Spyware Remover  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider Advanced Spyware Remover to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: dreamenstudio.com, evonsoft.com

[A: 10-19-05 / U: 2-3-06]

Note on SpywareTerminator:  We originally listed Spyware Terminator on this page out of concerns that Crawler, the company behind the product, had established connections with IBIS, a well known adware distributor responsible for such adware programs as Wintools, Websearch, & Huntbar. Although we found no problems in our initial testing with Spyware Terminator, and while the vendor itself announced that it was exiting the adware business (1), we decided out of caution to impose a three month probation period before we would consider re-testing and, if warranted, de-listing the the product from the Rogue/Suspect list. During that three month probation period we monitored the behavior of IBIS and Crawler. At the end of the three month probation period we re-tested Spyware Terminator, again finding no problems serious enough to justify listing the program on this page. As the vendor involved has not been involved in the distribution of adware for many months, and as the program itself exhibits no problems serious enough to warrant mention on this page, we have decided to de-list Spyware Terminator from the Rogue/Suspect list and can no longer regard the program to be "rogue/suspect."

Note: not to be confused with Spyware X-terminator from Stompsoft

Domains: spywareterminator.com, spyterm.com, crawler.com

[A: 12-5-05 / U: 3-9-06]

Note on CyberDefender:  We originally listed CyberDefender on this page out of concerns that the vendor behind the product was the same company that previously released Spyblocs/eBlocs, an application with a bad history of aggressive, deceptive advertising and illegal force-installs. Although we found no major problems in our initial testing with CyberDefender beyond false positives that were quickly cleaned up, and while the vendor itself halted the sales of Spyblocs and vowed not to repeat the same mistakes with CyberDefender, we decided out of caution to impose a three month probation period before we would consider re-testing and, if warranted, de-listing the the product from the Rogue/Suspect list. During that three month probation period we monitored the behavior of the company. When we encountered a spurt of advertising for the product through adware, we refused to de-list the product and imposed a second three month probation period. At the end of the second three month probation period we re-tested CyberDefender, again finding no problems serious enough to justify listing the program on this page. As we have observed no advertising of the product through adware for many months, and as the program itself exhibits no problems serious enough to warrant listing on this page, we have decided to de-list CyberDefender from the Rogue/Suspect list and can no longer regard the program to be "rogue/suspect."

Note: same company as Spyblocs / eBlocs

Domains:  antispywarenetwork.com, cyberdefender.com, cyber-defender.com, eblocs.com, networkdynamicscorp.com 

[A: 12-27-05 / U: 7-8-06]

Note on RemoveIt Pro:  RemoveIt Pro was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. Testing with the latest version of RemoveIt Pro  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider RemoveIt Pro to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  incodesolutions.com

[A: 5-24-06 / U: 8-1-06]

Note on SpywareBeGone & SpywareVanisher: Both of these programs (which are from teh same company) were listed on this page as "rogue/suspect" because of problems with false positives, scare-mongering scan results, out-of-datedatabases with trial versions of the programs, and aggressive advertising. Since these programs were originally listed on this page, the vendor has taken several steps to address our concerns. Moreover, false positives do not appear to be nearly the problem that they once were. Given the changes made to these programs by the vendor, we can no longer regard SpywareBeGone & SpywareVanisher to be "rogue/suspect" spyware products.

Domains:  spywarebegone.com, freespywarescan.org, spywarevanisher.com

 [A: 6-26-04, 10-20-04  / U: 10-5-06]

Note on Easy SpyRemover: Easy SpyRemover was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and inadequate scan results. Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider Easy SpyRemover to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  easyspyremover.com

[A: 8-1-06 / U: 11-10-06]

Note on PCSafe Adware Filter (PCSafe Security Center): PCSafe Adware Filter was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives and the exploitation of names and words associated with other, competing applications  (1) . Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Furthermore, we are satisfied that the vendor is taking steps to address the complaints from competing vendors. Thus, we can no longer consider Adware Filter to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  pcsafe.com, adwarefilter.com, adaware.com, ada-ware.com

[A: 10-31-04 / U: 11-10-06]

Note on SpyNoMore: SpyNoMore was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider SpyNoMore to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains: spynomore.com

[A: 10-5-06 / U: 11-10-06]

Note on 1-2-3 Spyware Free: 1-2-3 Spyware Free was listed on this page because of concerns with deceptive in-product advertising, ridiculous false positives, and inadequate scan results. In late 2006, 1-2-3 Spyware Free was significantly overhauled with the inclusion of a new scan engine. Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider 1-2-3 Spyware Free to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  smartpctools.com

[A: 8-1-06 / U: 12-26-06]

Note on Maxion Spy Killer & MaxNetShield: Maxion Spy Killer and MaxNetShield (which uses Spy Killer for anti-spyware protection) were listed on this page because of concerns with Spy Killer's canning/detection scheme, which we deemed to be flawed and inadequate. Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider either of Maxion's products to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  maxnetshield.com, maxionsoftware.com, spy-killer.com

[A: 6-26-04 / U: 12-26-06]

Note on TrueSword: TrueSword was listed on this page because of concerns with false positives. Testing with the latest version of the program  indicates that the problems with earlier versions have been satisfactorily resolved. Thus, we can no longer consider TrueSword to be "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware.

Domains:  securitystronghold.com

[A: 1-3-06 / U: 12-26-06]

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Questions & Contact

If you have questions or comments about any of the information presented above, please don't hesitate to ask. If you're a vendor whose program is listed on this page, please read THIS discussion of listing criteria and the de-listing process above before emailing us. Also, before contacting us about programs not included on the main list of "Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products," please check the list of lesser-known anti-spyware applications that we have tested as well as the list of legitimate, licensed clones of other anti-spyware programs.

Best regards,

SpywareWarrior.com

Full disclosure: the maintainers of this page have performed consulting work as independent contractors for Sunbelt Software, makers of CounterSpy. Because of that relationship and the conflict of interest that it represents, we must recuse ourselves from public comment on CounterSpy. That means that we cannot and will not publicly evaluate, test, or even recommend Sunbelt's anti-spyware product. The anti-spyware products that we do recommend, all of which are competitors to CounterSpy, are included above. Moreover, the opinions, judgments, and conclusions found on these pages are those of SpywareWarrior.com alone.

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