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Nick
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:25 pm    Post subject: Guardbar Reply with quote

http://www.guardbar.com/

Anyone hear of this? Know anything?

Quote:
- Block & Remove Spyware & Adware from infecting your PC.
- Eliminate pop-up ads.
- Clean Cookies, Temporary Internet Files, Recent Files & History Files
- Your Local weather located on the Tool Bar.
- Search the Internet from any Web page.
- Search Google, Yahoo, MSN & Lycos with a click of the mouse directly from the toolbar


Credit to expertec for posting about this in Boot Camp at SWI. No answers there yet.
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eburger68
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick:

Someone emailed me about this earlier today (or yesterday, actually). Here's my reply:

Quote:
Well, I've installed GuardBar and tested it. Not sure what to make of it.

The actual installation is quite small. It installs the following files:

C:\Program Files\GuardBar\gbdb.dll
C:\Program Files\GuardBar\GuardBar.dll
C:\Program Files\GuardBar\queue.dll

...along with some help files (HTML pages) and an .MSI Windows Installer
package or two in \WINNT\Installer and \WINNT\Downloaded Installations.
That's it.

It adds the following to the Registry to create the BHO & toolbar entries
for for the toolbar:

O2 - BHO: GuardBar.BHO - {62F5BBB6-A71E-46E7-AE78-73D25185EDC8} -
C:\ToolBar\GuardBar.dll (file missing)

O3 - Toolbar: GuardBar - {7F4D8DE6-AC92-4A13-9DE9-F360736F2464} - C:\Program
Files\GuardBar\\GuardBar.dll

Strangely the BHO is misconfigured -- it didn't create a C:\Toolbar.
Guardbar.dll is located in C:\Program Files\GuardBar\. Also, the Toolbar
looks like it has the wrong path -- should be C:\Program
Files\GuardBar\GuardBar.dll, not C:\Program Files\GuardBar\\GuardBar.dll
(notice the double \ ).

Ad-aware, Spy Sweeper, and Spybot picked up no nefarious software installed
on the side.

A few further notes:

* the weather function is using Weather.com (The Weather Channel).
* the search function uses standard, reputable search engines (Google,
Yahoo, etc.)
* it has a built-in popup blocker and history/cache cleaner

One other oddity. There appears to be no definition database, so the defs
are likely stored within the .DLL itself. There is an update function, but
it didn't seem to download any new files when I tried.

Just how effective an anti-spyware prevention app this is I cannot say
without more testing. But there appears to be nothing immediately and
obviously wrong with this app.

Best,

Eric L. Howes


This app is by SRC Technologies, the same folks who brought us SpyBouncer (on the list) -- so it's worth paying attention to.

ELH
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you Eric!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Boris at http://www.windowsforum.org/, that's where I first see it.
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Nick
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone from guardbar registered and sent me a PM saying it is a good ap. I encouraged them to post on the board for all to see and be able to reply to.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:06 pm    Post subject: Guard Bar Reply with quote

Hello,

Rest assured Guard Bar does not have Spyware or Adware built into it. We thought the concept of having a Spyware-Adware monitor built into a toolbar is a feature that a lot of people would love, so far we are getting very good reviews and people love the concept of having the monitor on their browser while they are surfing. Our database is very current and we are catching more Spyware-Adware than most companies, We have a very unique way of working with our custmers to find the most current definitions. We actually are negotiating with a few very large ISP's that want our monitor for their Tool Bar. So keep an eye on Guard Bar you may see it on a few more Tool Bars.

If you have more questions regarding Guard Bar please go here

http://www.guardbar.com
contact us
http://guardbar.com/support.asp
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eburger68
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuardBar:

Welcome to Spyware Warrior. I've a few questions for you.

You wrote:

Quote:
Rest assured Guard Bar does not have Spyware or Adware built into it. We thought the concept of having a Spyware-Adware monitor built into a toolbar is a feature that a lot of people would love, so far we are getting very good reviews and people love the concept of having the monitor on their browser while they are surfing.


Could you point us to any comprehensive, detailed reviews of the software?

Quote:
Our database is very current and we are catching more Spyware-Adware than most companies,


Evidence for that? I encounter companies every day making similar claims, and not a single one of them is able to offer evidence for it.

What spyware/adware does GuardBar block? It would help if you published a list or database of spyware/adware modules that you block and the criteria for targeting those modules. Your web site contains very little information about the app in its current form.

Also, where is the ref database stored? File name? When I tried GuardBar, there was nothing resembling a ref database -- only the DLLs for the toolbar and BHO and some vague-ish help files.

How is the software blocking these installations? Are you matching file names? Using signatures? Blocking access to sites/domains known to install spyware/adware?

Quote:
We have a very unique way of working with our custmers to find the most current definitions. We actually are negotiating with a few very large ISP's that want our monitor for their Tool Bar. So keep an eye on Guard Bar you may see it on a few more Tool Bars.


What is this "unique way of working with customers"? I see no means available in the software or on your web site for users to submit suspect files or URLs.

As things stand, your software is a black box. There might be something inside; there might not. Hard to tell, though, with the little information GuardBar provides.

Regards,

Eric L. Howes


Last edited by eburger68 on Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting concept. I hope you can get the information you asked for, Eric.

Though I don't use IE (have Firefox) something like this sounds like it would be good to have, provided your questions are answered satisfactorily.

Deb
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guardbar
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Eric,

I will try my best to answer all of your questions....I appologize if I do not give the exact answer you are looking for on all of these questions.


"Could you point us to any comprehensive, detailed reviews of the software?"

This is an answer that will be answered over time, we JUST released this software publicly 3 days ago. We are expecting many reviews, but due to the short amount of time our software has been out, there are not any real reviews out that we know of other than general discussion on message boards.


"What is this "unique way of working with customers"? I see no means available in the software or on your web site for users to submit suspect files or URLs."

We are also the developers of SpyBouncer(www.spybouncer.com). When we release a new database for spybouncer, that is also released to GuardBar. We know we get ALL the main stream adware/spyware out there due to a feature we built into SpyBouncer. It is very simple, but very effective, if someone scans their PC with spybouncer and finds nothing, there is a different option. Our users can then click on a link that takes them through a process to send anon system information to our database development team, which is reviewed and added to our database.


Ok, now for the bigger question.
"What spyware/adware does GuardBar block?"

Since Guardbar is powered by the same DB as SpyBouncer, we have basically taken the live monitor feature from spybouncer and fed it steriods. To answer your question technically, our toolbar is always monitoring these specific and most common areas that adware/spyware resides and runs. Our software frequently monitors obviously all running processes on your PC, it also does a quick run through your registry stopping to check items such as your BHO list, your ToolBar list, etc. We have put a lot of time and effort into researching and destroying adware/spyware, after a while you realize that 90% of all adware/spyware pretty much either resides or is executed from a small list of methods and places on every PC. We simply check all of those areas. We know we will not get everything on your PC, but if it is running on there, we have a good chance to at least crippling it with Guardbar, if not completely destroying it. Summary of what we block: We stop all running processes, and evaluate the registry in all the areas that spyware/adware most commonly execute and run.

"Also, where is the ref database stored? File name?"
Our database is stored in a DLL which is updated through our liveupdate feature under the Spyware Monitor button menu. I am unable to get into the specifics on our database and how it evaluates your systems, due to the fact that it is very unique in how it is built and structured. I would however like to answer your question in a non specific way. Basically we use all of the criteria to find spyware that you mentioned and more. "Using signatures? Blocking access to sites/domains known to install spyware/adware?"



I hope i did not stray too far from what you where really asking on these questions, if so i do appologize.
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phase
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not an IE user either, but Guardbar does sound like it could be a useful tool.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuardBar:

You wrote:

Quote:
We are also the developers of SpyBouncer (www.spybouncer.com). When we release a new database for spybouncer, that is also released to GuardBar. (...) Our database is stored in a DLL which is updated through our liveupdate feature under the Spyware Monitor button menu. I am unable to get into the specifics on our database and how it evaluates your systems, due to the fact that it is very unique in how it is built and structured. I would however like to answer your question in a non specific way. Basically we use all of the criteria to find spyware that you mentioned and more. "Using signatures? Blocking access to sites/domains known to install spyware/adware?"


Well, I'm glad you told me that GuardBar is using the SpyBouncer database, because that is a "known quantity" here.

I've tested SpyBouncer several times and found it seriously wanting. Not only is it one of the slower anti-malware scanners that I've tested (testing performed on a P4 1.8 Ghz box w/ 512 mb RAM and Win2K w/ SP4), but it has a disturbing proclivity for generating false positives.

I just re-downloaded the trial version of SpyBouncer (v. 1.2.2) and checked for updates (none reported). I then performed a "deep system scan." What I found was not only a discredit to your company's anti-spyware application, but pretty much what I found back at the end of June when I initially tested SpyBouncer.

In my first "deep system scan" SpyBouncer reported an incredible 222 infected items. See here for a screenshot of the scan results summary:

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics/sb-7a.jpg

This, mind you, on a spyware/adware-free system. There were a few stray IE cookies, but these were not an immediate threat. The rest were all false positives.

Why so many? The single largest cause of these false positives was that SpyBouncer was flagging Registry keys in this location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility

...as spyware components. In fact, all of the Registry keys that it detected in that location were added by SpywareBlaster and/or Spybot Search and Destroy. As has been well known in the spyware industry/scene for several years now, one can block the installation of ActiveX-based spyware by setting the "kill bit" against the CLSIDs of known spyware modules. These "kill bits" are set in the very location that SpyBouncer was flagging spyware components.

Indeed, if I had purchased SpyBouncer and cleaned the Registry keys it flagged, I would have been effectively LOWERING the security on my box, making Internet Explorer even more vulnerable to spyware installations.

So, I decided to test again. I removed the the ActiveX protections through SpywareBlaster and Spybot S&D. To my surprise, SpyBouncer still detected those keys, which were now empty -- without the requisite "Compatibility Flags" value to make them active. That suggests that SpyBouncer is doing dumb string scans of Registry keys and not even bothering to check the values of the keys -- hardly a sophisticated scanning method, but it might account for the incredibly slow scanning process.

So I removed the entire ActiveX Compatibility key and re-scanned. This time SpyBouncer flagged only 15 items -- 10 Registry keys and 5 files. Because SpyBouncer does not produce a plain text scan log, like every reputable anti-spyware app that I know of, I've patched together various screenshots from the scan results window so that you can see what it detected:

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics/sb-8d.jpg

The DyFuCa detection is a false positive. The generically named SETUP.INF is in fact from a trial of eAcceleration Stop-Sign.

The FlashGet detections are also problematic, because the version I have on my system is the paid-for version that does not display ads. The user is never warned of this, though. It's simply reported as spyware.

The Lycos SideSearch and PeopleonPage detections are also false positives. The keys that SpyBouncer flagged are perfectly legitimate Microsoft Registry keys related to Internet Explorer toolbands and searchbars.

The ShopAtHome detection is a particiularly hilarious false positive, as SpyBouncer here flagged a Pest Patrol file. Again, if I had purchased a license and cleaned my box with SpyBouncer, I would have effectively damaged one of the legitimate programs on my drive and decreased the amount of protection that I have against malware. Moreover, this detection suggests once again that SpyBouncer is simply doing dumb string scans, picking up the "SAHAgent" in Pest Patrol's CleanSAHAgent.exe -- hardly a sophisticated or nuanced scanning method.

Just as bad are the TwainTech detections. One is for a completely legitimate and normal Windows system file -- WININIT.INI. Allthough that file is almost empty on my box and not being used during Windows startup, on other users' boxes it could be in use. If SpyBouncer cleaned the file, it could do damage to a user's setup. The OEM19.INF is a bit of a mystery. It's empty (0 bytes) and I can find only one page (not reputable) on the Net that links it to TwainTech. Suffice it to say that TwainTech has never been on this computer.

All in all, a sorry performance. Despite the vague-ish claims made here for the sophistication and power of SpyBouncer's detection scheme and definitions, my experience with SpyBouncer suggests the complete opposite: that the application hardly performs sophisticated scans of the system and is prone to ridiculous, inexcusable false positives. Moreover, whoever is responsible for those detections is apparently not aware of one of the most basic methods for blocking the installation of ActiveX-based spyware -- a method that is not only well-documented and well-known but is used in a number of anti-spyware applications.

If GuardBar is using SpyBouncer's definitions, then my recommendation to users is to stay away. SpyBouncer is not a reliable anti-spyware application. By extension, neither would I expect GuardBar to be either.

Eric L. Howes


Last edited by eburger68 on Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:22 am; edited 2 times in total
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TeMerc
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, looks like still yet another addition to the Rogues list, by mere association far as I'm concerned. Cool
After all the apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree in this anti-spy apps biz. Twisted Evil
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suzi
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardbar, I have a question for you. I've read a few reports on other forums where people claimed to be hijacked by SpyBouncer.

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,10259509~mode=flat

http://forum.aumha.org/viewtopic.php?t=6378

In this one,
http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?showtopic=8916
it's pointed out that instead of being hijacked, the poster was actually on this site: http://www.goggle.com - obviously a play on google intended to get hits from people's mistyping. (not to mention the glaring pop-up when I turned off my pop-up blocker.)

Then there's another domain advertising SpyBouncer:
http://www.untdd.com/

Can you comment on these reported hijacks?

And are you aware that other companies are using the SpyBouncer name in the google ads?

Quote:
Free Spy Bouncer Scan
Scan your drives for adware and
spyware, then Remove it! -aff
www.NoAdware.net

Spy Bouncer
NoAdware removes spyware, popups
plus other unwanted parasites. Aff
www.noadware.net

Spybouncer
Download it now and get rid of all
spyware from your computer! Aff.
www2.Palsol.com


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guardbar
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
We have an affiliate that owns goggle.com people think they are typing in google but they are really typing goggle. Spybouncer is not a hijacker.

We are also aware that others are using our name on google, I'm waiting on a few replies from those companies.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardbar,

Could you please respond to Eric's (eburger68) questions regarding the false positives? Potential customers need to know if Guardbar is reliable.

I understand about the goggle domain - that seems to me like a rather deceptive marketing practice, which leaves a bad impression of your product.

And is this domain one of your affiliates too?
http://www.g00ggle.com/
It appears to be hosted on the same IP address as spybouncer.com and guardbar.com 199.218.5.134

I have some questions for you about the company, SRC Technologies. According to some websites, there is a history of spamming from the postalmanager.com domain.

Quote:
Message No. 77
Name: Postal Guy
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 09:19:03 AM
WebSite: http://www.postalmanager.com/
Birthday: born on the day email was invented
Presently at: Hilliard, Oh 43026
HomeTown: Hilliard, Oh 43026
Company / Institution: Proffessional Spammer
Message:

SRC Technologies, Inc.
3600 Main St.
Hilliard, Oh 43026
Phone (614) 777-8801
Webmaster@postalmanager.com

from this page:
http://www.bobbymaisnam.com/gb/archives/0001_0100.htm

The domain postalmanager.com is listed on some spam blacklists, for example:

http://www.cluelessmailers.org/listings/blacklistbylatestuce.html

and a lawsuit was filed:
http://www.indianaspam.com/index2.shtml
http://www.indianaspam.com/cases/0312-SC-1533/complaint.pdf

Can you tell us the status of the lawsuit?

Regards,

Suzi
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is more of a general question and there is no right or wrong answer.

Have you (or any of your staff members) setup "remote" help forums on any major Anti-Malware websites? Such as Spybot & Adaware (The leading programs in their field) have? Even made attempts to do so, either to get your product out there or provide support for it's use? This pertains to "Guardbar" as well as your older program "SpyBouncer."

I haven't seen any in my trips to various forums. If you are on other forums, please let us know, as it would help your credibility.

If you haven't...I'd like to know why, as it would seem be the professional thing to do. Much of the success of Adaware and Spybot has been the interaction with the general public about their product and keeping it tailored to their needs of simplicity and as well with the needs of us helpers for intricacy and effectivness.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeleterFX well put!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see some of the answers as well.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully he returns to answer my question, he was being very attentive to this thread which is quite professional. I hope he continues to operate that way.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

As per your questions reguarding the lawsuit we have open,
We do own PostalManager.com

PostalManager.com is an email list management and delivery service. Our service provides email list owners and publishers complete control and ownership over their database, message delivery and advertising space. Our customers will include opt-in list owners, publishers and marketers who use the service for distributing subscriber-based newsletters, e-zines, promotions and informational digests.

Our no spam policy is here
http://www.postalmanager.com/emailpolicy.htm

The lawsuit is being handled by our lawyer. The email that was sent was a client using PostalManager that has been a client of our for 2 years with no other issues. When dealing with Email Marketing you will always have someone that claims to be spammed when infact they signed up to recieve mailings.
Sadly, there are people out there who just sue for a living.
------------------
Now about Spybouncer and Guardbar...

We do apprecaite your honesty in this forum and take everything you say seriously. We are a very open minded company and respect all critism, positive or negative.

I guess to start, the false positives in Spybouncer will be resolved very shortly through our Live Update system. All of the issues stated above in spybouncer are either being re-worked or in beta for our next release. Keep your eye out for our next couple of releases, these issues will be straightened out shortly. We know that these are some very negative things about our application, but SpyBouncer and Guardbar are always going to be ongoing projects that we will always be developing and continuing to correct flaws and make better.

As per the forums, we are currently in the process of putting up a public forum. I agree with you 100% suzi about the forum issue and wish it has not been put off as long as it has.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guardbar:

Thanks for the response. I will be testing the next release of SpyBouncer.

We really need to talk about the advertising that your company does, because in going through HijackThis logs in anti-spyware forums, I am seeing too many users reporting that SpyBouncer is appearing when they start Internet Explorer. See these for examples:

http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?showtopic=20020

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,10259509~mode=flat

http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php?showtopic=8916

http://forum.aumha.org/viewtopic.php?t=6378

The descriptions provided by these users -- which are remarkably similar and quite recent -- suggest that these intrusive ads are being generated by a contextual advertising program or other advertising program installed on their computers.

What advertising programs or services do you place ads with?

Can you explain why all these users would be reporting similar behavior with respect to intrusive advertising for SpyBouncer?

Eric L. Howes
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the response, I was asking a semi-specific question.

* Where do you have plans to setup this "Public Forum."
* What will it encompass?
* Are you going to allow others, outside of your company to represent you as Helpers to use your program, or will you keep product support in-house only?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We run CPA, CPM and pay per click. We do not hijack browsers. The only thing we can come up with is windows will suggest a spelling correction goggle in place of google. A lot of people also think google is spelled goggle, since we are dealing with thousands of people I can't give you the answer to why people are typing goggle and think we are hijacking their browser. (Do a spell check with word using google)

The message board will take time to moderate and we do not have the time to set that up right now. when we get this new release out we will start the process of a message board, everyone will be able to post messages on our board.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject: Guardbar Reply with quote

I was directed to this thread from a Dogpile search of "Spy Bouncer" (Godfather of Guardbar) shortly before I was going to purchase it - I'm glad I did. Their "free scan" reported 215 infected items on my computer after the latest AdAware and Spybot S&D scans reported none. This begs the question: What is the best defense against malicious programs and what combination and quantity of anti-virus, anti-adware/spyware, anti-hacker, and firewall programs are sufficient to protect a system? Who can you trust in this business? Any advice appreciated.
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TeMerc
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best defense is one layered in approach. When I first started out into the cyber world I heard about all sorts of nasties which could infect my machine. So many articles, so many apps, how to decide?

Well, by finding out there are loads of security forums, much like this one, (and I only recently found this site, in Feb. '04, been online for almost 8 yrs) you can find that the people who deal with malware removal on a daily basis can offer somre great advice. As they can fix things in a manner unknown to you, they can also find which apps serve users best.

It was this way I came upon AdAware and Spybot. And look at that, not only are the best at what they do(not just my opinion, but the opinon of almost any publication, security forums)they are free!!! Why pay, if you don't have to? BTW, I actually have paid, upgraded to AdAwarePlus, which included AdWatch
and even went and bought SpySweeper.

Then, not one to just leave well enough alone, added soon after, WinPatrol, IESPY ADS and MVPS Hosts.

So, needless to say, I'm pretty bullitproof. Of course, then again, I don't cruise nasty sites to get infected with in the first place. And even if I did, its more than likely I'd not get hurt too badly, even if the site isn't on IE-SPYAD restricted list, or in the MVPS Hosts files. Because I follow these IE Tweaks.

So, thats my approach to staying clean, hope that helps some.
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Ad/Subtract
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:35 pm    Post subject: Guardbar Reply with quote

TeMerc - thanks for the advice, it is very helpful. It is disturbing to find new malware traces every time a different adware removal application is run. Is there any procedure to determine when a computer is truly "clean?"
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TeMerc
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, between the apps listed above, you shouldn't be getting much at all. But that also depends on where your surfing.

Different apps will indeed find some different things, based on how the app is set up to target specific item. They are geared a little bit different in this regard, thus, the layered approach.

Without knowing your system is indeed clean, as I can't recall you ever having posted a log, you mat just need to be gone over with a fine tooth comb in HJT forum.
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guardbar
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:33 pm    Post subject: SpyBouncer is more accurate Reply with quote

Hello,
I can tell you why we find more spyware and adware.

As you know there are thousands of spyware applications on the net, these companies realize that spyware removers are costing them money so they are always updating the file names and where they are placing the spyware so it can’t be deleted..Here is why Spybouncer is more current than other programs.

We have a support center that handles all emails and all phone calls for our customers. We do on occasion get calls from customers saying “Spybouncer removed most infected items but there are still funny things happening to my computer” Our support dept directs them to a piece of software that we built that will give us a snap shot of all systems running on their computer, our security team will then do research on the items that look suspicious, we then research that company and add them to the Spybouncer database if they are infact deploying spyware. Spybouncer is capable of finding spyware and adware before it hits mainstream, I believe this gives us an advantage that most companies do not have.

In the beginning Spybouncer had a few issues when we first released, we have been gathering customer feedback and only improving the performance and the reliability of Spybouncer since we first launched. Rest assured we are always improving our database and the features of Spybouncer to make it a better product.

We have also created the first actual toolbar that blocks spyware and adware from infecting your PC. There are other toolbars that will do a scan on demand but we have not seen any do it in real time like GuardBar. Guardbar is absolutely free with no selling points. www.GuardBar.com

Please feel free to ask me any questions.
Thanks
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rest assured Guardbar, Eric and a few others will be all over your app, to see if it indeed has been improved.
Its always a nice challenge to have someone from a company come here and say they have no troubles with their apps, only to find nothing but troubles.
Lets hope your an exception.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuardBar:

I've run two rounds of tests now with the latest versions of GuardBar and SpyBouncer.

Let me be perfectly frank: GuardBar is worthless. In two rounds of tests with different spyware installers and different circumstances, GuardBar merrily allowed a total of 31 different spyware applications to be installed on my test PC, including some of the worst out there. It blocked the installation of precisely ZERO. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

After testing GuardBar's blocking capabilities and finding them to be non-existent, I tested SpyBouncer 1.24. While SpyBouncer did detect some of the spyware on my PC, it missed a number of critical spyware executables and DLLs, leaving my test PC almost completely overrun with spyware as well as a hijacked web browser.

Let me summarize the GuardBar results first, since those are much easier to summarize. (The write-up of SpyBouncer's performance will have to wait until the weekend when I have more time.)

** Test #1 **

1. Installed GuardBar; no updates available.

2. Installed SpyBouncer 1.24; no updates available.

3. Downloaded and executed grokstersetup.exe from:

http://www.download.com/3000-2166-10237041.html

Note: downloaded through Internet Explorer 6.0 w/ SP1 with GuardBar active.

4. grokstersetup.exe is a stub downloader/installer -- it downloaded and executed a number of other installers.

Note: kept Internet Explorer open with GuardBar active. A number of the stub downloaders used the IE engine to download and install their components.

5. GuardBar stopped aboslutely nothing, allowing every single spyware application to be installed.

6. Installed were:

* 411Ferret
* AdRoar
* Altnet/BDE
* BookedSpace
* BroadCastPC (BTV)
* Claria/Gator/GAIN
* Cydoor
* Drsnsrch.com (browser hijack)
* FlashEnhancer
* ImIServer IEPlugin
* MySearch/MyWay
* Roings
* SearchLocate
* Topfivesearch.com (browser hijack)
* Topsearch (note: not completely installed)
* TV Media
* VX2/ClientMan
* WebRebates/TopMoxie
* WebSearch

** Test # 2 **

After removing the installed spyware with a combination of anti-spyware applications, I decided to try another test. Thinking that perhaps GuardBar was limited to blocking only spyware installed directly through the browser (i.e., ActiveX installations), I decided to test GuardBar against a web site that I know to be an auto-installing spyware nightmare.

1. Navigated to:

http://iowrestling.com/

Note: used Internet Explorer 6.0 w/ SP1 with GuardBar active.

2. After declining a home page change, encountered four different ActiveX warning boxes, requesting acceptance of installation of:

* AAA1Screensavers.com
* FunWeb/SmileyCentral
* GAIN Dashbar/Precision Time
* AT-Games (Addictive Technologies)

Clicked "Yes" to all of them.

3. The initial installers actually installed more applications than the names above might indicate, launching new installers for other applications not listed above.

4. GuardBar stopped neither the initial ActiveX-driven installations or the subsequently launched installers, of which there were many.

5. Installed were:

* AdDestroyer
* BroadCastPC
* Claria/Gator
* Dashbar
* Favoriteman
* FunWeb/SmileyCentral/MyWebSearch
* NetPal
* PrecisionTime
* ShopAtHomeSelect (SahAgent)
* WebRebates/TopMoxie
* TVMedia
* VirtualBouncer

** Summary **

GuardBar's performance was abysmal: of 31 different spyware/adware applications installed in two different tests, GuardBar stopped the installation of none of them, allowing my test PC to be completely overrun with spyware and my browser to be hijacked.

Although my write-up of the SpyBouncer scan results will have to wait until I have more time over the weekend, I can tell you that SpyBouncer's performance was not much better. Although it did detect some spyware related files and Registry keys, it completely failed to detect the browser hijacks and missed numerous spyware executables and DLL modules on my test PC -- spyware which was left to other anti-spyware applications to detect and remove.

All in all GuardBar and SpyBouncer turned in a dismal performance. GuardBar simply cannot be regarded as anti-spyware protection whatsoever. SpyBouncer does detect some forms of spyware, however, its performance was so poor in my two tests with some of the most common and virulent spyware on the Net that users would be much better off using other, more trustworthy anti-spyware applications such as the ones listed here:

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm#trustworthy

Regards,

Eric L. Howes


Last edited by eburger68 on Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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TeMerc
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Rest assured Guardbar, Eric and a few others will be all over your app, to see if it indeed has been improved.
Its always a nice challenge to have someone from a company come here and say they have no troubles with their apps, only to find nothing but troubles.
Lets hope your an exception.

Shocked Guess not.

Maybe its time to start a new classification, called:
Completely Useless Brick wall

But really, it seems you, GuardBar, have some work to do. Time to throw out the original format and start with a clean sheet.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that Download.com's review essentially agrees with Eric's conclusions about Guardbar's ability to detect spyware:

http://www.download.com/Guard-Bar/3000-8022-10312618.html?tag=lst-0-18#cnetReview

Quote:
Though this free toolbar attempts to be a jack-of-all-trades, it fails to live up to its potential, due to mediocre functionality. Guard Bar's basic parts consist of a Web-search tool, a pop-up blocker, and a spyware monitor. In our tests, the pop-up blocker quashed most basic ads but couldn't handle some complex ones. The antiadware module didn't fare any better, as it was unsuccessful at detecting several spyware components we deliberately installed. Guard Bar does offer you quick access to a few popular search engines, such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo. The toolbar also offers a very simple tool for wiping your Internet Explorer history. Since Guard Bar is free, we can't say it's a terrible download, but since it tries to do more than it can capably handle, we can't give it our enthusiastic recommendation.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
I'm not saying we are flawless, I don't think there are many programs that are 100% flawless. I can tell you we have an excellent team working on Spybouncer to improve the functions and reliablity.
Joe
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe/GuardBar:

That's not even the beginning of an adequate response. The question on the table isn't whether GuardBar is "flawless" -- that's a strawman argument. The question on the table is whether it's a worthwhile anti-spyware program, and any program that fails to block 31 of 31 of the most common, prevalent spyware apps on the Net is well nigh worthless.

As for SpyBouncer, the relevant question is: why should anyone pay for your anti-spyware scanner when they can get a more effective anti-spyware scanner for free (Ad-aware Personal, Spybot S&D) or for a roughly comparable price (Ad-aware Plus/Pro, Spy Sweeper, Pest Patrol) that will do a more thorough job of removing spyware?

Eric L. Howes
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Eric, very impressive review. Top notch.

Most don't have a clue to the amount of work involved. Well, I do and I say; ATTABOY Smile

"That's not even the beginning of an adequate response."

Not sure you left him any room for more than that. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

our customers are reporting that we find 40% more spyware than other companies..do the test.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why use something for free if it doesn't clean your system...bottom line is all of the companies that have free versions are making money selling something, donations, monitor charge, whatever the case may be money is being made up front or on the backend of a product.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GuardBar said:
Quote:
our customers are reporting that we find 40% more spyware than other companies..do the test

Didn't you see Erics post?

Your customers must be finding the only percentage that your app actually removes, and I guess they we're not loaded in Erics test machine. Maybe if we knew exactly what you remove, we could go out and find those infections to see if thats true.

GuardBar said:
Quote:
why use something for free if it doesn't clean your system...bottom line is all of the companies that have free versions are making money selling something, donations, monitor charge, whatever the case may be money is being made up front or on the backend of a product.


Who said anything about an app not cleaning your system, free or not? The only thing I saw, was a test of your app, which removed NOTHING!

And so what if the other companies offer other products they sell and how they make money? Whats the point of that argument?

The real problem is your app has failed completely in its effort to reomve a single known threat on a test, which, btw, was done twice to give you the benifit of the doubt.

Admit it sir, there is no possible reason for such a poorly performing product. Its fairly apparent your R&D deptarment missed a few items, and its target base leaves much to be desired.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:56 pm    Post subject: Why SpyBouncer finds more malware Reply with quote

I might be able to answer the point that SpyBouncer finds more malware. I also, like some of you, have a number of anti-Spyware programs running, including SpyBouncer.

After running them and cleaning all the things they found, I run SpyBouncer.... which comes up with 132 new things to clean, mostly in my Registry.

I am running the apparent latest version 1.24

I believe this might be the same problem as the "setting of the kill bit" that was discussed. I didn't pay for SpyBouncer, I'm just not completely unfamiliar with RegEdit so I merrily went along deleting entries. SpyBouncer shows you the complete path of the entry, so if you can use RegEdit you can clean the item yourself.

At any rate, I'm not clear on how to tell if the "kill bit" has been set or not set. If someone could explain that part to me, I could check to see if this is still the case with this version of SpyBouncer.

Thanks
Will
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