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Where do I go to get the best spyware databases?

 
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SpyWar
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:08 pm    Post subject: Where do I go to get the best spyware databases? Reply with quote

I am having a program written and I need to get a good database that gets updated for it. I've found a few when I searched Google, but I wanted to get your guys opinions.

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am having a program written...



Oh great! Just what the world needs...another ash1ey.

Ref; http://www.spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=4112

While I'm sure that your intentions are good and not intended to be a scam like so many others, I must ask you what qualifications you or the dev team you intend to sponsor full time possess that could produce and maintain a viable product.

If you have no more insight to the world of malware then what we've seen demonstrated in this post, how do you expect to produce and maintain a viable anti-malware product?

Do you even have an inkling to the fact that it requires a 24/7 team of forensic experts(not unlike many of the staff here) just to maintain/update viable definitions...not to mention the constant revisions to the engine itself just to produce the routines necessary to deal with the changing exploits as they arise?...many of which have as yet NOT been perfected by any of the established devs for some nasties now in the wild?

Also, what proactive security features are you planning? Are you even aware of the current exploits?

If you can answer these questions sufficiently, I'll give you all the support you can take since I'm now looking for a product to support that actually does the job. There are NONE out there now.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a little hard on him, aren't you, mikey?

I agree with everything you said, especially after what happened here earlier this year.

Did you check out his website? He seems to have his heart in the right place.

Hopefully he'll come back and answer. Could be he hasn't completely thought through the process. Or maybe he has. Though it does sound as though he's in just a bit of a rush since he's looking for a ready-made database.

I'm going to reserve judgement for right now.

Deb
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SpyWar
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikey wrote:
Quote:
I am having a program written...



Oh great! Just what the world needs...another ash1ey.

Ref; http://www.spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=4112

While I'm sure that your intentions are good and not intended to be a scam like so many others, I must ask you what qualifications you or the dev team you intend to sponsor full time possess that could produce and maintain a viable product.

If you have no more insight to the world of malware then what we've seen demonstrated in this post, how do you expect to produce and maintain a viable anti-malware product?

Do you even have an inkling to the fact that it requires a 24/7 team of forensic experts(not unlike many of the staff here) just to maintain/update viable definitions...not to mention the constant revisions to the engine itself just to produce the routines necessary to deal with the changing exploits as they arise?...many of which have as yet NOT been perfected by any of the established devs for some nasties now in the wild?

Also, what proactive security features are you planning? Are you even aware of the current exploits?

If you can answer these questions sufficiently, I'll give you all the support you can take since I'm now looking for a product to support that actually does the job. There are NONE out there now.



Hi Mikey,

I was kinda expecting this kind of welcome here, but don't get too upset just yet. I am not merely looking to produce yet another rogue spyware remover.

First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Pat, I've been making a living online since whenever FrontPage 98 first came out. I have quite a few websites relating to both the mainstream and adult online industries. My main site right now is Adult Traffic Generator where I sell website traffic to both mainstream and adult sites, but mostly adult. Trust me, you're not talking to a newbie, despite what the title under my name on the board here says.

The program which I was referring to, that I am going to have coded, is not going to revolutionize the industry. I just want to have a program that is not too unlike some of the better spyware removers that are out there now but with a couple ideas that I have for useful additional features as well. I was mainly asking about purchasing or perhaps leasing a database so I don't have to require a 24/7 team of forensic experts just to maintain/update viable definitions.

I understand what you are saying about all that is evolved in such an endeavor. I am just exploring the possibilities right now, but this is something that I do have my heart set on.

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SpyWar
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb, thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods and saying hi!

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a quote from Eric Howes(eburger68) from a thread over at DSLR:

Quote:
Hi All:

If you were ever wondering where so many of the anti-spyware programs listed on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware page come from...

»www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyw..

...the post leading off this thread is a good start at an answer. Right now the anti-spyware market is hot -- see:

»www.internetnews.com/security/article...
»www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=pr2..

Because the market looks so lucrative, we have a large number of people and companies jumping in with whatever they can get their hands on in the rush to get an anti-spyware application to market and start cashing in.

The problem for these people, of course, is where to get an anti-spyware application quickly and on the cheap? They usually have no experience in the anti-malware industry and they're not that interested in investing the effort to hire a quality research and development team to create an anti-spyware application themselves and do a proper job of it. That would simply take too much time and money.

Depressingly, there is a market out there for "rent-a-coder" anti-spyware applications and definitions databases, and many individuals and firms are perfectly happy to snap these up in order to speed the process of getting an application to market.

Anti-spyware applications are tough to do right, though. Not only are the spyware and adware pests we're seeing becoming ever more devious and difficult to remove, but the number of new pests and variants of existing pests is exploding. Consequently, anti-spyware applications are very "high maintenance," requiring laborious research and development every day of the year. Even the best in the business struggle to keep up.

Good anti-spyware vendors know that quality scan engines and definitions databases can't be purchased on the cheap and off the shelf. The best anti-spyware firms are hiring researchers like mad to update their definitions databases and plowing thousands of man hours into the development of their scan engines because they know that it is vital to be in control of every aspect of their anti-spyware application.

Unfortunately, the number of firms who are truly committed to producing quality anti-spyware programs is very small. The vast majority of anti-spyware applications available on the Net are rebranded cloneware apps produced by rent-a-coder operations who then sell their substandard wares to internet entrepeneurs -- often "mom and pop" type operations with no experience whatsoever in the anti-malware industry but who are looking to make a quick entry into a hot market.

I've actually communicated with a number of these small-time vendors who decided to buy an anti-spyware app on the cheap and jump in. What I've learned ranges from discouraging to downright scary. Some of the vendors aren't familiar with the concept of a "false positive." Still others have very little sense for the threat of spyware or how their own applications fail to detect and remove it.

One vendor I talked with the other day wasn't even familiar with the scan results of his own application. When I detailed the deficiencies in his application's reporting of detected spyware and adware, and he wasn't even aware of the kinds of information his program was neglecting to report. That kind of woeful ignorance is not uncommon among these vendors because they're simply buying rebranded applications and databases from some murky anti-spyware chop-shop.

In this kind of environment, we often see companies and individuals trolling the Net for definitions databases they can buy, instead of hiring quality researchers to do the job properly. Some of you may remember Ashley, the vendor behind Privacy Tools 2004:

»Anti-Spyware Vendor Threatens to Write Malware

After I reported that the beta of a new version of his application was producing ridiculous false positives, Ashley decided he could solve the problems with his application by simply going out and buying a new definitions database. The results were utterly predictable:

»spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=4112

Still worse, we've even seen requests for databases that were little more than thinly veiled invitations for unscrupulous parties to rip-off and resell the databases from well-known anti-spyware applications like Ad-aware and Spybot Search & Destroy.

Another popular approach to building a spyware database involves merely harvesting file names and Registry keys from the growing number of anti-spyware research pages available online, such as those found at Pest Patrol's research site, SpywareGuide.com, Doxdesk.com, or Kephyr.com. The data stripped from these sites is then dumped into a file to be used by a relatively unsophisticated scan engine that does little more than perform dumb string scans on the hard drive and Registry, a surefire prescription for producing loads of false positives.

Not surprisingly, the anti-spyware applications that result from this blase attitude towards research are utter garbage. The definitions database is absolutely critical to an anti-spyware application, but the sub-standard anti-spyware vendors seem to regard it as an afterthought at best -- as icing on the cake of a flashy GUI and attractive set of web pages. It's the definitions database, however, that sets the few quality applications apart from the great mass of junk.

Sadly, all too many people out there just don't seem to care. Their only goal is to get an anti-spyware product quick and on the cheap. For a truly depressing read, take a look over the current "spyware" work projects being bid on at RentACoder.com:

»www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/Software..

It's a sure bet that most if not all of the applications that emerge from that degraded development process will wind up on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware pages.

Best,

Eric L. Howes

Full read of thread:
http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,12021674~mode=flat
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SpyWar
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I have to be a 'firm' and deal with laborious research and development every day of the year. Even when the best in the business struggle to keep up? That doesn't sound very encouraging to say the least.

It seems that anything short of this would wind up on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware pages. Is there no middle ground?

Question
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that there isn't.

As everyone knows there are more of 'them' than there are of 'us'. It seems to be easier for them to come up with more scumware than those of us who fight it can keep up.

Fortunately, the good guys stay with it and don't give up.

I have to say that unless you are willing to do the research (or have the people who can do it for you who are capable) to compile a comprehensive database thus enabling your program to do the type of quality work that end users expect, you are really just wasting time.

Taking short cuts, in this instance, has shown in the past not to work very well.

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really 'have your heart set' on doing this, compiling the database and doing the research (or having competent people do it for you) would go a long way toward credibility for the program.

And being willing to have people like Eric give you feedback toward improvements, etc., will also.

I know it's a daunting task, to be sure. But would you rather have a program that really doesn't do what you originally intended because you tried to cut corners? Or an excellent program that worked well and people want it because it does what it claims?

Think about it.

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikey & Deb---> Shouldn't you give the guy a chance?
I do not know what his intetions are, but til we hear anything that sets us up i think we should help.
Sorry for my poor english Embarassed Embarassed

-Bjerrk


Last edited by Bjerrk on Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikey wrote:
If you can answer these questions sufficiently, I'll give you all the support you can take since I'm now looking for a product to support that actually does the job. There are NONE out there now.


Was I being 'hard' on him? I thought I was just being realistic.

If his qualifications & means are adequate, I will support him. But the world has enough garbage in it now. If he isn't willing to go the whole 9yds, he might as well not even get on the field.

Nothing he has said inspires any confidence in me so far.

If all he intends, is to use someone elses halfa$$ work that will be outdated even before it's published, then I see no future other than bad reviews. I really don't think that is what he wants to do.

No, I don't think I was being 'hard' at all.

SpyWar, I wish you only the best and have nothing against your endeavors as long as I don't have to, in the future, review it as crap. Please excuse my skepticism but I've earned it.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, when I first read your post, it seemed just a bit harsh; though I certainly understand your exasperation after the debacle with ash1ey.

From what I've gathered so far, Pat seems to know that none here are going to relent on this subject.

I, for one, don't wish a repeat 'conversation' like the one before.

He wants to design a program to get rid of spyware/malware.

All well and good. At this point, it seems that he isn't motivated by greed as much as he is by speed, in that he sounds as if he wants to know if there is possibly a database available that isn't questionable at best. I doubt that there is, though.

Compiling such a d/b requires, time, equipment, expertise, etc. I am, like you, of the opinion that the person who truly wants the kind of program we are talking about, that aquiring someone else's database (the most critical part, indeed the heart of such a program) isn't desirable.

If I were doing this, something I wanted very much to do, I would want to put in the research, etc. to do so. And hire the experts with the same mindset to aid in that R and D (and to continue the day to day *ahem* chores that requires). That way, I would eventually have the kind of program I envisioned and know that it was done right.

Something I could be proud of to offer to the world.

I don't want to discourage him if he truly wants the kind of product I described. I DO want to discourage him from putting out just another remover that doesn't live up to expectations. There are way too many of them now.

Neither do I want to make an enemy of him.

His heart seems to be in the right place. If he isn't willing or is unable to put in the kind of time and dedication required for such an endeavor, I'd rather he channel his abilities in another direction to help people.

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you're right about it being hard to know what it's gonna end like.

i've just noticed that i made a spelling-mistake in my previous post.
I wrote that "i knew what his intentions were" but it should have been: "i do NOT know what his intentions are"
Mikey---> I dont want to critisize you, but on the other hand i would feel very bad about spywarewarrior rejecting a person who just needed a push towards goin' out and makin some good anti-spyware Smile .

Kind Regards Bjerrk
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe Deb scooped me.

-Bjerrk
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Deb,

BTW It's nice to share a thread with you again. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Don't worry; you'll probably do the same to me sometime

Wink

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have to worry about me being another Ash1ey.

Mikey, I am sorry that I have not inspired any confidence in you so far. Perhaps in time that will change.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikey wrote:
Well said, Deb,

BTW It's nice to share a thread with you again. Smile


Thanks, mikey, for the nice compliment.

And it's nice sharing a thread with you too.

Spywar, did you get my pm about your forum?

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikey wrote:
Spywar, did you get my pm about your forum?

Deb


Yup, looking into it now.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got a forum?
linky, linky?

Kind regards Bjerrk
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oooops i had'nt seen that it was in your sig Embarassed .
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Click the www link graphic in his post and it takes you to his website. The forum is there.

I've just been having problems trying to get to the site, period, today. So I sent a pm to him to see if he can figure it out. Neither my FF nor IE will access the site.

Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scooped.. hehe

Thanks anyway Very Happy

Kind regards Bjerrk
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't I tell ya you'd probably get me back Laughing

Deb
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Laughing Very Happy !

I'm sorry spywar, about me getting off-topic.
Back to topic.

.Bjerrk
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bjerrk wrote:
I'm sorry spywar, about me getting off-topic.
Back to topic.

.Bjerrk


hehe - where was I? I was wanted to know if I had to be a 'firm' and deal with laborious research and development every day of the year, even when the best in the business struggle to keep up? It seems to me that anything short of this would wind up on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware pages. Is there no middle ground?

I'm not looking to come out with just another branded clone here. If any of you guys would be interested in perhaps collaborating on a project like this, please contact me.

Idea
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SpyWar:

I've described in some detail the problems with sub-standard applications in the DSLR thread where you also posted. I pointed out that one of the recurrent problems that I encounter over and over is people trolling the net for definitions databases that they can just drop in place. As I noted:

Quote:
The anti-spyware applications that result from this blase attitude towards research are utter garbage. The definitions database is absolutely critical to an anti-spyware application, but the sub-standard anti-spyware vendors seem to regard it as an afterthought at best -- as icing on the cake of a flashy GUI and attractive set of web pages. It's the definitions database, however, that sets the few quality applications apart from the great mass of junk.


You've simply ignored that advice with the apparent hope that your application will somehow be different.

The bottom line is this: the definitions database is one of the most critical components of an anti-spyware application, and the research that goes into it will be a large determinant of how good the application is.

Don't treat the definitions database and the research that goes into it as some kind of inconvenience that you can buy your way out of. Do the research work and do it right. If you don't, you're going to wind up with a garbage anti-spyware application, no matter how noble your intentions might be.

The best of intentions can't make up for neglected labor. That's what we've seen over and over again, and you've shown me nothing to expect that your application wouldn't turn out any different.

You are, of course, free to disregard this advice. But you'll have no complaint when your application gets savaged by reviewers and testers.

Eric L. Howes
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eric,

I understand what you're saying. I am not seeking a database any longer. I am hoping that perhaps I can find some people that would be interested in collaborating on a project like this.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SpyWar,
I'm quite sure that there are a great many who would gladly collaborate with you on this.
However, most of them (if not ALL of them) will be in it for the money, and the likelihood is that you will end up with less money in your pocket than you have now, plus a tarnished reputation and a hurt ego.
My advice to you would be to exercise extreme caution, or better yet find another avenue for your talents.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SpyWar, I'm fairly certain that collaboration...the sharing of ideas, beliefs, and resources...is a primary ideal incorporated into this community. However, I believe that collaboration is an evolved effort. I don't think folks are ready to jump on any bandwagon that they know nothing about. Perhaps you could start your evolution by participating in the global pri/sec community thus giving folks a chance to know you. You can still simultaneously work on any dev.

Eric, nice piece. As always, gentle and to the point. Why don't you make it or similar as an FYI we can link to?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikey said:
Quote:
Eric, nice piece. As always, gentle and to the point. Why don't you make it or similar as an FYI we can link to?


Mikey, I did this blog entry quoting Eric's post at DSLR:
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2004/12/03/how-to-make-a-good-anti-spyware-program-or-not/

Or you could link directly to the post at DSLR:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,12022992~mode=flat
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx Suzi, that's great. Guess I'm a bit behind in my reading. I try to make the blog part of my daily routine. Smile
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