Microsoft AntiSpyware beta available


Ms_antispywareMicrosoft has released a beta version of their new AntiSpyware software and it is available for download at this link.  Paul Thurrot’s SuperSite for Windows has a detailed overview of this program and the technology used behind the scenes.  I installed AntiSpyware this morning and had a surprise waiting for me.  I run a protected system with Antivirus software and Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware program and keep them updated religiously so they always catch the latest spyware/ malware.  The first thing I did after installing the MS AntiSpyware program was have the software do a quick scan of my system which took about 5 minutes.  Much to my surprise it found one spyware program called webHancer which according to the popup window is a "spyware program that loads upon system startup whose sole function is to report web site tracking information".  Wow! 

Further examination showed the spyware was installed by a program I have used for a long time and even recommended to others- Aladdin’s Internet Cleanup.  This utility is a commercial program that makes it easy to clean out temporary Internet Explorer files, clean the cookies out, and remove history lists from IE and other programs.  Imagine how surprised I was to find this program as the source of the webHancer spyware.  The whole premise behind Internet Cleanup is to protect the privacy of the user.  Needless to say I let AntiSpyware remove the offending webHancer from my system but guess what?  After removal every time I started the browser or right-clicked on any document icon Internet Cleanup automatically ran Windows Installer in an attempt to put it back on my system.  I must say I feel very betrayed by Aladdin and won’t be buying any of their software again.  Jerks.


Mike Cane

I d/led it. Found it it won’t work with my Win98SE system. Feh!


Just installed (XPP with SP1) – no problem. Did find searchsquire, so now I’m combing around various blogs because I did recall reading something about someone else finding searchsquire after they ran this for the first time…



Microsoft made a very bold and awesome move purchasing Giant.

In October, a research scientist performed spyware test with the top 11 anti-spyware tools.

Giant perfomed better then any solution out there, surpassing the often used Ad-Aware, Spybot, and PestPatrol by A LOT.

Hopefully, Microsoft will own Enterprise Desktop Security. Right now, they have positioned themselves to control–Firewall (XP SP2), System Update (using AD and GPOs and SUS/WUS), buffer overflow protection (XP SP2), and manage anti-virus through partnerships with the A/V vendors (or do what they did last year and buy one of the A/V vendors and be done with it).

MS looks like they will rely on MOM/SMS to control desktop security.


If you really want to dig deep for spyware and hidden unauthorized processes. Download AutoRuns from and make sure you open the VIEW menu and select the first four. You’d be surprised to see how well some of these spyware apps hide. Even fooled some of the best detection programs out there.

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