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Microsoft AntiSpyware First Impression

The single biggest problem Microsoft faces is not Google, Linux or Firefox. It is security. Security problems with Windows and Internet Explorer destroys user confidence in Microsoft, and pushes users to switch to open source alternatives, all of which make them more likely to be Google fans as well. Security threats bolster Microsoft’s competitors like no amount of advertising could ever accomplish.

To combat this, Microsoft released (just a few hours ago) Microsoft AntiSpyware, the first MS branded version of its aquisition from GIANT Company last month. AntiSpyware is designed to block programs that maliciously and secretly install themselves on your computer, either crippling it, serving unwanted advertising, sending personal data to parties unknown, or opening your computer to outside attacks.

Two popular and effective programs already exist to combat spyware, or as it is more accurately know, malware. Both Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy are well-known as the solution for these problems, and in most cases, you can spot an internet novice by finding the person without the antispyware program.

Two problems exist: First, too many users don’t protect themselves. Microsoft bought an antivirus firm a year ago because it couldn’t rely on users to arm themselves in this battle (or at least to pay for it), so Microsoft realized it had to supply its own solution, since it was getting blamed for problems that, while its fault, were still preventable by vigilant users. For the same reason, Microsoft picked up GIANT last month.

Second, both Adaware and Spybot are effective, but not effective enough. Most smart users install both, because neither is really that good at catching spyware, and a combination of both is needed to accomplish anything. Microsoft hopes to be better so users only need its program.

*note: you can click on thumbnails to get higher quality screenshots*

Does Microsoft AntiSpyware work better? Well, its user interface is more friendly than Spybot’s stark, confusing, overburdened interface, and it has far better access to options than Adaware’s does. In one funky design decision, it seems to use the same color coded threat warning system as the Department of Homeland Security, telling you your malware infection is “elevated” or “guarded”.

Once you start using the program, your main start page is the system summary page, which provides quick links to all the functions of the program. It lets you know when your last scan was, how many threats have been found and protected against, and when your spyware definitions file was updated. Interestingly, there is also a nice little message that informs me that the product expires in 206 days, on July 31, 2005. This may or may not confirm that you will need to pay for AntiSpyware eventually.

The real-time protection is far more advanced than Spybots (Adaware doesn’t even have the feature in its free version). There are three portions to real-time. 9 internet agents protect you against attacks over the net, from attacks over dialup, wi-fi, Winsock LSPs, Windows Messenger Service, changes to your safe sites list, internet proxy server, name protection server, or TCPIP parameters, as well as attempts to send spam from your system.

25 system agents protect you from changes to your HOST file (KaZaA is nutorious for this), Windows services, right-click context menus, Windows shell execute hooks and shell extensions, open commands, system.ini, control.ini and win.ini files, as well as .ini file mapping, Windows extensions, user shell folders, your winlogon shell, winlogon usernit and logon policies, AppInit DLLs, Windows Update settings, Windows protocols, Restrict Anonymous settings, programs adding themselves as startup or bootup items, attacks from Explorer trojans and directory trojans, and most importantly, changing your passwords.

25 application agents protect you from threats executing and running processes or scripts, adding themselves as startup items (in folders or the registry), installing ActiveX, Browser Helper, IE toolbars, extensions, URLs, plugins, or Explorer bars, changing IE security settings or security zones, adding third party cookies or trusted sites, modifying IE’s shell or WebBrowser, changing URL hooks or menu extensions, disabling RegEdit, resetting your web settings, and adding to your installed components list. Also, there are two agents that prevent additions to Internet Explorer and application restrictions.

The scanning itself seems quite effective. It found two spyware products, one of which received a level 3 “elevated” warning, that neither Spybot or Adaware had noticed. It also identified thatthe Yahoo toolbar was attempting to change my personalized search settings and remove the Google toolbar, and let me block that (Spybot also saw that). Scanning was fast, on par with its major competitors.

Problem is, the program is buggy, very buggy. When it works, it works well, but when it doesn’t, forget about it. I had to reboot halfway through writing this review since I couldn’t get it to open anymore. There are some GUI bugs that need to be fixed, including how Windows sometimes forgets about it, and random crashes when clicking on buttons. The GUI is also slow to draw on the screen, which can be annoying.

Still, the most important thing is that it protects your computer. I feel pretty secure with it (as long as it runs), but then again, that proves nothing. My suggestion / plan? Stop using any other antispyware programs for two weeks, making sure Microsoft AntiSpyware is active the whole time. Then, run your regular programs. If they find anything MS-AS missed, keep ‘em. Otherwise, we’ve got a new front-runner on our hands. One thing you can rely on: The internet hates Microsoft when it comes to security, so if there is a major threat that Microsoft AntiSpyware doesn’t detect, it’ll be on Slashdot within 20 minutes.

January 6th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Security | 84 comments
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84 Comments »

  1. Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)
    Microsoft has put up the Microsoft® Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) program for download at their site. Nathan Weinberg of InsideMicrosoft has The World’s First Review ™. One thing he notes is that at the moment the program is very buggy:Problem is,

    Trackback by Jeroen's Repository | 1/6/2005

  2. Your article was accepted by Slashdot and I see it in the mysterious future … so expect “some” traffic on your site - nice writeup BTW.

    Comment by alek | 1/6/2005

  3. The expiration is as likely a function of it being a Beta as that of it being a subscription service in the future.

    Comment by AMW | 1/6/2005

  4. Instead of Antispyware blockers they should be working on AntiMircosoft blockers!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Thom | 1/6/2005

  5. We already pay for updates for things like AntiVirus. Since the management of this will probably be more integrated into Active Directory than any other scanner, this may be the choice for the enterprise. Home users will have other options.

    Comment by Ernie Oporto | 1/6/2005

  6. If you had been keeping up on anti-spyware information, you would have known that Giant Company’s AntiSpyware tool was rated as the best overall tool available. BUT, that it too, was incapable of finding -everything-. The recommendation being to -also- install Ad-Aware, -and- Spybot Search & Destroy. The bottom line being no tool alone can do it, and the use of the top three tools, (two of which are free) will help keep your system as clean as it’s going to get. By telling people to -only- use the (now) M$ product, your are still opening them up to vulnerabilities.

    Comment by Anonymous Coward | 1/6/2005

  7. I’ve finally been Slashdotted! Woo! I’m quite literally thinking of throwing some sort of party. This is like my twelth attempt to get a link on the King of Blogs, and looks like they were finally interested in what I had to say. It helps to not have slept last night.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/6/2005

  8. “Interestingly, there is also a nice little message that informs me that the product expires in 206 days, on July 31, 2005. This may or may not confirm that you will need to pay for AntiSpyware eventually.”

    Not necessarily. It *is*, after all, a beta release.

    Comment by Anonymous | 1/6/2005

  9. Mmm, “nutorious”…

    Comment by Mark Farner | 1/6/2005

  10. The reason that AntiSpyware expires on July 31, 2005 is because it is a Beta and not a final release. It’s not expiring because they will make you pay for it but because Microsoft always makes there Beta products expire when they plan a newer beta, release candidate or final release.

    Comment by steve | 1/6/2005

  11. I’m thinking that this product will somehow (in the future) be integrated completely with IE, to provide yet another reason for not completely removing the blue ‘e’.

    Comment by Michael K | 1/6/2005

  12. The novices are the ones who don’t use AdAware and Spybot? Au contraire! I recommend them to novices all the time, but don’t use them myself on my Windows machines. Nor do I have antivirus software or host-based firewall software. I would, in fact, reverse the statement: you can spot the novice by finding the person who uses the stuff.

    Comment by SEJ | 1/6/2005

  13. If you think we will not have to pay Microsoft for use of this product, please contact me - I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

    Comment by jctech1943 | 1/6/2005

  14. Use Mozilla and don’t get spyware/adware! The real problem is that IE needs to be redesigned from the ground up. I personally will not be using this product because I do not use IE and have no need for it.

    Comment by Ryan Rockey | 1/6/2005

  15. Methinks that once Microsoft removes the debugging code from the application, the GUI will run faster.

    Comment by Anonymous | 1/6/2005

  16. Rather than provide me with antispyware software I’d be much better off as a Windows user if Microsoft fixed the problem itself rather than give me software to fix it after the fact. You don’t see article after article about Linux/Unix boxes getting hit with spyware and viruses. It’d be nice if I didn’t have to worry about those articles for Windows too.

    Comment by keymaker | 1/6/2005

  17. Boo microsoft…. fact of the matter is if you care then it is because you are using their product so you should care…. So why not stop using Microsoft for 2 weeks and see if the malware goes away for good? ;)

    Comment by dude | 1/6/2005

  18. Nice write-up and congrats ont he /. link.

    Comment by Matt | 1/6/2005

  19. Look kiddies, when you have the marketshare that Windows does, you become a target for this stuff. Only an idiot would waste time writing malware for a platform with barely 1/50th of the number of people using Windows. From helping people out with their computers, it seems like most people get this stuff not from IE, but from installing freeware with malware bundled in the installer, especially file-sharing apps like Grokster and Kazaa.

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  20. Honestly, what percentage of the home PC market pays the subscription fees for security software? I’d really like to see some numbers on that.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/6/2005

  21. descargar software

    Comment by y | 1/6/2005

  22. Oooh! A bridge! Which bridge can I get, and for how much?

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/6/2005

  23. Congrats on getting /.ed

    Comment by namelessfoo | 1/6/2005

  24. Just finished a full scan, and it found PeopleOnPage and Hotbar (both of which I intentionally downloaded but didn’t install so I could dissect them), WinPCap and Kazaa and TightVNC (which I want, and AS just listed as a heads-up because some people misuse them), and WhenU.SaveNow and MiniBug, which I hadn’t been aware of. Gonna give it a pass with SpyBot and Ad-Aware now to see what they catch.

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  25. One caveat: If you go to change the Scan Options, if you check the “Scan drive/folders” box, it’s only going to scan your C: drive by default. Click by the folder icon to the right of it to select your other hard drives. Easy to overlook.
    ———————————–
    One bug: If you click the + on “View all detected locations” and there’s a long list of associated files and registry entries, it pops up a scroll bar and you can scroll down the list. But if you do, and don’t scroll back up, when you click the - to unexpand the list, the scroll bar disappears and you can’t get to the items at the top of your list anymore.

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  26. To Stu: No, most users do NOT get spyware from freeware because most users do not install that stuff. I see my clients getting spyware from Web sites - especially sports sites. Even porn sites do not bother to distribute spyware (other than dialers and similar crap) because they already KNOW what their visitors are interested in and mainstream advertisers don’t advertise on porn sites because it looks bad. It is commercial sites on the low-end that install spyware. The number of naive adult users using P2P programs is miniscule - that stuff is for teenagers. And the only “freeware” that hands out spyware is crap like pointless games and doodads like screensavers - most USEFUL freeware is spyware-free.

    Comment by Richard Steven Hack | 1/6/2005

  27. I had spyware installed using Firefox!
    A java applet installed a class file which opened IE and installed spyware. I have since disabled Java and made some other changes, but Java is normally enabled in Firefox. It’s only a matter of time as Firefox gains popularity since the underlining Windows is not secure.

    Comment by Anonymous | 1/6/2005

  28. Buggy you say!
    I’ve successfully installed the software and I got a “This version of Microsoft AntiSpyware has expired as of July 5, 1931″!!! Duh!!!!

    Comment by _T_A_Z_ | 1/6/2005

  29. I think it’s wonderful that this little blog is running on Wordpress (an Open Source weblog tool). It’s also fun whenever MS employees trip up and admit to using Firefox over IE.

    I’m waiting for Mr.Balmer to pull a Kruschev. Rip off one of his shoes, banging it like a gavel and then start screaming, “WE WILL DESTROY YOU, LINUX!”

    Comment by Philip McClure | 1/6/2005

  30. Why shouldn’t this blog run on WordPress, or a Microsoft employee use IE? What kind of single-minded drone are you, Philip??

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  31. Er, in the above, why shouldn’t a MS employee use Firefox?
    ————–
    To Richard: I didn’t say most freeware had spyware in it, just that’s where most users who have asked me for help have gotten it from. Kazaa was a lot more popular than most freeware.

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  32. MS antispy does not install in 9x systems, Me is still in support, is the fact that it does not install in 9x by design?

    Comment by philason | 1/6/2005

  33. _T_A_Z_ said:
    Buggy you say!
    I’ve successfully installed the software and I got a “This version of Microsoft AntiSpyware has expired as of July 5, 1931″!!! Duh!!!!

    That is crazy! Send me a screenshot.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/6/2005

  34. Just down loaded and ran this software on a customer’s machine. Been chasing a reocurring VX2 exploit for the last 2 days. Tried all the standard tools; got a glimsh of it but could not nail it down. Giant detected 45 files on the smart scan; appears to kill it. Don’t know about the other files. Could be false positives. Looks like it could have a place in my quiver of spyware arrows.

    Comment by macaroo | 1/6/2005

  35. Just down loaded and ran this software on a customer’s machine. Been chasing a reocurring VX2 exploit for the last 2 days. Tried all the standard tools; got a glimsh of it but could not nail it down. Giant detected 45 files on the smart scan; appears to kill it. Don’t know about the other files. Could be false positives. Looks like it could have a place in my quiver of spyware arrows.

    Comment by macaroo | 1/6/2005

  36. I find it somewhat amusing that your major negative comment about this product is that it’s buggy - but you are testing a beta product. The purpose of a Beta period is to identify and fix bugs…so…

    I’d hold off on being too hard on the bugs during beta reviews - wait till the final release. THEN if they screw the pooch, let em have it. :)

    Comment by Chuck Haeberle | 1/6/2005

  37. To Stu: While your argument about windows being the number one target is because it has the most share is the first argument that comes to the minds of most people, it is flawd. You can look at other software in which Microsoft products are not number one in market share. Take Apache for example. It’s the most popular web server software yet you find that most flaws and attacks are for IIS. Also, because microsoft windows leads in market share (by a considerable lead) that only means that they should strive to be the very best and most secure, where it seems they are slacking in their efforts because of their lead in market share. Microsoft claims they are, but the vast majority of computer users can easily say otherwise.

    Comment by keymaker | 1/6/2005

  38. I prefer the strategems of the NT kernel based modalities to the monolithism of the Linux kernel. Spyware, otherwise known as Malicious Content-Based Internet Applications (MCBIA), is a precedent hazard in our day to day lives of computer use. However, I prefer Windows because of the obvious superiority of Linux. This, while seemingly contradictory, produces a widespread sentiment of angst among parts of my consciousness. Ergo, I am more apt to use Linux as I am prone to the concurrent modalities of the monolithic NT kernel. Now, the direction of this post is this: If we were all sitting alone on an island, and one of us had two Sun-based platforms, and had to install Windows on one of them, the other would obviously starve. But you have to understand that starvation, in accordance to the laws of human longevity, can no longer reduce the error-prone kernel flaws that Linux does not have but readily admits to witholding. What all of you (including myself) are failing to realize, is that while we can no longer stand idly by and admit that Spyware is should not be used as Windows Service Pack 2, the maliciousness of the Linux kernel can be easily compared to the disdainfulness of the Irix sub-routines.

    Comment by cool master flex | 1/6/2005

  39. Cool Master Flex, you make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The Irix sub-routines are only comparable to the Linux kernel in context of a threaded PHP backend for a SQL database. What you’re obviously missing is that Spyware, while reducing the mainstream use of PHP4, can induce the seperability of the concurrent Apache based web applications. I doubt that anyone here would even admit to using IIS for any subcurrent outsourcing projects. So in that regard, I doubt that anyone who is aware of the monolithism of Linux kernel would induce a streaming bitwise pair operator to the system in hopes of catching Spyware applications with their pants down doing naughty things to your wife.

    Comment by jeffrey | 1/6/2005

  40. For the spyware in firefox post, I would say that it wasn’t a firefox issue at all, rather, it was stupidity on behalf of the person(s) that wrote the java applet that spawned an instance of IE to install the spyware.

    Comment by keymaker | 1/6/2005

  41. Isn’t the point of security to minimize the “surface attack area”? Why, I beg, would I buy a “security” product from the very manufacturer of the product I am trying to secure? Do I not inherently invite the starved attention of the hackers to now work to exploit this product? Especially since it is ASSUMED that it will be more widely installed than other competing products? I think I will not be recommending this to anyone.

    Comment by risen80 | 1/6/2005

  42. To risen80: I think you’re my new best friend. I totally agree with you.

    Comment by keymaker | 1/6/2005

  43. My name says it all

    Comment by keymakersanidiot | 1/6/2005

  44. Keymaker: Your Apache analogy is a little shaky for a couple of reasons. Pick any rival, say Linux or Mac, and Windows has about 30 times its marketshare. On the other hand Apache doesn’t even have 3 times the marketshare of IIS.
    —————
    Secondly, look at how it’s used. For SSL/eCommerce sites, IIS is used more than Apache. If you’re going to go where the money is, you’ll lean toward hacking IIS.
    —————–
    Also, there’s really not a big comparison between IIS and Apache — Apache’s, well, pretty limited. If you want to strip IIS down and limit it to the job that Apache does, you’ll be turning a lot of it off and won’t be vulnerable to most of the attacks that have been found against it. A more apt comparison would be with Apache plus PHP, which brings the functionality more up to IIS’s speed — along with the security alerts, if not more.

    Comment by Stu | 1/6/2005

  45. Rather than try this for 2 weeks and run a scan after with AdAware or SBS&D why not switch to either OS/X or any version on Linux to avoid the problem all together? If you **must** still have a Windows PC, never, never, never connect it to any network or load any other software and you’ll be reasonably safe. The moment you connect it, all bets are off.

    Comment by Anonymous | 1/6/2005

  46. Why do we not get as upset at Ford for making the F150, one of the top stolen vehicles in almost every state? Why doesn’t Ford do something to secure those vehicles better? Bah! Damn Ford…

    Comment by Anonymous | 1/6/2005

  47. Giant AntiSpyware used to work great on 98. No more…

    And to top it off now the “new” MS AntySpyware system requirements say you must run IE 6.0 or greater… Isn’t that how I got infected in the first place?

    Comment by Rather not | 1/6/2005

  48. To Stu: Number one in market share is number one. I haven’t exactly seen that apache is all that limited although I will admit to not knowing fully knowing it. Sticking with windows, it can and has been proven time and time again, that it’s security model is lacking dramatically. Linux may have a consumer base that is no where near the size of windows, but because of it’s implementation and design, to write a virus and spyware for Linux is simply more difficult not because no one knows how to do it or run it, but because Linux has a better security model.

    Basically spyware is out of control and it’s frakly irritating. I have noticed that if you use as few as Microsoft products as possible (i.e. firefox over IE) you reduce the number of spyware junk on your PC by a considerable amount. Microsoft needs to simply rewrite the core of their OS and IE and put a lock on spyware/viruses. Microsoft needs to make it harder for software to install itself across the whole system. Looking at linux again, a virus/spyware program would infect that users home directory only (unless root is dumb and gives everyone write permissions to everyone elses home directories). So if I get a virus, root only has to deal with my directory, the rest over the users are safe.

    After running the beta, I can say that it’s nice, but like risen80 said, I don’t think I can recommend it simply because if a flaw is found in it you can bet that’s going to be on the top 10 list of attacks the hacker is going to try first. Sometimes Microsoft’s argument of “security through obscurity” is right. If they can’t tell what I’m using right off the bat, I’m safe for at least another minute or two.

    Comment by keymaker | 1/7/2005

  49. Microsoft AntiSpyware Quick Review
    Well I just picked up a copy of the beta of Microsoft AntiSpyware, and done a quick scan on my PC and enabled all the settings. I’ll be keeping you informed of how it goes. Read on for a review.

    I don’t know whether they are going to charge fo…

    Trackback by Dusty Dreams Blog | 1/7/2005

  50. First Look At Microsoft Ani-Spyware
    Microsoft have released a beta-test version of their new Anti-Spyware program (based on technology they gained during their recent acquisition of Giant Company Software). As a happy little curious bunny, I decided to download it and give it a go on one…

    Trackback by Scatmania | 1/7/2005

  51. Once again Microsoft releases a tool for everyone else to debug their code.

    Comment by doc | 1/7/2005

  52. growing unhealthy systems 12 different ways
    I didn’t want to post anything on M$ buying out Giant, the anti-malware company, and I didn’t want to write…

    Trackback by An imaginary place in a reactionary time | 1/7/2005

  53. Microsoft releases anti-spyware software
    Spyware and ad-ware is probably a more prevalent security problem than viruses. (See our security recommendations for background.) Today, Microsoft…

    Trackback by ONE/Northwest KnowledgeBase | 1/7/2005

  54. Does the IE 6.0 requirement really suprise you? Remember, Microsoft’s number one priority is security…right after making it look pretty. Microsoft also wants us to have as many reasons as possible to upgrade and *NOT* stay with what we have because after all, what we have now won’t make microsoft money in the future. Honestly it really doesn’t suprise me that this tool won’t work on anything less than IE 6.0 and won’t work on win9x systems. And I wouldn’t be suprised if they make the requirement that you have to run windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP2 soon too…

    Comment by keymaker | 1/7/2005

  55. Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)
    Spyware sucks. This isn’t the first time I’ve said this. I believe it so much, in fact, that my only presentation in my OrgCom class back in Grad school was mostly about how much spyware is the bane of my…

    Trackback by matt at lightwind | 1/7/2005

  56. Microsoft’s Free Spyware Software
    Microsoft released its free spyware software yesterday in beta called AntiSpyware. I just installed it and ran the quick scan option which only took a f

    Trackback by Tom Markiewicz's Weblog | 1/7/2005

  57. Excellent post! I just installed it and thought it did a decent job. The key point here is that Microsoft moving into the spyware scanning arena will bring much more exposure to the need for this type of software to the average user.

    Comment by Tom Markiewicz | 1/7/2005

  58. “Honestly it really doesn’t suprise me that this tool won’t work on anything less than IE 6.0 and won’t work on win9x systems. And I wouldn’t be suprised if they make the requirement that you have to run windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP2 soon too… ”

    If you have Windows XP, why would you NOT have the latest updates like SP2? If you run ANY O/s (Linx and OSX included), why would you not have the latest updates? If you arent up to date with patches, then you arent as secure as you could be and therefore you can not blame MS or anyone else for what happens to your machine.

    Comment by BenN | 1/8/2005

  59. i installed it, ran it, then ran AdAware & SpyBot. each found things that AntiSpyware missed.

    Comment by joesph | 1/8/2005

  60. BenN, not everyone can install SP2, or other updates. I installed SP2 on my laptop, and it so badly killed my system that I would up having to reformat. Its a great update, when it works.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/8/2005

  61. I’m amazed so many people even get Spyware. I have to agree these utilities are for novice PC users.

    Comment by Chet | 1/8/2005

  62. This program is worst than PestPatrol, it will find more spyware than all of others because it finds FALSE Positives. I scaned my computer with it after checking my computer with 4 other spyware remover softwares which was found to be completely clean and it found over 500 spyware programs on my computer, so I went to the location on my computer where they suppost to be and it was finding things that wasn’t even there and other things that was NOT spyware. It even detected a Microsoft Operating System File as spyware. I would NOT trust this program.

    Comment by Computer Programmer | 1/9/2005

  63. Program has done great for me. Don’t let the open-source chest thumping keep you from trying it out ;)

    Comment by Matt | 1/9/2005

  64. Ad-Aware and SpyBot run circles around this program, its detection rate is very poor it detects many things that is not spyware and leaves behind things that are spyware. Microsoft should have invested in either Ad-Aware, SpyBot or SpySweeper. SpySweeper has the best detection rate because it goes by properties not just file names which can detect things that are not spyware like this program does. The system tools were very good, the spyware detection really sucks. Microsoft could have did better, I don’t reccommend this program.

    Comment by A Developer | 1/9/2005

  65. Good for you “A Developer” :)

    Too bad your findings are lining up with that of others. Maybe you’re a one-off *shrugs* It’s working good for me in comparison to the others.

    Comment by Matt | 1/9/2005

  66. Someone said you can spot the novice the one that is using anti-spyware products and anti-vurus tools. Real nut case. Another person said they don’t have to use it as they are using Mozilla… I use Mozilla and I still get and find spyware attempts at installing or downloading. I gave up on Adaware as it took to much from the system. They all really do but this adaware was taking to much on their newest release. Also I switched to Spy Sweeper after testing quite a few products out. This found more, was user friendly and not as rough on the system resources.

    Comment by Edward | 1/10/2005

  67. It was MY choice to download the ‘app’ I cannot fault it I run the other two M/soft’s s/ware program found stuff the other two could not. I am impressed. there are allways the ‘knockers’! It is a freebie so accept it as such and do not moan about it. If you do not like it DO NOT download it!

    Comment by Jon | 1/10/2005

  68. Yeah, anyone who thinks that being smart and experienced on the net makes them immune to spyware is an arrogant fool. I’d like to believe I know my way around, but more importantly, I take every precaution, but there are enough security holes that everyone will get some spyware at some point. Only a fool wouldn’t scan every so often.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/10/2005

  69. The commit by A Developer fits the program perfectly. Full of FALSE Positives and missing real spyware that SpyBot and Ad-Aware find. I do agree that Webroot SpySweeper is the best for a paid program. But for free software, SpyBot S&D, Ad-Aware SE and SpywareBlaster do an excellent job. This Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware is just going to be looked at as a JOKE, no person with advanced computer experience will even consider taking this program serious after testing it. Thanks

    Comment by Computer Programmer | 1/10/2005

  70. Maybe “A Developer” and “Computer Programmer” should get together and write their own ;)

    Comment by Matt | 1/11/2005

  71. Yeah, all they need are “A Publisher”, “Venture Capitalist”, and “The Intern Who Does All The Boring Stuff”

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/11/2005

  72. Works fine… as stated, NO single tool will find everything. All you M$ bashers need to chill out. It’s a BETA! What did you expect. Ad-Aware is ok and so are the others, but they ALL MISS STUFF.
    As to the comment about false positives… none here. And YES, system files can get infected. Only a moron would think that a system file showing up in a scan must be a false finding. Major problem is most Windows home users surf the internet while being logged in with an administrator level account. This is just plain stupid. This is how so much crap gets installed while you surf. How many Linux or OS X users surf while being logged in as root?
    Probably none.
    I use a plain old “User” account when surfing and you would be surprised how much spyware or malware stuff will just plain fail to install. General rule of thumb… if you can’t install it, it’s a pretty good bet it can’t install it.

    Comment by W Johnstone | 1/12/2005

  73. It has a problem remembering user shell folder settings,so I had to disable user shell folder protection, because I got tired of it asking me the same 2 questions at every bootup,
    and it popped up “Searchsquire” when I had it in my restricted zone, saying it was attempting to get into my “trusted Zone”

    It is a good program otherwise, but will I buy it?? I doubt it.

    Comment by Mark Stevenson | 1/14/2005

  74. So many people all out to saying that it’s crap this and it’s crap that.. Ok, then people, rather than being so negative, why not tell everyone what they should be using? Hey! maybe I need to go for the limited products that fewer people use, so that nasty spyware and virus people won’t bother me. Linux? Mac OS? MUhahahahhaaa OH PULEEEZE! Every operating and app sucks to some degree, its the sad and pathetic OS FREAKS who should get out more and have a life.

    Comment by Gordonian | 1/14/2005

  75. I am not able to install MSAntiSpyware on my system. I am getting error 1500. Could u plz give me solution ?

    Thanks
    J. Ramesh Kumar

    Comment by Rameshkumar | 1/27/2005

  76. I’m not familiar with that error. You are best off going to Microsoft’s website. There are newsgroups where professionals can answer your question.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | 1/27/2005

  77. My computer is operating very slow. It didn’t response as much as fast than an usual computer can.

    Comment by Rasik Pradhan | 3/4/2005

  78. The antispyware is expirable! Thats too bad.

    Comment by Suhail Khan | 4/4/2005

  79. Microsoft Antispyware is not good. I have installed it on a couple of computers and it has did anything from mess the computer up more than it was to start to moving user files into other users folders. I can’t believe that microsoft released something as a beta with so many terrible bugs.

    Comment by Tim | 7/20/2005

  80. hey does this actually work because i tried most stuff and they didnt work at all. if it does do u have to pay money or anythin because i have 700 and sumthin infections and i dont no how and i need a free workin antispyware

    Comment by danh | 8/27/2005

  81. after installing MS anti sptware my system is extremey slow,
    . Anyone know why?

    Comment by dee | 9/7/2005

  82. I´ve been rather satisfied with MS Antispyware, up until now, that is. I was “attacked” by a serious bug, presumably named Antispysheriff?!! or some such. I believe the name to be missguiding, since MS AS told me, that it was harmfull. Anyway, I did what MS AS told me to do, and quarentined the bugger. Meanwhile the Background of my Desktop had changed to the color of blue, with an ominous warning in the middle, saying that I had a problem with spyware infection, and that I should´nt use the system, before it was cleaned!!?? Allright, I thought. I scanned the machine up the wazoo, and erased every threat that was presented. I even defragmented and did some normal cleaning, to be sure. When I was done, I could´nt change my Background on the Desktop!?!?! Does that mean, that I´m still infected, or is it a “bug” in MS AS? I´m hesitant to use the system, untill I know for sure. And that sucks!

    Comment by Martin Olsson | 12/12/2005

  83. It is a nightmare for me to download anything from www.download.com. All these spywares, firewalls, virus scanners start screaming.

    It is just pain.

    Adam, New Balance

    Comment by adam | 5/19/2006

  84. I have heard both good and bad things: mainly about one issue with this anti spyware software — Supposedly it removes Norton AV. Like I said, some people seem thankful for this, LOL.

    Comment by remove bravesentry | 7/11/2006

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