Servers: bonzi.com & images.bonzi.com
About Bonzi Software: bonzi.com - www.bonzi.com - www.bonzibuddy.com
Software products by Bonzi include BonziBUDDY, Internet BOOST ' 99, Internet ALERT '99, Intruder Alert '99, and Voice E-Mail. BonziBuddy uses a talking purple gorilla as it's interface. I've seen mention of some Bonzi product using a talking parrot interface but I've never been clear on which one. It's possibly used in an earlier version of BonziBuddy.
I haven't yet located user experiences with Internet BOOST '99 ("modifies the various configuration parameters used by the Microsoft TCP/IP stack under Windows 95/98 and speeds up your Internet access") or Voice E-mail ("add-on program for Windows that uses the power of HUMAN SPEECH to create AUDIO E-MAIL messages by simply TALKING!"). Internet BOOST is most likely a junk program. The TCP/IP "parameters" (MTU, RWIN, etc) can be optimized by following directions found on almost any Windows tips/tricks/tweak -type site.
Internet ALERT '99 & Intruder ALERT '99 www.bonzi.com/internetalert/ia99tap.asp and www.bonzi.com/bonzibuddy/ia99.asp
The first URL above leads to Internet ALERT '99 and the second URL leads to Intruder ALERT '99 but they are the SAME program with the following possible difference: Posts by "WhatsTheWord" in the GRC optout newsgroup on Sept 03, 2000 indicate that installing Intruder ALERT '99 also installs BonziBuddy. It seems getting rid of Intruder ALERT is no simple matter either.
Steve Gibson's opinion of Internet/Intruder ALERT '99 is expressed in the following posts:
Post, shieldsup newsgroup, Nov 14-00: "It's one for the WORST of the "Evil Port Monitors" ..."
Post, shieldsup newsgroup, Jan 01-00: "IntruderAlert99 is *NOT* a firewall at all. It's a totally typical "Evil Port Monitor"! That's why it's showing you all of those OPEN ports ... just BAITING any passing scanners to drop by and attack your machine."
Post, shieldsup newsgroup, Feb 13-00: "Internet Alert '99 is a totally typical brain-dead, low-technology, "Evil Port Monitor" which OPENS ports in your system ONLY for the sake of detecting attackers."
For further information on "Evil Port Monitors" see Steve's page: grc.com/su-evilportmon.htm.
From "Gina" Aug 07-00: "It runs at startup, and has a easy to use download and installation manager (just what every kid needs), an email checker, a search feature and a browser companion. The little gorilla explains (he talks) how to use these things in terms a child can understand. I don't have a packet sniffer so I don't know what is being transmitted."
"This is the page bonziBuddy wants to make the user's home page,
and where he starts for browsing: www.bonzi.com/bonzibuddy/home.asp which seems to be part of Snap and NBC Internet (plenty of tracking going on there) and there are links to a FAQ and technical support for bonziBuddy, none of which answered my questions. [...] I am especially concerned that there is no EULA, and it is so easy for a kid to use."
From "Matt" Aug 15-00: "I got rid of that god-awful thing which was pretty much the end of it for me. In case anyone can't find my posts about it, I've put them on my site. Not the entire thread, but you'll get the gist of it." Matt's Bonzi page: members.aol.com/win98crash/bonzi/.
From "Gina" Aug 26-00: "I sent them an email and the following is their not very reassuring reply. No response to further questions":
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 19:23:16 CDT
Subject: RE: questions about information collected by bonzi
From "Marge" Sept 03-00: "I was doing work on the computer and didn't have ZoneAlarm set to pop-up warnings. An hour after installing, however, I noticed my X on ZA going off quite a bit. When I checked the log it had already exceeded its 500 alerts since I installed the instrusive monkey. Of course I uninstalled the beast of my PC and filled out a tech support form on their website to see what they have to say for themselves."
"I can see where my computer may be contacting their image server to run the Bonzi Gorilla beast, but the only other time I have seen my ports sniffed in this fashion was when a hacker was attempting to find an open port on my PC. [...] I'm also using Hacker Trace and after uninstalling the beast I added it to my banned IP list. Both IP's continued to try and make UDP port connections."
From "Abjumal" Sept 03-00: "I noticed it was stepping through a range of ports, just like a cracker would do. Curious that they would step through ports." [Note: This post is a followup to Marge's post, which included a partial ZA log of constant attempts from 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. These IPs are for bonzi.com and images.bonzi.com.]
Noteworthy is that this skimpy Policy generally refers to the Website only, and even then doesn't say what clickstream data is being logged or if cookies are being used on the site. It does not cover privacy related to the software other than whatever info is given when downloading or registering products. To date, Bonzi is still not including EULAs in their products. From the Policy:
"We do not collect personally identifiable information on our web site or otherwise unless you choose to give it to us via an electronic mail message, a phone call, or by postal mail. Even when you choose to give us information, we keep it confidential."
"We do not sell, rent, share, or otherwise disclose mailing lists or other personally identifiable information. We maintain some records of individuals who contact us in case we contact you later or provide further information to you in the future. However, we do not provide this information to anyone else unless you give us your permission."
"On occasion we are asked by the media or legislative staff to provide names of individuals who have experienced particular privacy abuses. We do not share such names or other identifying information unless you specifically authorize us to do so."
Opt-Out Option: None located.
Privacy Contact: Unable to locate email contacts of any kind on website.
Last Reviewed: Sept 07-00
Quoted excerpts are © Bonzi Software unless otherwise noted.
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