Privacy & Security
Advanced Web Programming www.tiac.net/users/smiths/
Non-tech types, don't let the web page title scare you off. Richard M. Smith's website has some of the clearest to-the-point examples of what was, is, and may still be done by ad banners, cookies, web bugs, software bugs, leaks, and the like. Also see the Privacy Foundation, linked below. Stories about Richard M. Smith's investigations can be found on Privacy Times www.privacytimes.com: "Been Smiffed Lately?" and "Not So Anonymous".
I love this site - plenty of attitude, great writing, lots of info on adware and spyware, great links! I've added direct links to pages that cover specific topics like Aureate, Conducent, and DCOM to the associated pages on this website.
FTC Privacy Initiatives www.ftc.gov/privacy/index.html
Online Privacy Reports to Congress, Children's Online Privacy, Identity Theft, Online Profiling, Online Privacy Cases, Consumer & Business Education, News Releases, and Congressional Testimony.
Georgi Guninski Security Research www.guninski.com/
The famed Bulgarian researcher's site has info on bugs & vulnerabilities in IE, Netscape, Win 2x, Outlook Express, Office, AIX, and more.
GRC FAQ Links web2.airmail.net/buzz/faqlinks.htm
Buzz Walradt has the best collection of links to all things security and privacy related. Links to general information, software, a GRC Forum Database search, and much more.
Interhack Publications www.interhack.net
Excellent articles on privacy, encryption and related issues along with some free tools too. The exposes´ of Coremetrics tracking, DoubleClick's "opt-out" cookie failures, tracking issues with Netscape's "What's Related" feature, TRUSTe's use of tracking cookies on their website, and more are part of their Internet Privacy Project.
I can't say enough good things about PCHelp and the website he maintains to share both his knowledge and his utilities for free. Topics covered include traces, firewalls, security issues with scrap files (quoted often in computer circles everywhere), viruses, trojans, and general security and privacy help. Try his free Network Trace Batch Utility - it's terrific!
Privacy Foundation www.privacyfoundation.org
Richard M. Smith is Chief Technology Officer of the Privacy Foundation and this site includes his Privacy Advisories (Web Bugs in Office documents, data spills in Hotmail) along with his Web Bug FAQ. Additional resources: a glossary, links, books relating to privacy issues, and info on current privacy issues.
Privacy Net privacy.net
A great source of information and tools. Sections include: Analyze Your Connection; Ways You Are Traced When Using The Net; Opt-Out of Junk Mail/Calls; Bake Your Own Internet Cookies; Privacy Resources; Driver's License Data; Privacy Software; IP Address Privacy; Third Party Proxies; and Third Party Remailers.
The Officially Unofficial ShieldsUP! FAQ grc.com/cb-faq.htm
Chris Baker's "must-read" FAQ gets lots of important information across in a humorous style.
U.S. Senate Hearings www.senate.gov/~commerce/issues/consumer.htm
Scroll down to find the dates. Testimonies are available in Adobe's .pdf format and in Real's .ram format. June 13, 2000: Online Profiling and Privacy reviews "the practices of Internet network advertisers and examine steps that can be taken to improve consumers' privacy online." Includes testimony by Richard M. Smith. May 25, 2000: Internet Privacy - "testimony on a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey of Internet privacy policies." Includes testimony by Jason Catlett of Junkbusters.
Registry & System Utilities
ZDnet's Registry Guide for Win 95, 98, NT, and 2000 www.zdnet.com
Know how to back up and restore your registry before messing around with it!
How to back up the Registry using built-in Windows techniques. For Win 98, NT, and 2000, directions are also given for restoring a Registry that is FUBAR or was accidently (oops) deleted. Win 95: For directions on manually restoring the Registry, see this (text-only, no ads) article: www.spcug.org/reviews/bl9705.htm
Armstrong's Systems House Registry cleaner utility requres a minimum screen resolution of 800x600. Although I haven't used this Registry cleaner since it was at version 2.0, from screen shots I'd still recommend it for more experienced users only. (Win95, Win98, 2000, NT) (Freeware with nag screen or Shareware without nag)
Kevin Solway's Clean System Directory utility cleans unused DLLS out of your Windows System directory. He notes it's for experienced users. (Win3.1, Win95, Win98 only) (Freeware)
Easy Cleaner www.saunalahti.fi/tonihele/
This Registry and system cleaner by ToniArts® deletes Registry entries that point nowhere. It also allows for deletion of unnecessary files (temps, backups, etc), can search for duplicate files, and can delete invalid shortcuts from start-menu. I found this fast and easy to use. Back up Registry before making any changes with this utility. (Win 9x & NT) (Freeware)
MS RegClean v4.1a, build 7364.1 support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q147/7/69.asp
RegClean analyzes Windows Registry keys that are stored in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT in the Windows Registry. It finds keys that contain erroneous values, and after recording those entries in an Undo.reg file, it removes them from the Windows Registry. This file is usually installed with Windows, but may need to be updated to this latest version. Search the Windows directory for regclean.exe, then right click on it to view the Version info under the Properties tab. (Freeware)
Maurizio Ferreira's utility removes the Ole garbage left in the Registry after installing and deinstalling several Ole (Com) dlls. The program scans the Registry and provides a list from which items can be selected and manually deleted. (Win 95, 98) (Freeware)
Jouni Vuorio's RegCleaner gets my top recommendation for Registry Cleaners. I used to use 2 different cleaners to accomplish the task but my testing with RegCleaner found nothing left for the others to do. The multiple tabs provide views of Registry and system file info. RegCleaner allows for removal of software Registry entries, entries of start up programs, file types, unused shared DLL files, and more. Automatically creates backups for each entry removed. (Win 9x, ME, NT, 2000) (Freeware)
RegEdit+ (Registry Editor Plus) http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,00104E,.html
PC Magazine's RegEdit+ works as an enhancement to Windows RegEdit. It has a Favorites function to "bookmark" particular areas in the registry and a "Watch List" can be created to keep an eye on Registry changes. When you use the SafeEdit functions in RegEdit+ to rename, delete, or modify a key or value, the data to undo that change is recorded in the History list. The History function saves (and allows restore of) up to 500 registry changes. (Win 9x) (Freeware) (Link & write-up courtesy of NNG, thanks!)
Registry Ripper (regrip) www.winmag.com/columns/powertools/ptripper.htm
This Winmag.com Power Tool by Karen Kenworthy's is a Registry editing utility that's a major improvement over the MS RegEdit tool included with Windows (in the C:\Windows directory). Use it to copy selected Registry entries to a .REG file for easy importing into another Registry, to move Registry entries from one computer to another, or to make selective backup copies of your Registry data. Many other great features. (Works well with Win 98. Please let me know if you use it successfully with other versions of Windows.) (Freeware)
What's Happening www.turboware.com/WhatsHappening.htm
Mike P.'s handy utility shows all programs and dlls running on your computer, and the dependency relationships. Sort can be done by program name or by module and clicking on any file in the display will show you company, product version and description info on the file. (Win 9x, Win 2k, NT) (Freeware)
Software that isn't originally adware may become adware with future updates. Sites need help from everyone to stay current. If you find any spyware or unlabeled adware on sites that care about such things, please contribute to the Privacy cause by sending a polite note to the site owner explaining which software should be considered for removal and why.
The Freeware List freewarelist.com/freeware.htm
States "All "spyware" will be removed from this site. No Adware accepted on this site!" and references Steve Gibson's Opt-Opt webpage. This site also mirrors Simtel (see below for Simtel's policy) downloads for DOS, Win 3x & Win 95. (Mac & Windows)
Simtel.Net - Adware Policy www.simtel.net/simtel.net/adware.html
Following Steve Gibson's Aureate investigations, Simtel.Net changed it's software policy to address adware. However, this policy indicates they've cleared adware that includes Aureate/Radiate, Conducent, and Cydoor modules and they appear almost ready to clear Web3000. Simtel requires that software readme.txt files disclose if they are Adware. Make sure you read them online before downloading files: Choose "browse with tables", then "unzip" and click on the readme.txt file. Browsing without tables does not give an option to read first.
Son Of Spy Freeware www.sover.net/~whoi/Index.html
Read his stance on adware/spyware: www.sover.net/~whoi/Note.html. The Pricelessware list (The best of the best free Windows software as designated by the readers of alt.comp.freeware newsgroup) is also maintained here: www.sover.net/~whoi/Priceless.html. It's also a good spyware check, since some apps found to be spyware are identified in each section (but not available for download). Mirror sites: www.homestead.com/sonofspy/files/Index.html - www.crosswinds.net/~sonofspy/Index.html - geocities.com/SiliconValley/Circuit/9810/Index.html. (Mac & Windows)
AD-aware www.lavasoft.de Direct Download: www.lavasoft.de/binary/aaw_36.exe (with installer) or www.lavasoft.de/binary/aaw_36.zip (without installer)
Lavasoft's AD-aware utility (formerly Anti-Aureate) scans your system for Aureate/Radiate, Comet Cursor, Conducent/TimeSink, Cydoor, Gator, Web 3000, and - new in Version 3.61 - Comet Cursor v2.0 and Flyswat, and lets you remove them safely. Version 3.61, released Aug 15-00, also includes a few bug fixes. A downloadable Spyware List is also available on the Lavasoft website. A new AD-aware forum moderated by Ann is at: www.morelerbe.com (Win 9x, Win2k & NT) (Freeware)
Aureate / Radiate List Download: aur-list.zip or view in plain text: aur-list.txt
Allen B. and Ronnie C. from the GRC newsgroups put this list together from the complete listings on BinaryBliss.com. Their eyeballs are still spinning. This list was merged with Lavasoft's list. Added Sept 09-00: FinePrint Web Edition, H Audio, NetNak 5.2.1, NikNak 2.2.0, Seek It Site Search 1.0, The Ultimate Cheat List! 7.2.
Sebastien Sauvage's utility can temporarily block the Aureate system. (Freeware)
No Spyware www.alphalink.com.au/~johnf/spyware.html
John Fitzsimons has information on many types of spyware. He also maintains an html version of Dick Hazeleger's Spyware List.
Steve Gibson's free utility scans your system for
Aureate/Radiate adware and lets you remove it safely. Steve's remarks concerning AD-aware, July 25-00: "...if the guy can do a good job and keep it free, that's a TOTAL WIN for everyone! I think it's GREAT! [...] It's also not surprising that the latest versions of Aureate/Radiate spy-stuff has added Registry keys that the now aging freeware OptOut wouldn't know about." A known spyware list can be found here: grc.com/00/spyware.htm and a suspected spyware list can be found here: grc.com/00/suspects.htm. (Freeware)
SmartDownload Class Action Lawsuit www.a-g-s.com/netaolp.htm
This website is for the Internet Privacy Class Action Filed Against Netscape And AOL filed by Joshua Rubin of Abbey, Gardy & Squitieri, LLP on behalf of Chris Specht and others. Sign up here if you want more info.
The Spyware Infested Software List www.infoforce.qc.ca/spyware/
Gilles Lalonde's site includes an Aureate/Radiate & Conducent Spyware List, links, and a letter that can be sent to software developers.
Updated: Sept 28-00
< Back ^ Top