Privacy Power! Adware, Badware, Spyware: Radiate/Aureate  
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Privacy Power!  Home:  Adware, Badware, Spyware:  Radiate (Aureate)

General Info | Links & News | Privacy Info | Radiate/Aureate Websites | Blocking Aureate | Uninstall Aureate | Acknowledgements | Aureate/Radiate Software List
 

Radiate (Aureate)  

Server List: See Stephen Martin's Hosts File List (Aureate/Radiate Group)

Software Lists: Lavasoft's Spyware List has more info on Aureate and a list of software containing the Aureate module. Find it in their Freeware section: www.lavasoft.de.

The Aureate / Radiate List was compiled by Allen and Ronnie from the BinaryBliss website and merged with the Aureate/Radiate section of Lavasoft's list. Download: aur-list.zip or View Here in Plain Text: aur-list.txt (also available from the Spyware section of the Links page).

Radiate's Products List at www.radiate.com/press/products.html. It's long but incomplete. Their older list www.aureate.com/downloads/network_members.html is almost identical but includes a few other applications.

Warning: Registering Aureate-embedded software does not ensure Aureate will be uninstalled or will stop transmitting information. If installation of software embedded with Radiate/Aureate is terminated by not agreeing with the EULA, it may install itself without the software host. If host software containing Radiate/Aureate has been fully installed and then uninstalled, all Radiate/Aureate components and Registry entries may not be removed. Prior to Version 3, Radiate/Aureate did not provide users with an uninstall feature.

About Radiate / Aureate: www.aureate.com - www.aureatemedia.com - www.radiate.com (aureate sites redirect to Radiate)

I watched news of what Aureate software was doing break and spread like wildfire in Usenet. It was an amazing thing to behold. At first people talking about it were brushed off as crackpots by the media. Then experts like Steve Gibson got involved and the issue gained legitimacy. Investigations into what's now commonly called "spyware" and "trojan-ware" took off.

On March 13, 2000, Aureate changed its name to Radiate (to give users a name they could pronounce, they said). The name has changed but the reputation lives on and perhaps the new name isn't a much better choice. I saw a humorous post somewhere by Dick Hazeleger referring to "Radiation sickness."

Radiate provides a Software Developers Kit used to embed advertising in software, converting it to "free" adware. Radiate then "...collects voluntary demographic data that advertisers can use to target audiences." Features of their proprietary technology include "Precise audience targeting - Rich media - The ability for advertisements to be viewed even when users are not connected to the Internet - Splash screens - Dynamic messaging - Customized demographic collection - Real-time surveys".

On July 26, 2000, Radiate released Version 3 of the Aureate module, announcing that "Radiate's latest technology allows users to change or delete information they previously volunteered to Radiate. When a user installs advertising-supported software from Radiate, these tools allow users to edit or delete their information."

Besides transmitting ads, Aureate-ware can update itself. The EULA states "By using this software, you agree that you understand that this software will connect to the Internet UBIQUITOUSLY to download advertisement and/or to provide software updates." (Ref: manage.aureate.com/developers/license.txt)

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Links & News  

Advertising Spyware: Aureate/Radiate cexx.org/aureate.htm

This is a page from the framed Counterexploitation cexx.org site (pulled for easy access here). Visit the full site for more great stuff.

OptOut - The Whole, Gruesome, Aureate Spyware Story! grc.com/oo/aureate.htm

GRC Website: Steve Gibson's Aureate page explains why Aureate "...is the granddaddy of the spyware systems" and what you can do about Aureate-ware on your system.

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Privacy Information  

Privacy Policies: www.radiate.com/privacy.html - www.radiate.com/consumers/privacy.html

"On the Radiate web site, Radiate may use cookie technology to monitor user activity." Regarding adware, Radiate states "...we will not collect any personally identifiable information about you (name, address, telephone number, email address) unless you provide it to us voluntarily."

However, personally identifiable information must be provided to register host software. "Radiate also processes software registrations. Because we need to properly charge your credit card, we must ask your name, company name, address, email address, and phone number."

"...Radiate sets a numerical identifier on your computer. This allows us to measure and report aggregate information to advertisers such as the number of people who see their ad (reach) and the number of times people see their ad (frequency). [...] It may also be shared with Radiate's partners that provide the software applications on our network and other third parties related or unrelated to offerings on the Radiate Network."

"This privacy statement does not cover the information practices of those Web sites linked from software on the Radiate Network. From time to time, Radiate works with third-party ad servers such as Flycast, 24/7 Media, DoubleClick, AdForce, AdSmart, TeknoSurf, and others to serve advertising to the Radiate Network. Please visit these providers individually to learn more about how they handle privacy."

"Several false rumors have been started regarding user privacy, and we at Radiate want you to be informed and comfortable when you are using software in our network. Additional information can be found at www.radiate.com/privacy/falserumors.html."

Opt-Out Option: None.

Privacy Contact: privacy@radiate.com

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Radiate / Aureate Websites  

Both Aureate www.aureate.com and Aureate Media www.aureatemedia.com redirect to Radiate www.radiate.com, giving the impression that Aureate sites are obsolete. I was unable to locate any separate information on Aureate or Aureate Media on the Radiate website.

Binary Bliss indicates it is part of Aureate Media and Aureate Group Mail www.group-mail.com has a privacy policy that redirects to www.aureate.com/privacy so sub-pages of www.aureate.com are still active.

Ad Software™ www.adsoftware.com redirects to Radiate.

Aureate™ aureate.com and www.aureate.com redirect to Radiate.

Aureate Developers manage.radiate.com is a log-in site for developers.

Aureate Media™ aureatemedia.com and www.aureatemedia.com redirect to Radiate.

Aureate Group Mail™ group-mail.com and www.group-mail.com

Group Mail is an email and newsletter manager. To attract users, a "free" ad-supported version is offered. An ad-free version can be purchased that enables bulk email capabilities. This version is also sold through an affiliate program that partners Radiate with ClickXrade.

Group Mail Privacy Policy: The link at the bottom of the main page redirects to www.aureate.com/privacy but the link in the About section says "If you have worries regarding how this information is used etc. please review the Radiate Privacy Policy at www.radiate.com/privacy.html."

Binary Bliss™ binarybliss.com - www.binarybliss.com - orangesoda.com - www.orangesoda.com (orangesoda redirects to binarybliss)

This is a software download site that looks similar to other software portals (Tucows, Winsite). Its primary purpose is to distribute Radiate/Aureate software. It indicates it's part of the "Aureate Media Corporation" though the Aureate Media website redirects to Radiate and Radiate makes no mention of Aureate Media.

Sort of bizarre is that Binary Bliss offers Aureate SpamKiller Free Edition™ which is, of course, ad-sponsored. "SpamKiller keeps your email free of unwanted messages and advertisements."

Binary Bliss Privacy Policy: www.binarybliss.com/policy.asp states it is an Aureate licensee and the policy is generally the same as the Radiate/Aureate policy.

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Blocking Aureate  

Aureate is a browser "parasite" and running multiple instances of embedded software has been linked it to browser instability and crashes. Because of its mode of operation, blocking Aureate can be problematic. Using host software while blocking Aureate/Radiate may be illegal, may cause host software to run (even more) erratically, and may be ineffective. Information for the No-Aura utility by Sebastien Sauvage states it can "temporarily block the Aureate system" (see Spyware Links).

Note that when some host applications (eg: GetRight) are configured to start at bootup, they will add a registry key in: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Software\Aureate\Advertising\Distributors. If the host app is not run at bootup, the key can be cleaned but will recreate itself when the host app is run.

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Uninstall Aureate  

Warning: Host software should be uninstalled before removing Aureate. Removing Aureate without removing host software may cause host software to stop working.

Caution: The following directions are for reference only. Proceed at your own risk. A system backup before making changes is recommended. Editing the Windows Registry can cause major problems if done incorrectly. Always back up the Registry before making any changes (see Registry Links).

Aureate components include adimage.dll, advert.dll, amcis.dll, amcis2.dll, anadsc.ocx, anadscb.ocx, htmdeng.exe, ipcclient.dll, msipcsv.exe, and tfde.dll. Other components may exist. John Fitzsimon's No Spyware page also has a list (see Spyware Links).

For versions prior to v3: Aureate provided a separate uninstaller when the stuff hit the fan about what it was doing. The uninstaller can be downloaded from www.radiate.com/privacy/remover.html but use either Steve Gibson's OptOut! or Lavasoft's AD-aware instead. They're more thorough (see Spyware Links).

Version 3 of Aureate has an uninstall feature. If the uninstall feature is used, I recommend using Lavasoft's AD-aware utility afterwards to clean up all the leftovers. Steve Gibson's OptOut! utility may not find all items in this later version of Aureate (Steve himself has said that his original Opt-Out! utility is becoming dated).

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Acknowledgements  

Aug 04-00 - Thanks to "Patrick R." for additions to the Aureate components list. Aug 19-00 - Thanks to Allen and Ronnie for the software list.


Updated: Aug 28-00

Quoted excerpts are © Radiate unless otherwise noted.

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