The Evils of Unwanted Software

There is a war going on out there. As you are reading this, the forces of good and evil are at work battling to control your computer. This is not a joke nor an exaggeration. It is happening every day, and at times, I think the bad guys are winning. I’m talking about unwanted software. Software that installs itself largely without the user’s knowledge. The makers of these softwares are going to great lengths to gain control of your PC to further their own causes. Following are three different and distinct examples:

1 In September 2003, PC Pitstop was served notice of federal lawsuit C03-04167RS in US District Court, Northern District of California. The suit claimed “false advertising, unfair business practices, trade libel, defamation, and tortious interference.” Our entire mission at PC Pitstop is to make PC’s run faster and more reliably, and this lawsuit ultimately became a huge distraction. Although we vehemently disagree with the claims in the lawsuit, we settled in December 2003. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

2 But enough about us. This war is far more sinister than that. In the last 60 days, numerous anti-spyware sites have been shut down due to denial of service. One of the more useful anti spyware tools, HiJackThis, has been shut down due to denial of service. The spyware companies are fighting back and right now they are winning. Another site, Spyware Info, just recently came back on line. This is truly a war, and we’re all part of it.

3
CNN News reported that once certain spywares are installed, an unsuspecting PC can be used as a spam engine. In lay terms, once you have inadvertently installed this spyware, your PC might start sending out spam mails to millions of people. Worse yet, once your ISP finds out, they will turn off your internet access. This is really bad. Not only might you lose your internet access, but you are also contributing to the spam problem. But the worst news of all, is that these spyware companies are finding new ways to make money. The more money they make, the uglier the war will get.

We are working hard at PC Pitstop to stop the spread of software that is installed on PC’s without the user’s knowledge. We are working to improve our on line tests to include as many possible variants of unwanted software that may be installed on your PC. We are also going to attend the FTC conference on April 19th. I also hope to make some important announcements in the next few weeks.

But most importantly, what can you do? The average Joe or Jane?

  • Clean up your PC. Run our free online tests, and follow the directions if you have a virus, spyware or adware.
  • Get Active. Go to our online forums and express your outrage.
  • Spread the word. Awareness is key. Tell all your friends, associates and relatives.

We can win this war but we have to stop them before they start making too much money. Practice safe computing, and be careful out there!

Rob Cheng
CEO PC Pitstop LLC

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