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GOM Media Player Suspicious Behavior


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#1 arbitrageur

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:52 PM

Hi everyone, this is my first post. I have lots of security installed on my PC so I don't have any infections or problems, but I do have a question I hope someone can help me with or point me to an answer.

I downloaded the latest version of "GOM media player" (EDIT: for windows) from the following site:
http://www.gomlab.com/eng/
The site says a new version will be released Dec 24th which is not available as of this writing.

The version I got, 2.1.9.3754, has an option under "preferences"(link at the bottom), update tab, to "check the version automatically when you start GOM player".

I unchecked that box, and it STILL tries to connect to the internet when I open the player. This behavior looks suspicious, with a behavior similar to spyware. Is it spyware, or if not what's it doing trying to automatically connect to the internet without permission?

I used google to do some research and found reports that the last version which did NOT exhibit this suspicious behavior was 2.1.6.3499, so i downloaded that and confirmed that indeed it does NOT exhibit any suspicious behavior. (however there are security vulnerabilities identified with the previous versions so it may be unsafe to use them).

So I don't know if the latest version which tries to connect to the internet without permission is reporting back to GOMlabs anything like, a count of each time I start the program, or a record of the files I play, or maybe it's just that the option to not check for updates has a bug and it still checks for updates with the "check for updates" option unchecked in which case it isn't really spyware. I couldn't find any confirmation using google that it is or isn't spyware, (other than a few reports I didn't find creduble on either side like these):
http://www.fbmsoftware.com/spyware-net/App...ion/GOM_Player/ which says no spyware but I don't see the version they checked, and
http://1089blog.blogspot.com/2008/06/1089-...gom-player.html this link I don't find particularly credible even though it claims there is a problem with the GOM player.

So that's why I'm posting my question here, I've noticed there are some very knowledgeable people on this board who might have some answers to my question:

Why is the latest version of GOM media player (2.1.9.3754 as I write this) trying to connect to the internet even with the update option turned off...is it spyware? And why is it doing this on the latest versions but not on the previous versions like 2.1.6.3499?

Of course my firewall is blocking the connection attempt now so it's not an immediate threat, however, I'm very curious about this.

Thanks in advance for any insights anyone can provide here..

Edited by arbitrageur, 22 December 2008 - 03:10 PM.


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#2 garmanma

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:27 PM

I don't use it so these are just random thoughts A couple of checks on the Korean co. suggest though while legit, there were some questionable practices at one time or another.

So I don't know if the latest version which tries to connect to the internet without permission is reporting back to GOMlabs

Did you read the EULA before you installed it?

Edited by garmanma, 22 December 2008 - 06:28 PM.

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#3 arbitrageur

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:18 PM

I just read the EULA:
Section 3-"Automatic communications features:
The software consists of interactive internet applications that perform a variety of communications over the internet as part of their normal operation......."

Then it goes on to list "such as" examples but it's unclear if it details every single type of communication that takes place so it neither confirms no denies spyware, and it doesn't really explain why it's connecting to the internet when you open the program with "check for updates" disabled because checking for updates would appear to be the only legitimate reason for making such a connection at that point, when a file hasn't even been opened to play yet so it can't yet be evaluating any file to see if it's supported, if additional codecs are needed, etc which are some of the other communications that can take place.

#4 AlchemicEND

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:14 AM

If you use the default skin that has the advertisements it could be because of the ad maybe, I'm not sure but it's the only thing I could think of.

#5 arbitrageur

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 11:27 PM

If you use the default skin that has the advertisements it could be because of the ad maybe, I'm not sure but it's the only thing I could think of.


I've never changed any skin from the default, but I've never seen any ads either, so I'm a little confused by that comment, are you sure you're thinking of GOM player and not something else?

#6 AlchemicEND

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:52 AM

They could of removed it, I remembered there being a text ad when I had it on the default skin. I haven't had it on default for a while so it might of just been removed from GOM.




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