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ComboFix copyright & GPL violation


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#1 Carpetsmoker

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:26 PM

Title says it all, the application known as `ComboFix', which is developed by bleepingcomputer (As far as I can tell) violates the GPL (v2) license and copyright.

Not wanting to trust an undocumented `black box', wanted to examine what ComboFix actually does before letting it loose on my system, ComboFix.exe is a self-extracting archive which unpacks in C:\ComboFix\.
Among other things, it packs a number of executables, renamed to *.cfexe.

Some of these tools (including, but not limited to, tail.cfexe, sed.cfexe, grep.cfexe, gsar.cfexe) are GPL licensed, the GPL license clearly states that the source must be distributed with the binaries, there is no source to be found anywhere, nor is a copy of the GPL to be found, which is also required.
Other restrictions may also apply.

Looking further I also noticed ComboFix also violated the license for NirCMD, the license requires *all* files in the distribution package to remain together (To quote: ``you must include all files in the distribution package'').

Other files/executables may also be in copyright violation, I did not check every file.
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:55 PM

Bleeping Computer is not the creator of Combofix


Unfortunately the author of the tool does not want information on how Combofix works on public forums.
Please read Combofix's Disclaimer. Using this tool incorrectly could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again.

The only public information that is available can be found at this guide:

How to use ComboFix
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#3 Carpetsmoker

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:16 PM

Unfortunately the author of the tool does not want information on how Combofix works on public forums.


So noted, and I will not post any information on these forums.

Bleeping Computer is not the creator of Combofix


All right, bleepingcomputers is used in many places, in fact, it's even mentioned in the disclaimer and for submitting malware so I figured the author(s) are from bleepingcomputer.
Regardless, bleepingcomputer is responsible for distributing software, saying ``I didn't write it'' doesn't exonerate bleepingcomputer.

Please read Combofix's Disclaimer. Using this tool incorrectly could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again.

The only public information that is available can be found at this guide:

How to use ComboFix


I'm not sure what this has to do with copyright violations?
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.

#4 Carpetsmoker

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 05:23 PM

Reading forum rules (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/boardrules.php):
``The posting of any copyrighted material on our web site is strictly prohibited.''

:-/
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.

#5 Grinler

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 01:49 PM

Hi Carpetsmoker,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have alerted the author to this and all licensing issues should be resolved, if not already resolved, at this point.

I see from other posts of your on other forums that you have GPL experience, so feel free to shoot me a private message if you see anything that we may have left out.




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