"Ashley" (aka "ash1
ey”), the 22-year old owner of Privacy Tools 2004
, has announced plans to have his programmers write some "undetectable" spyware because he is frustrated with the responses given to him in a Spyware Warrior Forums thread
. The following partial quote is from Page 2 of that thread and it is near the top of the page:
"And to be honest i'm even thinking of having some programmers write me some spyware. Yep, actual spyware to infect ppls machines. Why? Cus you all suck. I'm trying to work with you but you couldnt give a sh1t. So why try and work with the anti-spyware community when there only against you? You guys are against me so much that i'm going to start distributing spyware myself, its not hard. UNDETECTABLE stuff too To be honest theres probably more money in this then the actual spyware removal."
Eldar, who started the thread at Spyware Warrior, has written the following review of Privacy Tools 2004 (page 1 of the thread):
"CRAP - Stay away
Having checked my PC with Ad-aware, Spy Sweeper & Spybot S&D all was clean as usual.
Downloaded this program and after I did the update, I scanned my PC. It found 2 files and 534 registry keys which were identified as spyware. It even identified OutPost as spyware, which btw is total nonsense. Removing all this would certainly do irrepairable damage."
Eric L. Howes, creator of IE-SPYAD
(restricted Sites List), AGNIS (Ad Block List), and Pro WAGoN (Block List Utility) has written this review of Privacy Tools 2004 (Page 1 of the Spyware Warrior thread):
I've tested your new beta of Privacy Tools 2004. Unfortunately, I ran into the same horrendous false positives as with the earlier versions.
First, four screenshots of the scan results, starting with the scan summary (click links to view screenshots): http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics_pub/pt-beta-6a.jpg http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics_pub/pt-beta-6b.jpg http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics_pub/pt-beta-6c.jpg http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics_pub/pt-beta-6d.jpg
A couple of observations:
1) The beta identified completely innocent files for the following applications as "spyware" or "malware" of some sort:
* Advanced Replacer
* Sam Spade
* Spyware Doctor
These detections are a mixed bag. In some cases the beta correctly identified the program (e.g., Sam Spade), but provided no good reason why that app should be flagged as malware. In other cases, the beta completely misidentified the app, as when it flagged a plain text license file for UPX as part of "AGM65's FileCD Key Harvester 0.1."
2) The beta identified a number of completely innocent Registry keys as malware-related in some way, including keys for:
* Internet Explorer (Radio Bar)
All of these Registry keys are completely innocent -- even the FlashGet keys, which are from the "for-pay"/non-adware version of FlashGet.
3) The beta identified several Registry keys as "Suspicious ActiveX control," without bothering to explain why those ActiveX controls would be "suspicious."
4) The beta identified hundreds of "ActiveX Compatibility" keys as malware related. In fact, those keys (and the associated DWORD:00000400 values) were set by either SpywareBlaster or Spybot S&D to block the installation of known spyware-related ActiveX controls. This method of setting the kill-bit against ActiveX controls is a well-known means for protecting users from spyware installations through Internet Explorer, and has been in use for several years now in the anti-spyware scene.
5) The beta performed very poorly in identifying actual spyware files. I happened to have a directory on my E-drive that houses dozens upon dozens of spyware installers and other spyware-related files. PT2004 identified only one installer -- SaveInstWm.exe, a SaveNow installer. The rest went completely unremarked by PT2004.
I understand this is a beta, but more work seems to have been put into making the interface look slick than in actually fixing the underlying problems with the detections. Indeed, this new version of Privacy Tools 2004 looks to be just another clone of the new version of ADS Adware Remover (from the same family of applications) that was released just recently: http://www.spywarewarrior.com/pics_pub/ads3-5a.jpg
Even the license files are identical.
I don't know when you planned to release this new version, but you've got a long way to go before you have a usable anti-spyware utility.
One final bit of advice. Given that you've been batting 0 percent for the past month or so -- all the while selling a spyware utility you should have known was junk to unsuspecting victims (and having even admitted to not doing proper QC) -- and given that you've been been telling me and anyone else who will listen that you've got your independent developers fixing all the problems with your software in this new version, and given that these extraordinary claims seem not to be true at all, I would suggest that you adjust your attitude when addressing the other members of Spyware Warrior in this thread. These are the people who actually have some knowledge about spyware (knowledge which your developers seem to be sorely lacking) and who have been using that knowledge to help spyware victims remove unwanted malware from their systems day in and day out.
While you've been bragging to the world about your worthless, broken anti-spyware utility and selling it to unsuspecting users, condescending to the volunteers here at Spyware Warrior and refusing to answer their perfectly legitimate questions, as well as threatening me and Spyware Warrior with frivolous lawsuits, these volunteers have actually been doing the thankless job of providing real help to real victims, and all for free. That's a hell of a lot more than you can claim.
Until you get your own house in order, you have no business whatsoever bad-mouthing the volunteers here at Spyware Warrior or giving them an attitude.
Eric L. Howes"
I wanted to spread the word about "Ashley's" plans to have his programmers write "undetectable spyware" programs with the express purpose of infecting innocent user's machines, all in the name of money (he blatantly & repeatedly states that pursuit of the almighty dollar, or pound, as the case may be, is his primary reason for founding his business).
I am asking all who read this to share the story with people that they care about. Ashley needs to be stopped.
P.S. My username at Spyware Warrior is "Harry Letterman".