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Being Sued by HOTBAR


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#1 Sharklady

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 07:28 AM

Hi there,

I wrote an article in an Israeli magazine, describing HOTBAR as a spyware/adware.

They threaten to sue the magazine and myself and claim they are nothing of the sort. :eek:

If anyone can help by pointing me to pure technical data that shows the program to be a security risk, I would be grateful.

The fact that Symantec is suing them and defining them as adware isn't enough at the moment, to my regret.

Any help would do wonders.

Thanks!!!
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#2 Swandog46

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:44 AM

Sharklady, I was intrigued by your post, so I did a little research --- if Symantec's classification of them as "Adware" isn't sufficient proof I don't know what is! :D

http://securityrespo...are.hotbar.html

http://www.doxdesk.c...ite/Hotbar.html

http://www3.ca.com/s...px?id=453075474


Adware companies have been much more aggressive of late regarding pushing a facade of legitimacy --- for example, DirectRevenue (also known as abetterinternet/transponder --- they're the little *$!# group that created L2M/VX2, Aurora/Nail, Ceres, and all sorts of other filth) threatened a complaint against SpywareWarrior for being listed as "rogue" antispyware products. See under "MyPCTuneUp" on this page:
http://www.spywarewa...e.htm#de-listed

You can read the legal letters. Their bark is often worse than their bite, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't make your life extremely difficult and even take you to court if needed (even though they'd lose --- they'd be trying to force you to give in, because they have the financial resources to spend on this sort of thing). I would advise you to tread carefully --- but don't back down. There is NO question that Hotbar is adware --- Symantec says it! Are they going to threaten Symantec with a lawsuit? That I'd like to see....

Well done Sharklady --- keep telling it like it is! :D

#3 LostAccount

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:01 AM

Swandog46, have you read this?

http://www.spywarein...showtopic=50523

:D :D
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#4 Swandog46

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:02 AM

Wow! :eek: No, I hadn't seen that.... so this Hotbar is even more aggressive than I thought...

#5 Avohir

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:31 AM

your best defense is probably the fact that there isn't a clear concensus on the definition of adware/spyware, so they cant object to what isn't clearly defined.
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#6 Swandog46

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:50 AM

Avohir, I think your best defense is that their EULA explicitly states that they will collect personal information from you and use however they like, which is the definition of spyware...

#7 dave38

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 01:18 PM

!87Trix, your post has been split off, and merged with your own topic in Malware removal forum.
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#8 Avohir

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 01:30 PM

Avohir, I think your best defense is that their EULA explicitly states that they will collect personal information from you and use however they like, which is the definition of spyware...

View Post


well i didn't read their EULA in particular(since i have no intention of installing it), but a lot of these law suits seem to hinge on the term "spyware" and when they just bombard you with popup ads, they claim to not be "spyware"
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#9 Swandog46

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 02:39 PM

I know you are right --- it just makes me so MAD! :rant:

#10 Sharklady

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:41 PM

Thanks you guys, it really helps :)

I did som research myself after I relaxed from the threatning letter HOTBAR sent me, and I realized that they are sued by Symantec and defined as Spyware by just about any computer security company.

At first I was scared about it a bit, but now... I HOPE it goes to court (I don't think they will dare, though), so maybe we can make the fight against malware PUBLIC here in Israel.

Now that the "Trojan Horse" affair has been revealed here (industrial espionage by some of the biggest companies in Israel, via a trojan), maybe the battle for privacy will be taken more seriously.

Thanks again! :))
Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#11 ErikAlbert

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 03:01 AM

Sharklady,
If it ever goes to court, Symantec will most probably WIN, I'm not really worried about that.

maybe the battle for privacy will be taken more seriously.

That's the point, I'm worried about and it would be a good opportunity, to straighten things once and for all.

It's quite simple :
1. We don't need a better definition of Adware and Spyware, BOTH are wrong.
Any discussion about it is unnecessary, superfluous and a waste of time.
2. Adware/Spyware programs are BOTH forbidden. They shouldn't even exist.
3. Anybody who installs it on our computers needs to be punished.
4. Adverts belong on websites only without any dirty trick.

I hope the judge is brave enough to convict HOTBAR as well, but that won't happen.
ErikAlbert
Simplicity is always brilliant.

#12 Hodi

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 04:28 AM

Hey sharklady i'm from israel too
for which magazine did you write the article?
can you send it to me?

#13 Sharklady

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:42 PM

Sharklady,
If it ever goes to court, Symantec will most probably WIN, I'm not really worried about that.



Erik, I meant if MY case ever goes to court... I mean, there is no law in Israel against spyware, so this might be a good oportunity to show the public how awful it is that any idiot can complie a proggie that spies after you and ruins your computer.

:rant:
Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#14 WinHelp2002

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 02:46 AM

Sharklady,
A simple solution to your problem is to install Microsoft Anti-Spyware, then try to install HotBar. MSAS will jump up with onscreen warnings about HotBar (adware). Take a few screen shots and save them for your records.

What usually catches these culprits is the actual "raw data" transmitted back to them (if you let it install) and comapre the "sent" data to what they disclose in their EULA. This is best done with a "packet sniffer".

Below is a list of the sites connected to HotBar:

# [HOTBAR][Adware.Hotbar][Parasite.HotBar]
127.0.0.1 www.datez.com
127.0.0.1 www.dateznews.com
127.0.0.1 emoticons4us.com
127.0.0.1 www.emoticons4us.com
127.0.0.1 www.estationary.com
127.0.0.1 www.estationery.com
127.0.0.1 www.ezaza.com
127.0.0.1 e-zaza.com
127.0.0.1 www.e-zaza.com
127.0.0.1 fastutilities.com
127.0.0.1 www.fastutilities.com
127.0.0.1 www.fofom.com
127.0.0.1 www.hotbar-inc.com
127.0.0.1 hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 adopt.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 ads.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 cs.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 dynamic.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 dynmenu.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 hbmd.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 installs.hotbar.com #[HbInstObj Class]
127.0.0.1 license.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 promos.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 puv.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 reports.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 searchdisp.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 skins.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 tooltips.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 updates.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm1.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm2.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm1v.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm2v.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm5v.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 vip-farm31v.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 www.hotbar.com
127.0.0.1 www.hotbar2.com
127.0.0.1 hotbarmemberdirectory.com
127.0.0.1 www.matchoogle.com
127.0.0.1 www.matchooglenews.com
127.0.0.1 net-offers.net
127.0.0.1 www.pcpolish.com
127.0.0.1 priceshield.com
127.0.0.1 www.priceshield.com
127.0.0.1 cfg.shopperreports.com
127.0.0.1 cs.shopperreports.com
127.0.0.1 dynamic.shopperreports.com
127.0.0.1 reports.shopperreports.com
127.0.0.1 updates.shopperreports.com
127.0.0.1 www.shopperreports.com #[Adware-ShopprReports]
127.0.0.1 smartshopper.com
127.0.0.1 www.smartshopper.com
127.0.0.1 www.smartshoppernetworks.com
127.0.0.1 software4thenet.com
127.0.0.1 www.software4thenet.com
127.0.0.1 spamblockerutility.com
127.0.0.1 installs.spamblockerutility.com #[SbInstObj]
127.0.0.1 www.spamblockerutility.com
127.0.0.1 www.spamfree.com
127.0.0.1 page-not-found.net #[McAfee.Adware-HotBar]
127.0.0.1 shopperreports.pricetool.com #[Hotbar.ShoppingReports]
127.0.0.1 resultsmaster.com
127.0.0.1 www.resultsmaster.com
127.0.0.1 wowpapers.com
127.0.0.1 www.wowpapers.com

Note: the comments in brackets are searchable via Google.
Mike
Former Microsoft MVP Posted Image 1999-2012
"There's no place like 127.0.0.1"
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Blocking Malware, Parasites, Hijackers, Trojans, http://www.mvps.org/...p2002/hosts.htm with a HOSTS file

#15 Sharklady

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 01:59 PM

Thanks a bunch, that is a good idea.

Also, for now Hotbar are just threatning, and no suit was filed yet. I have a feeling they don't have the guts to REALLY sue...

If there are new developments, I'll let you guys know.

Thanks again! :D
Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#16 bedelman

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 06:57 AM

Sharklady,

I want to add you to the list at http://www.benedelma...spyware/threats . Please get in touch with me by email so I can get the details of Hotbar's threat to you. http://www.benedelman.org/mail


Ben

#17 Sharklady

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 12:03 AM

Well - here is the sad update. The Magazine caved in and did a very nice, flattering and flashy piece :gack: on Hotbar, in order to stay on their good side. I am disgusted. But it wasn't my call.

:rant:

I hope I'll get another chance to kick their asses.

Thanks for all the help, you guys. We shall overcome :p

Sharklady.
Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery




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