Brad Feld

Back to Blog

Spyware is officially out of control

May 19, 2004
Category Technology

Ok – it’s been out of control for a while. Spam continues at epidemic proportions. Spim (IM Spam) is starting to emerge. Blam (Blog Spam) has exploded on the scene. Spyware is everywhere. Anti-Spyware – which is supposed to eliminate Spyware – is being sold as a solution by the Spyware players.

Blam is the first problem that’s bugging me today – fortunately I haven’t been nailed by it yet (although I’m sure I will as a result of this post). To see real pain from the recently blammed, take a look at Jeff Nolan’s post on comment spam. Jeff’s trying a homegrown IP blacklist, which won’t work (it didn’t work for Spam very well – it won’t work for Blam). Dave Sifry from Technorati wrote a good post on various approaches to Blam. I expect this area to evolve rapidly, especially as the email security folks (Brightmail, Postini, etc.) notice the problem.

Spyware is next. I’ve been using Spybot for a while and it works pretty well. A local company – Webroot – is doing great – so I gave it a try. I was fascinated by the difference – within 24 hours I had a different set of persistent problems then I’d had with Spybot. No matter how hard these guys try, the bad guys move faster.

I heard a rumor recently that spyware vendor 180Solutions, the guys behind Ncase are out shopping for an anti-spyware vendor to add to their product mix after their recent venture financing from Spectrum Equity. XOFTSPY has a scam going also – here’s a great rant on it.

I’m just bewildered by all of this. Haven’t we already seen this movie from the massive proliferation of viruses and spam? The government is getting involved now – oh goody.