Jeeves Asks For Spyware Delisting

    September 13, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

MySearch Bar and other plugins by Ask Jeeves can arrive from third parties on a computer system without asking for permission first.

Sunbelt Software’s president Alex Eckelberry noted in his blog how search engine company Ask Jeeves has asked to have its toolbars delisted from his firm’s Counter-Spy anti-spyware product.

While noting the toolbars themselves are not adware or spyware, Sunbelt has some issues with the ways third-parties deliver those same tools. “(S)everal of AskJeeves’ products are plagued with poor installation practices when distributed by third-parties or when advertised at third-party web sites,” he posted.

One third party distributing a Bald Eagle Screensaver installed the MyGlobalSearch toolbar even after the user canceled installation of the product. Sunbelt studied the behavior of third party software and found some ongoing issues, particularly with FunWeb Products:

“Users who take an initial interest in a Ask Jeeves banner ad or pop-up and click through to one of the FunWeb Products web sites only to cancel the install by closing the browser window are often confronted with a full screen pop-up that explodes in their faces, insistently badgering them to install the product. Such behavior was recently observed (August 2005) with banner ads and pop-ups for FunWeb Products at several sites, including and”

Except for AskJeeves Bar, Excite Speedbar, and iWon Co-Pilot, Sunbelt plans to continue detecting the other toolbars provided by Ask Jeeves as spyware. The behaviors of anti-spyware programs, and how different providers handle the issue of delisting a product from a detection database, is best illustrated in Mr. Eckelberry’s post:

“There are a number of antispyware programs that list AskJeeves toolbars and a number that don’t….It’s a mixed bag: Companies that don’t detect any AskJeeves programs are Lavasoft, Microsoft, WebRoot, PC Tools and FBM Software. Companies that do are Sunbelt, McAfee, Computer Associates, Spybot, Tenebril, Trend and Facetime.”

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.