Feeds

Symantec ask court to rule Hotbar.com as adware

Test case

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Symantec has filed suit in defence of its right to produce tools that classify programs from Hotbar.com as adware. Symantec is not seeking damages as part of the suit. Instead the security giant is asking a court to rule that certain Hotbar program files are indeed adware and can be treated as computer security risks.

"By asking the court for clarification on this issue in our favour, we hope to continue alerting our customers about the presence of these program files, protecting them against possible security risks," said Joy Cartun, senior director of legal affairs for Symantec. "Through this effort, we're trying to ensure that our customers have more control over the programs that run on their computers."

The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division this week days after TRUSTe, the online privacy group, revoked Hotbar.com's right to display its seal of approval.

Hotbar.com distributes a variety of Web browser toolbars with changeable "skins", email tools and screensaver programs, many of which are designed to appeal to children. These tools come bundled with packages that deliver targeted pop-up ads. Hotbar.com's distribution practices have put it at odds with some security vendors. Last month the firm fired off a legal letter to anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software asking it to stop classifying its wares as adware. Sunbelt is sticking to its guns by insisting that Hotbar.com's wares meet its classification for adware.

Symantec's lawsuit seeks to clarify the legal status of Hotbar.com's software. The case is sure to be closely watched in the industry not least because of the ongoing efforts of many adware firms to clean up their public image and force security firms to stop classifying their packages as malware.

In other spyware-related news, Dell said that better customer awareness and sales of security software subscriptions had halved the number of support calls it was receiving about spyware-related problems over the last year. Over the same period security software subscriptions among Dell customers have more than tripled, Mike George, VP of Dell's consumer business, told Louisiana legislators during a hearing on consumer security earlier this week. ®

Related stories

New York sues Intermix over spyware
Adware-infected PCs net slimeware firms $3 a pop
Freegate is not Trojan horse, says Symantec
Sophos in porn dialler row with UK developer

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.