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Zone Labs sued over spyware classification

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Marketing company 180solutions filed a lawsuit against desktop-security firm Zone Labs taking issue with a warning generated by the security firm's personal firewall software, which labels 180solutions advertising client as spyware.

The lawsuit--filed last month but only recently came to light - cites warnings generated by Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm personal firewall product that warns of "dangerous behavior," recommending that users remove 180solutions software from the computer system.

The marketing firm is a controversial company that was sued in September for installing what many have called "spyware" on consumers' computers. Over the past year, 180solutions has attempted to clean up its image and now enforces rigorous rules on its affiliates and has added safeguards into its software.

Despite the steps, Zone Labs classifies its software - known as Zango and 180search Assistant - as spyware, the company claimed in its complaint.

"ZoneAlarm assigns a high risk status and states as follows about Zango and 180sA: 'It is recommended that you delete this application immediately because it constitutes a privacy risk, and has no know usefulness," 180solutions said in the complaint.

Last month, 180solutions announced it had helped the FBI track down a person who had abused its affiliate system by infecting computers with bot software and installing the marketing firm's adware program.

A blog run by security-software maker Sunbelt Software first mentioned the complaint against Zone Labs and has a copy of the court filing online.

Copyright © 2005, SecurityFocus

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