Feeds

AOL software labelled as 'badware'

Health inspectors find fault with client code

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Privacy watchdogs have slapped a health warning on the latest version of AOL's client software, AOL 9.0.

StopBadware.org, an academic project supported by the likes of Sun and Google that aims to establish a neighbourhood watch-style scheme to put pressure on purveyors of unsavoury programs, has taken the unusual step of classifying AOL's software as potentially damaging badware.

AOL's inclusion of bundled software apps and lack of transparency over additional installed components earned it the negative label.

"AOL has a long and storied history of being a leader in the fight against badware. AOL plainly does not belong in the same category as the all-too-prevalent garden variety badware providers. But the free version of AOL 9.0 that we tested, in our view, does not live up to the company's rich legacy," explained John Palfrey, co-director of StopBadware.org, in a posting on StopBadware.org's blog.

StopBadware.org wants AOL to be more upfront about the software components its client installs. It also wants the internet giant to provide an easier way of declining to install these components or of removing them once they are installed.

The pressure group says it has been pleased with AOL's reaction to its criticism, which is based on a preliminary analysis of AOL's software. AOL said it would review StopBadware.org's recommendations.

"No company has done more to fight malware than AOL," AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein told News.com. "We're reviewing the suggestions made in the report, and we are taking steps to address them, as they mostly involve minor UI issues. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.