Microsoft To Tackle Spyware?
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
Last Friday, during a visit to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates revealed that Microsoft is currently investing "hundreds of millions" of its $5 billion annual R&D budget toward solving the malware/adware threat.
In a Webcast event last September, Mike Nash, Microsoft Security Business and Technology Unit Vice President, said that although nothing has been announced at this point, Microsoft is very focused on the issue. He added: "Some of this will come through extra protection in the platform (like we did in XP SP2), but it's also clear that there are some good third party solutions available today as well."
Earlier this week, Microsoft released a critical update for Windows XP (885523) that addresses an issue when users have T.V. Media from Total Velocity Corporation installed. Apparently this product is bundled with adware, which will prevent the installation of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Microsoft also posted a removal tool dubbed the "Adware T.V. Media Removal Tool".
Critical Update 885523 is now available on the Windows Update Web site and through the Automatic Updates feature. This update is only offered through Windows Update and Automatic Update to users who have T.V. Media installed. You do not have to install this update if T.V. Media is not installed on your computer.
The Adware T.V. Media Removal Tool is available for download from the Microsoft Download site [113 KB]. (Supported Operating Systems for this tool are: Windows 2000 and Windows XP.) According to Microsoft, the adware T.V. Media is also bundled with other advertisement-supported applications such as Speed Blaster and Memory Meter from Total Velocity. More information about this tool can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 886590.
According to research carried out by EarthLink and Webroot software, which have been monitoring & checking PC's on EarthLink's network since January this year, the average PC is infected with 26 instances of Spyware. Broken down into categories infection rates are:
The full report is available from the EarthLink Web site. EarthLink is one of the USA's larger Internet service providers.
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