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Kazaa Tops Spyware List
November 28, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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Computer Associates, a world wide technology firm, named the top five spyware threats currently on the Internet. Topping this list of dubious distinction is an old time favorite of the P2P community - the former king of file-sharing, Kazaa Media Desktop.

Those familiar with Kazaa Media Desktop know about its array of crippling third party software. Such third party software, often referred to as spyware or adware, cause system slow downs, reduced Internet performance and other undesireable effects. Because of Kazaa's prevasiveness, Computer Associates ranks this P2P program as the number on spyware threat on the Internet today.

While Sharman could counter with the fact is has been downloaded over 200 million times, this fact happens to be a canard since its popularity has earned this distinction. As home users become familiar with Kazaa on their home computers, the possibility exists they may want to extend the P2P experience to the corporate network. Computer Associates' listing is designed to inform network administrations and home users of the heavy risks involved in using Kazaa and other listed spyware laden programs.

Interesting, considering this report is contrary to Sharman's recent posting on the Kazaa homepage that states Kazaa contains NO spyware.

Sharman's No Spyware Commitment

* Kazaa does NOT install or delete software from your computer without your permission.
* Kazaa does NOT contain software that gathers personally identifiable information about you.
* Kazaa and its partners securely process any credit card or transaction information you may give.
* Kazaa does NOT contain software that monitors keyboard strokes.
* Kazaa does NOT deceptively install software that centrally records your personally identifiable internet usage.
* Kazaa does NOT prevent your efforts to remove Kazaa.

This cleverly worded edict hinges on the fact that most people do not read the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) which states that third party software will be installed on the users machine. In most cases, if most people knew and understood the effects of Kazaa's third party software, this program would not be nearly as popular as it is.

How long Kazaa remains as the number one spyware threat is questionable. The combination of the RIAA's campaign against Kazaa's host network, FastTrack and the increased awareness of spyware have caused a significant decline in its population. However, it still remains a powerful force, as over 2.5 million individuals are sharing viruses, corrupt files, Trojans, spyware and Bonzi Buddy across the Internet.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
FastTrack :: Kazaa
Technology News :: Spyware/Adware

Computer Associate's report on Kazaa Media Desktop.

P2PForums analysis of Kazaa and FastTrack

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