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AOL’s Anti-Virus Raises Security Concerns

AOL's latest trials don't seem to have gone down well with the public. Shortly after the trial, AOL caused sensation by announcing the research records of AOL subscribers. Now, AOL LLC should be ready to tackle consumer activists for the recently publicized anti- virus package -- Active Virus Shield.

The End user license agreement (EULA), which allows AOL to collect and exchange details about utilization of software packages has been its undoing - leading to indictment. It also permits AOL and its partners to mail messages to clients. The package includes Kaspersky's anti-virus software plus discretionary toolbar to negotiate passwords and bar pop-ups, and can be effortlessly downloaded from AOL site.

According to Eric Howes, director of Sunbelt Software Inc., "In case you check the set-up as a regular client, there won't be any signs of any practical publicity or data collection". He also said that though this software package does not act malevolently, people are worried as EULA permits it to dispatch spam to clients. AOL should provide some adware software in the near future.

EULA offers AOL more privileges than normal EULA's, giving out greater client details to third parties. "If it executes any detail declared in the EULA, we would identify it as spyware," said Christina Olson, a project manager at Stopbadware.org. "By possessing a software package that obstructs ads, you're primarily just breaching their EULA agreement" she said.

The paradox is that the toolbar formerly called Softomate toolbar, and believed to be an adware by Kaspersky's software packages is the cause of AOL's difficulties. "The previous secret code has been suspended following its utilization by a malware supplier"- Weinstein maintained.

Aviv Raff, a security researcher in Israel detected an error in the toolbar that permits hackers to alter the toolbar arrangement. "Though it didn't offer security threat, it could be exploited along with other malevolent software to pop-up false investigation reports," he said.

Previously, the Internet service provider endured publicity failure after an AOL research worker accidentally leaked information about 19 million searches records of 658,000 clients. The AOL's certifying troubles threatens the business at a vulnerable period. It's time something needs to be done and it should be prompt.


Related article: AOL Yet to Fix Original Critical Flaw Discovered in September 2007

» SPAMfighter News - 8/24/2006

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