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Microsoft to start blocking adware that lacks easy uninstall

Lucian Constantin | April 7, 2014
The company revised the policies for classifying, detecting and handling adware programs in its security software.

Researchers from antivirus vendor Avast named unwanted browser toolbars and extensions as one of the biggest problems for users in 2013. Such toolbars are often difficult or even impossible for average users to fully uninstall because they change their names and identifiers on almost every new computer to prevent detection and removal by security products, they said in a blog post at the end of December.

"Most adware in the past years has been classified as greyware at best," said Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst at antivirus vendor Bitdefender, Friday via email. "Often users would have to opt out of the adware offering and those less careful would end up with a product they don't want installed on their machine. These adware add-ons are also very difficult, if not impossible to remove, which makes them look awfully similar to spyware."

"However, the adware industry is a multi-billion dollar business and I don't expect adware developers to go along with Microsoft's decision without any pressure," Botezatu said.

 

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