Spyware cures may cause more harm than good

Thursday, 5 February 2004, 12:04 PM EST

Millions of computers have been hit in recent years by ads and PC-monitoring software that comes bundled with popular free downloads, notably music-swapping programs. The problem has attracted dozens of companies seeking to profit by promising to root out the offending software. But some software makers are exploiting the situation, critics allege, turning demand for antispyware software into a launch pad for new spyware attacks.

A small army of angry Web users has set up a network of Web sites where they post reports of antispyware programs said to prey on consumers by installing offending files. Some of these charges could get a hearing soon, as public-interest group The Center for Democracy & Technology plans to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against specific companies.

By John Borland at CNET.

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