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Date: 2000-03-03

Aureate unter Spionageverdacht

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Die einen sagen, wiedermal ein Software-Hersteller direkt beim
Ausspionierwen seiner Kunden erwischt. Die betroffene Firma
Aureate dementiert das als "false rumours".

post/scrypt: Wer von der quintessenz noch nicht genug hat und über
einen Kabel/Sat Anschluss verfügt, hat jetzt ab 19.20 im Programm
3Sat [Kulturzeit] Gelegenheit, allerhand über die FPO- fakesite,
politische Satire und Free Speech im Netz via analogem Streaming-
Medium zu sehen.

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Der Standpunkt von Aureate
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The Aureate Mess

[...] As it turns out, the Aureate software is a "phone home"
application that can (and does) send information about you and your
system either to Aureate or to the companies who have built
Aureate's software into their applications or downloads. But exactly
*what* is sent and *how* it's sent has been a source of great

Let's stop here for a sec: If you want to see if Aureate's "spyware"
resides on your system, search your system for "Advert.dll" which is
the central piece of the Aureate system (there are many other pieces
too, but this one's the biggie.) If you find Advert.dll, then Aureate may
have been spying on you.

Reader Rich Brennan was the first to wave the flag about Aureate to
me: He pointed me to
ying.html, a page that has (in reverse order, with the older messages
further down the page) the original assertions against Aureate, and some clarifying responses from an Aureate official. Many, many other readers have written in too. (And thanks to all who did!)

CNET ran a more balanced story here:

As the above links show, a number of somewhat wild claims have been made about this "spying" including assertions that that the DLL sends back a list of all software in your PC (lifted from the Registry), and monitors all
multimedia clips you run on your system. These wilder claims appear to be false. See for a thorough debunking of the issue--- although I personally believe that the debunking
goes too far. Here's why:

The software *does* seem to be either poorly designed or implemented. For example, uninstalling the applications that include the Aureate spyware often does NOT remove the spyware itself, and the spyware doesn't show up a
s a separate app, and has no uninstall available on its own. Once you have it, you have it forever.

Plus, although Aureate intends the software to be used in an above- board manner, many apps that install the software do so silently and with no user notification whatsoever. Thus some user data (though nothing like what
the wild claims allege) can be sent without the user's consent.

I'm personally inclined to see this as a consequence of less-than- stellar competence rather than active evil intent on the part of Aureate. But even if their hearts are pure, the end result is that there's a fair chance
you have software on your system you don't know about, and that it may be communicating some information about you or your system to others without your knowledge or consent. That's not OK.

Reader "Darren" found a freeware app (from a known hacker!) that purports to remove Aureate components:

Further info on the Aureate Spy software (the software that installs .dll files on your computer which connect to Aureate when you go online and send worryingly comprehensive information about you): Help has come from an
unlikely source - Cokebottle (a renowned software 'cracker') has developed a little utility to detect and remove Aureate Spy components. The file can be downloaded from:
p The utility is virus & trojan free, but you should always scan ANY file that you download from the internet - don't take anybody's word for it...

Thanks, Darren--- though I'd wonder about using a known hackers apps in any case. <g>

A more familiar name--- Steve Gibson, of fame--- also
has weighed in on the matter at, and has
promised a freeware fix of his own.


relayed by via

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-03-03
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