Saturday, November 26, 2005

Limewire has no Spyware

If anyone tells you that they got spyware by installing LimeWire, they are idiots, or they are running a version of LimeWire that is older than May 2004. Here's why:

Comparison of Unwanted Software Installed by P2P Programs: "Hands-on testing reveals the specific additional programs bundled with certain peer-to-peer filesharing programs. I capture screenshots of key steps in installation, and I discuss the characteristics that make the installation licenses particularly difficult for users to read and understand. Some peer-to-peer programs bundle multiple other programs users may not want and may not intend to accept, but other peer-to-peer programs contain no apparent bundled software." This is probably the definitive review of all P2P file sharing programs, even though it is a bit dated.

Now there is also FrostWire, a derivative of LimeWire that is completely free and doesn't have any planned content restrictions or DRM.

How does malware infiltrate your machine? Either through security flaws exploited by the authors, or by users downloading it. Of course they think they are downloading something else, like a pirate copy of a program or a crack for a commecial program. But whenever they do that they are taking their life into their own hands. An EXE file can do anything it wants on your machine. Never forget that you have to trust that the programmer is not out to steal your data or destroy your PC. Most programmers are nice guys. ;-)

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