ASC finalized official anti-spyware guidelines

The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC), an alliance of security software companies, academics and consumer groups, said on Thursday, January 12, 2006, that it has finalized its official anti-spyware guidelines. The document entitled “Risk Model Description” is available at the ASC web site. It includes special guidelines that anti-spyware vendors will use to classify spyware and adware parasites, various viral threats, unsolicited software and other security and privacy risks. The coalition members hope that the final guidelines will help to develop better security-related products and avoid quite frequent problems with incomplete or incorrect detection of certain software. Updated versions of software based on general anti-spyware guidelines should reach customers within the next few months.

However, some well-known companies like Sunbelt Software and reputable spyware experts including Ben Edeleman and Eric Howes fear the Risk Model Description will help spyware and adware makers to rework their software, so that it could not meet the parasite criteria. This would legitimize some malicious programs and prevent popular spyware removers from detecting them as threats.

A list of current ASC members includes a lot of major Internet companies, hardware vendors and well-known security software makers including Microsoft, Symantec, Computer Associates, McAfee, Sophos, Eset, Grisoft, Panda Software, PC Tools, Tenebril, Trend Micro, Safer-Networking Ltd., etc.

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