Google, Lenovo and Sun unite against "badware"



Malicious software is no longer just being called adware or viruses as several corporate giants have formed a clearinghouse website to track "badware". Companies like Google, Lenovo and Sun have partnered up with academic institutions Harvard's Berkman Center and Oxford University's Internet Institute to publish names and reports of companies that spread spyware or other malicious software. Users that have been infected with such software can go to the stopbadware.org website to file reports or to find uninstall information.

According to stopbadware.org, the site operates like a "Neighborhood Watch" program and will alert the public to current and upcoming threats. In addition to being sponsored by companies and universities, several foundations and even Consumer Reports WebWatch is lending a hand. Aimed at the end user, the site will publish badware horror stories and user friendly reports on what badware programs are running around the Internet. Companies that have a track record of developing badware will be named not only on the site, but also in carefully placed advertisements on other websites and newspapers.

Spyware and viruses cause an untold amount of damage each year, monetary and time-wise. Anti-virus and spyware companies have become defacto clearinghouses of information for several years. Administrators dealing with a virus outbreak often go to vendor websites like Sophos, Symantec or McAfee. While helpful, these websites tend to cater to network administrators rather than the average Joe. Stopbadware.org is not aimed at the techie crowd and even states in their Frequently Asked Questions that techies have, "probably already solved the badware problem".

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