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Cydoor Spyware: The Cydoor Debate

Cydoor Desktop Media was introduced in 1997 by Cydoor Technologies Inc., a leading name in online advertising.  Although users found this product to be very useful, the Cydoor program established a bad reputation for displaying constant pop-ups and unwanted advertisements.  What made it even more of a menace were accusations of its ability to act as a browser hijacker and a malicious Trojan Downloader.

The Cydoor Spyware Accusations

Cydoor was known to collect a user's surfing patterns and redirect their web requests to other internet locations.  The program claimed a robust amount of space on the user's hard disk and since it came with no uninstall utility, manually removing it was nearly impossible. 

The Cydoor program was immediately defined as dangerous spyware by several members of the media and the anti-virus industry.  The application itself was mostly downloaded in conjunction with freeware or sharware, mainly for the purpose of enabling that program to display advertisements.  On the other hand, Cydoor was also downloaded via compromised sites and installed through vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.  The client periodically communicated with the Cydoor server to receive updates, present new advertisements and report ad ratings.  Although personally identifying data wasn't always transferred, this activity was considered intrusive since several users didn't agree to the installation of the Cydoor component nor the transmission of data. 

A New Look at Cyboor Technologies

Today, Cyboor Technologies has drastically changed its operation to offer users and affiliate partners an unintrusive add-supported solution.  The company has since placed a greater emphasis on the visibility of its End-User License Agreement and clearly defines many elements that were once privacy concerns.  Cydoor have moved towards providing its partners with a steady source of revenue while assuring that users are aware of the program's functions. 

After the installation of Cydoor's recent product, the partner application manages numerous advertisements and tracks their performance.  These ads are served to the user in accordance to predefined impression and exposure is supposedly not based on any aspect of the user's surfing patterns or computer behavior.  Occasionally, the partner application communicates with the Cydoor server to report aggregated performance data regarding which ads were displayed, the types of impressions they received and if they were clicked on by users.  The company contends that these performance parameters are similar to those tracked by online advertisers, such as banners published on a website.   

Cydoor representatives also emphasize that the software does not download any data from the server other than ad creative content.  They stress that the program only reports standard aggregated campaign parameters related to ad campaigns.  According to their claims, Cydoor products do not report any other user patterns or transmit personally identifiable data. 

Despite Cydoor's new outlook on technology, several users are still very cautious of their products, fearing the threat of intrusive spyware.  While the company has fought to have the malicious title removed from their programs, many anti-spyware applications will detect any Cyboor program and flag it as a threat that should be immediately removed from the system.   

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You can protect your computer from viruses without expensive software. Instead, follow these simple tips:

Stay up-to-date on all system updates.

Don't download any email attachments you weren't expecting.

Avoid freeware and peer-to-peer sharing sites.

Use alternative web browsers and email software.