We have been in discussions with WhenU over the past several weeks over our detection of their software in our database.  As we had blogged earlier, we have found WhenU’s practices have shown a dramatic improvement over the last year (certainly, better than any other adware vendor we have seen).  The company was forthright in their dealings with us, all of which is detailed in our new WhenU Whitepaper.

Now, not all is perfect.  As much progress as WhenU has made over the past ten months, problems remain. Roughly one-third of its distributions still use poor notice and disclosure regimes. In a small number of cases, not all of WhenU’s programs are fully disclosed during installation. Finally, the conditional uninstallers for the Save advertising program can fail in some instances.

 

Given this mixed bag of commendable improve and lingering problems, the Sunbelt Research team will be making changes to some but not all of WhenU’s programs within Sunbelt’s CounterSpy detections database:

 

SaveNow / Save: This pop-up advertising program will remain classified as “Adware” with a Threat Level of “Moderate risk” and a Recommended Action of “Quarantine.

 

WhenUSearch: This desktop toolbar program will be reclassified as “Low Risk Adware” with a Threat Level of “Low risk” and a Recommended Action of “Ignore.” This re-classification should, as a practical matter, encompass all of WhenU’s re-skinned, co-branded toolbars, including WhenU’s own PriceBandit toolbar.  Since UControl is also bundled with WhenUSearch, it will be treated in the same manner. (UControl is WhenU’s adware program that is actually powered by Aluria…)

 

Weathercast: This weather information program will be reclassified as “Low Risk Adware” with a Threat Level of “Low risk” and a Recommended Action of “Ignore.”

 

ClockSync: This system clock synchronization program will be reclassified as “Adware Bundler” with a Threat Level of “Low risk” and a Recommended Action of “Ignore.”

  

WhenUShop: This shopping companion program is currently not included in the CounterSpy detections database. As it was only recently made a free program (previously it was available only for a fee), WhenUShop will be reviewed over the near future for possible inclusion in a future version of the CounterSpy database.

 

By classifying WhenUSearch (with UControl), Weathercast, and ClockSync as “Low Risk Adware” with a Recommended Action of “Ignore,” we will continue to offer these programs as detections to its customers and users, providing them the opportunity to remove this software if they so choose.

 

The new whitepaper is here. As always, feel free to comment.

 

Alex Eckelberry