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Guest Matt Johnson

FLIGHTSIM HAS SPYWARE!!!!!

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*** WARNING FLIGHTSIM HAS SPYWARE ***Yesterday a friend just getting into the FlightSim community asked me where to download MSFS add-ons. I mentioned AVSIM and FlightSim. He just notified me that FLIGHTSIM HAS SPYWARE. To give FLIGHTSIM the benefit of doubt, I decided to investigate this claim. I ran LavaSoft

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This was a cookie from one of the banners up on the site more than likely... now what I personally would be worried about is an installer with actual spyware, not some cookie... erase it and be done with it, but don't make a mountain out of a moe-hill... (you WILL see cookies like that on a multitude of free and/or banner-paid sites)Have fun now that flightsim.com is tracking your every move... ;-)Brian

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what's the point? you can never login in the first place....

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Brian:That "cookie" you talked about is from a company named "ValueClick". I suggest you take a "look see" about what this company does before you just "brush off" cookies.

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Bill,You missunderstand me... I personaly erase ALL of my cookies on an hourly (okay, sometimes every two hours) basis... (and all those .gifs that are used for tracking as well) I'm not trying to marginalize the problem, I was (and am) simply put off by the fantastical layout of your post... it seems more geared towards just trying to make a busy thread (which, of course, I am contributing to right now) and slamming another site maliciously... (and do not take this as defense of a poorly designed and managed site... not at all...) just take it as polite critisism... using a more reasoned and less... er, I don't know... just LESS... in other words, using a style with more restraint and reasoning would have made me feel better about the information you provided... that is all...Brian

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If you use the internet you are going to get "spyware". There is no way around it. When we figure out how to beat it, they figure out how to get in again. It is a constant cat and mouse game. Go out, enjoy the sites, and do a cleaning with Ad-Aware once or twice a week. If it really, really bothers you that someone is looking in the "windows" of your life, then stop using the internet. It is there and always will be there. All you can do is be aware, and clean up the living room every now and then with a good vacuuming.http://members.shaw.ca/dan_cyxc/sigcard.jpg

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Yep, spyware is everywhere. Flightsim.com probably doesn't know about it, the spyware on their site I mean. I think sites just hire a company like ValueClick to pay them & put banner ads on their site. That's why you shouldn't click pop-ups or banner ads... ;)

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Ive recently come over from Flightsim.com where Ive spent the past 6-7 years surfing and in all that time have never had spyware on my system. Until the last 2 weeks.In trying to get onto AVSIM to initiate the RTW challenge, I had immense difficulties in getting DC forum to work, even though it works fine at FS.com. To overcome my problems I had to enable cookies. Just after seeing this thread I iust ran Adaware one more time and to my utter surprise found 6 spyware files sitting on my C drive.I wonder if there is a way around having to initiate cookies and still use this forum? If so, it may help solve many peoples spyware problems.

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Tornado (and others),Browse over to www.analogx.com and check out the (freeware) "Cookiewall" program from the network utility software download section.(While you're there, you might want to check out some of his other utils. I rather like the the Caller ID program and the NetStatLive program when I'm in doubt about my connectivity speeds.--Tony

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You can set your explorer to not allow cookies at all of sertain sites, that's what I have and every time I enter some new site it will ask me that the site want to save cookie, then I just have options:OKOK AlwaysNONO and NEVER (kind Off the questions are more like always apply0 :-) but you get the pointThe only cookies I have on my putter always are like Avsim, and some sites that won't be able to see without them saving cookies, but never more then 4-5 cookies ever, just doing this will save you time having to erase them every 1-2 hrs, like you say you do. Just you will tell the explorer that you never want to allow the cookie from this site "ONCE" and it will never allow it.Anyhow cookies are junk you can dump them anytime they worth nothing, and if the site needs to save a cookie like avsim for example then you will get a point that you have to allow it or you can't use the site.Andy

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>Ive recently come over from Flightsim.com where Ive spent >the past 6-7 years surfing and in all that time have never >had spyware on my system. Until the last 2 weeks. >>In trying to get onto AVSIM to initiate the RTW challenge, I >had immense difficulties in getting DC forum to work, even >though it works fine at FS.com. To overcome my problems I >had to enable cookies. Just after seeing this thread I iust >ran Adaware one more time and to my utter surprise found 6 >spyware files sitting on my C drive. >>I wonder if there is a way around having to initiate cookies >and still use this forum? If so, it may help solve many >peoples spyware problems. The only cookies set by the forum are those needed to remember a few of your forum display settings and to keep you logged in. You last statement sort of insinuates that if the forum wasn't using cookies, it would help solve spyware problems.

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I didn't see anything in your post that indicates actual spyware files on the computer. It appears you have cookies from well known third-party website trackers. And while I'll say they are a nuisance that I do remove from my computer, I'm not so sure about putting them at the level of spyware.Contrary to what some people believe, cookies are not inherently evil. They can be useful or they can be a nuisance, and as is the case in doubleclick, valueclick, and numerous others, a method of tracking sites you visit. It just depends on how the cookies are used as to whether you should be weary of them or not. Still, these are only cookies and not spyware FILES. I do believe there is a big difference.I have tested the use of just the forum pages and the only things that should be getting put on your computer are cookies from ftp.avsim.com and these cookies will have no personal info of yours embedded.I guess the bottom line is I feel people should do their best to educate themselves on just what cookies can and can't do before instantly assigning a spyware label on them and it would appear from the subject title of this thread, some are not doing that. By all means, use great programs like Ad-Aware to identify suspicious files on your computer and remove them, but I think a little responsibility should be taken before labeling any website as having spyware.

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All the "*click" stuff is spyware and thousands of websites globally load it onto your PC. I use AdAware Plus (with Adwatch + RefUpdate) and POW! (to kill pop-ups), along with Norton Firewall and Norton Antivirus. Very little gets by this barrier. I also use SecureShred and CleanBrowser to overwrite on the hard drive and delete everything and anything. Scumware and all relations are here to stay. We need to fight back as best we can at all times.JS

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Jonathan, I think you missed the point. In one broad brush sweep, AVSIM has been accused of planting "spyware". In fact, we do not do that, and anyone who knows anything about cookies, knows that too. We do "plant" a cookie, when you register and log in to the forums so that the system "remembers" who you are. But is that "spyware"? Not by a long stretch. And I really get tired of our inclusion in these broad brush generalities.

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Cookies are an every day fact of life in Internet browsing, and really are a necessity to bring all of the features of your web browser forward. For the most part they are not only harmless, but a great time saver for you. The one used by Avsim is a classic example of this kind of cookie. To just automatically erase them, or consider all cookies universally evil is, quite frankly, a bit paranoid IMHO. :-spacecraftThere are unscrupulous people out there lurking about the Internet. The most insidious spyware programs are much more powerful than what you mention here, and could never accomplish their task by using the cookie feature of your web browser.I detest spyware too, and my best suggestion is to run scheduled scans with the Lavasoft AdAware program, or comparable spyware removal utility. That is really the best and only way to keep your system free of spyware. [link:www.fsheartland.net]http://www.fsheartland.net/images/Heartland_sig.gif

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Basicly, Usually your Browser is set as security to Accept cookies from the site you are visiting and give a warning when they are from a third party site within the site you are visiting. Cookies usually just keep track of who you are when you register for a site, and also with some ad programs are used to track the referal, like what page you were on when you clicked the advert. Third party cookies are on Flight sim because they utilize a Advert Network! They pretty much collect your Browser History. Any site you go on that has that third paty advert will keep a collection of your Browsing history. Its really not a drastic thing but has put alloot of issues about PRIVACY. I believe the Government has came to a conclusion and the entity (forgot which one it is) had made a deal from lawsuits that came about that a person could opt out from ever being able to be tracked.I'm sure there are still people that are not going about this the legal way, but as people have said, it takes a minute to clear your cookies, and with the cookies cleared each hour or day, makes it hard for the advertising company to use your browser history for their marketing purposes.Anyway! If you do searches about cookies and issues reagarding Privacy, I think you would get a better understanding.Spyware really comes from software you download for free, there are some that have it and most that don't. Heck.... Netscape is the worst for spyware, they install Net2Phone on your computer and it is one heck of a spyware program. Morpheus is another and much much more. Thats what you really have to worry about, not the simple advert cookie but the programs you install.See ya, have a good day everyone.Mitch HendricksonFSGateway Chief IT

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>Ive recently come over from Flightsim.com where Ive spent >the past 6-7 years surfing and in all that time have never >had spyware on my system. Until the last 2 weeks. >>In trying to get onto AVSIM to initiate the RTW challenge, I >had immense difficulties in getting DC forum to work, even >though it works fine at FS.com. To overcome my problems I >had to enable cookies. Just after seeing this thread I iust >ran Adaware one more time and to my utter surprise found 6 >spyware files sitting on my C drive. >>I wonder if there is a way around having to initiate cookies >and still use this forum? If so, it may help solve many >peoples spyware problems. Actually, Your signature is giving me a cookie warning. hehe. Which really is harmless and hardly considered spyware.

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Welcome to the Internet. I guess someone just discovered cookies.Otherwise, I'll just copy this thread to Nels Anderson at FlightSim.com, so he can see the latest that is being reported here:"FLIGHTSIM.COM HAS SPYWARE" (As stated in the originating post)Yeah, and there is a bridge I would like to sell you, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn! ;-)The thought of Nels Anderson, FlightSim.com and spyware is perhaps the most offensive thing I have ever heard concerning a good friend, real pilot, and a VERY reputable web site.I won't even waste my time defending FlightSim.com, I'll just pass this thread on to Nels, and perhaps he will get a good :-lol out of the original post. I guess in the end, Nels might love all the publicity he is getting here.Or as the saying goes: "I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right!""FLIGHTSIM.COM"Yup, he spelled it right! ;-)Hmmmmmm.... let's give Nels a little more publicity, eh?http://www.flightsim.com/headline/welc-to.gifhttp://www.flightsim.com/wbicons/title2.gifTop 100 Downloads For Jul 20Total Downloads: 30552 filesTotal Download Size: 63361241462 bytesTotal Different Files: 10749 filesRegards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F..._FORUM_LOU4.jpg

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Wow, Lou, if I ever find myself in a gunfight I want you on my side :-beerchug .The original post was, if nothing else, humorous in a simple sort of way. At any rate, have a virtual one... shaken, not stirred. :-) Regards,

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Well i for one didnt know much about spyware other than it exsisted. All this chatter made me go and download ADAWARE and i found 37 suspicious files most of them cookies and most of them related to GATOR which i thought i had uninstalled a long time ago. Just goes to show that what you dont know can hurt you!

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>Welcome to the Internet. I guess someone just discovered >cookies. >>The thought of Nels Anderson, FlightSim.com and spyware is >perhaps the most offensive thing I have ever heard >concerning a good friend, real pilot, and a VERY reputable >web site. For what it's worth, Lou, we agree. You may (or may not, I don't know how diligent you are at reading these threads) notice that we aren't exactly pleased either, since AVSIM (and any site which uses cookies) is tarred with the same brush.As I've said many times before, and I'll no doubt say many times again, while AVSIM and FS.Com might disagree on how we operate, we do want each other to operate, and I agree in saying any slight to FS.Com in this sense is, well, offensive.>Hmmmmmm.... let's give Nels a little more publicity, eh? You know I could ticket you for advertising your site here, since you just breached our terms of use?>Top 100 Downloads For Jul 20 >Total Downloads: 30552 files >Total Download Size: 63361241462 bytes >Total Different Files: 10749 files Oh, so we're playing that game are we?July 20thTotal Downloads: 27400 filesTotal Download Size: 69125275648 bytesPlease feel free to verify this by visiting our Library Statistics page.Time to stop kidding yourself maybe, Lou? --M

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