Spybot S&D Claims Other Anti-Malware Providers Playing Dirty

By  |  Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:44 am

Independent anti-malware company Spybot Search & Destroy is claiming that bigger companies are picking on them. The company, which has arguably made its name for itself through its listing on Fileforum alone (they claim 67 million downloads), went to Fileforum’s sister news site Betanews to levy some serious charges on its competitors.

SS&D is free, which may bother those in the anti-malware industry trying to make a buck on keeping your PC clean. This may be spurring some to go as far as to actively break or force the uninstall of the application in order to use the for-profit application, claiming “incompatibilities.”

At least three software packages are playing dirty with SS&D, the company claims. They are Trend Micro, Kaspersky Labs, and McAfee Software. The setup applications in these company’s products causes a conflict with SS&D in something called ‘TeaTimer.exe.’ This causes the application to become unstable.

spybot error

McAfee responded to Betanews’ requests for comment, confirming that SS&D and its products do have compatibility issues. However, it said they could be compatible if SS&D is removed and reinstalled.

Kaspersky would not confirm whether its setup actually deletes portions of SS&D as some users have complained, although it said that it had made changes that should prevent this.

Trend Micro did not respond to requests for comment. Its own application specifically mentions SS&D as an “incompatible” application and recommends deletion, or warns it may automatically delete it.

It does seem to me that SS&D may be freaking out a bit too much here. While Trend Micro’s warnings do seem like it actually targets the application, the other two companies sound a bit more like your standard incompatibility.

Another thing is that I don’t understand the need for more than one protection application. Call me crazy, but if I was running two similar apps, I’d somewhat expect them to bump heads.

Now, if it does come out that companies are acting in a anti-competitive manner, I’d support action to ensure that they end this behavior. But it just seems at this point a bit too much hearsay and speculation rather than an honest-to-god conspiracy to target SS&D.


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. JDoors Says:

    I’ve had to uninstall/reinstall SBSAD occasionally, AND I use McAfee products, so now I’m wondering if there’s a connection?

    Re: Two or more Malware apps. It’s fairly well known that no one app catches EVERYTHING. Scan with one, clean up, then scan with another well-known app and it’s likely to find something the firt one missed. Then there’s the issue of varying feature sets.

  2. magallanes Says:

    Googling “teatime.exe” i search many websites saying that this service (teatime) usually will give troubles and the best action is to disable it.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    teatimeR.exe is Spybot’s harmless real-time monitoring module.

    I use a combination of Spybot, Ad-Aware, and CCleaner.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I use Spybot as well as Trend Micro – I just reinstall Spybot after installing Trend. It works just fine.

  5. Ron Says:

    I too use several antimalware packages that cover overlapping threats. I just make a point of not running them all at the same time. I pick one for each threat type (spyware, virus, RK etc) to have running constantly, the others I run manually once a week or so to find any other “surprises”.

    The story itself sounds like a trip back to the 80’s when it was said that M$ regularly did the same thing to Lotus 123 and other competing DOS versions. “Don’t ship (next DOS update), until Lotus won’t run…” 😉

  6. S Says:

    Is this a joke or a thinly veiled attempt to defend these companies’ practices?

    I agree with JDoors: “Re: Two or more Malware apps. It’s fairly well known that no one app catches EVERYTHING. Scan with one, clean up, then scan with another well-known app and it’s likely to find something the firt one missed. Then there’s the issue of varying feature sets.” And, for this reason, I cannot imagine why anyone, even casual internet users with NO expertise, suggesting *in a tech column* that one product, like those produced by the companies named above, could possibly ever provide total protection. Unless they were working for these companies, or getting kickbacks to publish this.

    Regarding Trend Micro compatibility with SBSD, there is none. Computers are slowed down when both are present, much less when trying to run them both. Mine was. Also, removing and reinstalling Spybot does not resolve these issues. Trend Micro just closed my ticket after 6 weeks of run-around, I canceled my membership, and they did emphatically state that Spybot had to be removed entirely for anything to work. Needless to say, this did not resolve the underlying issues I initially reported.

  7. Erik Says:

    I can’t believe that you think it’s OK if TrendMicro blocks Spybot! Your article is generally uninformed and “not ready for primt time.” How can you accept the fact that TrendMicro is blocking SpyBot and then say that that isn’t anti-competitive? Duh!
    How would you feel if Microsoft’s Internet Explorer blocked Mozilla’s Firefox? Would you also believe that is not anti-competitive? Gimme a break!

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