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Privacy Power!  Home:  Adware, Badware, Spyware:  Web3000

General Info | Netcaptor | Netsonic & Netsonic Pro | Privacy Info | Removing Web3000 | Web3000 Software List
 

Web3000 Ad Network  

Server List: See Stephen Martin's Hosts File List (Web3000 Group)

Software Lists: Lavasoft's Spyware List has more info on Web3000 and a list of software containing the Web3000 module. Find it in their Freeware section: www.lavasoft.de.

Web3000's Products List is at www.web3000.com/software_pubs/software_pubs.asp?section=6. I've included a plain text version here: web3k-list.txt. This list and Lavasoft's Web3000 section will usually be in synch, depending upon our individual update schedules.

Warning: Registering software embedded with Web3000 does not ensure the software will stop transmitting information. If programs containing Web3000 are uninstalled incorrectly, severe problems may occur. Web3000 replaces winsock32.dll and possibly other Windows system files. To remove Web3000, see "Removing Web3000" (below).

About Web3000: web3000.com - www.web3000.com

Web3000 Ad Network provides an ad-serving component to software developers. It's use is similar to Aureate and Conducent Timesink: Integrating the component into software turns it into adware.

"As users install your product they are connected to the Web3000 Ad Network. The Web3000 Ad Network ad component runs independent of your software. The ad component allows the Web3000 Ad Network to serve users advertising in their Browser whenever and wherever they are on the Internet. Marketing messages are delivered via browser headlines, splash screens, status bar messages, opt-in email newsletters and installation offers."

Although Web3000 is on Steve Gibson's Index of Known Spyware grc.com/oo/spyware.htm, it's never been investigated for compliance with his Code of Backchannel Conduct grc.com/oo/cbc.htm. Transcom's Beeline, a program that includes Web3000, is also on that list. As is the problem with many applications, there are simply too many programs containing Web3000 and too many updates to those programs to fully investigate their "spyware" properties. The included GRC newsgroups posts address some of the Code of Backchannel Conduct issues for some Web3000-embedded programs.

This post from "Brian" (Sept 01-00), titled "Web3000 = a disgusting display of ****" sums up the frustration everyone's felt at one time or another with these sorts of blights. He managed to keep his sense of humor, which is more than I would've been able to do:

"I have read about web3000 and would never use the product. About 20 minutes ago I downloaded a program because my service provider changed something and I am sick of being booted when I write an email. I downloaded a timer killer that gave me web3000 without me having a say in it. I tried to cancel the installation process but it insisted I wanted it. Now, I sit here with a web3000 icon in the corner of every browser. In fact the email program I am using now has a web3000 icon because I just can't stay away from web3000. I just have to have my WEB3000! It is so ****** great that I need it all over the screen so I can access it."

"Now don't get me wrong... that isn't the best part about web3000. I love these pop-ups stating "web3000 wants to connect to the internet" that show up every time I click on something and even when I do not click on something. Right now as I type this email web3000 is ready to do something very important!"

"Well, I was getting too much pleasure from WEB3000 that I decided I would go into the registry and remove all the entries to avoid overdosing on sheer excitement. What happened next made me weep... When i looked in the registry 10 minutes later I found WEB3000 reborn. WEB3000 can not live without me. It wants to be with me. It can't live without me!"

"Any ideas on how I can remove this fine product? Please?"

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Netcaptor  

Earlier versions of Netcaptor included Aureate, then the ad-serving module was switched to Web3000. For info on removing Aureate, see the Radiate/Aureate page. Flyswat is bundled with some versions of Netcaptor. See the Flyswat page for more info.

From "Jack B." May 31-00: "I'm running [NetCaptor] v6.01. I've never allowed Web3000 to run by going to 'start' > 'run' > 'mscofig', and unchecked it on the 'startup' tab and that put an end to them. But Netcaptor itself tries to sent info to "pong.netcaptor.com" every time it starts via this Header: <GET http://pong.netcaptor.com/vercheck.php?ver=601&ncid=19A2CE40-A826-11D3-9 3E2-F0BCF628463F HTTP/1.0> This site can be blocked with no ill effects. I have no idea about Web3000, because I've never let it out."

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Netsonic (free version) & Netsonic Pro  www.netsonic.com

Some versions of Netsonic includes Gator, another adware program that "phones home." For other specific Netsonic info, see the Privacy Policy section.

From "Muy Lejo" July 07-00: "When Netsonic Pro 2.5 is running and I am browsing the Web (and not just www.web3000.com) with either Communicator or Internet Explorer, \netsonic\webmain.exe communicates with ww7.web3000.com each time a new site/page is loaded, or a file is downloaded. The file sent to ww7.web3000.com appears to be called W3PI.dll or W3PL.dll. I have no idea what information is contained in this .dll file. When I purchased Netsonic Pro 2.5 (not sure what I paid), I did not see any literature or notices that it accessed ww7.web3000.com while the user is browsing other sites. I do not know if others have encountered this function."

From "Muy Lejo" July 28-00: "Re: Netsonic Pro - It caches files on one's hard drive for faster loading. However, more importantly, it sends a .dll file to Web3000.com in Redmond, WA every time the user accesses a new Web page. It also creates registry entries used by Netsonic to send information to Web3000.com, as well. None of these functions are disclosed in the sales literature, to say the least."

From "ks" Aug 07-00: "Used AD-aware from www.lavasoft.de and it red flagged my new intallation of NetSonic with Gator. Even after uninstalling this software (which BTW had to sign on to the internet to complete or rather INCOMPLETE the uninstall). Still loads of it on my puter after the uninstall. Not to worry though, the AD-aware took care of it."

From "Frederick D." Aug 25-00: "Yes, both the Freeware and the Shareware versions of Netsonic/Netsonic Pro are what we lovingly call Spyware. The Shareware version removes the ads, but if you bothered to read the licensing agreement (somewhere around paragraph 1750 or so) you would have found that your license is void unless you allow the program to contact its parent company. Also, and this is the reason that I will NOT use it, all searches are rerouted to Web3k's own private, information stealing search engine. P.S. I found the good folks at Web3000 very understanding when I requested a refund."

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Privacy Information  

Software Privacy Policy: www.web3000.com/software_pubs/software_pubs.asp?section=7

"...all of Web3000 Ad Network users "opt in" and voluntarily supply select non-personal demographic information such as age range and email address, in consideration of receiving free software products, information, online services and other opportunities that are relevant to their needs."

"Information provided to Web3000 by its users will not be cross-referenced with any other personal data, nor will it be sold or used by another third party without the prior written consent of the users. Prior to installation of the Web3000 Ad Network on their computers, users have the opportunity to decline the service."

Site Privacy Policy: www.web3000.com/support/privacy/privacy-site.asp

"Automated Statistical Collection Site Usage Information: We are constantly trying to improve our site by making it more responsive to user preferences, and appear smarter to the user. We do this by analyzing the number of users who visit particular pages, and the amount of time they spend there. We also analyze the incoming addresses for the purpose of statistical analysis of our user base. All analysis of information obtained mechanically is statistical in nature, and none of this analysis can be used to identify an individual.

"The Web3000.com web site also uses the standard "cookie" mechanism to customize the web page. If you are using NetSonic Internet Accelerator or NetSonic Pro while visiting Web3000.com, NetSonic may identify you as a NetSonic user and supply unique information about your NetSonic registration to our site. This information is used solely to personalize our site for our users, to provide technical support, and to gather additional statistical information in order to improve our site.

"Your Consent: By using our Web site, you consent to the collection and use of this information by Web3000.com. If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it."

"We do not collect personally identifiable information on our web site or otherwise unless you choose to give it to us via an electronic mail message, a phone call, or by postal mail. Even when you choose to give us information, we keep it confidential."

"We do not sell, rent, share, or otherwise disclose mailing lists or other personally identifiable information. We maintain some records of individuals who contact us in case we contact you later or provide further information to you in the future. However, we do not provide this information to anyone else unless you give us your permission."

Opt-Out Option: Only this statement: "On the web3000.com site, we do not require any user data to access any part of the site." However, above this in the Privacy Policy, it says just by visiting the site users give consent to have info collected from clickstream data and use of cookies.

Privacy Contact: None given. Try comments@web3000.com.

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Removing Web3000  

Warning: Do not use AD-aware to remove Web3000 without first removing the host software. Web3000 replaces winsock32.dll and possibly other Windows system files. These will not be restored if AD-aware is used first.

First figure out which software installed is using Web3000, then uninstall that software using the Windows Control panel, add/remove software window. This should also uninstall most of Web3000 also, and restore the Windows files that were replaced. Then run Lavasoft's AD-aware utility www.lavasoft.deto clean up the loads of junk left behind by Web3000.

If the software title isn't listed in the Windows Control panel, add/remove software window, try reinstalling it. This may force it into the list. Then uninstall it as outlined above, then run AD-aware. If you can't get the software host to show up in the uninstall window, contact Tech Support for the particular program for exact directions on removing it, including Registry keys and all files.


Last Reviewed: Sept 07-00

Quoted excerpts are © Web3000 Ad Network unless otherwise noted.

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