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Zango to antispyware vendor: Watch what you say!

May 18, 20073 mins
Data and Information Security

Has Zango cleaned up its act?

Not according to PC Tools, which was sued on Tuesday by the adware vendor (formerly known as 180solutions). Zango alleges that PC Tools’s Spyware Doctor delete’s Zango’s software without warning and that since late March, people who downloaded Spyware Doctor Starter Edition as part of the Google Pack are unable to install Zango. Zango’s asking for at least $35 million in damages.

Zango’s complaint also objects to the fact that Spyware Doctor identifies Zango “as an ‘Infection’ engaged in a ‘Malicious Action’ that represents ‘Elevated Risk.'”

It sounds like that rating is maybe going to change in the next version of Spyware Doctor. Here’s what PC Tools spokeswoman Magida Ezzat had to say about the lawsuit:

We believe the proceedings are an attempt by Zango to influence our

reclassification process. Prior to the lawsuit we were well into an

in-depth review and reclassification of the latest versions of Zango

products; Seekmo Search Assistant, Zango Search Assistant and Hotbar

products which were released after the FTC ruling against Zango. These

new versions received a new classification of “Potentially Unwanted

Products” and are to be updated in the Spyware Doctor database in the

next few days.

 We advised Zango of this imminent re-rating and we believe they have

chosen to lodge these proceedings as a way to gain media attention of

the review. PC Tools has a stringent review and classification process

and will not be influenced or pressured into compromising this process

regardless of the threat of legal proceedings. Zango’s older products,

including 180 Solutions Search Assistant, will remain unchanged at their

higher threat levels and should Zango’s newly reclassified products

revert to previous behaviors PC Tools will not hesitate to reclassify

them to a higher level if justified.


PC Tools believes the proceedings are without merit and will vigorously

defend them.

When I called Zango about this yesterday, their spokesman Steve Stratz wouldn’t say much except to confirm that there was a lawsuit and to direct me to his company’s court filings, which didn’t show up online until this morning. Why Zango wouldn’t send me the filings is beyond me, but here’s the complaint.

As my news story indicates, Zango hasn’t done much to convince its critics that it’s really a changed company, and this lawsuit doesn’t seem to be helping any.

Sunbelt Software’s Eric Howes had this to say, after looking at the filings:

Looks more and more to me like they’re looking to using the civil justice system to make up for funding opportunities that were lost once Zango became an internet untouchable…  They’re looking to squeeze some cash from PC Tools before the next round of layoffs becomes necessary.

Sunbelt tested Spyware Doctor Starter Edition and said there is no evidence that Zango is deleted without warning. Looks like Zango has some work to do if it wants to make its case in the court of public opinion.