Enigma Software Group (SpyHunter)
Recently, a friend of mine was contacted by Enigma Software Group (the marketers of a questionable anti-spyware program called SpyHunter) regarding adverse postings on her website and forum about Enigma. Seems they don't feel the statements were truthful and were requesting that she remove them.
Portions of this letter state, "On these pages there are articles that accuse us of being a scam, claim that we are putting spyware in peoples computers, and that we are unavailable to our customers. None of these are true and we can prove all of this."
"there are many untrue things being said about us, and it is causing us damages"
"We are quite confident after taking a good look at who we are and what we are about you will realize that the things being said about us on these pages are untrue. In the meanwhile, could you please remove any references to Enigma Software Group, inc. or Spyhunter from your website(s) until this has been cleared up."
Letter can be viewed in full here: http://www.netrn.net/archives2/000539.html
In lieu of anything I've ever read about them, and from my own personal experience with them, I find it hard to believe that Enigma actually thinks of itself as a legitimate company. I've even previously dedicated a page to their product, SpyHunter, on this site (http://tired-of-spam.home.comcast.net/internet.html) because I was slammed with their popups during a browser hijacking by InternetAntispy. If that's not participating in a scam job, I don't know what is.
Before we go any further, let's take a brief trip over to Webster for a definition of "Enigma" and wonder why in the heck a company would give itself such a name in the first place. Enigma: 1. an obscure speech or writing. 2. something hard to understand or explain. 3. an inscrutable or mysterious person.
I should also point out the fact here that the biggest legitimate antispyware company on the market, Ad-Aware, has targeted SpyHunter for removal. Enigma also crosses the line into name-theft with this site: http://www.manygov.org/adaware--6.0-adaware-lavasoft which contains all bogus programs and is in no way affiliated with the real Ad-Aware program located at http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ I'd like to mention here that manygov.com also attempts to install www.install.xxxtoolbar.com (don't click on this) while it's offering it's so-called antispyware programs.
Enigma has also attempted to capitalize on the second biggest legitimate antispyware company, Spybot Search & Destroy, through confusion by erecting sites called spybot-search-destroy and spybot-spyware and through redirecting traffic from Spybot S&D to themselves (http://www.safer-networking.org/index.php?page=news&detail=2004-02-05). Seems like copyright infringement to me.
Sooooooo, let's review some documentation from scores of other people whose opinions differ from Enigma's concerning their business practices, then ponder over where in the world Enigma got the silly idea in it's head that it's not participating in scams or installing malware.
http://www.spywareinfo.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=23818&st=0 (Scam? You decide)
http://pcpitstop.ibforums.com/index.php?act=ST&f=9&t=19122&hl=spyhunter&s=4ec5ddfe1bbe4c62a13779e85935a36b (Not an overly warm welcome towards a SpyHunter spammer on this forum)
It was brought to my attention the cnet is offering SpyHunter on their download page and is allowing it to appear in the ad rotation on their site. Cnet's review of SpyHunter states "The program returned several warnings in our tests" and "In order to verify SpyHunters findings, we ran 3 different Adware removal tools to compare results. Oddly, none of the other programs found the infections that SpyHunter found. In addition, our browser settings were not hijacked nor were we served unwanted ads. Taking into account SpyHunter's inconclusive results, limited demo version, and steep $30 price tag we recommend that users look elsewhere for an adware removal tool"
If cnet used professional programmers to review programs, it would have come to their attention that SpyHunter returns false-positives in an attempt to scare the user into purchasing the program. "Oddly, none of the other programs found the infections that SpyHunter found." That's because they didn't exist. If they had taken it one step farther and searched their computer for the items SpyHunter claimed to have found, they would have discovered this. I am pleased to see, however, that cnet is recommending users to search for other programs and avoid SpyHunter.
It's also interesting that SpyHunter's ratings on cnet fluctuate drastically in short periods of time. When their ratings slip below 50%, they suddenly soar back up within hours, as though they're being manipulated. I have contacted cnet with my concerns, requesting that they remove it entirely in the interest of protecting their readers. I await their response.
This website will be updated regularly with any new developments. Anyone wishing to contact me for inquiries or to relate their experiences may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.