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View Full Version : Gator is spyware

2003-10-23, 12:33

source (http://simplythebest.net/info/spyware/gator_spyware.html)


Gator helps you to fill out forms and remember usernames and passwords of sites you frequently visit. You may even have credit card information readily available when you wish to purchase something online. A very dangerous thing to do. Your personal information is stored on your computer in an encrypted file. Gator accesses this personal information, using your IP address. Gator targets consumers based on site visitation and historical behavior. Gator provides aggregate statistics about its customers, traffic patterns and related site information to third-party vendors. As banners from sites you visit are being served, Gator will show their advertiser's banners instead.

Gator accompanies programs such as Limewire, AudioGalaxy, eWallet, several popular clock setting programs and most P2P file sharing network programs, such as KaZaa. Gator can also be installed by visiting websites that are paid by Gator to include the installer links in their pages (you may have seen the message screen asking to install).

CMESYS.EXE will track all the web sites you visit and send the information to the GAIN computers. Usually it will come as part of other programs and has some limited useful functionality like auto-form filling or remembering passwords or P2P file sharing services. We recommend removing this file. You'll also want to remove any associated programs like Gator.exe, gmt.exe or GAIN_Tickler_*.exe.

GMT.EXE is a pervasive and widespread advertising spyware program from GAIN, the Gator Advertising Information Network. This program will track all the web sites you visit and send the information to the GAIN computers. It also generates popup ads and can be used to install more files from Gator's servers without your knowledge. Variants include Gator/A, Gator/Gain, Gator/Trickler (followed by a series of numbers), and Gator/PDP which is also known as IEGator and PDPPlugin.

Gator uses a file (fsg.exe, fsg-ag.exe, fsg*.exe, trickler) to download additional files to install. When installed this file adds a Run key in your Registry. Gator also includes an ActiveX Backdoor Trojan plug-in which can be hijacked by attackers and used to place backdoor software or other malware on your system.

By running the uninstall program through Add/Remove Programs will get rid of Gator and its add-on OfferCompanion. Then search for the Trickler files (fsg.exe, fsg-ag.exe, fsg*.exe, trickler). Trickler runs hidden and slowly downloads the rest of Gator/OfferCompanion onto your system.


If you are cleaning your system manually, using some of the tips mentioned above, you do this at your own risk. Editing the Registry without some basic knowledge may result in your computer not starting up anymore. And reinstalling Windows may be the only way back.

Spyware cleaners (http://simplythebest.net/shareware/utilities/security/spyware_cleaners.html)

Spyware resources
And.doxdesk.com (http://and.doxdesk.com/parasite/)
Cexx.org (http://www.cexx.org/adware.htm)

Possible actions

You may want to take action against any of the above or another (let us know if you found one not listed on this page). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, go to the FTC web site (http://www.ftc.gov/), call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to: Federal Trade Commission, CRC-240, Washington, D.C. 20580. If your complaint is against a company outside the US, file your complaint at http://www.econsumer.gov/.

You may never see any action as a result of your complaint, but if the stream of complaints keeps on, just maybe some action will be taken to guard us all from this kind of 'attack' on our privacy and our lives.
More links:

2003-10-23, 12:51
news story (http://news.com.com/2100-1032_3-5095051.html)

Gator has filed a libel suit against PC Pitstop (http://www.pcpitstop.com/) for them referring to their software as "spyware". PC Pitstop settled with them and removed the references to Gator. Gator wants to be referred to as "adware" and not "spyware".

2003-11-01, 04:03

The Gator Corporation is now Claria Corporation. To visit the Claria Corporation website, please click here (http://www.claria.com/).

If you are looking for information on the Gator eWallet, click here (http://www.gator.com/home2.html).

2003-11-01, 04:14
To: Claria Corporation
From: Antoinette Chode

Since you've changed the name of your company from Gator to Claria, is it now okay to refer to Gator as spyware, or are people still at risk of being sued for libel by you?

2003-11-05, 03:24
When I first got into computers, I had a few friends come over to my house to help show me the ropes.

They installed the "necessary files" which included:

Sonique --- mp3 player
Napster --- Gettin' Sticky With It - Bill Clinton (My first mp3)
AIM --- Instant messaging services (I already had ICQ)
Gator --- fills personal info for you


I never really found Gator usefuly though, because when I was that young there were very few sites where you would have to submit personal information; nor did I have the need to do so.

But with Ad-Aware --- Gator (or now known as Claria) has always come up as spyware/adware material.

Gator was later bundled with KaZaA and other programs later on down the road, and I learned soon enough that the program was ill for the computer and haven't had it since.


I use to use KaZaA BEFORE it even had spyware/adware, god it was great, and fast. Then after I saw it being broadcasted on TechTV.com ( I think at that time it was still the other name, god I can't even remember now...):confused:


And what the hell is with the name "Claria" how gay can they get? :eatout:

2003-11-05, 04:07
For a long time I confused Gator with Napigator. Napigator (http://www.napigator.com/) is a program that allows you to automatically add all the "opennap" servers to the old Napster program. I used to use it to get the extra information about the servers, such as their home pages. While the program was running, I would get tons of popup ads.

I never install any of the crap that the security alerts give me when I visit a website.

Perhaps Gator has given up macho alligator wrestling and instead with the name Claria, they have discovered their inner feminine beauty. I guess if you're going to get fucked by a software program, you would rather it be from a woman.

2003-12-05, 05:23
PC Pitstop has reestablished its online review of Claria/Gator. Their new review was put up 2003-12-02, and does not refer to Claria/Gator as "spyware". Here is their review:

I find it either ironic or hypocritical of PC Pitstop that on the same page that they give a bad review to Claria/Gator, they are also accepting advertising from its distribution company GAIN Publishing (http://www.gainpublishing.com) in the right column. Here is what they say in their review, of GAIN Publishing:
GAIN Publishing (GAIN stands for Gator Advertising Information Network) is the part of Gator/Claria that distributes the applications and includes the advertising software that is a part of all Gator Corporation applications. GAIN ad software is also bundled as a part of several adware applications such as DivX Pro from DivX Networks (http://www.divx.com/).

2005-07-01, 00:14

Here's a new reason why Gator/Claria should not be called spyware. It can not be called spyware because it will become a standard component of the Windows operating system. Then it will be depicted as a benevolent monitoring tool which personalizes your computer usages according to your needs.