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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2002, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Common Name

Just a little post about some info that has come to my attention due to me working in the IT field. Not sure how many of you know this already...

The IT Help Desk has determined that a “spyware” application called “CommonName” causes the symptoms such as false authentication against certain online databases in CMU, such as the Parking Registration form, as well as the Online Oasis Course Maintenance. The student email service has also been affected by this, causing a blank screen to appear when logging in to the server. “CommonName” is often distributed with Napster-like file sharing applications such as IMesh, WinMX, etc. “CommonName” is also installed by a program called Gator.

Programs similar to “CommonName” may also cause similar problems, but to date “CommonName” is the only application found to affect systems in the manner described.


Click the Start button, then point to Settings, and then click on Control Panel. If you use Windows XP with the standard XP start menu, you will need to click Start and then click Control Panel. Double-click Add/Remove Programs (this may be labeled Add or Remove Programs). Locate “CommonName” and then click to select it. If “CommonName” does not appear on the list of installed programs, discontinue these steps. With “CommonName” selected, click the Change/Remove button (button may be labeled Add/Remove on some systems). When the “CommonName Uninstall” window appears, click the Uninstall button. After the uninstall process is complete, close all open windows and then restart the computer. Restarting the computer is an essential part of the removal process.

Apparently, these p2p software packages include spyware. Hmmmmmm. I double checked this against my laptop at home, and i had the Common Name software installed. Weird.

*Edit* This is not only CMU's system, but many other systems around the globe that have problems using authentication databases when Common Name is a factor.

Sorry bout the length.

Last edited by 98intrepidandrew; 09-13-2002 at 10:09 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2002, 10:25 AM
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good. I work for network tech at my university.. and everyone seems to have that too..... I think we should ban all of that shitty-ass music software and teach people how to ftp :-/
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2002, 03:30 AM
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I have a moron customer that insists on using Kazaa. Can't imagine why the PC locks up & dials up in the middle of the night while Kazaa is running.

Wish I never built the iddiot the computer system, not worth the hassle.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2002, 12:33 PM
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I get my mp3's from newsgroups... Nothin compares...
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2002, 07:03 PM
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My brother had a similar problem with his computer this little bug or spyware or something keeps reinstalling itself everytime XP loads up. Even if you delete the program, the file that's infected and everything, it somehow loads itself up again and installs itself everytime Windows starts. I wish I remembered the name of the thing.

What I eventually figured out after 2 hours of messing with it, it was a program that ran from the Registry. Had to go in thru Regedit and get rid of the damn thing.

Norton Anti-virus kept catching this thing and everytime you went to close the error window, a new one would just pop up saying that there is a virus on the computer. It annoyed my brother like crazy. He got it from installing software that he downloaded from a P2P program.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2002, 09:23 PM
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I followed the steps, but when I went to remove it, it said there was an error and that the program may have already been uninstalled. It than asked me if I wanted to remove it from the list and I clicked yes. But I think I still have it 'cause every now and than if I can't connect to a website, it will go to the Common Name website and it looks like a search engine.

I hate fucking spyware! It should be fucking illegal!!!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2002, 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by Warlord187
I hate fucking spyware! It should be fucking illegal!!!
No doubt. Imagine how F'd up the average user would be. They would end up taking in their computer to some place that will charge them up the ass to get it fixed.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-31-2002, 02:33 PM
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What really needs to happen is for EULAs to be simplified.

You'll find that many (though not all :() programs that install spyware indicate it in their license agreements when you install the software. The problem is that no one takes the time to read every single line and actually ponder upon it's meaning - especially if it's a software package that they're eager to use or if it's an upgrade.

I know I don't disect every EULA I run across on my home PCs. This from a guy who's responsibilty (among many others) is to review the EULAs, contracts, policies, etc. where I work.

Unfortunately, it will take a variety of legal precedence to be established in order to make this change. It would also require a law that would mandate that any software with a "spyware" component specify this to the user in plain English in a highly visible point during the install - and potentially on the download page/packaging. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not see the government dictate content controls to a business. I would not oppose, however, a mandate that companies must include a "This product contains 'Spyware'" label with a link to more information.

"Spyware" on it's own is not a bad thing. Like all technologies, it's how it is used that determines a particular implementation's merit.
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