Security Alert! Marketscore Spyware Redirects Web Connections
Marketscore claims to speed up access to the Internet by rerouting all
incoming and outgoing Web traffic from a user's Windows computer through
its own servers. If Marketscore software is installed on your computer,
this rerouting gives Marketscore access to all of your Web activity.
On This Page:
What Is Marketscore, and Why Is It Dangerous?
MarketScore Collects All Your Web Data
Marketscore can monitor and collect all data you enter or receive via
your Web browser, including:
- Every Web page you access and all data on each Web page -- both regular
html pages and secure https pages, such as data you are authorized to
view in Wolverine Access.
- Every keystroke you enter in a browser window, which could include
your passwords, banking information, credit card numbers.
- All of your Web-based e-mail - both message content and e-mail addresses.
- All of your instant message exchanges.
Marketscore Decrypts Your Secure Transactions
Furthermore, Marketscore can read secure, encrypted (https) data, such
as student or human resource information that you access for your personal
use or to do your job at UM, your user names and passwords, your banking
and credit card information. Because it is so invasive, anti-spyware vendors
categorize Marketscore as one of the most dangerous spyware programs.
How Marketcore Uses Your Data
Marketscore's Web site states that it "is a service of comScore
Networks, Inc and assists comScore Networks in providing information
on Internet trends and usage activity." Through comScore, Marketscore
sells the data it collects from you to retailers and market researchers.
its policy at any time with no notification. People who sign up for this
service must visit the Marketscore Web site to see if the policy has changed.
Can Marketscore Enhance Your Web Access?
As for Marketscore's claim that it speeds up your Internet access, the
browser software on your computer can do that, and your requests don't
have to pass through the Marketscore site before you view a page. Sam
Curry, vice president of ETrust Security Management, said, "People
who have installed the software complain to us that they're not getting
UM's Response to the Marketscore Issue
UM is circulating information to increase awareness and providing resources
for avoiding Marketscore, or for removing it if it is already installed.
If you use a computer that is owned by the University and only your system
administrator has administrative rights to install software on it, it
is probably not endangered.
If you own the computer you use or if you have administrative rights
on the UM computer you use, follow the recommendations in the next section
to ensure that your computer is protected from Marketscore and other malicious
spyware and adware.
UM is also considering proactively blocking access via its networks to
marketscore.com from infected computers that try to connect to it, and
UM is considering urging operators of sensitive Web sites to proactively
block inbound Web traffic from marketscore.com.
How to Keep Marketscore off Your Computer
- Update your McAfee VirusScan software to version 8. It is free to
all UM students, faculty, and staff, and it can identify Marketscore
and help you remove it if it is on your computer. You can download VirusScan
8 from the UM
Virus Busters Web site
- Install an antispyware and an antiadware program
- Be cautious when you use file sharing programs. Because Marketscore
is bundled with unrelated software such as the Imesh file sharing program,
you may not realize that this software is running on your machine.
What to Do if Marketscore Is on Your Computer
Use one of the following three methods to remove Marketscore if it is
already installed on your computer:
- If you have installed McAfee VirusScan version 8, you can go to the
Web site and use the instructions on how to use VirusScan 8 to remove
- Follow these steps to use Windows 'Add or Remove Programs,' to remove
- Click Start and open the Control Panel.
- Click Add or Remove Programs.
- Locate the Marketscore Installation, highlight it, and click Change
- Use the instructions
provided by Columbia University to manually remove Marketscore.
UM Resources if You Need Help With Marketscore
If you need help with Marketscore, contact the computer support staff
in your unit. In addition to this ITSS information about Marketscore,
the following UM resources are available to help UM students, faculty,
More Information About Marketscore and Related Problems
Other Marketscore Information
Other Universities' Marketscore Sites