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Rootkit-spreading Spyware Shop Shuts Down

A spyware distributor noted for an extensive use of rootkits that make its software difficult to delete has closed shop, citing unspecified practices of its distribution partners as the reason.

ContextPlus, which spread spyware and adware, including software that hijacked searches and programs that leveled systems with egregious numbers of pop-up ads, has posted a message on its Web site saying it's out of the business.

"Due to concerns over the practices of some of its distribution partners, ContextPlus has determined that it is no longer able to ensure the highest standards of quality and customer care and therefore is discontinuing further distribution of its software," the message reads.

According to Finnish security vendor F-Secure, ContextPlus has been behind many of the rootkit infections that plague Windows users. In early December 2005, F-Secure noted that "since October 2005 the most common rootkit out there has clearly been Apropos spyware."

ContextPlus was using rootkits not to hide its spyware and adware programs, F-Secure claimed, but to make it difficult for anti-spyware software to stop their installation, and once on a PC, make it impossible to completely eradicate them.

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