Help Keep StatCounter from being falsely flagged as spyware

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I just tried out SpyBot to see if it ads the line to the hosts file and it doesn't.

I need help finding out what spyware software is adding this line to the hosts file - if anyone can find out let me know!


You can't edit the hostsfile in spybot.
To the best of my knowledge you can add their file or remove it, that's all. is your machine's localhost address ('localhost' is also the alias for that address) and statcounter tries to access that address. I don't know why. ...But it's common for malware to attempt to access your browser through the it. It's a back door so to speak.

However a lot of software uses that IP address too, like web2pop, which I use to pick up my html mail using my email program on my computer.
Yes, spybot has its own hosts file - I forget what it's called, but you can edit it just the same way. Except it will re-add it.
It's some setting in there to omit or ignore Statcounter.

When you want to avoid going to a site, by adding the domain and the local host ip address to the hosts file, it will substitute this internal ip to the true ip of the site, thus it keeps you on your own machine instead of letting you go to the tru site.

Usually done in parental-control and anti-spyware programs.
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Statcounter and Spybot

I run spybot and it flags statcounter but it managed to give me the stats anyway. Well, lately, it doesn't. That's my question, why it worked before and not now. And another important question. If Statcounter uses ads, and that ad carries Ad Avenue, and that is flagged by most bots, then why statcounter keeps working with that sponsor. Money cannot justify the means. I love the free service statcounter gives, and in a way we all give statcounter a lot of traffic back, since we are featuring their badges. I also have sitemeter and I could skip statcounter but I love the work, really. It is a pitty I have to reconsider my link due to a lousy tracking cookie spying on my habits. Can anyone from the staff say something to this respect. I read about the concern on this matter at the beginning of this thread, but are you going to do something soon?
You are mixing apples and cucumbers.

Statcounter's admin pages have advertising from third parties. You need to tweak you SPybot settign to block those other third parties but leave the Statcounter site alone when you visit the admin pages.

The Statcounter script you use to track visitors does not have any advertising at all.

The only thing is that Spybot and Ad-Aware and other programs flag the Statcounter cookie as a third party tracking cookie - which is also defined as low-risk spyware - which it is in fact, looking at it like that. Any third party tracking cookie will be considered the same way. it is third aprty because your site, where youa re using Statcounter tracking script, is the first party and the cookies are set from the Statcounter site, not yours.
Tracking cookies

Statcounter is not in spybot's hostlist as far as I can tell.

I used FileAlyzer, another product from safer-networking, to look over the hostlist and checked it as text also... It's not there, and you wouldn't be able to change it even if it WAS there because there's a detached pgp signature file that goes along with it which most likely wouldn't allow the file to be used if it had been modified.

Spybot lists statcounter in the tracking cookies section of 'ignore products'.
Just check the box, and it won't flag statcounter anymore.

Check another box, and it won't flag realplayer's netster code as an ActiveX threat either.

My point being, just because it's on someone's list means nothing.

They are just making sure their software is funtional across-the-board WITHOUT singling out a specific product... just certain behaviors (like trying to access, or certain jscript/ActiveX routines (like real's netster... I think it's for the message center function), and it's not supposed to be a kiss-of-death just because the software flags some cookie or script.

We are supposed to use common sense...

I wouldn't use, or trust, antispyware software that didn't allow one to opt out of checking for specific products, and like Croatiaman, have settled on spybot and spywareblaster as a solid functional combination that causes few problems and offer excellent protection

'Tracking cookie' is just a nasty descriptor for ANY cookie that passes the referrer ie, the last site, to some other site. I'm not seeing any ads on my site due to statcounter's code, the jscript allows referrer tracking so you know which site the user came from.

You can't pander to every user's paranoia about cookies and jscript when running a website. Most of it is absolutely irrational anyway.

As a matter of fact, the comment spam control software on my site (SpamKarma) will flag your computer as a spam machine and not load the pages correctly, feed you a dummy page on RSS, and refuse to display the comment form, if you have your java shut completely down, and I'm fine with that.

Ebay... dozens of popular sites require that your javascript is enabled and you allow their cookie, or you can take your business somewhere else.

I recommend that way of looking at it.

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Computer Associates picks it up, too

We use CA's Anti-Spyware program, and it picked up statcounter when my husband scanned his system yesterday. I told him not to delete it, but I'm concerned as well. This could explain why some of my visitors have complained that they can't access a couple of my sites from work or other places: the sites have been blocked because of Statcounter's cookie.

Has anyone with Statcounter responded to this at all?

StopBadWare.Org will delist you from Google

Google has launched a service (I call it a vigilante service) that flags and de-lists potentially malicious sites. The organization is called: StopBadWare.Org. This organization does not post the "reasons" as to why it may flag a site, nor does it inform the Web Masters (despite claims to the contrary). There is anecdotal evidence that the use of StatCounter may significantly increase a site's chances of being flagged and de-listed. There is no hard evidence that the use of StatCounter code will cause you to be flagged, but some Web hosters I've spoken with have sited a high incidence of this. If was more forthcoming in its criteria for flagging sites, perhaps we could be more proactive in address this. Unfortunately, the risk is too great to ignore. Maybe StatCounter has the resources to battle this group. It would be nice if StopBadWare.Org had a pre-approval or testing process for sites. They don't even bother to inform Web Masters when sites have been flagged and de-listed from Google. You just have to find out the hard way. And when and if they are incorrect in their designation of your site as "malicious" the damage is already done to your Google rankings.

I have recently start to use this counter and I love it for all good features but when I saw this part and I runned Adaware I was not so impressed. Is there any fix or activities to fix this part?

Goodbadnugly said:
There is anecdotal evidence that the use of StatCounter may significantly increase a site's chances of being flagged and de-listed. There is no hard evidence that the use of StatCounter code will cause you to be flagged, but some Web hosters I've spoken with have sited a high incidence of this. .
That is rubbish put forth by either jealous people, or, more likely, ignorant people.

Not only isn't there any hard evuidece, there is NO evidence, period. There cannot even be.

StopBadware is strictly about malware and the sites that spread that, malicious scripts that download viruses, worms, trojans.

Statcounter only does what just about all sites do and are capable of doing perfectly legally: uses cookies. There is not and never has been anything malicious about cookies, they are benign text files and have no life of their own. They are not executable in any way.

Adaware and other simply flag all sites that use third party cookies. That's all there is to it.
the anti spy ware i use

i use adaware personal se AND also spybot search and destroy
adaware flags statcounter as a risk
just fyi because someone asked earlier in this thread
Love the StatCounter

Thanks I've just start using the StatCounter and so far so Good. I'm not sure how this AddWare will affect my site stats. Can someone please guide me here?
ROETS, do you find yrou site isn't workign quite right?

Check yrou source code:

<body bgcolor="#F0F0F0" onload="FP_preloadImgs(
/*url*/'file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Nico/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/FrontPageTempDir/button28.jpg', /*url*/'images/Buttons/button24.jpg',
/*url*/'images/Buttons/button25.jpg', /*url*/'images/Buttons/button28.jpg',
You are preloading images from your hard drive.
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A little concerned

Impressed of the nice interface and simple presentation of stats after just installing statcounter

Am a little concerned, since the primary users of that site is normally overwhelmed with security on their computers and internal networks.

Of that reason I have some simple questions that only needs to be answered with a simple yes or no in order to assess the risks and opportunities with using this tracker:

Is the site being blocked by spyware watchers? Y/N

If so, does the statcounter count that? Y/N

Does statcounter register which spyware software that blocks it? Y/N

Is it something the publisher can do for rectifying a blocking? Y/N (Option for completion of answer).

You have a great day,

Erich N
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Is the site being blocked by spyware watchers? Y/N
Possibly yes.

If so, does the statcounter count that? Y/N
That would be impossible. Statcounter can only detect anything if it's not been blocked - and in that case the conclusion is that nothing blocked it :)

Does statcounter register which spyware software that blocks it? Y/N
Not possible, see above explanation. It cannot detect it's being blocked because it's not being triggered at all.
Is it something the publisher can do for rectifying a blocking? Y/N (Option for completion of answer).
If blocking is done by specificially targeting the Statcounter domain by canned anti-spyware/firewall programs (ie. not by user requesting the blocking), then yes, by persuading makers of that software no to include Statcounter in the list of automatic blocks.

However if it's done in a general manner as is often the case (i.e block all third party images and scripts, meaning all from a different domain than the one being visited), then nothing can be done.
I didn't know google toolbar uses adaware. I've used adaware for my Cleaning Business computers, hopefully they come through for StatCounter. Interesting stuff posted here, long read though! :wink:
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It was mentioned, in a previous post somewhere, because Spybot kept showing StatCounter as spyware, to actually configure Spybot so it didn't do that.

I am not a total idiot when it comes to computers (well, almost) but I have tried every which way to configure Spybot to leave my StatCounter alone - but can I heck sort it.

I have pop ups from Spybot Search & Destroy when I try to use StatCounter. In the end, I gave up and uninstalled Spybot.

Any help here on how to configure this baby to allow my StatCounter through?
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