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6/13/2006
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Spy Sweeper Enterprise Sniffs Out Rootkits

Version 3.0 brings the enterprise version up to par with the company's consumer program and includes a redesigned client interface and several new defenses.

Webroot on Tuesday launched version 3.0 of its anti-spyware software Spy Sweeper Enterprise, adding new rootkit detection skills and components long available in the company's consumer program but missing from the corporate edition.

Spy Sweeper Enterprise 3.0 sports a redesigned client interface -- the new look will migrate to the consumer version later this month -- and several new defenses, including ones that block ActiveX-based drive-by downloads and prevent adware and spyware from messing with Internet Explorer's security settings.

"The consumer release was always a little bit ahead [of Enterprise] said Bryan Gale, Webroot's product manager. "But now we've caught up."

Gale touted the new rootkit-sniffing feature of Enterprise 3.0, which scans the hard disk directly rather than going through Windows' APIs. "Our direct disk scan is based on a kernel-level driver that scans the hard disk without relying on what Windows is telling us."

Rootkit technology can cloak adware and spyware from Windows, invalidating traditional anti-spyware and anti-virus techniques that call on the operating system's APIs to view the file structure on the hard drive.

The Boulder, Colo.-based company has also tweaked Enterprise so that clients download incremental updates -- only as much data as is necessary to add the newest anti-spyware definitions -- and has added a new signature category dubbed "Informational."

Initially, the Informational category will provide signatures for popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing programs; rather than quarantine or delete this high-bandwidth software, Spy Sweeper will simply notify the administrator, who can choose to remove the offender(s). Spy Sweeper Enterprise 3.0 is available immediately; a 30-day trial can be downloaded from the Webroot site.

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