Spybot’s TeaTimer Broken since June 2005

If you ever used Spybot and it’s resident registry protection tool TeaTimer you know what I mean. If you didn’t let me illustrate it to you using a picture:

Broken Tea Timer
image stolen from forums.spybot.info

Do you see the problem here? And no, I don’t mean the Spanish interface. That’s because I have shamelessly stolen this image from the spybot forums. I meant the fucked up button positioning.

This problem existed since June 2005 or so. Spybot dev team blamed it on some bug in their Boardland development environment, but come on! How hard is it to fucking fix a button positioning problem in a release version? I understand how this might have slipped through on day one, but this bug has been pissing me off for over a year now. And it’s not that there is no easy solution for this. You can fix this bug yourself in 2 minutes using ResHacker.

If you are to lazy to read that forum post, here is the solution in a nutshell: kill TeaTimer, open the TeaTimer.exe in ResHacker (it’s in %PROGRAMFILES%\Spybot - Search & Destroy) and locate the following snippet of code:

object cbRemember: TCheckBox
Left = 8
Top = 160
Width = 339
Height = 17
Anchors = [akLeft, akTop, akRight]
Caption = '&Remember this decision.'
TabOrder = 2
end

The easiest way to do this is probably to search (Ctrl+F) for the word “decision” – it should be the first hit. Once you find it, just change the 160 (in bold) to 190, click Compile Script, then save it and you are all set.

Tell, me – if I can fix this issue in under 2 minutes by hacking a binary file, how hard would it be for them to do it when compiling the binaries? Hell, if it’s so hard, they could just hack the binary the same way I did, before packing it up in an installer.

Supposedly this issue has been fixed in their new beta release from December. Still, having this annoying bug in their stable release version makes me wonder what other bugs they left unfixed out of laziness? I used to be a big Spybot Supporter but after my users started complaining about broken dialogs, and the issue persisted for over a year without a fix I kinda lost my faith in their product.

Which brings me to my question: what is your favorite Anti-Spyware tool these days? Preferably I’m looking for free tools, but if you can recommend an exceptionally good proprietary software, I’ll bite too.

[tags]spybot, tea timer, resident, search and destroy, bug, reshacker, anti spyware[/tags]

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8 Responses to Spybot’s TeaTimer Broken since June 2005

  1. Adam Dempsey UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I always had that problem and assumed it was because of something dodgy I’d installed. Nice to know there’s a fix.

    I use a mix of SpyBot, AdAware and Spyware Blaster. Have also used Spyware Doctor a few times before too, thats quite good.

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I used AdAware adnd SpywareBlaster before, but I never tried Spyware Doctor. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip. :)

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  3. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I don’t use any, even when running Windows :D

    I exclusively use Firefox + Adblock + Filterset.G updater for all web browsing (except when testing local copies of my websites in IE7). I don’t install random software that might be useful/cool/fun either, mainly because I never find a need for any of it ;)

    I did scan my XP install with AdAware (which is what I would use on friends’/relatives’ PCs), which had been going for about a year, just before I switched to Vista, and all it found was about two tracking cookies.

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I usually install Spybot and Windows Defender on most of the machines I work with. One thing I hate about Defender is that it likes to run scans in the background without telling you – whicu amounts to a huge memory and CPU drain.

    You switched to Vista? Ugh… I’m not touching that thing for now. How is it?

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  5. :D When you get less then legal files online, Spybot is a must.
    And yeah, its funny you posted this, I was going to post as simmilar blog a few weeks ago when i updated my spybot.

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  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Heh… You know, I never really caught anything from a torrent. I like the sites which let you comment on the torrent (like Torrentspy) because the community will usually make some noise if the files are corrupted, fake, or infected.

    I always thought that most people get infected when they go fishing for pr0n and get tricked into clicking some shady banners. Googling for pr0n is pretty much useless these days anyway. As with torrents it is better to find communities devoted to password sharing or uploading and linking to full length movies. :P

    I like to keep Spybot just in case. It usually doesn’t find anything but tracking cookies, but every once in a while something might slip through.

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  7. mrjones GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    i dont think Spybot is a good adwareremover. i saw a comparison once and it was almost the worst program.
    Does anyone know aboput defender?

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  8. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Few years ago the Polish edition of the Chip Magazine did an in-depth comparison on 30 most popular anti-spyware engines testing them on over 50 different criteria. If I remember correctly Adaware Pro, Adaware Free, and Spybot were all in the top 5.

    They did it two years ago or so and Spybot barely made it in the top ten. So yes, I think they are slipping, and there are be better free tools out there now. That’s why I asked for people’s favorites.

    Defender inherited one of the strongest scaning engines from Giant or whoever owned that code before them. I remember people were singing their praises and worrying that Microsoft will totally ruin this fine software. Not sure if they improved or got worse since then.

    I know however that while Defender finds the spyware made by certain companies, it sometimes will switch the default action to “ignore” instead of “remove” for some shady reason – so it’s best to watch it.

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