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by Mike Zazaian September 4, 2006 - 6:27pm, 3 Comments

Browzar

After a brash of articles detailing how Browzar would remedy Internet Explorer 6’s security issues, Browzar has been exposed for what it really is: Ad-ware.

When Browzar made its debut a week ago it promised a great 264kb solution to cleaning up the security mess that is Internet Explorer. Installing right on top of IE6, Browzar was alleged to eliminate all traces of browsing history, cookies, and any other information that could be stolen or manipulated by spyware or malware of any sort.After further investigation, however, it seems that Browzar is not what it’s cracked up to be. Rather than eliminating the information that it claimed to, Browzar takes the user’s browsing and search data and directs it toward their own search engines, conveniently providing ads at the bottom of the browser via the Overture ad service. As if this wasn’t enough, Browzar fixes the user’s homepage to Browzar’s search engine, and makes it impossible for the user to change it.

While this might be enough to steer a prospective user away, the allegedly wiped security data is kept on the user’s hard drive and can be recovered easily with a basic data recovery tool. Furthermore, because Browzar use IE’s Active X software, a list of browsed website remain in the program’s index.dat file, creating a false sense of security for would-be users.

While the developers of Browzar suggest that they’re simply trying to produce an ad-driven search engine and browser, these other shortcomings seem to be enough to keep Browzar on shaky ground with consumers.