Symantec has reached an out-of-court agreement in its adware lawsuit against Hotbar.com.
Hotbar distributes software that allows users to add new graphical skins to the Internet Explorer browser and Microsoft Outlook e-mail program, while at the same time adding a Hotbar toolbar to carry ads and track user browsing habits.
Symantec had previously classified Hotbar’s software as adware in its own security software, which encouraged users to remove it from their PCs.
Hotbar had threatened to sue Symantec as a result, and Symantec sued Hotbar before it did so in an attempt to win a legal judgement confirming its right to classify the Hotbar software as adware.
The out-of-court settlement sees Symantec end its action against Hotbar, and allows it to classify the Hotbar program as “low-risk adware”.
Adware is usually grouped with spyware and defined as malware by most internet watchers.
Oxford University's Oxford Internet Institute recently joined forces with North American bodies and leading internet companies to form a group dedicated to spreading awareness of malware.
The group runs the StopBadware.org website to raise awareness about the threats posed by malware.