By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2005-02-14 Print this article Print

SpyCatcher has the least-mature central console of the products we reviewed, and its integrated spyware scan engine is a generation behind that used in Tenebrils stand-alone consumer-grade product.

Click here to read reviews of Sunbelt Softwares CounterSpy Enterprise and Webroot Softwares Spy Sweeper Enterprise 2.0.
We used SpyCatchers tools to create an .msi file and distributed the client agent using Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy. After the agent installs, the associated Satellite service starts on the client and checks the server for policy updates. Rather than using an internal distribution server, signature updates must be downloaded from Tenebrils servers by each client.

SpyCatcher groups spyware according to general categories when deciding what to scan for, but administrators must make an individual cleaning decision for each infection strain found. However, SpyCatcher did allow us to create our own fingerprints to look out for applications or malware that might not be in the signature database.

Although SpyCatcher was the only product in our tests that let us throttle CPU usage during scans, the scan engine loads the signature database into memory. This causes SpyCatcher to use upward of 130MB of RAM during a scan, which rendered our clients effectively useless until the scan was completed.

SpyCatcher did clean many spyware traces, but a mop-up scan showed that it left more traces than any product we tested. It was tough deciphering this from the console, and we resorted to manually checking each clients logs. We had to use each clients Detective feature to disable many common spyware traces, such as Precision Time or Gain, which were active in memory.

During tests, SpyCatchers reporting mechanism never produced anything but a blank report. Tenebril officials confirmed our findings and provided a patch, but we were unable to test the patch before this review went to press.

Click here to read more about enterprise anti-spyware systems. Tenebrils pricing falls in the middle of the pack: A one-year subscription to SpyCatcher 3.0 Enterprise costs $22 per license for 100 licenses or $17 per license for 500 licenses. Additional discounts are available for multiyear subscriptions.

Technical Analyst Andrew Garcia can be reached at andrew_garcia@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for eWEEK.com, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at agarcia@eweek.com.

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