10,000 DNS requests in 15 minutes, slowing network traffic. There are reports that it slows CPU processing as well.">


DSSAgent


· Overview ·
· Origins ·
· Distribution ·
· Operation ·
· Risks ·
· Detection and Removal ·
· Research ·



Overview

Summary:

An (apparently) discontinued spyware product of Brøderbund Software. Bundled with most Brøderbund and Learning Company titles until April, 2002.
A desktop computer running DSSAgent might send over 10,000 DNS requests in 15 minutes, slowing network traffic. There are reports that it slows CPU processing as well.

Alias:

Brodcast, Brødcast

Category:

Spyware: Any product that employs a user's Internet connection in the background without their knowledge, and gathers/transmits info on the user or their behavior. Many spyware products will collect referrer info (information from your web browser which reveals what URL you linked from), your IP address (a number that is used by computers on the network to identify your computer), system information (such as time of visit, type of browser used, the operating system and platform, and CPU speed.) Spyware products sometimes wrap other commercial products, and are introduced to machines when those commercial products are installed. See also Adware.

Adware: Software that displays popup/popunder ads when the primary user interface is not visible or which do not appear to be assocaited with the product.

Keylogger:

Similar Pests:

Spyware · Adware · Keylogger

Origins

Author:

DSSAgent was created by Brøderbund which was bought by The Learning Tree which was then bought by Mattel.

Group:

Brøderbund

Mailing Address:

Broderbund.com, a division of Riverdeep, Inc. 500 Redwood Blvd. Novato, CA 94947

Phone:

(415) 382-4400 or (800) 223-6925 or 888-242-6747

EMail:

info@riverdeep.net

URL:

http://support.broderbund.com/ Connects to www.brodcast.net/perl/DSS/querySS.cgi ahd stage.broder.com:9050/perl/DSS/querySS.cgi

Date of Origin:

November, 2000

Distribution

Prevalence:

  • DSSAgent: 44.6%
  • More Info

    Clot Factor:

  • DSSAgent: 2
  • The "Clot Factor" is a measure of how much a pest "gums up" a machine by adding registry entries, files, and directories. As more objects are placed in a machine, manual removal becomes more difficult and more error-prone.

    Growth:

  • DSSAgent: Insufficient data to report growth
  • Operation

    General:

    When installed, creates two registry keys

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDLLs\C:\WINDOWS\BBStore\DSS\DSSAGENT.EXE
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run\dss

    Upon installation, places the file DSSAGENT in c:\Windows\BBStore\DSS\DSSAGENT.EXE

    Family Archive Viewer (Brøderbund) ships with DSSAgent, provides no notice that DSSAgent is being installed, and runs fine after DSSAgent is manually removed from the machine. Uninstalling Family Archive Viewer using its own uninstall procedure does not uninstall DSSAgent.

    Installation is not opt-in, apparently. Company reps claim that the user is offered the choice to enable/disable DSSAGENT during install of a product with which it is bundled. But it appears that the product is always installed, despite such user selection, which affects only whether DSSAgent will be silently invoked.

    DSSAgent runs as a hidden process, with no user interface. Upon invocation, it immediately tries to make an internet connection to 209.67.3.166:53.

    DSSAgent.exe has the internal product name of 'Brødcast background agent', the internal name of 'DSSAgent', and internal company name of 'Brøderbund Software'

    Version evaluated: 1.0.3.0. Size: 546,304 bytes. Internal date: March 24, 1999.

    Storage Required:

  • DSSAgent: at least 1125 KB
  • Risks

    Privacy Policy:

    http://www.riverdeep.net/about_us/privacy_policy.jhtml

    Stability Issues:

    According to Microsoft, DSSAgent can cause an "invalid page fault in module unknown"

    Detection and Removal

    Automatic Removal:

    PestPatrol detects this.

    PestPatrol removes this.



    Manual Removal:

    Click Start, click Run, type msconfig, and then click OK. In the System Configuration utility window, click the Startup tab. Click to clear the DSSAgent check box, and then click OK, or press ENTER.

    Broderbund has created a tool that removes the Brodcast program from your machine. Download CleanBC.exe from here.

    Stop Running Processes:

    Kill these running processes with Task Manager:

    Remove AutoRun Reference:

    Go To the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
    If you find the value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run\dss, delete it and reboot the machine immediately.



    Clean Registry:

    Remove these registry items (if present) with RegEdit:

    Remove Files:

    Remove these files (if present) with Windows Explorer:

    Research

    File Analyses:

    More Info:

  • Smallfish
  • Software that can spy on you
  • Cexx.org
  • AllTheWeb, AltaVista, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, Google, HotBot, Lycos, LookSmart, MSN, Yahoo!
  • Research By:

  • PestPatrol's Pest Research Center
  • Last Revised:

    April 02, 2005