> Thanks to the wonders of VMware (www.vmware.com), I have maintained a
> day I got my cable modem, and always followed instructions and did
> whatever they wanted me to just as a baseline test of what I am
> supposed to be running. (I'd never let that *real my REAL machine...)
> So, the vm has been kinda unused for several months, so today when I
> got my transition kit that said I had to download their software to
> get my e-mail account moved over, I fired up that vm machine and followed
> along, exactly as requested.
> First I went to download.comcast.net and entered my acct #, acct name,
> and new password. I then downloaded and installed the software and let
> switched my static IP on my internal net to DHCP but fortunately I run
> my own DHCP server for the house so connectivity remained.
> After two reboots, I went to the comcast support site and it wanted me to
> download some other program for online support. So, naturally, I did it.
> I went in and of course asked what is happening to my newsgroups! :)
> Now, after doing all as I was told, nothing fancy, my vm machine seems
> to be quite unstable. On shutdown I either have to force-exit
> "cscript" (probably running a vbscript program) and/or
> SdcShedulerWindow. Sometimes it now just hangs and I have to virtually
> power off the virtual machine.
> So, whatever "problems" they had originally with this software, I can
> tell you they are telling people to install it in that transition kit
> and, at least in my case, it caused my test machine a LOT of problems.
> Sample screenshot on shutdown. Not the OK and Cancel button were not
> functional when this was taken...
> (It's a big image, dimension wise, ie6 will scale it probably and make
> it look yucky unless you unscale it...)
> A few points should be stressed here. This "machine" is a pretty clean
> installed 3rd party tools or even something as dangerous as Microsoft
> Office, I haven't ran strange code, etc, etc... I just followed what
> instructions I got with no modifications and haven't *ed it up
> other than how they instructed me too. So if THIS "box" is unstable,
> I feel this indicates bad software on their end. Windows is an
> unstable platform to begin with, and the interaction of a lot of code
> being installed, lost clusters due to crashes, etc, etc, means over
> time, Windows installs tend to degrade. So they could argue their
> software is fine and it's a peculiarity with the clients' computers.
> Well, this one is pretty young as far as that goes...
Likewise, I loaded the Comcast software on a test computer just
to track the file and registry changes it made. One thing that caught
my attention was a file called REPORT.XML in the temp folder
(C:\windows\temp on this Win98SE computer).
REPORT.XML contains (1) a hardware inventory of my computer,
(2) operating system name, (3) all info they prompted me to enter
(account number, name, email box ID and password as openly
readable text) and (4) TCP/IP configuration including IP addresses
the workstation sees, which in my case reveals to them that I run a
NAT router. Now true, they did warn me to disable any firewall before
running, but I wouldn't take my house's front door off the hinges
before leaving if someone told me to do so either. Homey don't play
Other parts of this REPORT.XML file lead me to believe
(can't prove) that the install process uploaded the file to a
"BroadJump Client Foundation" website/server.
Has anyone else done this install test while running a
packet sniffer to see if indeed the file is transmitted somewhere?
The install process neglects to delete the file when done, so any nosey
person snooping through the workstation's temp folder can get your
The install process does setup via registry key
to run this program at startup:
C:\Program Files\BroadJump\Client Foundation\CFD.exe
Is it "spyware" or just a harmless service?
It loads some software under C:\Program Files\BroadJump\Client Foundation,
puts in the Comcast branding, adds some entries to the browser's "Favorites"
menu, adds a klunky IPrenew.bat file for the 0.000001% of users who can't
figure out how to renew their IP manually, and replaces a few Microsoft
redistributable DLL's in C:\windows\system. I checked the version numbers
(not the date/time stamps, but rather the VS_VERSION_INFO numbers) and
the replaced DLL's were indeed newer versions. It also puts a DevMngr.vxd in
C:\windows\system; the file contains no vendor information but that's not
uncommon with VXD's.
customizations, but the test machine was "plain vanilla" when I
started, so there's nothing it could have removed.
My opinion (and it echos what others are saying so I doubt there'll be
much dissension): Do *NOT* install the Comcast software. You don't