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Author Topic: Did "Elf Bowling" ever contain spyware?
Modemac
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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One of the earliest instances of "spyware" on the Internet is said to involve the popular and famous freeware game "Elf Bowling." Elf Bowling was released onto the Internet in November 1999. There have been repeated statements from many different sources, including Wikipedia's entry on "spyware," stating that the program allegedly sent "user information" back to Nsoft.

At least twice, a hoax email spread around warning users that Nsoft games, including Elf Bowling, Frogapult, and others contained a virus that would be activated on Christmas Day, December 25. This,
apparently, was a hoax; no reports of viruses were actually reported.

The email hoax was as follows:

TO ALL

IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED ANY OF THESE GAMES =
FROGAPULT.EXE ELFBOWL.EXE (FROG GAME) & (ELF BOWLING GAME)

PLEASE CAN YOU DELETE THEM COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM AS THEY BOTH HAVE A DELAYED VIRUS ATTACHED TO THEM THAT WILL BE ACTIVATED ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND WILL WIPE OUT YOUR SYSTEM. LET EVERYONE KNOW OF THIS.

A Web search reveals a few sporadic instances where Elf Bowling tried to access the Internet, causing Zone Alarm to give a warning notice.
(http://www.techimo.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-7490.html) However, Ad-Aware has apparently not included Elf Bowling in its list of known spyware.

Is there anything else that identifies Elf Bowling as genuine spyware? I'd like to make the Wikipedia article more accurate, and point out whether or not this program is -- or was -- genuine spyware.

Posts: 2 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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I don't know if they contian spyware but find it hard to believe 1999 is an early instance, I'd of thought spyware came along way before that.

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All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

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Zoton2
Newsqueak


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I remember when it was on Download.com (before they removed spyware), on Elf Bowling the review by download.com began with something like

quote:
Even without spyware...
So It could of had spyware

--------------------
Ummm... What Now???

This Sucks
[Note The Sarcasm]

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Ieuan ab Arthur
The First USA Noel


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Hi All:

Both the McAfee and Symantec web sites mention the Elf Bowling virus as a hoax. Neither mentions any spyware component in the program either though the Symantec site says:

quote:
As part of the specifications, these games may report information over the Internet each time the game(s) is played. For more information, please contact the developers of these programs directly.
Does this mean it's spyware? It depends what NVision Design receives, I guess.

Ta ra 'wan,

Ieuan ab Arthur

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"I e-mail or I don't e-mail. The magic just happens" - From OP in We've Got Mail

Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd

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Nion
We Three Blings


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If I recall correctly, you used to be able to "post" your high score on their scoreboard at the NVision website. Perhaps that was the information being sent?

Just a guess.

--------------------
It can't rain all the time.

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I don't remember ElfBowling.exe a one file executable package containing all "Flash" material programming having any spyware in it back in 1999 when I played it after downloading it from the legal site that was promoting it in the first place.

Now I can't remember exactly the company that was sponsoring it but I can look for it online somewhere.

I enjoy a little penguin bashing myself though. They had this customized one somewhere that the big ice bear takes a club and bashes the penguin to a bloody head flying for points.

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Joseph Z

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I'm 20th Century Fox
Happy Holly Days


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Note - this post has nothing to do with answering the SpyWare question, but I loved Elf Bowling!

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When my chin is on the ground I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

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albuqwirkymom
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Anya Karenina:
Note - this post has nothing to do with answering the SpyWare question, but I loved Elf Bowling!

This is probably wrong on many, many levels, but my kids love elf bowling. The take particular delight in killing the deer, the bunny and the frog. I praise their abilities.

I'm a bad, bad mommy.

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I never know how much of what I say is true. - Bette Middler

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DavieV
I Saw Three Shipments


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I love Elf Bowling too!! There was also Elf Shuffleboard that took place on a cruise ship. That was fun too! You could pick penguins off an iceberg.
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madambleau
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I loved elf bowling too --- So crap - how do you find fun games that aren't riddled with spyware and viruses? I guess I have to buy them ? But where do you buy goofy sadistic cartoon games?
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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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where is elf bowling now? anyone got a copy??

Ohh and the "desktop christmas lights" that came out the same year that made your caps lock, num lock and scroll lock buttons flash???

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"British English speakers point to Americans adding more syllables so that they can make even more noise without actually saying anything." Llewtrah


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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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http://www.nstorm.com/games/game_detail.asp?game_id=285 Elf Bowling 1

http://www.nstorm.com/games/game_detail.asp?game_id=22 Elf Bowling 2

http://www.download.com/Elf-Bowling-3/3000-10188_4-10390338.html Elf Bowling 3

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Joseph Z

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merrypuck
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I received Elf Bowling in an e-mail about 3 years back. I saved it to my hard drive. I love it a lot. maybe I'll bebrave enough to download the other two versions.

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Twas brillig and the slythie toves

Posts: 1 | From: Hayward, CA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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