RelevantKnowledge Description

ScreenshotRelevantKnowledge is software that exists in a moral grey area. RelevantKnowledge is widely considered spyware, because RelevantKnowledge will collect huge amounts of information about your Internet usage, and then use that information to put together even more information about you. That information is then sold, anonymously, either individually or as part of aggregate data. Given the way that RelevantKnowledge is installed on most computers, it is unlikely that most of those users are fully aware of the facts about RelevantKnowledge.

What RelevantKnowledge is, and Where it Comes From

RelevantKnowledge is a product of the company MarketScore, formerly called Netsetter. MarketScore developed and uses RelevantKnowledge in order to gather data about Internet usage, and sell that data, for the purposes of Internet development, commerce, and development, as well as for the purposes of economic analysis, predictions, and investing. MarketScore has a history of offering a per-user sign-up bounty to websites that run advertisements for RelevantKnowledge.

In order to entice users to install RelevantKnowledge, MarketScore has always offered some kind of incentive. Initially, they offered an Internet “Accelerator,” which was supposedly capable of improving Internet connection speed. After security holes had been revealed in this "Accelerator," which allowed malware to download to the computer it was installed on, and after studies had showed that the software did not improve Internet speeds, MarketScore stopped offering that as an incentive. For a while, they moved to a partnership with Symantec to offer free anti-virus software, but Symantec terminated that relationship when it was revealed that RelevantKnowledge was being intentionally installed through browser security holes onto people's PC's without their knowledge or consent. MarketScore now "offers" freeware as an incentive, although the much more common scenario is for RelevantKnowledge to be bundled along with a software download that has given no outward indication of being associated with MarketScore. Consequently, many people who find RelevantKnowledge on their computers do not know why it is there

The Information that RelevantKnowledge Collects

RelevantKnowledge collects a huge amount of information on the user or users of the computer on which it is installed. It literally monitors all Internet traffic, of all kinds, including traffic to secure sites where the user maintains or enters private or sensitive personal information. MarketScore only guarantees that they will use "commercially viable efforts" to protect the sensitive information that they collect, which basically translates to, "whatever we feel like doing". Furthermore, in its End User License Agreement for RelevantKnowledge – which may not even be provided to everyone who has RelevantKnowledge installed on their PC – MarketScore explicitly states that they will work to create a comprehensive profile of you, linking up your prescription records and credit history to your online activity. The activity that MarketScore monitors is not just which websites are visited, but how often sites are visited, how many clicks are entered and which things are clicked on, what you type into the sites, and even the headers of the emails that you send and receive. RelevantKnowledge collects this information in order to sell it, and MarketScore will sell it. Your information may be sold as an individual, comprehensive anonymous profile to an interested company; or your information may be part of an aggregate. MarketScore does not limit its business to aggregate data.

In addition to the extreme level of Internet monitoring that RelevantKnowledge engages in, it will sometimes cause pop-up surveys and advertisement to appear on the affected computer. MarketScore says in the RelevantKnowledge EULA that these surveys are optional extras for users who want to help out and provide more information, and there may or may not be sweepstakes involved. If advertisements appear at the PC because of RelevantKnowledge, they are targeted based on the user's Internet history and usage.

Current Distribution of RelevantKnowledge

Because RelevantKnowledge is distributed almost exclusively through freeware downloads of other software, and only really mentioned in the middle of the installation process, there may be a disincentive for the user to read the EULA. For example, suppose you're trying to install MKV Player to listen to some audio files. You download the software, which is only described as an audio player, and halfway through the installation process you get a screen asking if you agree to install RelevantKnowledge. If you are only installing the software to begin with because you really want the audio player, the RelevantKnowledge screen is a step that you're likely to click past without paying much attention to it. Also, if that screen comes with a huge long End User License Agreement, how likely is the average person to take the fifteen minutes to read that giant chunk of legalistic text? If you're installing software voluntarily, and it is software that you want or need to use, you might just have a good disincentive to spend the time reading that agreement. Then, the scope of what RelevantKnowledge monitors and stores is immense – all because of a little screen in the middle of a setup wizard for something else.

Removing RelevantKnowledge

RelevantKnowledge can be uninstalled through the Control Panel; however, RelevantKnowledge has commonly been reported to be a rather messy uninstall. In other words, RelevantKnowledge leaves things behind and may not uninstall everything that RelevantKnowledge set up. Because of this, along with the intrusive nature of what RelevantKnowledge collects and RelevantKnowledge's dubious history of incentives and installation methods, RelevantKnowledge has a reputation as spyware regardless of RelevantKnowledge's above-board, explicit, public existence.

It may be necessary to use security software to remove RelevantKnowledge completely. In general, it is a good idea to be very cautious about the software that comes bundled along with freeware, in order to make sure you fully understand what you are installing. If you are not okay with what RelevantKnowledge does, take care to steer clear of it., TROJ_GEN.F47V1123, Unwanted-Program ( 00454f261 ) [K7AntiVirus], Adware.PremierOpinion, AdWare.Agent [Ikarus], Adware.Relevant.275072, DangerousObject.Multi.bxf, Dropped:Spyware.Relevantknowledge.A (B), Adware/Relevant.G.1 [AntiVir], W32/MalwareF.BTCN [F-Prot], Trojan/Genome.rzve, Trojan-Clicker/W32.Relevant.275072, not-a-virus.AdWare.RelevantKnowledge [Ikarus], Trojan/Win32.Buzus.gen [Antiy-AVL] and Adware.Relevant.10 [DrWeb].

Technical Information

Screenshots & Other Imagery

RelevantKnowledge Image 1 RelevantKnowledge Image 2 RelevantKnowledge Image 3

File System Details

RelevantKnowledge creates the following file(s):
# File Name Size MD5
1 376f761a10a021bb85ff963b3296c2d24781cb8e7784530b5b776cba11cfdd9a.exe 169,376 bf5043fad6ca03c3adea623ed9fc2d01
2 41ed6f2401d252b04b1256681319513481afb395639d8d69a952c247baf65c1b.exe 169,376 22afac2d92b581f54f51a0e8d0bc5fd5
3 4533f258329ed771bc4ee7baccc3d1c49fb5177e5ba2b47c6ff64ba9a64ff2bd.exe 169,376 57bcaaab0f52b258b86c012e3ba1f4e0
4 4c4cc87b563faa67758c77981e4c355a063d921b1eebe01b8625f0ce34a90313.exe 169,376 b9b8a6c81a57fe19eaa612a606ebc685
5 501fb612e7ee56f028d23c8bc8fd0cd25267a614d9c816dee8cbe2bea72879ab.exe 168,864 20c4e0e55ef3246d3460c5545f6f8113
6 5179ef9d4b5156867fcc27603d8d8bba55a5785625202814c6874b71ebb273b5.exe 169,376 a365b824bd165a27ed993a1dda1e7dc1
7 730137216397b85b88fe7f495a48da96180626cc2ec8df671c8e557698739d86.exe 169,376 421e1a7a9f09f52b9a34b8e198e8db30
8 81d289332f71305d5451e3d4e94171e644c41c9c47eaa886da1753460ebda133.exe 169,376 219d99c19ab97e26ab7ad5d7c2104e53
9 8c569cbcac09c770448d637ed19094329e25e0ff3f0d84d54e647ff1fddc61c4.exe 169,376 3ae26d41e83f8d0f1de0e43f5b4d8c7e
10 9437cba72e3b388e95b34baec5015de820ff57c587b29fa5837a6d342deaba23.exe 168,864 da2bcafb42510d7a3da6954c27cfae16
11 9794c919608dfdb4ba073dfea915f3b2cb14ed6bf8044f94c62ffd33a96c331e.exe 168,864 151f006d5ab82668839725c690286ef5
12 98c70a56f1ff0874774161fefa52213532239d5cfcae87b9dae8eeb56637c17a.exe 169,376 741fe9e8feef85ed34a2c10fcc6a34bf
13 a4977d2b5e429d6211eb41d5362eaa13e3b920130459d6eb2a746bb75a3bc56e.exe 168,864 a7b630b78bb23dc734a45fff70d39855
14 ab14dea7365183da7c35e6d432152ec351d8083b6961f65097ecb6bf7d15edec.exe 169,376 602add7d1467361000fce7a9cfaed96d
15 acd30c0e183d65d1cab4883318afec68c6806e7dfb13b077a24707c545abfa24.exe 169,376 6744810dfc3395b26b5b33e53a36f6db
16 b8519731a18b61a3ed853c55c3a93807bce56842e70fde046704be183e44c988.exe 168,864 f2952eb40c9f1940ed4ee9403289b16a
17 bb34d05749bbfc4e1e6e419f104306d454f81c7d42d419adae36ff2f5538331f.exe 169,376 33bf8e91d9401412de8deaa8d4e7edec
18 bfb2ff841f0cbbcec3f77cfc619a26e2cebd2a96045670dcf68c855419cc50fb.exe 168,864 84fe55c39b31366f5cbe062ffe135294
19 c0c65ca73eb922258b4c745bfca8ca7d891482cb5c1d5e3512bc809a82d0ebe2.exe 169,408 57a92ad780425c51fe1bba9da5e0a23e
20 c4b64986108c02f150390db28d309c37d03d86535a1989c2e55ddfa0dc177b12.exe 168,864 0f51fb9db54c4cc2dff27d62bf3d69da
21 cdb4898f8fa09607e750d8f85f2b07dab586e7bc5d36225dd800515140504443.exe 168,864 fe1bb36a25d0ffead541f602db5c2b65
22 d37bc38ccb302c5de7e5e7b68e86f1ab52b04f85c5a2c55241cd206724bbbdee.exe 168,704 9007b6b8226f506e270716f5d7bf18dc
23 ec6b771503d5f192b8b342f873daafaa96da87b45c230bc99c14d94bcce99e53.exe 169,376 6f00dae11e00a585caf6e6ab5d6b39f8
24 ec937848e601c350e1c098e64927b0434213e25a7c0a1f7f1813ded3bfd452e9.exe 169,376 56ddaf00590b9067ed7b174c877a7e87
25 f59941d010f605c45a4090286199520289fd477ac4fe347fec89d0897017b6d0.exe 168,864 ce1dc98a23e4cdad292b56ea13ee5380
More files

Registry Details

RelevantKnowledge creates the following registry entry or registry entries:
Regexp file mask
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\OpinionSquare
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PermissionResearch
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PremierOpinion
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\RelevantKnowledge
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\RelevantKnowledge
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\RelevantKnowledge
Registry key
Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStorage\
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\PremierOpinion
SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Notify\RelevantKnowledge
File name without path
Run keys

More Details on RelevantKnowledge

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  • Robert Lacasse:

    I remove relevantKnowledge easily with your instruction

    Thank you very much

  • Anonymous:

    I removed RelevantKnowledge through Add/Remove Programs. I wonder if it has been totally remove. I cannot see the processes anymore in my Task Manager nor the registry entries.

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