Network Associates is including a patch in its antivirus software that blocks the controversial Friend Greetings software.
Permission Media's friendgreetings.com is currently causing spam outbreaks. A message arrives inviting the recipient to view an e-greeting on its website.
To see the card users must launch an ActiveX control, which automatically sends marketing material to everyone on the user's Outlook contacts list.
The company does mention this, but it is buried in a lengthy licence agreement.
"People are still clicking on the 'yes' button and installing the software, despite all the warnings in the media," said Jack Clark, of the AntiVirus Emergency Response Team at Network Associates.
He explained that Network Associates will block the code, even though it isn't a virus, unless the user gives permission.
"It's a tricky area because [Permission Media] could cause problems for us because of adding [Friends Greeting] to the antivirus software," he said.
"We'll be including [a patch] to stop this kind of software in the next version of our [antivirus application]."
Details of this can be found on the McAfee website here.
Network Associates is not the only antivirus company working to block this type of marketing.
Sophos is making a patch available to stop the software, but only if users call technical support.
"In truth Friends Greeting isn't a Trojan, much as I hate to defend the company that put it out," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"It does tell users what it is doing to do. There are other ways of blocking it, like stopping the emails or access to the site, but Network Associates has a substantial home user base which may not be able to do this."
Panama-based Permission Media did not return requests for comment.
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