Here's a riddle you might want to ponder: When is a spyware-removal tool not a spyware-removal tool? Answer: When its spyware. Security experts have found out that spyware removal software SpywareNo is actually spyware itself. Advertised as desktop security software, SpywareNo comes with integrated firewall, application security, intrusion detection features... and spyware! There have been reports of hijacked web browsers and all the usual annoying stuff after installation of the software.

The company behind SpywareNo claims that it has been the victim of "unscrupulous online advertisers who bundle the product with noxious wares."

"We use affiliated advertisers to [market SpywareNo]. It is a shame that some of our advertisers do not respect the law, but unfortunately we are unable to check them all at the initial stage," wrote a person claiming to be Jessica Simmons, SpywareNo's public relations manager, in an e-mail to eWEEK.

"This may be a trick used by those unprincipled advertisers," she said.

SpywareNo scored poorly in a test of its effectiveness in detecting spyware on a machine carried out by security professionals, and remains a product I would not personally recommend.