warning about taxes

I discovered a possible virus/spyware-like program called c_dilla. I may have the spelling wrong, but it starts with the letter c followed by an underscore. This program is installed to the boot sector, making it impossible to get rid of, even if you format the hard drive. I found it on a computer and tracked it down to last year’s version of TurboTax. If you have ever used TurboTax or TaxCut, which is made by the same company, you may want to check for this virus-like program. Now, what the program does exactly, I am unable to figure out. I looked through the license agreement, which no one reads, and found a statement that gives them permission to install a program that monitors your actions on your computer while TurboTax is installed and after you uninstall TurboTax. I think it is kind of strange that a company will do this. They could be recording anything that you do on your computer and sending that information back to them accross the internet. The owners of that computer, that had TurboTax and the virus-like program, are thinking of sueing and plan never to buy either TurboTax or TaxCut again.

In this message, I am not taking any side, just stating the opinion of a TurboTax customer and letting everyone know of a possible problem with a piece of commonly used software.

c_Dilla is a software “lock” very similar to the code that 3dsMax uses to ensure that a serial # is only used on one computer. (Actually, some versions of 3dsMax use a version of c_dilla, not sure about the current ones though)…I know that the Turbotax folks took a lot of flak this past year for including this code without notifying the users that it was there, but it’s legit code…desirable, not always for the user, but it’s not a virus or spyware…

Yeah, as Nate stated, c_dilla is a licensing program. 3ds max and (I think) Inventor used it, so all of you guys who have those programs on your computer probably have c_dilla. Actually, I think I remember hearing something about Discreet investing a whole lot of money to use c_dilla across thier entire product line because it was advertised as very powerful piracy protection (for those interested, the crack was available on the internet less than a month later).

It resides in the C:\c_dilla folder (the folder is hidden by default.) If you delete it, though, you’ll have to reinstall and reregister whatever program was using it for license management (and so, reinstall c_dilla).

I know some spyware checkers (in particular ‘Spybot - S&D’) pick this program up as spyware. I’m not sure why they do this - if you remove it, your programs won’t work.

As for the TurboTax story, I do remember hearing a lot of controversy about the measures they took for piracy protections being too extreme, but I don’t remember the details. If you want to know the details, search Slashdot for all the information you’d ever want about it.

Thanks for letting me know this. I haven’t found the program on my computer, yet. It is funny though, that it is mentioned in the license agreement, for TurboTax, that it gives them permission to install c_dilla to monitor some of your actions, I guess the programs you install that use c_dilla. Well anyways, thanks.