I posted this in the email forum earlier but think it should be here instead...
I found a program that was evidently included in the ComCast setup called "BroadJump Client Foundation". I looked it up with Google and was horrified to find this program is running in the background on my pc. Take a minute to go to your remove programs listing and see if you have it. If so, look it up on Google or go to:
"http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist_b.htm" and look down the list of tasks until you find "bjcfl" then decide whether you want this crappe on your machine. I uninstalled mine.
If you use Windows or Linux ( can't speak for MAC OS )you won't "miss" anything. I have been with Comcast for a few years and have never loaded ANY software provided by Comcast, the modem manufacturer, or the ethernet card manufacturer. You simply don't need any of it unless you want to use the help and diagnostic features included with it ( and if you learn your OS you won't need that either ). I could be wrong about this but if I am don't tell my PC cause it thinks everything is fine.
P.S.- Ok; with Win 95 you may have to use the ethernet drivers but that should be it.
> I assure you that the BroadJump software is not
> adware, and does not collect information about you,
> your surfing habits etc, to serve up ads or anything
> of that nature. Hope this helps,
Can you tell us alittle about that program and what its supposted to do?
I too would like to know EXACTLY what this software does....considering that 1½ years ago a Comcast tech denied any knowledge of it and a BROADJUMP customer support e-mail reply was a little evasive and stated "BroadJump is a provider of software and services to your broadband provider" and suggested I make support inquiries to my broadband provider.
As far as I can see...BROADJUMP ("MOTIVE" as it seems to be called now) doesn't even list Comcast as a customer...
As I mentioned in my first msg starting this discussion, go to: http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist_b.htm and scroll down the list of tasks to "bjcfd"
if you want to see what some others have said about it...
Message was edited by: beetle
Ace...as usual you are wrong again. What are you, a paid shill for Comcast? And why would you use the nick Ace Frehleys Cousin if in fact you are not Ace Frehleys cousin? It certainly is not "obvious" to me that you are not his cousin. Just a little bit deceptive isn't it? greju
Hardly a shill. Just a realiist. Comcast has a lot of problems, foremost a lot of connection issues for a lot of people (I've had no problems, but people I know and people posting on these boards have had plenty ... getting good service from then seems to be a crapshoot depending on which part of their service area you're in) and they have customer and tech support that needs a tremendous amount of improvement.
I just happen to believe in putting blame where it belongs. I'll be first in line to blame Comcast when it's their fault. And not when it's not.
I'm also NOT wrong in this case. Do a Google search on Broadjump and you'll find dozens and dozens of links, including articles in reputable tech publications, that describe it as a component of broadband installation and management solutions and none that say anything about it being spyware/adware.
http://www.cexx.org/adware.htm doesn't mention it, and it's an extremely good resource on such things. A long list of programs that run in the background and which identifies known spyware/malware/adware at http://www.geocities.com/greyknight17/startup_list.htm defines bjcfd as "Broadband troubleshooting software installed by various companies. Not required and you can remove it via Add/Remove programs." Says nothing about it being malicious even though it identifies many many others as such.
The link that beetle posted for answersthatwork.com says "After reading the description of this product on the BroadJump website, it is clear that some of the functions of this software are what we call adware (software which collects information on your Internet activity and sends it to your ISP so that your ISP can serve you advertisements related to the type of sites you visit)."
THAT information is what appears to be incorrect. And that site stands alone in describing the product that way. Broadjump (now called Motive) does not describe its products as gathering specific surfing information. Answersthatwork appears to have inferred that. Motve also has a LONG list of customers, many big-name businesses who have no need to unnecessarily tick off their own customers. They also do a lot of business with enterprise software makers. They're making big bucks ... neither they nor their customers have any need to be involved with something as sleazy as adware. To do what it does, the software would need to gather information on your system configuration, possibly your data usage (for provisioning), but not specific surfing habits.
It is possible that both Motive and all their customers are lying about that, but if so the folks at answersthatwork should get some kind of award for figuring out when no one else has. And if you think I'm some kind of apologist for spyware, you're cracked ... I despise it and I think people who perpetuate it should be locked up. Nobody should be making changes to my system but me, nor is it anyone's buisness where I go on the Internet.
Now I didn't, and wouldn't, install the Comcast software, but that's just because I don't need unnecessary stuff cluttering up my computer. Broadjump does gather information on your system, and I consider even that level of intrusion to be unacceptable except when unavoidable.
It is a process that runs in the background and it's good to be aware of those and decide whether you really want or need them, but nobody other than beetle's people find broadjump to be possibly malicous.
You jumped on me the first time for suggesting users should take responsibility for preventing viruses. You argued that the ISP should "do something" to solve it, and maybe they should. But the fact remains that if you don't open suspicious attachments and maintain antivirus software, you're as safe as anyone can make you.
If their fear, as the other anonymous user suggested, is legal liability, I'm not sure that's illegitimate on their part. Case law has not rendered any definitive word on whether an ISP that tried to scan for viruses would be liable if one got through, and a few of high-dollar lawsuits could put them out of business, not to mention the precedent it would set that would threaten smaller ISPs. I'd rather have an ISP that expects me to take the basic and easy steps to protect myself than one that goes out of business and leaves me with no high-speed alternatives.
I think they could protect themselves by spelling out in the user agreement that while they try to prevent viruses they can't guarantee full safety, so maybe I have come to agree with you that they should. That doesn't change the fact that they don't, so (being realistic) I take measures to protect myself and don't worry about it.
As for the nickname, if you can't figure out an obvious joke when you see one, that's really not my problem.
When @Home collapsed, Comcast sent around new CDs. Out of curiosity, I dusted off my tools and cracked both the Mac and PC software they included...
The Broadjump stuff is ... interesting. I'm not crazy about the implementation and I really hate all the stupid secrecy... but in essence, what it tries to do is generally a good thing for some customers.
First, it is a fairly-sophisticated scripted installation tool. It gathers a lot of configuration information from your PC, saves it to disk, evaluates it, installs the appropriate software - the Comcast branded browser(s), plug-ins, etc, and the Broadjump Client, then it sets up your TCP/IP stack to talk to Comcast. In essence, it provides a uniform way to get your computer up and running on Comcast's service, for just about any configuration.
Now that client... It is not adware or spyware. It does not gather information about you and send it off to some nefarious advertizing company, etc. The client provides two basic functions. It lets you chat live with a Comcast TSS. And it lets the Comcast TSS view some of your configuration and issue a few reset-type commands. IOW, it's basically a remote control diagnostic/repair tool.
Do you need to install this stuff? No. The only functionality you loose is the online chat with Comcast TSS, and his/her/its ability fix stuff on your computer remotely. You can still call them on the phone and have them talk you thru it.
Is this stuff evil? IMO, yes. Most of the things it does are unnecessary, unless you're totally clueless. It should be implemented better. And it certainly should be documented better and publically. I give Comcast a point for trying to facilitate tech support with clueless customers, but a slap upside the head for the clueless way they're doin it...
- Dan. EARTH FIRST! We'll strip-mine the other planets later.
After a lot of Googling, it seems Broadjump is a popular tool being used by a lot of companies...Broadjump Client Foundation is a more specific subprogram of Broadjump with a slightly sinister flavor to it...the link I provided earlier is not the only folks out there having heartburn over Broadjump Client Foundation...educate yourself by following other links with your Google search and decide if BJCF is right for you.
> First, it is a fairly-sophisticated scripted
> installation tool. It gathers a lot of configuration
> information from your PC, saves it to disk, evaluates
> it, installs the appropriate software - the Comcast
> branded browser(s), plug-ins, etc, and the Broadjump
> Client, then it sets up your TCP/IP stack to talk to
> Comcast. In essence, it provides a uniform way to
> get your computer up and running on Comcast's
> service, for just about any configuration.
> Now that client... It is not adware or spyware. It
> does not gather information about you and send it off
> to some nefarious advertizing company, etc. The
> client provides two basic functions. It lets you
> chat live with a Comcast TSS. And it lets the
> Comcast TSS view some of your configuration and issue
> a few reset-type commands. IOW, it's basically a
> remote control diagnostic/repair tool.
What are you Dan, a paid shill for Comcast? ;-)
Beetle, I agree it's unecessary and I really dislike anyone putting something on my system that gathers any information without my knowing about it and specifically what. As Dan said, I don't think most of us need it, and if people do want to use the Comcast chat, they should have the option to download and install it at that point (and they do, I tried to access chat a while back and when confronted with the need to download software first, opted not to.)
I don't blame anyone for being suspicious or resenting the secretive way it apparently goes on if you install the Comcast self-install software (I didn't do that either) ... but it does seem there's no particular evidence of it gathering information about your Web habits for the purpose of serving ads.
What if you have a Comcast TSS on the line with you, chatting via Broadjump facilities and the TSS takes a really strong dislike to you. With remote control of your stuff, he/she could mess you up pretty bad. I am involved in phone system security with the US Govt...the equivalent in phone equipment is called RMATS (Remote Maintenance And Testing System), listed by NIST as one of the most dangerous features to activate in a phone system if you are concerned about system security. It is sometimes used, but usually under very strict controls. I think I'll let a tech talk me through any changes I may need to try on my PC if I ever have to holler for help.
> What if you have a Comcast TSS on the line with you,
> chatting via Broadjump facilities and the TSS takes a
> really strong dislike to you. With remote control of
> your stuff, he/she could mess you up pretty bad.
Yea, really bad. He can reset your ip stack to the settings Comcast originally installed. He can reset your browser likewise. Not exactly revenge or even spite quality stuff. Although, I guess they could play with your mind a bit - by repeatedly resetting your default browser page to something like http://www.cbn.com/
Aren't there more interesting things to be paranoid over?
- Dan. EARTH FIRST! We'll strip-mine the other planets later.
Aaannnd, you are 100%, absolutely sure, internet protocol and home page changes are the only controls possible with Broadjump? Why have any control at all? Sorry, I'm not convinced this stuff is that benign. Here is just a sampling of many viewpoints on the subject found during Googling:
1. This is a direct quote from Broadjump.com (now called Motive):
“Service Analytics – exploit the wealth of operational and marketing data through advanced reporting and data warehousing/data mart solutions for strategic reporting, analysis, and planning.”
2. Evidently, some folks running Win ME with IE 6.0 have been complaining about freezes and slowdowns that disappeared after uninstalling Broadjump.
3. Users of Sygate firewalls have had difficulties with Broadjump being defined as malicious script.
4. BJCFD (called CFD in some task mgrs) creates conflicts on Windows XP which result in users experiencing problems or lack of Internet access when logging off and logging back on as a different user. Again on XP, BJCFD has been seen to slowly but surely gobble up resources and memory, ending up running at 95% of CPU resources and an impossibly slow PC.
Again, do the research and decide for yourself.
Message was edited by: beetle
Joe User calls in, complaining he can't fetch his email. The TSS uses the software to verify his email program's settings, sees they're amiss, and resets them. Problem fixed, and the total time on the phone was reduced to less than 5 minutes. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands of calls to Support a day. That's a BIG finanicial incentive to want this capability.
If YOU are sophisticated enough to not have these types of difficulties, then DON'T install the software! But just because YOU are so knowledgeable doesn't mean ALL the other customers are too.
> found during Googling:
#2 thru 4 are just implementation issues. Bugs in Windows software are SOP. Get over it or Think Different.
#1 says that the software CAN be used for more than just tech support. It doesn't say that Comcast is doing so. It doesn't even say that Comcast has included those nefarious modules! OTOH, have you looked at the data that your PC sends MS when you run that windows update thingy?????
Let me know when you've finished doing the disk i/o monitoring and ip packet sniffing and have proven that Comcast is using it to gather all the marketing info and such. I've done the sniffing and seen that they aren't collecting the data. If you can show me otherwise, I'll join you in your paranoid theory.
- Dan. EARTH FIRST! We'll strip-mine the other planets later.
Broadjump may be used by other companies for these adverse tactics. Comcast however uses it as a tool to greatly reduce customer headaches by offering alternatives for support, such as remote connection, live chat, and automated fixes. (PERIOD)
In Ace's msg earlier, he states, "Broadjump does gather information on your system, and I consider even that level of intrusion to be unacceptable except when unavoidable"...this is my first point (and I agree with Ace on this). My second point is that Comcast should be more forthcoming as to what software they have provided to the customer and what it does or doesn't do. Think about it, if Comcast had provided user information up front describing Comcast's use of Broadjump strictly as a maintenance aid, we wouldn't be having this conversation. This whole thing is kinda like renting a hotel room and discovering a hidden video camera. Of course the hotel will tell you it is there for your protection, just ignore it. Again, quoting directly from Broadjump.com (now called Motive):
“Service Analytics – exploit the wealth of operational and marketing data through advanced reporting and data warehousing/data mart solutions for strategic reporting, analysis, and planning.” Don't that make you just a litle uneasy? And, is it paranoia if it is true?
Message was edited by: beetle
> Again, quoting directly from
> Broadjump.com (now called Motive):
> “Service Analytics – exploit the wealth of
> operational and marketing data through advanced
> reporting and data warehousing/data mart solutions
> for strategic reporting, analysis, and planning.”
> Don't that make you just a litle uneasy? And, is it
> paranoia if it is true?
But the Analytics piece is a specific software product. It's not a capability that just using "BroadJump" brings, unless Comcast has purchased and implemented that particular product. It doesn't sound like they have ... they seem to be using the "Smart Activation" and possibly "Smart Support" products.
Also, Dan said his analysis shows no such data gathering capability in the software he examined.
My own reservation is just leeriness about giving anyone external any degree of control over my system, although this particular example seems benign. I would use it if I needed the service it enables.
That's certainly bad. However, all of those links go to stories about the same case, it happened in 2001 (and the lawsuit was filed in early 2002) and they stopped doing it at that time, they claim.
Would have been nice if they never had, but sounds like they learned well that customers won't tolerate it. They also say the information was not connected to individual users. Now, I'm naturally suspicious about claims corporations make, especally when they're in trouble, but there are some legitimate uses for aggregated, non-identifiable information. In any case, if the information is not tied to individuals, there's no way they could use it for targeted individal advertising.
All of those articles, by the way, are about the case being filed. Is there any information about the outcome?
> All of those articles, by the way, are about the case
> being filed. Is there any information about the
No outcome (yet) on the lawsuit, but the transparent proxy servers came down PDQ, and I haven't seen or heard any talk of bringing them back. I think that's one of the things the original Broadjump software did was to setup the proxy server on your machine. I also think the lingering doubts about it are related to this original Comcast faux pax.
You can go to the live chat support with out the software, the remote access seoftware is a great tool and the analsyts will not remove anything from your computer or snoop around. They are there to do a job and that is it. Do not put down the remote software unless you have came into chat and tried it. Betcha might even like it.
OMG, this is getting ridiculous. I can get very paranoid but one has a choice, you know? Merely make a decision whether to install the software. Why would an employee want to jeopardize their job by corrupting your pc when they can merely disconnect you? Even the paranoid has to draw a line somewhere or you might as well ditch the pc.
Whether it is spyware or not I don't like comcast installing something that is running all the time consuming resources, when 99.99999% I have no need for the program.
If I was having issues then I might be willing to run the program to allow comcast support to use it for its intended purpose: "It gathers a lot of configuration information from your PC...." . Don't background it and have it running all the time though.
What happens when ALL software you use installs background processes. (TurboTax, realplayer, etc...) In a couple years you have 200 background processes running and you are using very few of these programs on a daily basis. Then you wonder why your computer isn't as fast as it used to be. It is very short sited for all the applications to install background processes saying it only consumes minimal resources.
>>>What happens when ALL software you use installs >>>background processes. (TurboTax, realplayer, etc...) >>>In a couple years you have 200 background processes >>>running and you are using very few of these programs >>>on a daily basis. Then you wonder why your computer >>>isn't as fast as it used to be. It is very short >>>sited for all the applications to install background >>>processes saying it only consumes minimal resources.
When you instal a program on your computer you have a choice to have it running in the background, if this is not something you want then go into the msconfig and remove the check mark. Then it will not run in the background and you will have to click on it to use it simple.