A corporate-backed web site launched by researchers from Harvard and Oxford universities seeks to become a clearinghouse for internet users on spyware and other malicious software.

The site, which Google Inc., Sun Microsystems, and Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. are underwriting, ultimately will identify purveyors of such programs by name and provide information to help consumers decide whether a program is safe to download.

"It's important for users to understand what risks they face and try to help them identify which software is likely to be problematic," said Vint

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