Tag: adware

Two “settlements” this week

And it’s only Wednesday. In the first, DirectRevenue (spyware distributor extraordinaire) settled with the State of Illinois. No cash – just a little “changing of business practices.” Right..we’ve seen that work before.

In the second, our good man Elliot Spitzer took a chunk of flesh out of an email marketing firm (as well as $1.1 million dollars), for using collected email addresses without the addressees’ consent. Now we’re talking.

Adware advertisers best ready for mugshots

And the FTC should get their lawyers ready as well.

Hot on the heals of academics and big internet companies banding together to out spyware makers, the FTC is proposing a little outing of their own. They want to publish the names of advertisers who covort with the former.

My take? I suspect it won’t be long before adware distributors are putting up deceptive product from non-existent big name clients just to steer the FTC into a bunch of lawsuits. The government thinks it is all goody two shoes, fun and games. Unfortunately, the space is still the wild, wild, west, and the bad guys are not going to fight fair. They have “affiliates” to hide behind and blame for any mishaps, and that is exactly what they will to do by pushing the FTC, and some big name litigants (and their attorneys), into each other’s crossfire.

Stay tuned.

Affiliate problems anyone?

Adware companies suck to begin with. They know it, so when they get attacked themselves, they always have someone to fall back on, their affiliates.

The question is, how can they control their affiliates in the first place?

Adware firm giving fair warning

Its either development of conscience or the first step in avoiding a lawsuit. Either way, adware firm 180solutions is now notifying unsuspecting “customers” on how to remove its software from their systems.

The company is pointing the finger at “rogue distributors” (meaning their affiliates) which get the software installed via whatever sneaky means possible. They are “hoping” to stop those effort, although I am not sure what means an adware company could have to get folks to willingly submit to an install.

Good for 180solutions, if in fact it is a genuine effort. Now lets see how fast they die.

Big advertisers in the pop-up game

BusinessWeek just this article about some of the big name companies that have promotion being distributed via adware.

While this is nothing really new, it does show you that adware is now a mainstream problem, for both consumers and companies. Consumers can’t stand the stuff, and companies, due to the byzantine affiliate network behind adware promotors, can’t control it.

Read up. Meanwhile, here is a list of the companies targeted by BusinessWeek…

Three times a charm

According to a recent report out of McAfee, the average web user has 3 adware applications on their machine. The data was gleaned from McAfee’s VirusScan Online user statistics, and since the service is for Windows machines, “average web user” of course excludes everyone running OS X and Linux.

UK spammers set to enjoy banner year

According to a recent survey, email marketing in the UK is poised for excellent growth this year.

What’s the number one reason for the enthusiasm? Demand.

With so many big companies in eccommerce, media and publishing, financial services, technology, and travel and leisure vying for eyeballs, it is no wonder that email (and adware ) targeting internet users is still such a booming marketplace.

Unfortunately, along with the legitimate marketers come those who are less so, and as they say, “A rising tide lifts all boats!”

Another reason to get anti-spyware pronto

While you have to take some of what was said in this article with a grain of salt (considering the source is an anti-spyware company executive), it does bring up an interesting point.

Adware would not be floating around the net, and penetrating unsuspecting users’ machines (Windows, that is), unless there was money to be made.

Gator back on PestPatrol’s Spylist

Anti-spyware software vendors are generally out for your best interests. Its when they decide what is and isn’t spyware is when your fate is sealed. Luckily, Computer Associates PestPatrol decided in favor of the customer, and (more…)

Two kinds of hackers

It used to be that hackers wrote intrusive code only to get recognized amongst their peers. Some did it for the sheer joy, while others did it out of generosity – to warn some sys admin of a vulnerability. Unfortunately, our society has forced the altruistic coders into hiding, and little is left to do with system hacks than steal information.