CNET removes anti spam software 'made by spammers’
Twists and turns
CNET's popular Download.com service has removed a copy of Spam Remedy v2.3 Pro yesterday following complaints about its makers (Update: this assertion is wrong as our follow-up article Why 'Download.com' isn't what it appears to be explains.)
Spam Remedy promotes its antispam product by, believe it or not, spamming. Not totally surprising, we have to admit; antispam companies MailWiper and SpamArrest have also been caught advertising via spam, but Spam Remedy goes further. The makers claim that the organisation GSDU (Global Software Developers Union) ranked its software 5 out of 5 Stars. Only, there is no GSDU.
Spam Remedy seems to be operating in stealth mode. The company that promotes 'The Most Powerful, Effective & Intelligent ANTI-SPAM BLOCKING program EVER!' doesn't even have its own fixed web site.
There are about 1490 sightings of Spam Remedy in NANAS, the newsgroup which indexes email spam, the first ones in March 2003. From that it appears that the products were offered from many different sites. This week, they managed to pick CNET’s Download.com.
People who actually tried the product are complaining how bad it is, while others suspect it turns infected machines into open proxies and let through spam. There is no proof of that just yet.
However, it seems that the people behind it are indedd engaged with spamming. For instance, here is a page by someone who claims he was being Joe Jobbed by the company. That is: the makers of Spam Remedy spoofed his email address so that they could hide their tracks.
At the time, the product was offered through Securediscounts.com and Siliconeparadise.com, both located in the medieval Finnish town of Lappeenranta. You will find these links (now defunct) at numerous antispam and spam sightings pages, including this one.
One person says that googling the phone number on an earlier contact page linked the number to a porn company selling membership to the site "Nice Virgins".
So, it seems our Spam Remedy friends are not just antispammers sending spam, but actually spammers selling anti spam software. ®