Feeds

180Solutions sues former affiliates over illegal tactics

Bad actors 'used botnets', protests adware firm

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Adware maker 180solutions has sued seven former distributors for using networks of compromised computers to surreptitiously install its software on users' PCs. The complaint, filed in King County Superior Court, names defendants Eric de Vogt of the Netherlands, Jesse Donohue of Australia, Khalil Halel of Lebanon, Imran Patel of the UK, Zarox Souchi of Canada, Youri Van Den Berg of the Netherlands and Anton Zagar of Slovenia.

180Solutions is coming down hard on affiliates that install its software without user consent as part of plans to remake its image. Distributing 180solutions software without displaying proper notification or obtaining user consent is in "direct violation of the company's strict Distributor Code of Conduct" and runs afoul of pending federal legislation, it said.

"Our top priority is to ensure that everyone who has downloaded 180solutions software has done so through proper notification and consent prior to installation," said Daniel Todd, co-founder and president of 180solutions. "We have implemented strong policing efforts to detect distributor wrongdoing, and have a no-tolerance policy through our Distributor Code of Conduct. When we discover a partner in violation of our code, we shut them down and, when necessary, take legal action to avert future bad behavior."

180solutions said it has shut down 500 of its more than 8,000 distributors due to alleged transgression since January 2005. It added that consumer education is part of efforts to "put bad actors out of business and clean up distribution channels". The firm earmarked any damages arising from its litigation to start a fund to "foster pro-consumer practices for downloadable software".

In June, 180solutions embarked on an image makeover with a campaign to notify users that its software is installed on their systems and tips on removing its software. It began re-notifying each of its 20m "active users" that its software was on the their PC, explaining the software's purpose and providing uninstall instructions.

180solutions came under pressure to clean up its act on several fronts such as threats of litigation, financial pressure from investors and blacklisting by anti-spyware firms. Anti-spyware consortium Coast collapsed in April weeks after its decision to admit 180solutions, which describes itself as a provider of search marketing solutions, to its ranks. CA (here) and other vendors such as McAfee (here) describe 180solutions' software as adware. 180solutions said that the adware accusation, which it contests, is in any case outdated. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.