Feeds

Spitzer blitzes adware

Popup suit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

New York state's pugilistic Attorney General has spyware in his sights. Eliot Spitzer has sued Direct Revenue for deceptive advertising, computer tampering and trespass.

The suit claims the company installed malware on PCs without users' explicit consent, typically after luring them with the offer of a browser enhancement or other utility, such as "Faster XP". The software then tracks their web usage and bombards them with pop-up advertisements.

Four Direct Revenue executives are named in the suit, which seeks $2,000 compensation per claimant. The suit claims 150m spyware applications have been installed since late 2002.

The suit cites former Direct Revenue CEO Josh Abram boasting in an email: "We have a very stealthy version of our adware product which we're happy to give u... Don't worry. If we do a deal - a build together - these will not be caught."

Which is true; removing the adware even stumps the experts.

Direct Revenue also used Microsoft Active X controls to install its stealth software.

For the user to understand that they were allowing the company to install advertising software, they had to click on a link presented in the EULA, read 11 pages of text to discover another URL, then click and read to the end of the this third piece of legalese.

Direct Revenue objects to the term "spyware", and says it no longer engages in these practices.

FasterXP.com was offline at time of publication ®.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.