Feeds

MS revokes 'adware' distributor's community award

Disavowed

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft has pulled a developer award to a programmer linked to adware distribution one week after granting the accolade.

Cyril Paciullo, the developer of Messenger Plus and Messenger Plus Live, lost his Most Valued Professionals (MVPs) endorsement after critics pointed out that the software had been used to distribute an ad-ware program called Lop as well as its overt function of allowing IM users to stack chat windows. Security experts said that handing Paciullo an award made a mockery of the MVPs program, which is designed to recognise developers who are active in lending their technical expertise towards communities supporting Microsoft products or technologies. Around 2,600 people worldwide have earned the gong.

"Microsoft is rewarding someone that has an active involvement with one of the most maligned names in PC hijacking," Christopher Boyd, a Microsoft Security MVP who works as a director of FaceTime Security Labs, wrote in a blog entry last week.

Stung by the criticism, Microsoft decided to pull Paciullo's award while maintaining its process of selecting people suitable for the MVP award remain "rigorous", an assessment somewhat undermined by the finding that Microsoft's own anti-virus scanner detects Messenger Plus as potentially malign.

"Cyril Paciullo was awarded with MVP status this year on the basis of his technical expertise and strong community contribution. However, his active MVP Award status was revoked as soon as the extent of the connection between his application and spyware was made apparent to the MVP Program," Microsoft said in a statement, IDG reports.

Paciullo (AKA Patchou) is yet to comment public ally on his row. His website (http://www.msgpluslive.net/help/faq/privacy/#open-port) acknowledges that some security programs categorise a "sponsor program" included with Messenger Plus as potentially malign while reassuring surfers that bundled software is benign and that users have the option of declining to install the bundled software, or unistalling it once its on their machines.

Anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software has a full write up of the link between Messenger Plus and LOP here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.