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Sofie Bergström, who worked with Lavasoft as CFO and who recently left, was listed as a person authorised to receive service of process on the company registration form for LVS Software. "I don't know anything about the fund. It's the Canadian fund from Montreal, that's all I know," she told El Reg. "There have been a lot of changes, and the organisation is now working from Montreal, and Malta, and Sweden." She claimed no knowledge of Charles Assouline or Dimech.

Calls and emails to Lavasoft elicited no response, but Dadoun responded: "We have read your questions and we fail to see how they are pertinent to your audience or anybody in particular and it would appear that you pick and choose bits and parcels to prove a point you've already decided in your head.

"We decided to buy Lavasoft because of its core technology, its loyal user base and the belief that with the right investment – the company can once more rise to its true potential," he continued.

"In the short term since our acquisition, we've worked hard with the team in place, on the next version of Ad-Aware (soon to be released) – making it about 10X faster than the current version, removing all nagware, bettering its protection, slimming down its executable and re-offering a 'classic' version of the product due to high customer demand."

He also said that the company had "reviewed sales and customer service practices to make them more coherent with the values the brand purports" [sic]. The company has seen a sharp drop in customer complaints (both from free and paid users), he added.

The fact remains that Lavasoft's new owners are linked to sites that popular anti-malware services have listed as highly risky – including sites that sold Lavasoft's own software in the past. Perhaps the most telling link is a blog post from Lavasoft itself, in 2007, singling out Interactive Brands for selling their software under false pretences. "We are in no way associated with this company and frown upon their practices," Lavasoft said at the time. That may have been true in 2007, but times have clearly changed... ®

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