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Big Firms Responsible for Adware Invasion

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posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 03:19 AM
It seems my previous thread on the same topic has disappeared mysteriously. Some sort of PHP error apparently (or is it?
). No matter, here it is again --

A respected US based campaign group has revealed through its investigations that big firms are responsible for fueling the growth of adware and spyware. The report reveals that the firms' huge advertising budget are finding its way to known adware producers.

Adware 'fuelled by big companies'

Companies who spend cash advertising online play a key part in the spread of unwanted adware onto domestic PCs, a respected campaign group has concluded.

Firms with anti-adware policies find it hard to stop cash filtering to adware companies, the US-based Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) said.

In a report, the group named 10 US firms with adverts placed by an online ad company accused of unfair practices.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In my earlier thread, I mentioned my distaste for adware and spyware. I mentioned how as recently as two days ago one of my computers got infected with a persistent adware, the type that pops up again after you have removed it. But I just mentioned it to illustrate how insidious adware can be, not to ask for advice on removing it or to discuss which anti-spyware programs are the best.

While I appreciate the advice, that is not the purpose of this thread. The purpose of this thread is to discuss the implications of this report. Ever since the first adware was released onto unsuspecting consumers, their numbers have not relented. We are still plagued by adware from time to time. The more computer-savvy consumers can deflect most of these malwares, but not everyone is that informed.

The worst thing about adware is not that it gets into your machine stealthily. It's not that it collects information about your surfing habbits or your key-strokes (though that is bad enough). No, the worst is that it can slow your machine's performance considerably. It takes up CPU-cylces and it eats at your bandwidth. And some of them, like the one that infected me two days ago are extremely difficult to remove, popping up again after you've removed them for the umpteenth time.

And now we find that big companies play a major role in it's continual development. They provide the cash that fuels it's growth. The report states that some of this companies were unaware that their advertising dollars ended up in the hands of unscrupulous ad companies. My take is that they didn't care. Not until they were exposed.

The full report is available here:
CDT Adware Report (Updated 3/21/06) [PDF]

The original press release here:
Press Release [PDF]

Now what is your take on this situation?

posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 02:58 AM
Interesting that most ATSer don't really seem concerned about this real threat. Adware is not just a nuisance, it can cost big problems.

Recent developments in adware and spyware

According to Reuters, a California man was indicted earlier this month on federal charges of creating a robot-like network of hijacked computers that helped him and two others bring in $100,000 for installing unwanted adware.

The indictment from a federal grand jury in Seattle also accused Christopher Maxwell, 20, and two unidentified conspirators of crippling Seattle's Northwest Hospital with a "botnet" attack in January 2005.

Authorities said the hospital attack caused $150,000 in damages, shut down the intensive care unit, and disabled doctors' pagers.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

What if you had been a patient at that hospital? It could mean the difference between life and death.

Meanwhile, watchdog groups have projected that adware and various other malwares revenues will continue to grow, as there are big bucks involved in its development.

Spyware And Adware Continue To Plague PCs

[...]The average spyware count on each machine climbed in 2005, to 25 instances, and the programs are increasingly malicious, with more Trojan horses than before.

It's not just a consumer problem. Spyware was reported by 80% of respondents last year in an FBI survey of 2,066 companies.


An average company spends more than $1.5 million a year getting rid of the junk, according to a study of more than 600 IT managers conducted last summer by research firm NewDiligence for security software vendor FaceTime Communications. Worldwide business spending on anti-spyware software will jump from $214 million this year to nearly $1.4 billion by 2010, predicts research firm Radicati Group.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

What can be done about this insidious marketing scheme?

[edit on 27-3-2006 by Beachcoma]

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 06:07 AM
The AG of New York has sued yet another company for their role in spreading spyware and unsolicited advertising to millions of computer users.

Spitzer sues Direct Revenue over spyware

EW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said on Tuesday he has sued Direct Revenue, charging the Internet marketer with secretly installing millions of spyware programs that sent unsolicited advertisements to users' computers.

Spitzer, in a statement, said Direct Revenue secretly bundled spyware, that tracked users' Internet habits and caused pop-up ads to appear, into offers for free games or other applications.

The lawsuit filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York seeks an order barring Direct Revenue from secretly installing spyware or sending ads through existing spyware programs.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Good work, I say! Sue them all, nasty cretins, the lot of them.


posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 06:23 AM
Thanks for providing me with "proof" of something I "knew" was already happening. Corporations hardly ever do good, how can they!? Heh, the Prophet Profit says, "Its dog eat dog, so get munching"

Something else Ive "known". All those virus, trojans, hacking and generally making the Internet a difficult place to browse; not 15 year old boys being bored, nope. Im thinking its the big wigs, its an all out assault on the net so you have to use their security, their browsers, their ISP's. Admittedly it looks like I could be wrong because business's do get effected but thats for a reason, more reason to control and regulate all Net related activities, aye, its control.

You wanted feedback and you got my waffle, sorry about that!

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 06:39 AM

Originally posted by Dae
Thanks for providing me with "proof" of something I "knew" was already happening. Corporations hardly ever do good, how can they!? Heh, the Prophet Profit says, "Its dog eat dog, so get munching"

I would venture to guess that a lot of companies had no idea how they were being marketed but only saw that they were getting vast amount of views to their ads.

Its big bucks for the adware companies. If they get paid .002 per banner that pops up on your computer and they have 2million computers infected with an average of 100 popups per day it amounts to some big $ for them.
A lot of times as well it is not these big Adware companies its also smaller "affialiates" that distribute these things through active-x or computers that are set to automatically download and install. You go to their website and poof, every website you go to buy online with is automatically tagged with their affiliate code and they get a % of the purchase. I really hate this stuff because it takes me hours and hours to remove, but right now with Dell kicking butt in the PC industry its the only thing keeping me alive is removing spyware and with PC's being so cheap, I can't charge as much as I'd like to remove it. It kills me

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