Monday, January 29, 2007

Groundbreaking Anti-Malware Settlement Involving DirectRevenue

I certainly am glad that I subscribe to Brian Krebs "Security Fix" blog on the Washington Post. I just read his posting from about an hour ago announcing that Cingular Wireless LLC, and have agreed to settle their part in an ongoing investigation. In 2006, the New York State Attorney General's office sued DirectRevenue for deceptively and fraudulently installing its pop-up ad-serving and Web-tracking software on millions of PCs without approval or consent of consumers.

Since one of the things I "do" is help in online security forums, I certainly completely agree with Mr. Krebs statement about one of the reasons this settlement is important:
"Online help forums are awash in desperate messages from consumers whose machines were besieged by pop-up ads after visiting a Web site that used slimy drive-by tactics to install DirectRevenue's software, which is notoriously difficult to remove from a host machine."
It is certainly well past time that for this type of action. I hope other states follow the example of New York State's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. Mr. Cuomo's statement serves as a warning to other advertisers turning a blind eye to adware purveyors:
“Advertisers will now be held responsible when their ads end up on consumers’ computers without full notice and consent,” Cuomo said. “Advertisers can no longer insulate themselves from liability by turning a blind eye to how their advertisements are delivered, or by placing ads through intermediaries, such as media buyers. New Yorkers have suffered enough with unwanted adware programs and this agreement goes a long way toward clamping down on this odious practice.”

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