Friday, October 06, 2006

Microsoft MVP Awardee Stuns the Security Community

Yesterday evening, I saw this at the SunbeltBLOG:
“Patchou” (aka Cyril Paciullo) has just been given Microsoft MVP status. Worthy of congratulation, except… Patchou got his fame through a program called Messenger Plus!, which has the option of installing LOP (a not-so-pleasant piece of adware).
That led me to Paperghost's Vital Security post. Paperghost has never been hesitant to tell it the way he sees it and isn't shy in his presentation.

Today the news has "hit the wires". So before you run off to read what everyone is saying, let's take a look at a description of LOP from Sunbelt Research:
Type DescriptionAdware, also known as advertising software, displays third-party advertising on the computer. The ads can take several forms, including pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, or links embedded within web pages or parts of the Windows interface. Some adware advertising might consists of text ads shown within the application itself or within side bars, search bars, and search results. Adware is often contextually or behaviorally based and tracks browsing habits in order to display ads that are meant to be relevant to the user.

Background information is available at Sandi's Site and you can find additional information on what happens when the sponsor link is accepted when installing Messenger Plus! at Spyware-Free.

As posted by Ed Bott in "Microsoft gives adware pusher an MVP award",

"Around this time every year, Microsoft publishes its new list of Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). MVPs are unpaid volunteers, not Microsoft employees, and the official criteria for being named an MVP are based on their willingness to participate in technical and product communities."
Consider Mr. Bott's comment in conjunction with this from Security Ticker:
"Microsoft's MVP program supposedly rewards "outstanding members of Microsoft's peer-to-peer communities, and is based on the past year's contributions those members make in those communities online and offline." So why have they given the creator of Messenger Plus an MVP Award, when he bundles the notorious LOP Adware in with his creation?" {emphasis added}
Is it any wonder the security community is stunned?

Trackback and a few additional links:

Ed Bott's Microsoft Report
Spware-Free and Spyware-Free

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