Direct Revenue: Greed Triumphs Over Decency

April 14, 2006 by in Gator/Claria, Spyware, The Pit Blog

The recent lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General against Direct Revenue provides an incredible amount of information about the sleazy activities of spyware and adware companies. In the past, we’ve pointed out that these companies were making lots of money from their invasive installations. We saw a glimpse of how much money was at stake when Claria filed to go public in 2004. In that filing, they revealed that they made about $100 million in 2003. However, that high-profile bid to go public was at the height of Claria’s power and profit; they quietly aborted the attempt in the fall of 2004 and just recently announced that they are getting out.

April 2006 Newsletter

April 11, 2006 by in Newsletter, Spyware

Microsoft’s Gaping Security Hole
A Peek Inside the Spyware Greed Machine
Australians Lead the World in Antispyware
Your Opinion–Worth $100?
Windows Tip: Don’t be a Slave to Email

Anti-Spyware Coalition Workshop

February 20, 2006 by in Spyware, The Pit Blog

On February 8 and 9, I had the opportunity to participate in the Anti-Spyware Coalition Public Workshop. The event brought together representatives from the software industry and government, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Center for Democracy and Technology. In the past year the FTC has filed suit against several of the worst spyware offenders including Enternet Media, and the CDT recently filed an FTC complaint against 180Solutions for its practices. The Anti-Spyware Coalition has been working to craft clear definitions of acceptable software installation behavior.

February 2006 Newsletter

February 15, 2006 by in Newsletter, Spyware

Anti-Spyware Workshop Exposes Industry Antics
Fragmentation Dropping as Drives Get Bigger
Tell Us What You Like–and Win $50!
Performance Tip: Trim System Restore’s Fat

Taming the Wild West

January 14, 2006 by in Spyware, The Pit Blog

Does everyone remember a few years ago the wacko guy that was blowing up mailboxes in the midwest? What I remember most of all is that suddenly everyone was afraid to open their mailboxes. The ramifications were huge. Millions of businesses rely on the US mail to deliver marketing materials, invoices, and other important communications. What would have happened if the US mail became unreliable?

Spyware and Adware Statistics

December 19, 2005 by in Research, Spyware

Spyware by Location

Sony and Spyware

December 15, 2005 by in Spyware, The Pit Blog

When I was going to high school in the late 70’s, required reading for all English students was George Orwell’s 1984. I still remember reading about the overly structured life created by a highly bureaucratic government dubbed Big Brother. The book is essentially an anecdote for many of today’s problems related to governmental power versus the privacy and self determination of citizens such as ourselves.

December 2005 Newsletter

December 11, 2005 by in Newsletter, Spyware

Rob Cheng’s Take on Sony’s Spyware
Nearly One-Third of Portables are Wide Screen
PC Pitstop Detects Sony Spyware
Sony Rootkit: Number 14 on the Top 25 Spyware

The Sony XCP Rootkit

November 25, 2005 by in Spyware
Sony Rootkit Quick Links

Sony XCP information
Affected CDs
Exchange your CD
Quick scan for Sony rootkit

In March 2005, Sony’s BMG music division began shipping music CDs that included a particularly strong form of digital rights management (DRM) software called XCP. These CDs play normally in a standard CD player, but when inserted into a PC they will attempt to install the DRM software onto the PC. The software limits the number of copies you can make and prevents transfer of the music to some music players such as the Apple iPod.

FREE Protection vs Paid Protection from Spyware

November 19, 2005 by in Spyware, The Pit Blog

There is no doubt that the lines are being drawn for a galactic cyber battle for control over your PC and your desktop. Spyware and adware companies make barrels of money installing their clandestine applications on your PC without your knowledge. Even for an advanced user, typically the most expedient solution is to install an anti spyware product. This article will take an in depth look at the various anti spyware solutions we have seen at PC Pitstop. During this discussion, the reader should refer to our anti spyware graph from our research section.

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