Big Advertisers Fund Adware
MediaPipe, which is distributed by London-based Net Publican, also found a place on the badware list because it does not fully disclose what it is installing, does not completely remove all components and "obligations" during the uninstall process, and modifies other software without disclosure, the coalition said. SpyAxe, which is regularly flagged by anti-virus researchers as a dangerous malware threat, also made the list because it fails to uninstall completely, is difficult to exit without purchasing the full version of the product, interferes with computer use and modifies other software without disclosure.For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub. The release of the StopBadware.org report comes on the heels of a report from the Washington-based CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) that identified several large, well-respected companies that are helping to fund the virulent spread of unwanted and potentially harmful adware by paying for advertisements generated by those programs. The CDT report, here in PDF format, titled "Following the Money: How Advertising Dollars Encourage Nuisance and Harmful Adware and What Can Be Done to Reverse the Trend," shows how major advertisers take advantage of a complicated network of middlemen to advertise products and services though pop-ups and other ads generated by adware. According to CDT deputy director Ari Schwartz, the Center contacted 18 advertisers that had advertisements served by
180Solutions, a company that is being sued for unfair and deceptive practices, to ask if those businesses had any policies that address nuisance or harmful adware.
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Schwartz said 11 of the 18 companies did not respond, and identified them as NetZero, People PC, Altrec, Waterfront Media, LetsTalk.com, uBid, GreetingCards.com, True.com, PerfectMatch, Club Med Americas and ProFlowers.
The CDT report also reported on discussions with some companies that did respond to the questions, including Netflix and eHarmony.
Anti-spyware critic and security researcher Ben Edelman has also published findings on advertisers that use 180Solutions, including several screenshots that show pop-up advertising from the list of advertisers mentioned in the CDT report.
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The group also warned that Waterfalls 3 from Screensaver.com is a potential spyware threat that is bundled with a Trojan-like program and modifies other software without disclosure.