Rogue Distribution of Software

Years ago when I first became interested in computers, I would’ve never thought something such as “rogue distribution of software” would’ve even been possible, and I can say without I doubt that it never even crossed my mind. But today I was reading on news.com about 180 solutions and it’s “continuing effort to clean up it’s image” and how they’ve updated their products to “thwart rogue distribution” of their software.

First, that is the main problem, they just want to clean up their image so they can get rid of some of the bad press they have been getting lately from the likes of Wayne Porter, Ben Endleman and the Paper Ghost. They come out with one of these self serving statements everytime someone uncovers something that they shouldn’t have been doing to start with.

Second, if they really wanted to clean up their act, they could’ve done that years ago by policing their own affiliates and making it so they have to get the EULA filled out to start with.

“Today’s announcement marks the biggest technological step we’ve taken to date to reduce fraudulent installations,” Daniel Todd, president and co-founder of 180solutions, said in the statement.

Ridiculous. They know exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it, always have. They depend on their software being forced on other peoples machines. Who in their right mind actually wants this software on their machines? No one I know wants a slower a machine. No one I know wants lots of popups when they use their computers. No one I know wants random crashes or complete system crash. No one I know wants to worry about wether some program is sending information about what they are doing to some huge online database.

Oh, and I forgot the best part. 180solutions is giving it’s distribution partners until December 31 2005 to start installing the latest software that is supposed to prevent stealth installs. Why would they give them so long, why not distribute it to everyone this week and give them until the end of the month? Because of the biggest online shopping season of the whole year, Christmas. They might miss out on millions of dollars if they went ahead and did the right thing now. If they can pad the bank accounts some more this Christmas season, they might be able to make it out with some cash, even after the lawsuits.

Take this article from Wayne Porter, 180Solutions Responds About Child Porn Distributor. When you are associated with this kind of stuff, well, you reap what you sow.

Ben Edleman has documented advertisers supporting spyware, advertising intermediaries funding spyware, and affiliate commission fraud and much of it involves 180 solutions. Here are some interesting articles concerning his research and 180 solutions, 180solutions & Affiliate Commissions, What Passes for “Consent” at 180solutions, Telling the Truth about Installation Tactics and many more. Definately worth a read and a bookmark.

I have no use for their software or them, and it always cheers me up when I uninstal it from some unsuspecting users machine, along with all of the other “software” they’ve collected.