Eliot Finally Suing Direct Revenue

Spitzer has been investigating Direct Revenue, detailed in this document, all 76 pages of it. I haven’t read all of it yet, but these guys really take the cake. Detailing how they once talked about delaying the popups by as much as 2 minutes, but changed it back to 45 seconds after their revenue plummeted almost 15%!

Even the company’s CTO, Daniel Doman, knew the software was crap. In an e-mail, he called Direct’s code “pretty spooky software” (p. 41).

It was so bad that Direct Revenue employees and clients complained about the frequency of ad showings. “My computer crashed 4 times,” one worker wailed (p. 44).

They acknowledged among themselves that they were on the Dark Side. “We are doing exactly what they [Edelman] are accusing us of doing,” wrote another executive (p. 62). Source: Security and Privacy Blog

The truth is almost always found out eventually, if you read my interview of the former 180solutions employee, you’ll see they definitely chewed some of the same ground.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office is suing Direct Revenue, claiming the company secretly installed millions of pop-up ad programs and sent ads through secretly installed spyware.
The state’s top prosecutor filed the lawsuit Tuesday, seeking a court order forcing the company to stop and requesting an accounting of the company’s revenues. The lawsuit also requests “appropriate” monetary penalties.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer claims the company and its distributors offered free games, browsers and enhancement software to lure customers into unknowingly downloading code that linked their computers to the company’s servers, which then downloaded the spyware. Source: Techweb.

And it was just last October that they and 180solutions promised to be cleaning up their acts.

Online-marketing companies Direct Revenue LLC and 180solutions Inc. recently announced changes to their business practices that could make them more accountable for how their advertising-supported software, or adware, is downloaded onto consumers’ computers. Both companies concede that third-party distributors do not always obtain consumer consent before downloading the software, which some distributors combine with their own spyware.

Karma, baby, Karma.