Adware Company Accused Of Making Thiefware As Well

from the sneaky-sneaky dept

We wrote about 180Solutions back in March when the company stunned most people by raising $40 million. The issue wasn’t so much that the company had raised so much money, but that their investors seemed positively clueless about what they had invested in. The company is almost universally hated (by those not investing in it), for its spyware/adware offerings. A quick search online will tell anyone who does the slightest amount of due diligence will realize that the company is trouble. Unfortunately, it appears the VCs in question couldn’t even go so far as to do a Google search. Now, anti-spyware researcher Ben Edelman has come out with a new report detailing how 180Solutions, beyond just being typical adware that is installed without clear and understandable notice to the computer user, was also stealing commissions from online affiliate programs, sneakily inserting their own affiliate codes into websites when a user with their software installed visited certain retailer sites. The company denies they did this, but Edelman’s report is pretty damning. This isn’t a new idea, of course. We wrote about spyware products doing exactly this almost two years ago, when it was referred to as “diversionware.” As Edelman points out, however, it’s a bit surprising that a VC-backed company would stoop so low.

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Comments on “Adware Company Accused Of Making Thiefware As Well”

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ikso (user link) says:

Reading back articles

Just reading through old posts, and i ran across this page from 180solutions. It’s a interesting read…They sound so warm and fuzzy!

[from the 180solutions web site, link above]

Our software continues to be downloaded by millions of people each month. This phenomenal growth is the result of our consumer-friendly advertising approach. Other competitive contextual marketing services deliver untargeted advertisements to their consumers. 180solutions delivers consumers contextually targeted websites based on their current online browsing activity.

No personally identifiable information is collected or distributed. Consumers may opt-in or opt-out at any time. Another differentiating factor between 180solutions and its competitors is that 180solutions is committed to only showing an average of 2-3 ads per day per user. We have also made the uninstall process easy for those who choose not to use 180solutions’ products. Our suite of applications, in conjunction with the freeware and shareware we bundle with, give our consumers a wealth of useful and valuable applications. In addition, our applications offer consumers a whole network of premium online content available on the web, all for free.

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