Direct Revenue Spyware Infected Company's Own Investors

from the whoops dept

We’ve followed the saga of spyware maker Direct Revenue for years. Back in 2004, they claimed they were changing their ways and becoming more transparent. Since then, we’ve noted repeatedly how the company continued its sneaky ways, eventually leading to a lawsuit filed in NY earlier this year. That lawsuit meant that a lot of internal documents were made public, revealing a lot about what went on at the company, suggesting it wasn’t at all interested in really cleaning up its act. Business Week has now put together a very thorough piece using those documents and additional reporting to look at what was really happening inside Direct Revenue the past few years.

The story isn’t likely to surprise many people. As if to answer our own question of how the company could possibly make money if it wasn’t sneaky, the internal documents show that as soon as the company tried to be more transparent and less evil, people didn’t want their software. That resulted in an email from one of the company’s founders (that was written after those promises to be a good actor in the space) stating: “We need to experiment with less user-friendly uninstall methodologies.” However, one of the more interesting stories concerns some of the investors who threw millions at the company (allowing its founders to pocket millions on their own as well). According to the Business Week piece, a managing director at one of the company’s investors got infected by Direct Revenue’s software, and couldn’t get rid of it (of course). Eventually the company had to send its customer support director over to their investors’ offices to fix the machine. Makes you wonder just what sort of due diligence the investors actually did before investing in this company.

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Comments on “Direct Revenue Spyware Infected Company's Own Investors”

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Business Week/DR

Newer employees were left in the dark, too. The HR Director (Who now works at another Spyware company) made it seem like all was ok when asked about adware. But then the company dwindled to a few, with many gone, and prospects and clients leaving. Employees were fired with no warning, and a black spot to put on their resumes. DR is a company that hurt many people, not just those on the outide.

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