(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
eula, malware


How Do You Enforce An EULA On Malware?

from the honor-among-thieves? dept

We've written about all sorts of crazy things that software companies do in their EULAs (End User License Agreement), but it really says something about how ingrained the concept of an EULA has become that malware companies are starting to offer such draconian EULAs on their products (found via Ars Technica). Among the more amusing features of the EULA is a guarantee to buy any future upgrades. How's that for lock-in? Of course, EULAs are barely enforceable as is, and when you're selling to scammers and crooks they become even less so. Most EULAs are backed up via the power of copyright law, but that obviously doesn't work in this case. So how are the malware authors enforcing it? In typical organized crime fashion: with threats to destroy everything else you've got. Specifically, if it catches anyone violating the terms, it promises to send their botnet code to various antispyware companies -- effectively handing over the location of their secret hideout to the malware police. Who knew that honor among thieves now has taken on an EULA angle? Of course, we already know that almost no one reads normal software EULAs, so I somehow doubt that the online scammers using this software are bothering with the fine print either.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    HAHAHAHA, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 8:57pm





    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Guido, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 9:20pm


    By allowing the installation of this crapware on your computer, through ignorance or otherwise, you agree to the following.
    1) You will not remove said crapware via any means including destruction of the hard drive with a sledge hammer.
    2) You will allow updates to said crapware, whether you are aware of it or not.
    3) ???????
    4) PROFIT !!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 11:39pm

    Who cares!!! Like they can enforce it.

    Enforce my foot up your Arse maybe!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Cobalt, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 1:46am


    When huge legitimate companies with hundreds of lawyers millions of dollars and an uncountable number of copyrights behind them have trouble enforcing EULA, how these companies think they can i have no idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 30th, 2008 @ 5:22am

    Can't Wait ..

    To see some idiot scammer try to take this to court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jerry in Detroit, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 5:55am

    Enforcing EULA

    Let me get this straight. We violate the EULA and these cretins will show up in court? Makes tracking down these turkeys a whole lot easier. (followed by, "You have the right to remain silent...")

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Strofcon, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    Re: Enforcing EULA

    I believe he means to say that the scammers and crooks that the malware companies are selling their "products" to are bound by the EULA. Except... ya know... for the whole -not- being bound by it. But you get the idea... Malware company A sells malware stuff of some sort to scammer B, scammer B breaks EULA, malware company A sends scammer B's dark dirty secrets to antispyware companies.

    At least, that's how I read it, I may be wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Matt, May 1st, 2008 @ 8:29pm

    How do they enforce it?

    Easy. They show up at your house and break your kneecaps if you violate the terms of the EULA.

    It's actually quite civilized and reasonable, when compared to most other EULAs...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Krevco (profile), Dec 29th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Pretty sick stuff when they pack the EULAs with stuff that, although not binding, ATTEMPTS to lock you in to years worth of purchases. I can see the call to support, "Hi, I have malware all over my computer." "Well, since you have agreed to buy all future upgrades, you are now required to buy one if you want this fixed." Sweet deal. Very cool customer relations strategy...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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