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.

Filed Under: eula, malware
Companies: symantec


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  1. identicon
    Strofcon, 30 Apr 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.

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