Rightscorp's Settlement Site Blocked As 'Malware' By Respected Antivirus Software Provider

from the not-helping-with-the-whole-legitimacy-thing dept

The anti-piracy catastrophe that is Rightscorp continues its slide into disrespectability, albeit inadvertently. Currently facing lawsuits for robocall phone harassment and the realities of a business model that largely relies on the kindness of accused strangers, Rightscorp is barely upright.

Granted, this latest mini-debacle isn't necessarily its fault. At least, not directly or intentionally. But it is a problem nonetheless, especially if Rightscorp is still expecting alleged infringers to beat a path to its virtual doorstep to pay up for their illicit activities. Ernesto at TorrentFreak has more bad news for the trollish company.

For the past few days prominent anti-virus vendor Bitdefender has been blocking the company’s website after categorizing it as malware.

People who receive a notice from Rightcorp are welcomed with the following popover when they try to access the settlement page. The notice is limited to the settlement pages and doesn’t appear on the regular website.

This has led to some speculation as to how Rightscorp became malware, at least in the eyes of Bitdefender. While some antivirus programs kick out more false positives than a Total Wipes DMCA takedown request, Bitdefender doesn't appear to have that reputation.

Ernesto speculates this may be due to the large number of settlement emails all providing links back to Rightscorp's "secure" (it's a bit more secure now…) payment site. Sophisticated Jane Doe of Fight Copyright Trolls points out in the comments that the page itself is a joke, what with settlement screens still providing "share" links to a variety of social media services… except that they all link back to the notice screen itself.

It could be that Bitdefender views pages that demand credit card information without any sort of preamble (a "shopping cart" screen/an opening splash page informing purchasers that they've arrived at the right site, etc.) as potentially untrustworthy and better safe than sorry.

As of right now, this appears to be a fluke error on Bitdefender's part, as it is the only antivirus/malware service to have blocked the page. Maybe this "misunderstanding" will be cleared up in a few days. Or maybe Bitdefender users with settlement notices will continue to be steered clear by their AV software. Either way, it's hardly helpful that a respected antivirus service feels the site is questionable enough that it has constructed a tiny dam right in the middle of Rightscorp's trickling revenue stream.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: blocking, copyright trolls, settlements
Companies: bitdefender, rightscorp


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Aug 2015 @ 12:16pm

    To be honest, Malwares are at least successful in what they are meant to do. More than Rightscorp anyway.

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

  • icon
    Nilt (profile), 3 Aug 2015 @ 2:24pm

    I wouldn't be terribly surprised to learn a malware-related bad actor (as opposed to Rightscorp themselves) had infected the site with actual malware. I mean, what better target could you ask for than someone not well educated enough to consider paying them? This is assuming, for the moment, that Rightscorp themselves hadn't placed suspicious looking code on the site themselves. I can easily envision some tracking garbage they may have thought to be a good idea being placed live on there ...

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Aug 2015 @ 2:52pm

    Come now, what could possibly be dodgy looking about a site demanding credit card info from large numbers of people unless they want something bad to happen to them?

    Nope, can't possibly imagine why an anti-virus company might look at that site and think, "You know, they might be up to no good, maybe we should flag that site as unsafe." /s

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

  • identicon
    Honey breath Houndig, 3 Aug 2015 @ 7:15pm

    Mal content

    For the past few days I have been receiving the same message said to be from Norton. When trying to access my own Wordpress site while at a local grocery &a coffee shop. When viewing details, the report states no malware detected, and if I want to complain, contact my administrator (myself).

    Just more general degradation of online life.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2015 @ 12:58am

    To be honest the page should be flagged in a different way;
    "malicious website" maybe ?
    I expect a page to be flagged as malware ONLY if it ACTUALLY contains malware (as in actual code that can cause harm).
    Tagging pages with questionable content as malware is pretty much censorship by a different name.

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

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 4 Aug 2015 @ 6:15am

    Rightscorp probably sent a "settlement" letter to some of the guys/gals at Bitdefender.....

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

  • identicon
    observer, 4 Aug 2015 @ 6:40am

    These are the same people whose official website says of their activities, "Yes, it's real." Really inspires confidence, that - it's my experience that any business that actually has to tell you that it's legit isn't.

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

  • identicon
    andro, 7 Nov 2015 @ 11:48pm

    Nice

    i dont think that this is anyhow diff from any bad site gettin banned

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.