dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
4713
share rss forum feed

eburger68
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28

2 recommendations

Suing the Adware Vendors: Direct Revenue

Hi All:

Early word of a class action law suit filed against Direct Revenue emerged today:

»www.courtbriefs.com/PDF_Files/CC···83CA.pdf [PDF]

See also the front page of this site (which could change) for a plain text summary:

»www.courtbriefs.com/

From the summary:

said by CourtBriefs.com:
Summary:
A class action lawsuit claims that the Defendants are involved in installing "spyware" on millions of computers without the computer owners' consent, utilizing it to track the Internet browsing habits of the owners and then send them intrusive targeted "pop-up" ads. Plaintiff Stephen Sotelo, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, sues Directrevenue, LLC, DirectRevenue Holdings, LLC, Betterinternet, LLC, Byron Udell & Associates, Inc., d/b/a Accuquote, aQuantive, Inc., and John Does 1-100.

The Complaint claims that the Defendants, who are allegedly either members or advertising supporters of the Internet "spyware" industry, have unlawfully used and damaged many individuals' computers to make money for themselves, while willfully disregarding the computer owners' rights to use and enjoy their personal property.

Defendant DirectRevenue allegedly deceptively downloaded "harmful and offensive" spyware to the Plaintiffs' computers which tracked their Internet use, invaded their privacy and damaged their computers. Relying on DirectRevenue's spyware as the key to getting inside Plaintiffs' computers and learning their Internet browsing habits, Defendants Aquantive and AccuQuote allegedly bombard the Plaintiffs' computers with intrusive advertisements. (...)

DirectRevenue allegedly engages in "uniformly deceptive misconduct" to secretly install its software onto consumers' computers. It allegedly bundles its spyware into other legitimate software which is available to be downloaded for "free" on the Internet, such as a video game. When the consumer installs that "free" game, he or she allegedly simultaneously (but unknowingly) downloads DirectRevenue spyware bundled into the game being downloaded, without consenting to the installation of that software.

The Defendant then allegedly bombard users' computers with ads that constantly "pop up" over whatever web page a user is viewing. The ads are allegedly sent in a manner that breaches the security of affected computers through bypassing commonly-used "pop-up" blocker software, designed to stop ads like those sent by the Defendants. The Complaint quotes an estimate by Newsweek magazine that DirectRevenue may have as many as 1.5 billion advertising impressions (i.e., pop-ups) per month. If a computer infected with the spyware is viewing music-related Internet sites, the spyware sends a signal of such activity back to DirectRevenue, which then allegedly targets the computer user with advertisements from competing music companies.

Some of these ads allegedly deceptively give the user the appearance that there is a "Security Alert" being sent by the user's computer itself or from Microsoft Windows, which states that "Spy Software may be installed in your Computer." DirectRevenue allegedly claims access to 12 million computers in the U.S.

The spyware allegedly destroys other software programs on a computer, and it and the ads send allegedly cause computers to slow down, take up bandwidth over an Internet connection, use up memory on a computer, utilize pixels and screen space on monitors, and frustrate computer users. The software and po-up ads allegedly decrease productivity by requiring that hours be spent figuring out how to get them off of a computer, closing ads, and waiting for a slower machine to operate.

Class action status is sought on behalf of all persons or entities who had BetterInternet install spyware on their computers located in Illinois on or after April 1, 2002 and who had advertisements sent to their computers as a result. (...)
If and when more information becomes available, I or others will post it.

Best,

Eric L. Howes

Goldengamego
Premium
join:2004-02-22
Okemos, MI
"utilize pixels and screen space on monitors...."

ROFL:D:D:D
--
Because Goldengamegod won't fit:p


Logan 5
Enjoying the Cataclysm
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-25
Austin, TX
kudos:7
reply to eburger68
Any chance you'll be called to give testimony as an expert witness for the Prosecution?


eburger68
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28
Logan 5:

You asked:

said by Logan 5:

Any chance you'll be called to give testimony as an expert witness for the Prosecution?
I can't really comment on that, sorry. And btw, that shouldn't be interpreted as a sly, backdoor confirmation that I will. It simply means what it means.

Best,

Eric L. Howes


Logan 5
Enjoying the Cataclysm
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-25
Austin, TX
kudos:7

2 edits
said by eburger68:
I can't really comment on that, sorry. And btw, that shouldn't be interpreted as a sly, backdoor confirmation that I will. It simply means what it means.
Whoa! Thought I was in a political forum for a second...

Sorry if my question offended you or breached some protocol that I'm unaware of. I just thought that since you are an expert on this, that the Prosecutor for the suit you mentioned would be insane NOT to secure your expert services to help put those lowlifes out of business for good.

My bassackwards attempt at a compliment go awry it seems.



hayc59
Im Your Huckleberry
Premium
join:2001-02-26
David R.I.P.
kudos:21
reply to eburger68
Thanks Again For The INfo Eric..:)


hayc59
Im Your Huckleberry
Premium
join:2001-02-26
David R.I.P.
kudos:21
reply to eburger68
My only problems with 'class action's'
is the attorneys make all the bread!!

eburger68
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28

1 edit
reply to Logan 5
Logan 5:

Oh, don't worry about it. No offense taken, really. I didn't intend my semi-cryptic comments to be interpreted to mean that I was offended at the question, because I certainly wasn't.

All the best,

Eric L. Howes


christos

join:2002-01-09
Bridgewater, MA
reply to hayc59
said by hayc59:

My only problems with 'class action's'
is the attorneys make all the bread!!
As long as they succeed in putting the crapware vendors out of action for awhile, I can live with that Maybe we can join and get a gift certificate for all the time we spend cleaning out that crap from our computers


hpguru
Curb Your Dogma
Premium
join:2002-04-12
reply to eburger68
I typically frown upon class-action litigation but in this case I hope it is only the beginning.


TransitMan
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-05
Dayton, OH
kudos:1
reply to eburger68
They need to take this State of Illinois Class Action lawsuit and make it NATIONWIDE.

bobince

join:2002-04-19
DE
reply to eburger68
Interesting the document mentions the ActiveX drive-by installs as being particularly bad, when in fact the DirectRevenue software is installed by much worse means (such as downloads from browser security exploits, and silent installs from other parasites' backdoor mechanisms).


salzan
Experienced Optimist
Premium
join:2004-01-08
WA State
said by bobince:

Interesting the document mentions the ActiveX drive-by installs as being particularly bad, when in fact the DirectRevenue software is installed by much worse means (such as downloads from browser security exploits, and silent installs from other parasites' backdoor mechanisms).
Perhaps the ActiveX installs are easier to substantiate by copying code from a suspect website that is under the direct control of DirectRevenue? They might be able to claim in court they had no control over some of the other methods.


Daniel
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-26
San Francisco, CA
reply to eburger68
I say we send them a check for improving the quality of our countermeasures.

TeMerc6

join:2004-01-22
Phoenix, AZ
reply to eburger68
eWeek has picked this up too:
Spyware Lawsuit Alleges Computer Hijacking

By Karen D. Schwartz
April 5, 2005

A recently filed class-action lawsuit against alleged spyware king DirectRevenue of New York claims that the company has deceptively downloaded harmful and offensive spyware to unsuspecting users' computers.

The suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleges that DirectRevenue LLC "unlawfully used and damaged plaintiffs' computers to make money for themselves while willfully disregarding plaintiffs' rights to use and enjoy their personal property."

According to the suit, the spyware infiltrated users' computers to learn their Internet browsing habits and track their Internet use.

Further, the suit contends that DirectRevenue deceptively prevents users from removing its spyware, overwhelming computers with unsolicited advertisements.

DirectRevenue's business model is to pay independent distributors—often small companies that dropped out of the spam business or that develop peer-to-peer file sharing or screensavers—several cents per installation to install its software.
Full read:
»www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1782649,00.asp
--
Remember............You can NEVER be OVERPROTECTED!!»temerc.com/

guthrieboi

join:2005-02-05
Guthrie, OK
reply to eburger68
Where can I sign on. I'd love nothing more than to help turn the tables on these crappy companies that sneak into our lives all the time!

KyeU

join:2003-12-31
Canada
reply to eburger68
Power to the people

bedelman0
Premium
join:2004-06-20
Cambridge, MA
reply to bobince

installation through security holes

Yes, the ActiveX installs are but one of many methods. I just made some fresh videos yesterday showing DirectRevenue software installed through security holes. Perhaps I'll post these to my web site when I get a chance...


novaflare
The Dragon Was Here
Premium
join:2002-01-24
Barberton, OH
reply to eburger68

Re: Suing the Adware Vendors: Direct Revenue

Heres hopeing the spyware authors fight it to the bitter end and loose. That way a nice fat juicy presadent gets set makeing other spyware vendors much easyer targets
--
DSLR security chat at us.ausirc.net chanel #dslr_sec lets pack this channelopen source dns server for *nix and windows »powerdns.com


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
reply to eburger68
good not i do t not have to wast my cpu away to make the pop up lol


Marilla9
I Am My Own Arbiter
Premium
join:2002-12-06
Belpre, OH
reply to hpguru
said by hpguru:

I typically frown upon class-action litigation but in this case I hope it is only the beginning.
I am with you. I usually groan at the prospect of class action lawsuits, which usually serve nothing but the pockets of lawyers, penalizing businesses too much in many cases, and ending up with precious little anything for the parties who were harmed (I got a $50 GC toward the purchase of smoking cessation products due to my former home state's settlement with the tobacco industry. Woo hoo. I didn't use it.. I just quit on my own.)

But in this case... suck those babies dry, bloodsuckers!
--
Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD - just use the right tool for the right job... end the OS Politics!