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CalamityJane
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-27
Eustis, FL
kudos:8

7 recommendations

Dale Begg-Smith, Adscpm Spyware King wins Olympic Gold

Now this really ticks me off! Don't know if any of you have been following this development, but I hope the "spotlight" on the company behind the gold metal winner, gets some exposure on the shady dealings that brought him his fame and fortune, at the expense of millions of computer users that suffered from Adscpm Network.

Spyware talk tracks star skier

The Weekend Australian
Chris Jenkins
February 18, 2006
»www.theaustralian.news.c ··· ,00.html
quote:
PRESSURE is mounting on gold medal skier Dale Begg-Smith to detail the origins of his internet fortune, which increasingly appears to have been built on developing spyware that diverts users to advertisements and porn sites.

Begg-Smith's manager David Malina said last night he hoped Begg-Smith would issue a statement clarifying his business interests, after his gold medal performance in Turin brought his internet whizz-kid reputation back into the spotlight.

Mr Malina said Begg-Smith "would prefer the media to focus on that".

"He has minimised his involvement in the business and he'd really like to focus on his skiing," he said.

"He runs a legitimate business. He's just won a gold medal for Australia and everyone wants to cut him down."


Begg-Smith, 21, could not be contacted yesterday.

His companies CPM Media and AdsCPM have been identified as the origin of "spyware" programs that can redirect a computer to porn sites or install software that floods the computer with pop-up ads.

Spyware, which installs itself without the owner's knowledge, has become a huge internet security problem, said Ben Gutherie, product marketing manager at internet security company Trend Micro.

"Spyware has been massively increasing year on year," he said.

The CPM programs, which are installed without the owner's permission when they visit web sites, are difficult to erase and have been the subject of many angry complaints on internet help sites.

It appears the CPM spyware also redirects users to websites selling spyware removal tools.

CPM is believed to earn commissions for every click on a pop-up, a diversion to the advertiser's website and when sales result from those diversions.

Begg-Smith has been reluctant to talk about his business, which he started when he was 13 years old in his native Vancouver. He emigrated to Australia three years later.
The rest of the story is here:
»www.theaustralian.news.c ··· ,00.html

And don't miss this one (follow the links at the end of the story for the "history" of Mr. Begg-Smith and AdsCPM)
The tale of 'Ausse' Dale
»blogs.smh.com.au/mashup/ ··· 629.html

Even more detail about adscpm and it's shady doings from renowned spyware researcher WebHelper4u.com (Patrick Jordan now with SunBelt Software)
TheWatchersList
»www.webhelper4u.com/watc ··· cpm.html
--
It takes a disaster to make a woman out of a female
Microsoft MVP/Windows Security 2003-2006
Proud Member of ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals)


Cudni
La Merma - Vigilado
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-20
Someshire
kudos:13

1 recommendation

but on the link found here he is an internet innovator?
»Spammer Wins Olympic Gold
»www.bloomberg.com/apps/n ··· ustralia
"..
Dale Begg-Smith, a freestyle skier and Internet innovator, won the gold in moguls skiing at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy. ..."

Cudni
--
Some are born to failure, others achieve it, all deserve it
Help yourself so God can help you


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
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Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Maybe he should take a good look at what he has accomplished in the Olympics with hard work and dedication and apply it to his everyday life?
--
~~Then the rainstorm came over me and I felt my spirit break; I had lost all of my belief you see, and realized my mistake...~~


CalamityJane
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-27
Eustis, FL
kudos:8

1 recommendation

said by La Luna:

Maybe he should take a good look at what he has accomplished in the Olympics with hard work and dedication and apply it to his everyday life?
Maybe he should be made to pay back those whose machines he has infected
--
It takes a disaster to make a woman out of a female
Microsoft MVP/Windows Security 2003-2006
Proud Member of ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals)


hpguru
Curb Your Dogma
Premium
join:2002-04-12

6 recommendations

said by CalamityJane:

said by La Luna:

Maybe he should take a good look at what he has accomplished in the Olympics with hard work and dedication and apply it to his everyday life?
Maybe he should be made to pay back those whose machines he has infected
Maybe he should have a close encounter with a tree.
--
Get hpHOSTS! Member ASAP
hpHOSTS Online
Paranoia is no substitute for understanding.


CajunTek
Insane Cajun
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join:2003-08-08
Arlington, TX

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Maybe in this sequence:

said by CalamityJane :
Maybe he should be made to pay back those whose machines he has infected

then
said by hpguru :
Maybe he should have a close encounter with a tree.
--
da Cajun Darn I hate Malware

anthrorules
Premium
join:2003-09-14
Rollinsville, CO

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to hpguru
hpguru wrote:
"Maybe he should have a close encounter with a tree."

No one should wish ill will on others, no matter what evil things they may have done. Wishing physical harm on others is not funny, especially since I am laid up with an ACL injury due to a downhill skiing accident, going into surgery next week. I don't see humor in your remark, at all.

--
ionSKY Wireless ISP - 2.4GHz - 802.11b - 1.0MB/384kbps | Dell Dimension 4550/WinXP Pro/SP2/768MB Ram -- Dell Inspiron 5150/WinXP Pro/SP2/1024MB Ram |Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5 | NAT Router/Firewall | D-Link DI-524 Wireless Router/Firewall |MSAS Sucks!


hpguru
Curb Your Dogma
Premium
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1 recommendation

said by anthrorules:

...since I am laid up with an ACL injury due to a downhill skiing accident, going into surgery next week.
I'm sorry to hear this. May you experience a speedy recovery.


hpguru
Curb Your Dogma
Premium
join:2002-04-12

1 recommendation

reply to CajunTek
said by CajunTek:

Maybe in this sequence:

said by CalamityJane :
Maybe he should be made to pay back those whose machines he has infected

then
said by hpguru :
Maybe he should have a close encounter with a tree.
I disagree. It often happens that folks re-evaluate their lives once they've been laid up after a terrible accident or illness. If their character improves as a result then how can one call it a misfortune?

quote:
The Chinese farmer

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer's neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, 'Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?'

Then, when the farmer's son was attempted to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

Some weeks later the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

--
Get hpHOSTS! Member ASAP
hpHOSTS Online
Paranoia is no substitute for understanding.


CalamityJane
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-27
Eustis, FL
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
What I would like to see is some spotlight on his company and some accountability for that. I have seen the arguments about this person being entitled to compete or win the medal, and I am not quite able to wrap my head around that (although he did use his ill-gotten gains to finance his quest).

However, I'm all about intelligent discussion on how this person can be brought to account for the damage to computers as a result of his escapades with Adscpm Network. Sometimes the spotlight shines where one doesn't want it to. Hence the silence on Begg-Smith's part to discuss his company.

I'm quite sure his domains are in hpguru's hosts file and have been for some time. Likewise for the excellent research by WebHelper, et al.

So, he is Canadian by birth - Australian by choice (four years ago, I think I read?). Cannot this be investigated by these two countries? I'd really like to see some action against the offenders for the spyware installs. The numbers are staggering.

And I have to wonder why it has been "allowed" for all these years.
--
It takes a disaster to make a woman out of a female
Microsoft MVP/Windows Security 2003-2006
Proud Member of ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals)


antiserious
The Future ain't what it used to be
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join:2001-12-12
Scranton, PA
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reply to CalamityJane

... it's no wonder he doesn't want to talk about his 'business' ... but with so much data available already and the spotlight squarely on him it's going to get harder to avoid ... frankly I hope they grill his a$$ but good ...

--
... "Do You Know Where Your Towel Is ?" ...


White Rose
Willi Graf
Premium
join:2005-07-25
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1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Excellent, and I agree wholeheartedly. Perhaps his winning gold at the Olympics and the spotlighting of his "business" will help more people to become aware of insidious spyware crap.

I hope he enjoys his medal, and I hope he's made to pay for all the machines he's messed up and compromised.

I'm all for the "up-close-and-personal" treatment for this scum ball.
--
Die Weiße Rose

dulcinea4

join:2006-01-28
Somewhere

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
said by CalamityJane:

So, he is Canadian by birth - Australian by choice (four years ago, I think I read?). Cannot this be investigated by these two countries? I'd really like to see some action against the offenders for the spyware installs. The numbers are staggering.

And I have to wonder why it has been "allowed" for all these years.
Spyware/malware hasn't really been taken seriously up until the last couple of years by the authorities and still some of these slime balls are considered "legitimate" because of their EULAs. The legislation we have passed in the U.S. still leaves a lot to be desired and there really haven't been many prosecutions here, much less other countries.

As to this individual, it would appear the Olympics officials give far more credence to what an athlete has consumed vs. what their behavior might have been. Perhaps someone could slip something into his drink/food (malware he would understand) that would get him disqualified.


sashwa
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Alcatraz
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reply to CalamityJane
It would be nice if either Canada or Australia could investigate his companies and set an example of him to the rest of the "Spyware Community".

Maybe in way his winning is a good thing as it may bring more of an everyday awareness about Spyware and how it takes over your computer to the average person.
--
Team 4 ~ Northern California Forum ~ ECO


newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
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Parsonsburg, MD
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Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

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reply to CalamityJane
Begg-Smith now has his own write-up on Spam Kings.

»spamkings.oreilly.com/ar ··· old.html

I say the IOC ought to investigate Begg-Smith's business conduct to determine whether it tarnishes the reputation of the Olympic movement.

Damn good idea.
--

Ö¿Ö
The Rules of Spam | Maryland's Newest Anti-Spam Law
Where are we going? And what's with the hand basket?


hayc59
Your a Daisy
Premium
join:2001-02-26
David R.I.P.
kudos:21

2 recommendations

reply to CalamityJane
quote:
"He runs a legitimate business. He's just won a gold medal for Australia and everyone wants to cut him down."
He should be cut down @ the knees and have that medal
crammed up his arse!!
What a dis-grace to Australian folks!!
--
ãrê ¥Øu êxpêriêncêD
9/11/01 Never Forget


Iridium
Premium
join:2003-04-02
Los Angeles, CA

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
I thought highly of the guy, worth $40 million, started the company at 13, drives a Lambo, until I did some googling and saw the words "pop-under".
--
Start the Revolution, download Opera, »www.opera.com


dandelion
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join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
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reply to CalamityJane
said by CalamityJane:

And I have to wonder why it has been "allowed" for all these years.
I was wondering also, is it too hard for others to prove it is spyware and shut him down?
--
want to know what I'm doing? dandelion's place


kim
That Chick
Premium,Mod
join:2001-03-25
ON
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
The spotlight on spyware can only bring attention to it's insidios purpose. I'm glad that it's getting attention as more people need to be aware of it.
I hope he is embarassed.
--
Choose heaven for climate, hell for society.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Write the IOC and complain that a "criminal" has been awarded a medal.

Provide various links to document the accusation.
--
The alphabet is my favourite group of letters in the whole world.

S S K

join:2005-02-18
Netherlands

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Lets investigate all Athletes, maybe there are more competing that have corruption, laundered / drug money, fraud etc. etc. to thank for their place in these games.

Or lets take a long, hard look at the Olympic committee and delegates, the host cities and representatives...


ZOverLord
Premium
join:2003-10-20
Minneapolis, MN

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
With this Media exposure it actually might be the best thing that has happened, something tells me there is a better chance now then before that some legal action might be caused by this new found limelight.
--
Black, Grey and White Hats Unite here -> »testing.OnlyTheRightAnswers.com


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
Premium
join:2001-08-10
England
kudos:1
reply to CalamityJane
Perhaps you should look closer to home to express outrage at money grubbing and the Winter Olympics.

IT'S BEEN CALLED "the ugliest chapter in the history" of the Olympic Games. While many will argue that distinction will forever belong to the hostage killings in 1972 at Munich, one thing is for certain, the way Olympic sites are chosen will never be the same.

Scandal is nothing new to the Olympic Games, but the scope and intensity of the recent corruption charges are. Allegations of vote buying first surfaced Dec. 12, 1998, involving Salt Lake City's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.
Members of Salt Lake's bid committee are accused of spending millions of dollars to improperly influence the votes of 14 International Olympic Committee members. The payments reportedly include cash payoffs, medical expenses, travel expenses, gifts, entertainment and college tuition payments for IOC members' children.

Six IOC members have already been booted and three more have resigned. Still three others are currently under investigation and a fourth has been given a warning. While it is unlikely that any actual criminal activity took place, the decision by several IOC members to accept lavish gifts and money was certainly unethical. It is difficult to determine whether votes were actually bought because the committee votes to award the Games by secret ballot.
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


Name Game
Premium
join:2002-07-07
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:7

1 recommendation

Heck John John..you can go back further than that one..

»news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/worl ··· 5857.stm

»news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/worl ··· 7030.stm

IOC still stand for "Incessant Ongoing Corruption"..Not I Own3d Computers.
--
Gladiator Security Forum »www.gladiator-antivirus.com/ Missing Kids »www.missingkids.com/


John2g
Qui Tacet Consentit
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England
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reply to Cho Baka
said by Cho Baka:

Write the IOC and complain that a "criminal" has been awarded a medal.
Not exactly a first. You might want to add a list of the American athletes that have won medals at the Olympics, having taken illegal performance enhancing drugs!
--
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.


Name Game
Premium
join:2002-07-07
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:7

1 recommendation

Jim Thorpe

Stockholm's 1912 most memorable athletic performance likely belongs to the Olympic Games' first real star, American Indian Jim Thorpe, who cruised to victories in the pentathlon and decathlon. Thorpe also placed fourth in the high jump, seventh in the long jump and was even on the American baseball team, which held an exhibition game against the Swedes.

When presented with his gold medals, Sweden's King Gustav V called Thorpe "the greatest athlete in the world." He was later honoured in the U.S. as the greatest athlete of the first half of the century. Unfortunately, his baseball prowess landed Thorpe in controversy. Thorpe was disqualified and had to return the medals because he received money for playing minor league baseball earlier in his career.

Thorpe had the dubious distinction of being the first athlete disqualified by the IOC, and his records were erased from the books. Thorpe was finally pardoned in 1982 -- almost 30 years after his death -- and the medals were presented to his family.
He earned $25 a week hitting those ball.
--
Gladiator Security Forum »www.gladiator-antivirus.com/ Missing Kids »www.missingkids.com/


TerryMiller
Premium
join:2003-10-23

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
Nice post CJ,

I think this really illustrates the magnitude of the malicious software problem that the world faces today.

It seems even the Australian journalists call him the "Spam man" so his shady practices are pretty well known. But who wants to prosecute a local hero on his own turf?

Even if another country came up with a well defined set of rules that would allow his prosecution, what are the chances he would be extradited? The British hacker that allegedly broke into several defense establishments is still living at home in London.

I think the only way to stop unwanted spyware/adware is to reduce the income from it. I personally don't see how any company benefits from it, but those ads must generate enough revenue for the end customer to pay its advertising fees and come out ahead.

How do we prevent the problems caused by these scum? Maybe something like the shared computer toolkit or mandatory profiles built into new operating systems? Maybe by making it easier to understand and secure web browsers?


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to CalamityJane
said by CalamityJane:

said by La Luna:

Maybe he should take a good look at what he has accomplished in the Olympics with hard work and dedication and apply it to his everyday life?
Maybe he should be made to pay back those whose machines he has infected
Yeah, that too!
--
~~Then the rainstorm came over me and I felt my spirit break; I had lost all of my belief you see, and realized my mistake...~~


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to TerryMiller
said by TerryMiller:

....Maybe something like the shared computer toolkit or mandatory profiles built into new operating systems? Maybe by making it easier to understand and secure web browsers?
I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but anything with the word "mandatory" in its description is going to generate howls of protest about spying conspiracies by the manufacturer and accusations about "forcing me to *blank* with MY machine!!!"

Securing a browser isn't that difficult...We've all done it and I'm sure not all of us were computer genuises when we started (like we are now )....I think the issue really comes down to the *general* public just not being interested or caring enough to worry about these things. Security info is out there, they just don't bother to avail themselves of it, and many probably don't consider this kind of thing a "big" deal or even KNOW their computers are infected.

The trick is in re-education away from the mindset that computer/OS manufacturers promote.....take it out of the box, plug it in and off you go with no worries at all. They've made it way too easy for people to do that, and now we are seeing the fall out.
--
~~Then the rainstorm came over me and I felt my spirit break; I had lost all of my belief you see, and realized my mistake...~~


Sparrow
Crystal Sky
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Sachakhand
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reply to anthrorules
said by anthrorules:

No one should wish ill will on others, no matter what evil things they may have done. Wishing physical harm on others is not funny, especially since I am laid up with an ACL injury due to a downhill skiing accident, going into surgery next week. I don't see humor in your remark, at all.
This is the only post I can agree with 100%.

Good luck with the surgery, anthrorules See Profile.
--
"Be simple, be earnest and spread that simplicity throughout everything you do."