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New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Sues Intermix Over Spyware

 4:28 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)


Spitzer's civil suit accuses Intermix of violating state General Business Law provisions against false advertising and deceptive business practices. He also accuses them of trespass under New York common law.



 5:20 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Go Spitzer go. Spyware has been a plague on publishers and users alike for two many years. The one mentioned in the article "KeenValue" really vexed me a while back when I tried to get it out of my sister's system. I gave up.


 5:30 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good, natural progression will ultimately lead to all this crap ending.


 5:36 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, my take is this:

It is good to see someone going after the spyware companies, especially someone like Spitzer. If it weren't for them, there wouldn't be the Spyware Removal companies stripping perfectly safe affiliate cookies from users resulting in who knows how many lost commissions for us.

I hope Spitzer takes them all on, and then becomes an advocate of safe cookies and pushes against the Spyware removal companies for blocking and flagging perfectly safe consumer based cookies and make them actually stick to what they need to remove, actual Spyware,Adware, Malware and all that other intrusive crap out there.

Go Spitzer!


 5:38 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

As far as Spyware Removal Companies stripping affiliate cookies, push Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, they get rid of the junk but don't touch affiliate cookies.


 6:29 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

That Spitzer guy is a pitbull, there is no stopping him.

Go Spitzer!


 8:04 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am much more concerned about parasites, who change the clicks/cookies to their name.
Who's gonna stop that?
Nobody's harmed except webmasters, so who cares?
That's the worst plague of today's marketing.


 9:11 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

That article relates to that, many forms of adware out there.

"Who's gonna stop that?
Nobody's harmed except webmasters, so who cares?"

Not just webmasters, anybody with a computer, well over 90% have some sort or adware/spyware. Right now it's bad but things are moving in the right direction. Their model is going to do them in. They want to get on as many computers as possible which only gets the problem in front of many more people. And what doesn't get handled now will get handled by the generation coming up now referred to as the Echo Boomer generation. Kids today are growing up with computers and are very tech savvy. People want clean running computers. Eventually it will get there.


 9:52 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

That article relates to that, many forms of adware out there.

Well, not exactly. The article relates to spyware/adware which annoy users by forcing ads, pop-ups, slowing down system, etc.

Although the term is used in a broader sense, often including spyware, etc., the real parasites are programs that change YOUR affiliate data on user's computers into other codes, so effectively stealing your comission, click or whatever.
The user notice nothing, the trade is made, so everyone is happy. As you (affiliate) don't have a clue about that, you are happy too.
Who cares?


 10:03 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not aware of any adware that users don't notice that switch out affiliate id's. Can you give me some examples?


 10:50 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can you give me some examples?

You have to be infected to research that.
Anyway, here is a guy who made a research of 180solutions (metricsdirect):

Note that the company used many bad practices, so they raised some eyebrows.
But how many programs is out there who utilize only number 3. or 4. from that list?

"180 software intercedes in the affiliate commission process by changing users' tracking codes at certain online merchants. 180 software often makes this change by opening a second merchant window, using a 180 (or 180 advertiser) affiliate link to the merchant's web site, so as to replace the user's initial tracking data (if any) with 180's tracking codes."

"Not all 180 "cookie-stuffing" requires showing a duplicate window of the merchant's site. Some 180 cookie-stuffing uses hidden windows -- opened off-screen via IFRAMEs and similar methods -- to create or replace users' affiliate tracking codes without causing an extra window to be opened on the user's screen. Such an approach is implemented via instructions -- from 180's servers to 180 software on users' PCs -- of form shown below:".


 10:56 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, i know Ben and his research, he does great work. Spitzer and Ben should talk. Know about 180 too and they don't go unnoticed. Sent you a sticky.


 6:23 am on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Should be interesting, they own myspace.com the 11th most trafficed site on the internet.


 3:14 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

TrustNo1, I've seen affiliate code replacement performed by the following programs:

Direct Revenue
eXact Advertising (CashBack BargainBuddy, BullsEye)
all the TopMoxies (Ebates, TopRebates, various others)

Interestingly, I've also observed each of these programs installed through security holes. My web site has some example videos, and I have more on file.

What a mess. I wonder how much more NY AG will do, beyond just Intermix.


 4:09 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ben, which ones currently switch out the codes? I remember seeing it for myself in the past, haven't done any testing lately. But the ones you posted above all pop advertising and affect system resources right? Or just some of them? They're not stealth in the sense you don't see it and it has zero affect on your computer? My posts were in reference to activeco
post where there are parasites out there that don't affect your computer, you don't notice and switch out id's. I would be interested in a list of those.


 4:20 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

E2give doesn't have much (any?) user interface. All the others show at least something, at least some of the time, often including pop-up ads, though they may or may not show much at the instants when they claim affiliate commissions.

Also, my list mistakenly omitted IBIS's WebSearch toolbar, which does the same thing.


 5:12 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the list Ben. It is good to know who the affiliate crooks are out there. I may not notice them replacing my affiliate cookies, so it is good to see someone keeping tabs on that.

Keep up the good work!

Shanti Shunn


 10:02 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

NYS makes a lot more sense than it ever did with Spitzer in there. As a NYer, I pray he runs for governor next election - I am pretty certain he will win it, easilly.

I think stupid things like spyware waste peoples time, and cause loss of money as a result. Additionally, would the morons writing spyware care to foot the cumulative electric energy costs for the tens of thousands of people who did not ask to have these things dropped into their PC to begin with? If you add up the electricity these things waste being dropped in, then all the spyware removal tools the tens of thousands of users have to run because of these jerks, the cost in electricity of the end user, the servers prodiding the support, and the cost of buying a good spyware removal tool becomes uneconomical , fast.

Then when summertime hits, the electric supply is at an all time low because you got these stupid useless programs soaking up some of the reserve in case an emergency is needed. It all ads up.


 6:50 am on Apr 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Post where there are parasites out there that don't affect your computer...

I am convinced there are many around, however as they don't have side effects it is very difficult to catch them out.
The good way should be some program/script which could be run along with affiliate codes on the same page and which would track user's behavior regarding matching impressions, clicks and actual landing pages (with aff codes), all based on the same IP and time proximity.
I think it would be very difficult to make it without merchant's or aff network interaction, but we deserve protection at least. We have to put some presure on them.

If anyone have more ideas (especially of how to do it using local server only), please post them either in separate thread or somewhere else, but let us know here.


 8:38 am on Apr 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

A small correction:

In the message #9 I refered to the programs stealing affiliate comissions as "real parasites". In fact, some time ago my mind switched the related terms; the real name for those particular parasites is "stealware".
I was probably influenced by an old NYTimes article:
[nytimes.com...] (also found here in full, if you are not registered at NYT: [onlisareinsradar.com...] ).
My apologizes.

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