tedster - 2:15 am on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)
I don't think there's any real difference, no matter whether you created those links or your competition did. Sometimes a company doesn't even know that some well-intentioned employee in their own ranks (or a contractor that someone actually hired) created those crappy links.
We've got a thread discussing bad link detection and cleaning [webmasterworld.com] and for those links that you can't get removed, you include those details in your Reconsideration Request.
And then you start building real trust and popularity signals than strengthen your site to the point where sabotage doesn't work anymore.