Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

More reasons to avoid P2P

I’m a WinMX user, and I’m generally pleased with the program. I’m surprised more people don’t use it. It’s biggest selling point, for me, is a lack of spyware (despite what has been claimed on the LavaSoft Boards, notice the lack of replies).

According to SlashDot, KaZaA, Morpheus and LimeWire are now hijacking affiliate links to Amazon (and other sites), so that the commission from the purchase goes to the program makers instead of the site which provided the link.

As the SlashDot article points out, this means that you could be browsing the site of a charity, which then asks you to buy something to help support them. You think the money’s going to them, but no. Instead, it’s lining the pockets of a P2P software developer.

The worst bit? Merely uninstalling the P2P program does not remove the piece of malware responsible for munging the affiliate links – that remains on your computer.
Although Ad-Aware has just been updated I don’t know whether it removes this evil component, so I suggest that if you use KaZaA, either don’t upgrade or monitor your system very carefully.

(also covered by New York Times and International Herald Tribune)

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