Ben Edelman dedicates quite a bit of his time to investigating spyware – recently Limewire comissioned him to research into what spyware was installed by its competitors programs (Limewire is now spyware-free).
His latest study looks into the advertisers whose adverts are shown in the spyware application eXact. The advertisers are either directly or indirectly supporting the spyware revenue model – if there were no advertisers willing to use spyware then the problem would go away; the same with popup advertising, although part of that also falls on content producers.
What is worrying is the number of big, reputable companies whose adverts appear in eXact. These include:
- Air France
- Apple Computer
It is possible that these companies are not dealing with eXact directly, but that affiliates, who receive comission from each sale, are. Either way, these companies should not be funding malicious software which damages consumer’s machines, and if the problem does lie with their affiliates then their affiliate accounts should be terminated. I’m particularly ashamed that Apple is in on this.
Ben also points out that , the company formally known as Gator. Which therefore means that Thomas Cook won’t be getting my custom.