Spyware Warrior is horrified to present...

180solutions in 365 Days

A year in the life of an adware company...

What we learned about 180solutions (aka Zango & MetricsDirect) during the year 2005:

1. 180 was caught by-passing its own notice & disclosure prompts during installation of its software

http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/03/180-solutions_111084184539001994.html
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/04/09/oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave/

2. 180 was caught disseminating demonstrably false & misleading information about its practices to the public

http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/04/03/scratch-a-lie-find-a-thief/

3. 180's software was repeatedly caught being illegally or deceptively installed on web surfers' PCs

http://www.benedelman.org/news/100505-1.html
http://www.benedelman.org/news/050205-1.html
http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/installations/pacerd/
http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/installations/3d-screensaver
http://www.webhelper4u.com/nontransponders/wallpapers4u_4022005.html
http://www.spywarewarrior.com/adw2005/adw2005_1.htm#inst_180
http://www.spywareguide.com/articles/anatomy_of_a_drive_by_install__72.html
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#lookoutsoft.net-2005-11-11
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#pacimedia.com-2005-10-05
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#behost.biz-2005-09-27-part2
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#highconvert.com-2005-08-17
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#highconvert.com-2005-08-11
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#imbuddy-2005-08-06
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#aimface-2005-08-05
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#iowrestling.com-2005-06-30
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#crazy-toolbar.com-2005-06-16
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#ebs.fuck-access.com-2005-06-14
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#imbuddy.net-2005-04-13
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#aimface-2005-04-12
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/seen-in-wild-lookoutsoftnet.html
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/whats-wrong-with-this-picture.html
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/180-answers-back.html
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/09/25/activex-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

4. 180's software was caught being installed through BitTorrent packages in a decidely underhanded fashion

http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/06/aurora-install-source-revealed-and-175.html
http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/06/180-solutions-go-to-pieces.html
http://www.pcpitstop.com/spycheck/badtorrent.asp

Note that some of those BitTorrent downloads included kiddie porn:

http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/06/why-underage-porn-is-bad-pr.html

5. 180 returned to the BitTorrent trough even after being exposed earlier

http://www.pcpitstop.com/news/dave/2005-07.asp
http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/07/180-solutions-and-cdt-take-train-to.html

6. 180 was publicly denounced for deceptive & fraudulent advertising distributed through its network

http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/05/180-solutions-down-for-count.html
 
More recently 180 was caught popping up sleazy ads over the Federal Trade Commission's web site:
 
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/11/17/does-180solutions-know-better-than-the-ftc/

7. 180's "re-notification" prompts were exposed as a sham

http://www.benedelman.org/news/062805-1.html

8. 180 pledged to stop distributing 3rd-party adware through CDT, Inc. (purchased in March 2005),
    only to renege on that promise later

The promise (Apr. 2005):
http://news.com.com/Deal+may+mean+shifting+adware+model/2100-1032_3-5660393.html

The reality (Nov. 2005):
http://eula.winadclient.com/general/
http://www.windupdates.com/license.html

9. 180's software was caught being illegally installed through IM exploits

http://www.revenews.com/wayneporter/archives/000883.html
http://www.spywareguide.com/articles/greynets_instant_messenger_ope_75.html
http://www.facetime.com/pdf/IMPactThreatDetail_VariantofW32SdbotAAH.pdf?Ref=spgpdf

10. 180's software was caught being installed by a site peddling kiddie porn and dropping spam zombies

http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/spywarekiddie-pornspam-zombie.html
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/09/180-solutions-responds-to.html

11. 180's software was caught being mass-installed through illegal bot-nets

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/16/AR2005081600727.html
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69480,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2
http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/11/the_botnetspywa.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/16/180_sues_bad_actors/
http://news.com.com/Ad+software+maker+sues+distributors/2100-1030_3-5836884.html?tag=nefd.top

12. 180's distribution channels were so utterly compromised that 180 was blackmailed by one of its own distributors

http://informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=173402817
http://news.com.com/Adware+maker+We+were+victim+of+cybergang/2100-7349_3-5930099.html

13. 180 was hit with a class action lawsuit for multiple deceptive practices & "trespass to chattels"

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Spyware/?p=655
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-0509140224sep14,1,3740205.story?...
http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=34089

14. 180's software was caught being deceptively installed by illegal crackz sites

http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/pus-practices/index.phtml#crackz.ws-2005-06-11-nero
http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2005/09/ysbweb-serve-up-crack-extractor-whoops.html
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/seen-in-wild-adware-on-crack-sites.html

15. 180's software was caught being installed at kids sites

http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/installations/ezone-180/
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/11/13/180solutions-sponsors-class-of-second-graders-in-ohio/

16. 180 was forced to cough up a major distribution channel (IST) after being threatened by the
      Center for Democracy & Technology with an FTC complaint

http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/10/adware_purveyor.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Spyware/?p=674

17. 180 was banned or booted from several major advertising networks

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/columns/executive_tech/article.php/3556856
http://www.lurhq.com/latimesadbucks.pdf (LA Times)
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1830072,00.asp
http://www.revenews.com/jeffmolander/archives/000650.html
http://www.amwso.com/rss/detail.php?ID=4
http://www.affiliatetip.com/blog/archives/wayne_porter_vs_180solutions_in_a_steel_cage_match.html

18. Most recently, 180's software was caught being distributed via a rootkit-infested worm on IM channels

http://www.facetime.com/pr/pr051028.aspx
http://www.spywareguide.com/articles/worm_propogates_via_aol_im_ins_91.html
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5920403.html
http://www.revenews.com/wayneporter/archives/001110.html
http://www.revenews.com/wayneporter/archives/001230.html
 
...via sites associated with CoolWebSearch:
 
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/180-solutions-attacked-by-_113106344456479064.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Spyware/?p=693
 
...via a security exploit at a crackz site that also dropped a rootkit and spam zombie:
 
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/11/29/anti-spyware-zealot-rants-about-180solutions/
http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/12/01/180solutions-responds-to-installation-at-crack-site/
 
...and at a site with "humorous" racist videos:
 
http://sunbeltblog.blogspot.com/2005/12/httpcastlecopscomp672607.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Spyware/?p=720
http://www.revenews.com/chrisboyd/2005/12/the_value_prop_of_comedic_raci.html
 

Last Updated: 11 Dec. 2005 

Copyright 2005 SpywareWarrior.com