A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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April 28, 2005

Spyware deja vu

maxus-sm.jpgNY State's lawsuit against alleged spyware maker Intermix will be fun to watch.

TheStreet.com has an interesting story about how the suit catches Intermix in the midst of what it hoped was a financial turnaround.

For me, the news provided a strange moment of double deja vu.

Intermix used to be called eUniverse, which was the parent company of CD Universe, the online music store that was blackmailed in 2000 by a Russian hacker named Maxus. I interviewed Maxus via email after he started giving away credit card numbers he had stolen from CD Universe.

EUniverse also operated the Flowgo.com site, which was indirectly responsible in 2002 for infecting thousands of visitors with a malicious program called Downloader-W. I wrote a story about the incident for Salon, and then followed up with a piece about the mysterious creators of the malware, a company called Intellitech, which was run by a couple of very strange dudes said to be hopped up on steroids.

Oddly, just yesterday I received an email from an executive with a company about to enter into a joint venture with one of the founders of Intellitech. The exec wondered if I had any recent impressions of the Intellitech founder.

Hmm. I guess my overall impression is that spyware companies, like the software they create, are darn hard to eradicate.

Posted by brian at April 28, 2005 9:41 PM


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