The Internet is one big ocean for everybody to swim in, but if you find yourself not knowing where the shore you left is, you’re not going to drawn. There’re life boats and islands everywhere. However, if you think you see your point of departure and go towards it, you might easily be confused by the palm trees and sand and get somewhere else. That’s an attempt at a metaphor to suggest just how easy deception works online.
C-NetMedia has its entire business based on deception, and it goes as far as its name, meant to hint at CNET Networks and that the two are in some way connected. They’re not, Ben Edelman, spyware researcher, attorney and assistant professor at Harvard points out. Not just that, but the spyware company delivers nothing of substance, charging for ineffective security software.
Edelman found that C-NetMedia paid for a sponsored link that appears on Google searches for the keyword “spybot.” Clicking on the link will redirect users to SpywareBot.com/Spybot, an obvious nicking of the famous and renowned SpyBot Search & Destroy anti-spyware tool. The description deepens the confusion: “Official Site – Search & Destroy Spyware. Download Spyware Bot Now!”
“These landing pages are hosted on the deceptively-named domains named spybot-sd-info.comand www-spybotcom.com — each further (but falsely) suggesting an affiliation with the genuine ‘spybot’ product,” Edelman says in his report, quoted by Tech Web. Antispyware.com is another nicking, this time in design, of Microsoft Windows Defender’s site. There are many visual similarities between the two and they falsely suggest that they are an official part of Windows.
A solution that Edelman found was that Google and others withdraw their services and support: “Google and other search engines could block the widespread deceptive ads from C-NetMedia and its marketing partners.” Microsoft, in turn, would have to relinquish the Certified for Windows Vista certification accorded to the company because certification rules prevent copying the layout of MS’s site.
C-NetMedia, Anti-spyware, Antispyware, Company, Microsoft, Spyware