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Gator Files for IPO to Raise $150 Million 460

Posted by michael
from the get-rich-quick dept.
michalas writes "Wired reports on the IPO filing of adware/spyware kings Claria who have recently changed their name from Gator. Claria on Thursday filed for an initial public offering to raise $150 million to continue developing its 'behavioral marketing platform.' Claria had a net income of $35 million on revenues of $90 million in 2003. In addition, Claria said it has 43 million active users and 425 advertisers."
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Gator Files for IPO to Raise $150 Million

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  • When Pigs Fly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nuclear305 (674185) * on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:56PM (#8827842)
    Yea, the only way I'd buy this stock is if my static ip address is blacklisted by their crapware so that it won't/can't install itself on my systems. Surely an incentive like that would entice people to buy into this IPO.

    Of course, then they'll have their money for development except by that time every person with a computer will have purchased a share of stock to keep that crap off their system...in which case there would be no reason for them to continue development of the software, and really have no reason for them to continue to exist as a company.

    Heck, where do I sign up for that?

    I remember seeing a comment earlier about how Microsoft buys up companies and shuts them down or kills off the technology. Maybe MSFT could do us all a favor, buy them out, and shut them down? It's probably one of the few humane things to do...
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @11:23PM (#8828499) Homepage Journal
      I think you should be very wary of buying their stock, and if you do, read the small print on the stock purchase agreement. It may be that by buying their stock and installing it into your 401k, you agree to allow them to make modifications to your 401k, withdraw money from time to time, and present you with personalized advertising every time you use your ATM card...
    • Plan... (Score:3, Funny)

      by chadjg (615827)
      Step 1: Short this stock
      Step 2: Coerce/Beg/Convince MSFT and others to license AdAware & include it in a free "update"
      Step 3: ???
      Step 4: Profit and maybe hang out with Martha Stewart for awhile.

      Damn... didn't think this thru. She'd make me giver her my shirt to make a "Nice Ghetto Chic" throw rug.

      But really, how do we screw this up for them?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is a special transmitter that sends back information on where you place it.
  • Cost of privacy = 150,000,000 / Claria's victims
    • Who says they're going to stop installing shit on our computers once they have an IPO? All this'll do is give them more capital to research more annoying ways to embed this crap on our computers while settling claims with pissed off people filing lawsuits at them across the nation. This will HELP THEM. WE DO NOT WANT TO HELP THE ENEMY.
  • Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Pig Hogger (10379)
    How do you call people who have been swindled out of $150 million by criminals?

    Suckers. Big-time suckers.

    They only deserve to lose their money.

  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlienRancher (734517) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:58PM (#8827853)
    " 43 million active users " Those are not users, they are called "victims"
  • Claria's "users" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CoconutFoobar (747981) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:58PM (#8827856) Homepage
    In addition, Claria said it has 43 million active users and 425 advertisers.

    I think 'infected computers' would be more likely. Whenever I tell people I can make those pop-ups stop by running Ad-aware, they are more than happy to remove themselves from this list of 'active users.'
    • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by God! Awful 2 (631283)
      I once found Gator installed on my Windows box, yet I never used Kazaa and I never consented to install it. I think they must have installed it via an IE exploit or something. So "infected computers" may not be just a euphamism.

      I noticed my dad had it at one point too (although I think he may have installed Kazaa). Anyway, he now runs Ad Aware regularly, and he is absolutely paranoid about cookies (me, I just allow them, then batch delete then every week or two).

      -a
      • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:3, Informative)

        by LostCluster (625375) *
        I caught WinPup32... a pop up deployer on my system. I knew something was up when my popup blockers suddenly all got turned off.

        I couldn't run AdAware because it hung on my IE cookies. I couldn't clean my IE cookies because a running process was using half of them. I had to drop to Safe Mode to clean out the cookies before AdAware could do its thing to clean up the mess.

        I know I must have accidently clicked a "Yes" when I should have clicked a "No" somewhere in the last few days. The number of sites tryin
      • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cruciform (42896)
        Kazaa isn't the only app that installs Gator.
        The adware supported DivX does as well, though they offer an adware free version on that site with not as many bells and whistles. There's a lot of other apps that do as well.

        Reading the EULA used to be something people bypassed. Now it's a necessity.

        Although I think hiding install info in the EULA is crap. The installer should show all applications being installed right from the beginning. Anything not implicitly listed at the install screen should be treated
      • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jerf (17166) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @11:32PM (#8828542) Journal
        I used to not care about cookies, but I've found the latest incarnation of Mozilla has a nice system; set it to ask and click the "apply this to all cookies in the domain". If you mostly look at the same sites over and over, and that's true of most of us, you fairly quickly weed out the ad cookies and the "I don't know what that's for" cookies, and let through only the login cookies (just about the only legit use, but remember that cookies are about the only safe way to do web-site logins, so you can't just shut them off and they are not all evil). In a fairly short period of time, you just surf like normal but with better cookie control, except when you visit a new site.

        Now that it's so easy, I'm actually controlling my cookies. (IE has a 'zone' implementation but since you have to go to the control panel to use it AFAIK, it's nearly useless.)
    • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:5, Informative)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:28PM (#8828036) Homepage
      I think 'infected computers' would be more likely.

      You'd think that (and so would I), but we'd be wrong. There are a huge number of users who like that thing, and complain if anti-spyware sofware removes it (I know because I work at an anti-spyware company, and Gator is one of the ones we have to tread lightly with, because so many users actually want the damned thing).

      • by jonwil (467024) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:30PM (#8828050)
        Anyone who would actually WANT spyware, crapware and malware installed on their box needs to have their head examined.
        • Re:Claria's "users" (Score:4, Informative)

          by SuperMo0 (730560) <supermo0@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:17PM (#8828243)
          Remember, unlike most spyware, Gator presents a front of allowing you to store passwords. Some people find this useful. Useful spyware may seem like an oxymoron, but Gator actually sucks some people in because of this.
  • by WwWonka (545303) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:58PM (#8827857)
    Claria said it has 43 million active users

    ...of those 43 million "active users" only three are actually aware that they are running Claria's "product".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:59PM (#8827861)
    Of which 7 know they are.
  • by Mard (614649) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @08:59PM (#8827866)
    What a coincidence, as I'm starting an IPO shortly, too! We're hoping to raise $150 million, which will be metered out as payment for the head of each Claira investor.
  • I misread that as:

    Gates Files for IPO...

    And wondered if my flux capacitor had self-activated.
  • This crapware is likely glued into millions of computers, delivering ads after ads. If a company wants their ad to be seen (and clicked on by the computer illiterate), choosing GAIN (claria now?) is a smart decision.

    I don't have much to invest, but I would probably invest in this company if I did. Like I care about what they do - I use Linux as my primary OS anyway.

    Then again, the second they start developing crapware for Linux is the second I will not consider investing in them ;).
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:14PM (#8827951)
      Calling the Gator software GAIN was just an attempt to try to associate themselves with a clean, fresh scent.
    • by telstar (236404) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:15PM (#8827964)
      Let's take that philosophy one step further ... so you'd support a company that sold a product that caused Cancer or AIDS as long as you didn't use that product? Nice to see you've got principles.
      • by Daetrin (576516) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:39PM (#8828339)
        Let's take that philosophy one step further ... so you'd support a company that sold a product that caused Cancer or AIDS as long as you didn't use that product? Nice to see you've got principles.

        Depends on what you mean by "support," but probably, yeah I would. As long as they were forthright and honest about what risks were entailed in using their products.

        Yes, i have principles, it's called a belief in freewill and the right to make your own choices. If someone wants to use a cancer causing product, and they've been told upfront that the product may cause cancer, it's their life to do with as they wish.

        I support drug legalization, but i don't think drug education is a bad thing either, as long as it's _real_ education, but "facts" the government is trying to brainwash you with.

        Oh, and have you heard about the new chemical they've found in cooked starches that they think causes cancer? Am i supposed to boycott all baked goods producers because of my principles?

        And as long as we're talking about principles, how about those "principled" health activists that are trying to force resturants who sell french fries to add a cancer warning but who don't seem to be urgent to get companies to label bread and pasta in the same fashion? They want to get people off of french fries but apparently have no problem supporting companies that make products with the exact same chemical in them but which are considered healthier in other aspects.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuasiCoLtd (727325) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:00PM (#8827869)
    The good thing about Gator going public is that their Financial Statements will tell us what advertisers are funding them. Makes for a nice boycott list.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Informative)

      by nodwick (716348) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:11PM (#8827936)
      The good thing about Gator going public is that their Financial Statements will tell us what advertisers are funding them. Makes for a nice boycott list.
      Actually the financials will only tell you how much they're making off the advertisers; they're not required to disclose customer identities. If the numbers turn out to be big, all it's going to do is encourage others to follow in their footteps by starting up more spyware companies.
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Leebert (1694) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:29PM (#8828040)
      The good thing about Gator going public is that their Financial Statements will tell us what advertisers are funding them. Makes for a nice boycott list.

      The ads popping up on desktops might give us a clue as to whom is paying for ads as well... :)
  • by Thaidog (235587) <slashdot753&nym,hush,com> on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:01PM (#8827882)
    Let the ease of Gator fill out your stock options for you!


    Here's what they're saying about Gator stock:


    "I love the way Gator takes my money and saves it for a rainey day!"


    "Gator stock is so stable, I can't imagine investing with out it!"


    "I love the way my income depends on Gator stock it make me feel secure!"

  • Cosmetics... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Faust7 (314817) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:03PM (#8827893) Homepage
    Claria who have recently changed their name from Gator.

    Nice name. But, a frosted dog turd is not a wedding cake; it is still a frosted dog turd. I hope whatever stock they have drops like a brick.
  • 425 Advertisers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:05PM (#8827903)
    Does anyone know where to get a list of the 425 advertisers, so I know which companies to avoid?
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:05PM (#8827907)
    Napster was a dead company walking from a legal perspective from day one. Nobody was that surprised when it got shutdown. However, it was able to float an IPO...

    Sometimes, crime does pay. Even if Gator is made illegal by state laws, they'll still be functioning until such laws are enforced. Simply passing a law won't make them go away.

    Anybody got a current quote for what SCOX is going for while we're at it?
  • by PurpleFloyd (149812) <zeno20NO@SPAMattbi.com> on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:06PM (#8827915) Homepage
    Claria's officials said that instead of offering a "normal" IPO, they would instead try an "innovative bundling strategy." When an investor purchases one of several popular stocks or mutual funds, they will find that a small Claria stock certificate has been Superglued to the back of their purchased certificate. Any attempt to remove or separately sell the Claria stock will automatically destroy both certificates.

    Also, Claria said their certificates represent "the latest in investor-tracking technology." Claria's executives plan to use the small audio monitoring devices embedded in each certificate to learn valuable insider information about upcoming shifts in the stock market. "This represents a new direction in the stock market. Never before have companies used their stock certificates as a way to gather valuable investor information," said Claria's CEO in a press release today extolling the virtues of Claria's new business venture.

    Addressing privacy concerns, he also mentioned that, "Anyone buying this stock knows exactly what they're getting into. We fully disclose all information about our monitoring technologies to anyone who bothers to break into our company's vault and read the encrypted data therein. Anyone who claims they were misled about privacy simply hasn't done the proper espionage expected of both parties entering into any contract. After all, if you don't catch us spying on you, it's your fault."

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:07PM (#8827920)
    The selection of the name "Claria" is a study how to avoid a mucked-up name... pick a made up word that has the seems to have the a tie to the words that represent what you wish you weren't so bad at.

    People think you can't keep your promises? Call yourself Verizon or Verisign... "Vari-" meaning "truth"
    You're stuck in the drug business trying to make people get high? Call yourself Altria... "alt-" meaning high
    People confused about complex multiple rate plan options? Call yourself Cingular... kinda sounds like "singular" where there's only one option.
    You're main product requires confusing people into aceptng it to work? Call yourself Claria... even though there's nothing clear to users about what they're getting themselves into.
    • They're changing their name before they go public. What does this tell prospective investors? It tells them they have a bad image.

      Take a look at Valujet. They had serveral crashes and then changed their name to Airtran. Why? Because people associate Valujet with poorly maintained planes that crash. What is Gator known for? Annoying intrusive spyware. Take a look at Claria's website and note how clean and, well, "clear" it is. Again, they're trying to change their image. I hope people who decide to invest
  • by NTmatter (589153) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:07PM (#8827922) Homepage
    Gator has 43 million users in the same way that 43 million people actively have the common cold. They have no control over how they got it, can't do anything about it, and don't notice that it's been gestating until they start sneezing bright flashy ads. It's that sort of misrepresentation that makes me want to work in the department of Statistics and Information Synthesis.

    At any rate, how can someone "use" Gator/Claria? Their "users" are simply presented with ads and such. Are you a "user" of the ads you see on Television? No. You are an audience member, and a very passive one at that. Amazing. Simply amazing.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:20PM (#8827987)
      Gator's programs are not pure spyware because they at least provide some level of functionality. The first Gator offering was a personal-info remembering "wallet" that'd nicely fill in web forms similar to what the Google Toolbar's AutoFill feature offers.

      Another one of their schemes offers to download a program that will automatically sync your system time, which is useful to most people who notice that consumer PCs are usually pathetic at keeping a system time. However, I personally use the adware-free Automachron [oneguycoding.com] which provides the same useful function.

      So, they're really a bait-and-switch operation. They actively market utilities that people want, and are rather trivial to make.... and then tag-on their adware code for the ride. Better options for all of their offerings exist, but the public often doesn't know where to go.
      • by ewhac (5844) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @11:41PM (#8828580) Homepage Journal

        Another one of their schemes offers to download a program that will automatically sync your system time, which is useful to most people who notice that consumer PCs are usually pathetic at keeping a system time. However, I personally use the adware-free Automachron which provides the same useful function.

        If you're running Win2K or WinXP, you don't need to download a damn thing to sync your clock. Windoze has an SNTP client built-in:

        • Open a Command Prompt.
        • Enter the command:
          net time /setsntp:servername
          where servername is the name of your preferred NTP server (your ISP should be able to provide this; typically something like ntp.my-isp.com).
        • Close the Command Prompt.
        • Right-click on My Computer (or whatever you renamed it to); select Manage.
        • In the left-hand pane, select Services & Applications.
        • In the right-hand pane, double-click on Services.
        • Double-click on Windows Time (near the bottom of the list).
        • In the configuration window, click the Start button. Your clock will be synchronized to the NTP time server.
        • In the drop-down menu Startup Type, select Automatic. This will start the NTP client each time you boot Windows.
        • Click OK. Close the Management interface.

        There. No cheesy spyware necessary. Bandwidth consumption is negligible, so gamers need not worry about additional lag.

        Schwab

  • by motiv8x (658048) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:09PM (#8827928) Homepage
    Despite what the company does, after interviewing with them, I felt like it would be a good solid company to work for. They had a great dot-com atmosphere, used open source technology, and paid well - my position was for Perl programmer. And they even allowed you to work from home. I didn't have the XML::Parser experience they were looking for, so I didn't get the job. One thing they revealed to me was that they did actually track what you were searching in Google. This part I didn't like. If they can watch you on Google, they can capture data from any form you fill out - although they claimed Google was the only form they captured data from.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:10PM (#8827932) Journal
    Not to sound extreme here but lots of spyware can cause a system to act just like its infected with virii and cause it be unfunctional.

    I have seen it first hand.

    My gf's pc and at work where I assist students in a university computer lab.

    My gf's computer use to take 20 minutes to boot and would reboot every 30 minutes or so and was highly unresponsive. Especially IE.

    McAfee anti virus showed no viruses? I then ran ad-aware and it found 600 objects and tons and tons of spyware.

    After that it was fine.

    Second, spyware installs backdoors( tell me that does not sound like a worm)so hackers can see your keystrokes and get things like credit card numbers, etc. God forbid anyone doing the taxes with these worms aka spyware ridden systems. Hackers can easily do identity theft.

    So I ask slashdotters now. Why is gatorsoft legal? If this thing was called A.mydoom or something the FBI would hound them.

    THis is pure fraud, it steals computer cycles, causes break-ins, etc. Its a worm in my book. It may not copy itself to other systems but it sure acts like one. Hmmm I bet if gator soft did email itself over the address book then it could get even MORE customers. lol

    This and Divx need to be brought down.

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:30PM (#8828048) Homepage Journal
      how exactly is spyware different from viruses(the modern day ones, that the stupid user clicks on to install)?

      it comes in without telling what it is, it stays stealthy and twists what the user is doing. on top of that it's doing it for financial gain for somebody!

      every virus scanner software maker should add spyware to the takedown list.
  • by wheatwilliams (605974) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:11PM (#8827939) Homepage
    That would be like Hepatitis C Inc., boasting about their 500 million customers. This reminds me of Mel Brook's radio skit about the LMNOP Advertising Agency: "We just got the Cholesterol account. We're trying to move Cholesterol into the American heart. It's going to be tough, but we'll win. Advertising is a lot stronger than life."
  • stock holders (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SKPhoton (683703) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:11PM (#8827940) Homepage
    If someone buys enough shares of Gator, or Claria as they're now calling themselves, could they force the company to shut down? Sure, that would hurt your wallet but it sure would make a lot of people happy.
  • Kill this IPO (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maskirovka (255712) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:14PM (#8827954)
    Claria...Clar-Ia...sounds like a disease doesn't it?

    For someone with more time on their hands than me:
    1)Start some media fear mongering about a "Claria Virus".
    2)Include instructions for removing said virus.
    3)Feel good about what you have done to help society.

  • Virus?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:18PM (#8827977) Homepage
    In my opinion, after spending 2 hours removing spyware from a friend's computer, Gator's products are no more than viruses.

    Which leads me to my point.... why doesn't Symantec (Norton) classify Gator as a virus. It has all the hallmarks of a virus (hell... Blaster was LESS destructive. It just rebooted your machine), and no legitimate use. How isn't it a virus?? Just because the company's legit at the moment, does it really make it okay?

    Can anyone answer me?
  • users or victims? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eagl (86459) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:22PM (#8828005) Journal
    43 million active users... How many are unwilling or unaware victims? I've never met anyone who had gator on their computer know what it was or want it installed. That doesn't sound like being an "active user" to me, more like virtual date-rape victims than anything else.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:22PM (#8828009) Homepage
    Yeah. Gator. It's Spam. But from the standpoint of an investor, it's probably a great investment. Remember, Wall Street is about money not social good or bad. This is part of a more complex and disturbing trend of a total conversion of the Internet from a tool of the masses for usful communication, to a commercial product. And, it's an example of how western nations, especially the United States, think that they "own" the internet. This is why I support the idea of taking the Internet away from ICANN, and placing it under UN juristiction.
  • SCO showed the way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jwd630 (469028) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:25PM (#8828026)
    Pump up the stock price based on nice big numbers ("43 million active users and 425 advertisers") that lead the unwary/uninformed to assume that this company has specialized capabilities that can be the beginning of the next Internet boom; the executives and investment backers incrementally cash out while stories about the sure thing are dribbled to the media to keep the stock price up. Groklaw [groklaw.net] discusses the SCO strategy in greater detail.
  • by qw(name) (718245) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:27PM (#8828029) Journal
    Claria said it has 43 million active users and 425 advertisers.
    I wonder how many of the "active users" actually know they're using it.

    I hope no one buys their stock.
  • Crickey! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:32PM (#8828061) Homepage Journal

    Man, someone needs to go Steve Irwin on that gator's ass...
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:32PM (#8828063) Journal
    Claria take their name from Chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted infection that many people do not know they carry. Someone in the advertising/PR department must have had a bit of fun with that one ;)
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:32PM (#8828064)
    Claria said it has 43 million active users and 425 advertisers

    Er, no. Try again. How about:
    Claria said it has 43 million active victims and 425 parasites
  • stock games (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mabu (178417) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:34PM (#8828074)
    I know most people here are laughing at the thought of anyone stupid enough to buy into this IPO. But all it takes are a few ignorant or greedy fund managers to pump this stock. This is why I generally invest in blue-chip stocks or market index mutual funds over standard funds, which these days seem to be corrupt.

    I think there's maybe six or seven financial investment companies that haven't been sanctioned by the SEC in the last two years for unethical activity. You can't trust the American media to even let you know when your investment company has been fined $200M for insider trading. The best source for really finding out how sleazy Wall Street is is through England's Financial Times [ft.com], which doesn't pull any punches. If you have an IRA or any money in funds, keep a close eye on it. These rich fund managers are making a fortune off the pennies most working people scrounge up and think will be there for them in the future.

    I never really dabbled much in the market until recently when I had a broker "friend" make recommendations for me. After I lost a bundle, I set up my own account on E*Trade [etrade.com] and started doing my own investing - I beat my broker's ROI by 14% within six months. I'm pretty convinced these days most people in the financial community don't know anything, but that doesn't mean a bunch of people won't make money in this Gator IPO, but it will probably be at mutual fund holders' expense.

    My advice to people is take control of your finances and invest in companies you believe in. Pull your money out of funds so you're not unwittingly financing SCO or Gator -- you'd be surprised how often you're in bed with the devil through your IRA.
  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:48PM (#8828125) Homepage Journal
    that the company now has $150 million that can be targeted by the enterprising trial lawyers. Let the litigation begin!
  • by hklingon (109185) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:51PM (#8828148) Homepage
    What sort of setups do the admins out there have for blocking this stuff? Anything at the gateway or proxy level??

    For a long time, I have been using a lot of off-the-shelf scripts and utilities hacked together as an anti-spyware, anti-virus proxy. Anyone out there doing the same care to comment?

    For web stuff, I use squid to block a lot of stuff that is usually spyware. It pretty much kills any software that auto-installs (except for java webstart). Usually not to big of a deal-- the business calls the help desk and we walk them through a manual install of flash or whatever it is they need. For very common spyware, we let it infect one test machine then redirect traffic through the proxy to those sites. Ideally, we block the file name or active x control with squid. It isn't a perfect solution though...

    For email, I am using p3scan, a pop3 proxy, and a couple simple scripts to rename all untrusted attachments to something else. We also have a nice script that strips out all non-image, non-formatting related html in email. The email soltion seems much more elegant and nice than the web solution-- anyone know of any setups better/similar that cut gator & other companies off at the knees like this??

    In practice, this is has reduced our crapware-related helpdesk calls at least 10 fold.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:43PM (#8828345)
      One I used for awhile before squid and proxy scripts [schooner.com]. Was in the host files. Most of that stuff is loaded right off the same servers everytime. vx2.cc/gator.com and its sub hosts is where most of the gator stuff came from at one time. Been using the proxy script thing for so long its not been a real problem. My hosts file is probably WAY out of date...

      Using those 3 things I would say it snags 99.99% of it. You can even get the proxy thing to take it out on the client end so your sever isn't doing all the work... Works fairly well in IE and Mozilla.

      Also there is no 'magic bullet'. Wish there was. You will always be chasing whatever they dream up next. Your scripts will always be mutating just as much as that industry mutates.

      Like the email thing. Might have to give that a try.

      Your users may not like it but you may want to scan the machines for newly instaled things too. That should help you keep up with your scripts. See something new go see where they were surfing...

      Found a couple of nasty ones the other day in java. It was even using an expliot in the ms java to do its evil deeds. You may want to goto suns instead. Least its being maintainted...
  • by Anarcho-Goth (701004) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:17PM (#8828249) Homepage Journal
    What's the difference between Spyware and a Virus or a trojan horse?
    Why is it that a company can get away with what a script kiddie would get thrown in jail for?

    And are they still going to threaten to sue people who call Gator, excuse me, Claria Spyware?

    And might as well throw out a stupid-patent joke out there.....

    Do they own a patent on using computer viruses to make money on the internet?
  • The quickest fix (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shadowkoder (707230) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:39PM (#8828336)
    I'm a freshmen at RIT. When the non computer literate people on my floor ask for help, and I run adaware, I get 300+ hits easy. Install Google Toolbar, and that'll severly get reduced. So, to the average user, I say putting that handy little google toolbar on your computer is the easiest way to solve alot of headaches.
  • by Chris Brewer (66818) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:44PM (#8828347) Journal
    They wanted SCUM but were told that a small company from Lindon, Utah has dibs on that one...
  • by SuperMo0 (730560) <supermo0@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday April 11, 2004 @01:41AM (#8828990)
    Honestly, when I first saw the name Claria, I thought "...isn't that the name of some penis-enlargement pill I got in my inbox the other day"?
  • IPO Filing info.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by -tji (139690) on Sunday April 11, 2004 @02:08AM (#8829074) Journal
    I'm surprised that they have gotten reputable financial institutions to underwrite their IPO. According to the Wired article, it's being underwritten by Deutsche Bank Securities, Piper Jaffray, SG Cowen Securities and Thomas Weisel Partners. Wasn't Deutsche Bank involved in some of SCO's funding??

    Their IPO filing says they derived 31% of their 2003 revenue ( ~ $30M ) from "Overture Services". Interesting.. Overture seems to be straddling the line between legitimate business & spyware.

    Also, the risks section of their IPO filing is pretty amusing. Anyone with half a clue will see what a detestable company they are after reading the risks. Some of the risks they list are:

    - Popup blockers. impeding their ability to attract customers.
    - People buying new computers. Since their software won't be on the new system.
    - spyware detectors which uninstall their software (as offered by AOL, McAfee, Symantec, Earthlink, and others).
    - Changes in MS operating systems (i.e. SP2 with the popup blocker and other security enhancements could screw them)
    - New technologies that would "hamper the operation or our GAIN AdServer".
    - Changes in legislation could impair our ability to provide services

    Basically, they are saying that they operate by tricking people into installing their software, and a lot of people are trying to stop shady operators like them.

    Anyone who invests in them deserves to lose their money.
  • And that is the "boycott". Named after the English Colonel who's impoverished and powerless Irish peons nonetheless discovered a way of forcing him off their land and out of their lives.

    Gator/Claria survives by delivering an effective way for advertisers to reach consumers. You cannot punish Gator/Claria directly - some other company would simply take its place.

    Rather, let us organize a boycott of any advertiser who tries to sell his product via spyware of any kind.

    Writing to any company that advertises via spyware, and telling them that you will not be using their products any more is a good idea. Telling everyone you know about such companies may also be effective. The best thing would be pressure from consumer groups to government so that advertisers are forced to adhere to a code of conduct that excludes spyware.

    Finally, spyware companies will find that the only clients they can find are the same criminal rings that pay for worms, trojans, and viruses, and this is one commercial sector that will find it hard to lobby governments for protection.

    Boycott the bums into behaving properly!

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

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