December 6, 2005 9:28 PM PST

180solutions upgrades security

Fewer people will unwittingly download advertising software from adware maker 180solutions, the company said Tuesday as it launched a new software product that detects fraud more effectively than earlier offerings.

For years, critics have accused Bellevue, Wash.-based 180solutions, which pays people to distribute ad-supported software that displays advertisements, of making it easy for hackers to download the software without a computer user's knowledge. While the company has argued that the fault rested with the lawbreakers and not the software, it has continued to bolster security in recent months.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of many months of hard work focused on building technology that is more resistant to unauthorized, nonconsensual installations of our software," Keith Smith, CEO and co-founder of 180solutions, said in a statement.

In addition to launching the new Seekmo Search Assistant, which will notify 180solutions of fraudulent downloads, the company announced that it will do away with 180search Assistant, one of its more controversial products.

Anti-spyware firm Zone Labs has identified 180search Assistant and Zango applications, which deliver pop-up ads to users as they perform Web searches, as a "potential threat to the user's security and/or privacy."

Last month, 180solutions filed suit in an attempt to force Zone Labs to change the "high risk" designation it placed on 180solution's software. 180solutions has also asked for unspecified monetary damages.

Internet message boards are filled with complaints about software from 180solutions from people who say they were unable to remove the company's software and that it was unlawfully loaded into their computers. What has fueled the lawlessness is 180solution's willingness to pay people to distribute their software products, a policy that has led to many well-publicized abuses, according to anti-spyware advocates.

The new software from 180solutions tracks and identifies compromised distribution channels through several different sources, including customer feedback. If the data reveals a potential fraud, then the company will notify customers who may be affected and will allow them to uninstall the software with "one-click removal," the company said in statement.

The system allows 180solutions to evaluate the legitimacy of installations before making payments to the people it pays to distribute its software.

"This takes away the financial incentive of fraudulent downloads," said Sean Sundwall, a spokesman for 180solutions.

8 comments

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are they serious
i will jump off a cliff before i let that companys software near my computer...


not that i have windows anymore anyways

ahhh adware/spyware/virus free Mac..its a wonderful thing
Posted by knoxindy (2 comments )
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Are you serious?
I certainly hope that you were kidding when you made the comment about your computer being spyware-free simply because it is a Mac; because if you were serious, you are probably one of those people with a completely false sense of security, that in reality is a major contributor to the countless bot-nets that we read about everyday, spreading spyware, phishing scam emails and countless other types of malware without even knowing your computer is infected. Doubt me? Just type "Macintosh Spyware" into Google or any other search engine to learn the truth. You may not see a pop-up, but if your Mac isn't adequately protected against spyware, it is full of it, just like any unprotected Windows machine.
Posted by sreynolds_2 (16 comments )
Link Flag
And the GALL is they think...
they have the right to do what they do. They have always known of the problems and never wanted to stop it because it meant lost revenue. Now that congress and spyware/adware programs are showing them up...they don't want the attention.

They are dishonest and couldn't care less about the havoc that has been unleased on the user.

I have every right to NOT WANT garbage installed on my computer...it's my computer not yours...and don't try to hide behind a user agreement you gutless, spineless cowards.

I hope that their suit against AdAware shows them for what they are truly are...and believe me it will.

ok...thats all now...
ps> glad I got that off my chest...
Posted by (5 comments )
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Major security improvement...
... is to eliminate 180solutions in every way. Otherwise, security is a
joke.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
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One-Click Uninstall...
So only a 1-click install for fraudulently installed copies or....?
Posted by mestevo (1 comment )
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Useless software from 180 Solutions
Their parasitical software has only stolen cpu cycles, time and information from people for years. It serves no valuable purpose whatsoever, the sooner 180 Solutions and their ilk all die off the better.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
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go 180!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/cadillac_xlr_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/cadillac_xlr_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by 208774626618253979477959487856 (176 comments )
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Seekmo what!?
The branding of "high risk" was absolutely warranted. I had never heard of 180 Solutions or Seekmo until today when I had to "repair" a clients computer. "Don't ever do that again....ever" was about the only thing I could say. I was suprised to learn that this OPEN BACKDOOR was so easily obtainable by the unknowing.
180 Solutions....please respectfully bow out of the electronic age. We have enough to deal with on the support end.
Posted by turbobuick6 (1 comment )
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