Public peer-to-peer networks have always been associated with adware program distributions, but BitTorrent, the program created by Bram Cohen to offer a new approach to sharing digital files, has managed to avoid the stigma.
Not any more, anti-spyware advocates warn.
According to Chris Boyd, a renowned security researcher who runs the VitalSecurity.org nonprofit resource center, the warm and fuzzy world of BitTorrent has been invaded by a massive software distribution campaign linked to New York-based adware purveyor Direct Revenue LLC.
In an e-mail interview with Ziff Davis Internet News, Boyd said rogue files have popped up occasionally in BitTorrent land but those were usually just random executables. “This is the first time I’ve seen a definite money-making campaign with affiliates, distributors and some pretty heavy-duty adware names,” he added.
Boyd, widely known for chronicling spyware, hacking and malware exploits, has published details of the BitTorrent distributions and identified Direct Revenue and Marketing Metrix Group as the companies responsible for the rigged files.