Computer Crime Research Center


Spyware authors to be named and shamed

Date: January 30, 2006
Source: Daily Times

Internet researchers at Harvard and Oxford universities said on Tuesday they are seeking to enlist Web users in a program to name and shame suppliers of spyware and other malicious software programs.

The Stop Badware Coalition will seek to spotlight companies that make millions of dollars by tricking Web users into putting spyware, adware or other deceptive software on their machines, organizers from the Berkman Center for Internet &Society at Harvard and the Oxford Internet Institute said.

The multi-year project is financially backed by Google Inc. (GOOG.0) and computer makers Lenovo Group and Sun Microsystems Inc. It is advised by US consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports WebWatch, its backers said. “This is mostly a highlighting and warning and education project,” said Vint Cerf, one of the pioneers of the Internet who now holds the title of chief Internet evangelist at Google. Cerf is serving on the advisory board of

The coalition aims to solicit reports of malicious software from Web users through its site at Then it will issue reports naming offending products and companies in an effort to educate consumers. Over time, project organizers said they hope to team up with commercial security software makers to create automated tools to block “badware.”
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