Patterico's Pontifications

2/11/2004

COMPLAINT FILED WITH FTC AGAINST SPY WIPER

Filed under: Spy Wiper — Patterico @ 7:01 am

The Center for Democracy and Technology has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission relating to the Spy Wiper browser hijacking problem. (Spy Wiper has been discussed extensively at this blog since November; you can read my posts about Spy Wiper here.) Patterico is quoted in the FTC complaint, which you can read here.

CDT’s announcement reads:

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Mailwiper Inc., Seismic Entertainment Media and/or their affiliates engaged in deceptive and unfair marketing practices by changing computer users’ Web homepages without their consent and then trying to convince these users that they needed the Mailwiper program called “Spy Wiper” software to protect their computer. CDT has heard from several consumers who have spent hours trying to fix their computer and some who even bought Spy Wiper to no avail. CDT asked consumers to provide information about their experiences with spyware via a Web site. CDT received hundreds of messages about different companies. Several of these messages were about Spy Wiper and their activities led CDT to investigate further.

People who wish to complain to the FTC about Spy Wiper can find a complaint form here.

P.S. Remember when I posted that I was “working on something very exciting” that “should bring a big smile to your face”? This is what I meant. Late last month, I exchanged e-mails with the people at CDT who were preparing the complaint. They asked me to write them with details of my experiences, and to include any information concerning how many people I believed had been affected. I researched how many people had visited my site looking for help getting rid of Spy Wiper, and sent them the details, which are quoted in the complaint. They asked me to keep it under wraps for a few days, and I complied.

I think the final product is a compelling piece of work, and my hat is off to the folks at CDT. I feel very satisfied to have made a small contribution towards the noble effort of shutting these lowlifes down. And I couldn’t have made this modest contribution if it weren’t for the power of blogs.

25 Responses to “COMPLAINT FILED WITH FTC AGAINST SPY WIPER”

  1. Glad to hear this… I hope it goes somewhere.

    Watcher (6b08e8)

  2. This is great news! I see the bloggers got it up before the tech news sites. I expect to see a lot of sites with news about this however.

    I’ve started a forum at my site to help people with removal of spyware and hijackers, such as Spy Wiper http://www.netrn.net/phpBB2/

    suzi (a9b332)

  3. The CDT is suggesting to anyone who got hit with Spy Wiper to file a complaint with FTC and urge them to pursue the case. Link here:

    https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU0

    suzi (a9b332)

  4. I actually have the link to the complaint form in the post, but it can’t be emphasized enough.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  5. So you do! As you said, it can’t be emphasized enough too!

    suzi (a9b332)

  6. Let me guess your context… You are going to send complaints to the FTC because you got some popups on your computer that open your broweser. Right? Oh and maybe they changed your homepage too? If you morons knew what you were talking about, you wouldn’t be wasting your time bitching about how you think you know your ass from your elbow. I am a year long customer of both MailWiper and SpyWiper, and i have had NO problems with either programs at all. If you did have some internet smarts, you would probably DNS search the popup. It is owned by http://www.odysseusmarketing.com who is using these popup ads to make more money by people clicking on them. odysseusmarketing.com and mailwiper.com are owned by two totally different people in different parts of the country. MailWiper Inc. has had to put up with you moronic fucks bitching and complaining to them about the popups for too long now. You will never take them down because they are not doing anything wrong. They made a mistake when choosing an affiliate, i guess we should burn them alive huh?
    VIVA LA MAILWIPER!!

    Dennis Feringer (d75d18)

  7. I can’t figure out which is a stupider statement:

    If you morons knew what you were talking about, you wouldn’t be wasting your time bitching about how you think you know your ass from your elbow.

    Or:

    I am a year long customer of both MailWiper and SpyWiper.

    Close call.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  8. Iam unable to access my homepage with Yahoo and I am a very unhappy camper. I do not like to use my credit card online and even if I did I would not use for Spy Wiper. It is holding my homepage hostage and I want it out of there. I am soooooooooooo mad. Can you help me and others that are having this same problem?

    Judith Edelman (a5a85e)

  9. I too have been ravaged by the “spy wiper” garbage. I am trying to find the cookie that keeps infecting me if you can could you please email it to me so that I can once again enjoy my computer. thanks

    Chris Johnson (0a838a)

  10. I have had mega problems with this spy wiper popup. bury them if you can !!!

    mark (0ef3d8)

  11. I have had mega problems with this spy wiper popup. bury them if you can !!!

    mark (0ef3d8)

  12. My hompage is also held hostage by SyWiper. Can you pleassssssssse tell me how to rid my computer of this hog?
    thanks

    Maura Cramer (414fa3)

  13. I’m glad that Feringer wrote even though he doesn’t impress me much with his attitude and profanity. I have been invaded with this hijackware also and would appreciate advice on how to make sure it’s gone.

    But thanks to Feringer for pointing out the marketing company. My complaint simply referred to the Spy Wiper hijack ware. The FTC folks will know what it is already thanks to you folks. This stuff has to be stopped.

    Randy Churchill (fb0e6e)

  14. Feringer seems to know a lot about the company; it’s almost as if he is involved with them.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  15. Im pretty sure Dennis Feringer has something to do with them. I have seen him reply to posts similar to this on many different websites run by many different people and each time his reply is almost the same.

    Darren (c54962)

  16. I have also been infected and can now not use IE anymore – at least Opera/Netscape is not affected.
    I have also filed a complaint with the FTC – hope it helps.

    Karel (89602c)

  17. I just got my i.e. browser ‘hijacked’ from that spy-wiper thing … though my firewall … through my McAfee scanner, spybot, and ad-aware … and their cookies were set decievingly. The properties menu they brought up displayed that they were in a complete different directory than they actually were. And finally, how legitamate can a company be if they change your homepage, play illusive tricks, pop open your cd-drives, and generate pop-ups? And for you ferringer, i would strongly recommend downloading spy-bot and getting rid of anything associated with this ‘company’. ..just my two cents. Hope this isnt too long
    -scott

    scott (718c76)

  18. Here’s the fix. Release your ISP IP (winipcfg or ipconfig depending on your OS) so that it isn’t constantly popping up pages while you’re working. Then go into your IE and click Tools / Internet Options. Change your home page to something other than what’s in there.

    Then go download Ad-Aware and Spybot after you renew your IP Address.

    questions, email me – xjonnyb70ax@yahoo.comx (remove x’s)

    David R (63cecb)

  19. I am an attorney who sued Spy Wiper after it infiltrated and held my computer hostage and put it out of commission for 3 days and they just offered to settle my lawsuit (via formal “offer of judgment”) for $2,000.00. Any comments???, e-mail me at glennmccandliss@msn.com

    glenn mccandliss (831eb5)

  20. Power to the blogger!
    In case you were wondering if anyone was listening, Patterico is making waves with his blog…real waves. Spy Wiper is getting what’s coming to them!…

    BoiFromTroy (aef310)

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  24. Like a Blogtard, But Without The Blog
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