April Fool joke on Halloween?

Direct Revenue's CEO says he wants to go after anti-spyware companies for targeting their adware. Surely he must be joking.

When I read this, I thought it must be a joke. Surely Mr. Maheu can't be serious.  From MediaPost,
Direct Revenue challenges anti-spyware programs.

[...] last week, DirectRevenue CEO Jean-Philippe Maheu indicated to OnlineMediaDaily that the company is prepared to go on the offensive, and raised the possibility that the company will intervene to prevent its software from being deleted by adware removal companies.

"I think that if we're going to clearly mark opt-in, [anti-spyware companies] should clearly mark opt-out," he said. He was referring to some software removal programs that consumers either purchase or download to rid their computers of unwanted programs; these programs often automatically delete Direct Revenue's adware.

Perhaps Mr. Maheu is forgetting about the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of victims still infected from non-consensual downloads, illegal forced installs through security holes that have been well documented over and over by spyware researchers.  Last May I blogged at Spyware Warrior about aurora and nail.exe and in June I noted that my web servers statistics logged over 30,000 search engine hits for those search terms.  One blog post got an unprecedented number of comments from victims who were very angry and some posted threats so violent I had to edit the comments. 

Well, guess what.  I'm still getting large numbers of search hits for nail.exe (one of the files in the Aurora infection that's extremely difficult to remove) and for aurora.  For this month, and not even all the stats are in, I got around 12,000 hits for nail.exe and around 1,700 for aurora.  The two blog posts about aurora and nail.exe have been viewed well over 20,000 times this month.  That's not even counting the stats for my other domain, spywarewarrior.com.  Victims are still posting HijackThis logs in the forum and practically begging for help with removing Direct Revenue's software

My advice to Mr. Maheu... not so fast!  Direct Revenue still has an extraordinarily bad track record and a lot of unwanted installations are still being reported.  It might be a cold day you-know-where before you could successfully stop anti-spyware companies from targeting your software.