ClickZ News Blog reports that Direct Revenue and subsidiary Soho Digital have laid off 40 employees. ClickZ is asking is this the end of the age of adware? Are the layoff perhaps related to the "torrent of negative PR"? Yes, indeed, there has been plenty of negative PR. Readers of my Spyware Warrior blog might remember that in June I blogged about having over 30,000 search engine hits in one month for the terms Aurora and nail.exe from people seeking help to remove Direct Revenue's software. The number of comments on my initial post about Aurora was unprecedented and included threats against the company so violent that I edited them.
Despite Direct Revenue's claims that their software is installed with full consent and disclosure and is easily removed at their MyPCTuneUp.com site, there is massive evidence to the contrary. Paperghost of VitalSecurity has blogged extensively about Aurora's non-consensual installations through Bit Torrent and Instant Messaging as well as the MyPCTuneUp supposed uninstall. Patrick "Webhelper" Jordan has chronicled Direct Revenue/ABetterInternet's activities for some time now including sites, whois historical data and more. It will be interesting to see what happens next with the company.
Thanks to Eric Goldman for the tip.