The Messenger Plus! Sponsor Program continues to place users at risk - Winfixer rears its head again
"Shawnz", a known supporter of Messenger Plus! and a member of its help forums apparently posted the following comment to a blog entry about Messenger Plus! that I made a month ago ("Shawnz", by the way, lists his age as 14 - let's hope he hasn't installed the sponsor - if he has, he has breached the EULA which says you must be 18 or over to install the Sponsor - if he hasn't, he is NOT in a position to comment on a program that he does not use - if he's not 14 years old, well, that's the age he gives on his Spaces Blog and his MP! forum ID so that is his presumed age until proven otherwise).
Why do I say "apparently"? Because of the remote possibility that we are dealing with a different Shawnz
"can you please freaking get a life and stop whining about patchou. there are thousands of worse programs out there. at least patchou _tries_ to make it a decent package -- he hires people (using the proceeds of the sponsor) to report any unsafe ad - most of those ads, by the standard he sets, shouldn't be there.
the only reason he sticks with lop is because they also provide him with a free server for the messenger plus website, the messenger plus forum, etc."
You can find his comment here: http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/archive/2006/11/12/277195.aspx
You would think that people like "Shawnz", even at 14, would have learned not to "poke the sleeping guard dog". I will NOT stop watching Patchou's sponsor program, or reporting on it, at Shawnz's say so, and I would have thought that as a Messenger Plus! forum regular he would know that I have rejected, many times, excuses like those that he makes in his comment, and that flaming me only makes me more determined to watch and report.
Anyway, because the blog entry that Shawnz commented on is a month old I decided it was worth my while to reinstall the sponsor to see if the winfixer problem has been fixed and to see if the people that have apparently been hired are stopping the bad guys from getting through - thank you Shawnz for bringing my attention back to Messenger Plus! several months before I had intended to re-test.
Is the winfixer problem gone? Nope.
Within 12 hours of installing the Sponsor there was an attempt to install Winfixer on my machine. Either the people that Shawnz says were hired to watch for unsafe ads don't exist, or they're not doing their job. Every single time I install the sponsor Winfixer makes an appearance - if I can spot a problem within hours, then why can't Circle Distribution / C2Media, or their testers?
It is obvious that those behind the Sponsor Program either cannot be trusted to do the right thing by Patchou, or they are not up to the job of policing who they sell advertising space to, because every time I test, the bad guys have got through.
The Messenger Plus! Sponsor Program continues to be a danger to those who install it.
This is what I saw within 12 hours of installing the Sponsor Program. I emailed Patchou and sent him copies of the screenshots before I sent this blog post live so that he is made aware of the latest problem and will have the chance to take what action he can against this latest problem.
First I saw this:
I also saw this - note the attempt to automatically download Winfixer to the PC as evidenced by the infobar - also note the new behaviour - an activex control embedded in a Web page that is made to look like a pop-up window. If you try to click on the red x to "close" the window, you activate the control. Nice trick - not. Of course, the claimed "624 pornographic and sensitive files" do not exist.
Close the popups and you see:
Did Trend like the attempt to download Winfixer? Hell no: