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Security Software The Courts The Media

Anti-Malware Maker Files Lawsuit Over Bad Review ( 163

itwbennett writes: In a lawsuit filed January 8, 2016, Enigma Software, maker of anti-malware software SpyHunter, accuses self-help portal Bleeping Computer of making 'false, disparaging, and defamatory statements.' At issue: a bad review posted by a user in September, 2014. The lawsuit also accuses Bleeping Computer of profiting from driving traffic to competitor Malwarebytes via affiliate links: 'Bleeping has a direct financial interest in driving traffic and sales to Malwarebytes and driving traffic and sales away from ESG.' Perhaps not helping matters, one of the first donations to a fund set up by Bleeping Computer to help with legal costs came from Malwarebytes.
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Anti-Malware Maker Files Lawsuit Over Bad Review

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  • Streisand effect? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JosKarith ( 757063 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @06:26AM (#51444837)
    I get the feeling Enigma are gonna regret this - looking at the article they're suspected of several "sharp" practices already. Publicity is unlikely to be their friend.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arbiter1 ( 1204146 )
      if "bleeping computers" does give a bad review to 1 maleware software and one they say is good is paying them $ for the traffic. They do have an argument in this that site in question is acting biased in their review. As you said Publicity of people looking for unbiased reviews of software doesn't look good for them if that is the case of them getting paid for referring people to 1 over software over another. In business of a reviewer, your reputation of being unbiased is everything.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @06:40AM (#51444871)
        Are you one of Sarah Palin's speechwriters?
        • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

          Are you one of Sarah Palin's speechwriters?

          I know... funny thing is Sarah still thinks she does great speeches. Everyone else is like - is she still talking? Get the bitch off the stage! Even Fallon did a shot with poor old Trump in the background. You can see he'd be like - YOU'RE FIRED (BITCH)! if he could.

      • I think you need to read both tfa and the comment to which you're responding again.
      • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:27AM (#51446185) Homepage

        Libel/defamation isn't rooted in bias. It's knowingly false information being spread intentionally. You can have all the paid people you want saying how great you are and telling of the things legitimately wrong with your competitors and never have a problem.

        They aren't in the business of being an unbiased reviewer. They're in the business of helping people get their infected computers cleaned up. And for that you need working tools.

    • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @06:46AM (#51444891)

      Agreed, filing suit just publicizes the fact that their software was found lacking by reviewers. This company is toast and well deserves to be. The only logical proof they can provide against claims of their softwares ineffectiveness a demonstration of its effectiveness.

      • If they already know that the company is doomed they are not losing anything by the law suit and stand to gain. All they have to do is create another company and sell off to show a loss then rebrand the software and and bragg about how they improved it as the separate company.

    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:43AM (#51445463)

      Yeah, I've never heard of "SpyHunter," but I'm pretty sure that this story is going to be one of the first things that pops up when anyone searches for it for now on. And no way would I ever, fucking ever, install software from a company suing over bad reviews. It just looks awful.

    • by blang ( 450736 )

      The "Your computer may be at risk", "Download free scanner", and click to buy marketing is ripe with fraud. Those are the kind of links you stumble across at illegal streaming sites or p0wned and derelict websites.
      Even if they (have no idea if they do) had clean hands and stellar reputation, they have chosen to market their product in a way that makes it indistinguishable from malware or hackerware. If they really were reputable, they should dress up like Russian mafia, and then go all litigatious

    • Negative publicity often results in some places getting more sales. Especially because it helps boost SEO ratings.

    • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @02:05PM (#51447769)
      Spyware Hunter is a poor, if not terrible, program. Malwarebytes is superior, being more effective. It's too bad that Enigma can't handle the truth, chooses to sue instead of improving their product. Such assholes.
  • They just need to write code that will counter sue lawyers for being greedy little flaccid trolls.

  • Informative post (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @07:54AM (#51445055)

    I did a quick search and found this entry [] on the Bleeping Computer forum.

    If everything in that post is true, I fully understand why SpyHunter gets a bad review.

  • Hey ESG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @08:17AM (#51445115)
    You cannot lawsuit your way out of a shitty product.

    I do not represent Bleeping, but I have used their forums and site many times. They are a reputable source for tools and procedures that actually work, as opposed to many supposed software solutions and 'help' sites that just serve to infect you further with their tripe.

    So, as far as I am concerned you can fuck right off with your shitty product and attitude. You have now insured that no matter how good your product -may- become (and I doubt it really will), I will never recommend it to any clients and will actively promote against it. Good job. Now sue me.

    • You cannot lawsuit your way out of a shitty product.

      Have you not being paying attention for the last bunch of years? Because that's exactly what happens.

      Tone of places have started suing for bad reviews ... they go all "wah wah" and out come the lawyers.

      Bad reviews on yelp cause many businesses to sue.

      What should happen is the courts say "OK, if you prove it was done with malicious intent, we will consider it, but otherwise STFU or we're going to impose stiff penalties".

      But don't think you can't lawsuit yo

      • Back in the day on, I would go to download well-known, legitimate antivirus stuff, and the reviews were always crammed with "this installs a virus itself".

        As these were often almost identical reviews across multiple products, I got the feeling they were by competitors, but of actual scamware, or by virus writers themselves.

        Legitimate reviews are already laced with the problem people are much more likely to write a review to bitch about something than praise it, leaving everything everywhere wit

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I downloaded Any Video Converter and wound up with a copy of SpyHunter. A program I did not want. Downloaded on my computer without my consent. What does SpyHunter (supposedly) do? It supposedly stops people from downloading unwanted applications onto your computer. They suck.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      What does SpyHunter (supposedly) do?

      Play the theme from Peter Gunn while you shoot enemy cars.

  • by RackinFrackin ( 152232 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:19AM (#51445349)

    I haven't had Spy Hunter [] on a computer since my Commodore 64 days.

    • by chrish ( 4714 )

      There was an awesome port of this to Atari ST and Amiga in the early days; you used the new-to-most-people mouse to move around and accelerate/decelerate.

      So many hours went into that in the mid 80s...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I haven't had Spy Hunter [] on a computer since my Commodore 64 days.

      Seems like now is the time for you to download this awesome software!

  • Dear Enigma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:21AM (#51445359)

    Thanks to your anti-free speech actions, I will NEVER use your software and will recommend others avoid your products and services as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Read the complaint. It's not about a "bad review by a user," but a repeated near-accusation that the product in question is suspect itself (not by using it and reviewing it, but by repeating things found elsewhere on the internet), by a BC moderator. Further, the moderator recommends people remove it and install another product instead, one that BC gets affiliate payments from.

    Not saying its actionable, but the summary is quite misleading. It's worse than a bad review, and it'swritten by someone appointed t

    • It may be libel if it harms Spyhunter, it's false, and the reviewer didn't care about the truth.

      The financial incentive makes it plausible that the reviewer may have written it without caring about truth or falsehood, and printing unsubstantiated accusations does suggest that.

      US libel laws are pretty demanding on a person claiming to be libeled, to avoid restricting free speech, but from your description this might well qualify.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @09:57AM (#51445537)

    Didn't Windows Defender kill off the "anti-malware" market? Does anyone really still run things like "Symantec" or "McAfee"?

    • If you're a malware author, the first thing you do is run WD over and over until your product comes out clean.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sremick ( 91371 )

      Didn't Windows Defender kill off the "anti-malware" market?

      No, because Windows Defender sucks.

      Does anyone really still run things like "Symantec" or "McAfee"?

      Only naive new-computer buyers who get it pre-installed and roll with that because of the name-recognition. The rest of us run something that doesn't suck. Symantec/Norton and McAfee are bloated messes that bog down the computer and hardly catch anything. Defender is just a hidden useless product that also doesn't catch much of anything. There are plenty of worthwhile programs out there however that catch a lot and definitely do help to address this very real problem.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Didn't Windows Defender kill off the "anti-malware" market? Does anyone really still run things like "Symantec" or "McAfee"?

      Windows Defender is the most useless piece of shit software since Windows ME

  • Spyhunter is terrible. Malwarebytes is the only Anti-malware program I use or recommend.

    • Eh MBAM has become pretty bloated lately, and it hasn't been detected as many threats as it used to. I haven't had it in my toolkit for a while. I use the Emsisoft Emergency Kit, JRT, ADWcleaner, Roguekiller and Hitman Pro most often. Combofix if a system really needs it, but I find that isn't the case as often as it used to be, and I don't believe they've got a version of combofix that runs on windows 8, 8.1 or 10.
      • Popular anti-malware software will become less effective over time, since all the malware writers out there will test against it.

  • I wonder if they were snubbed for ad space? They seem to be hung up on the fact that Bleeping Computer is Ad supported, and less so on the bad user review.
  • People are entitled to have an opinion and share that opinion even if a party suffers loss due to that opinion. For example, I do not like Smith and Wesson pistols. They do not feel right in my hand and they almost feel like junk to me. I prefer Taurus or Colt pistols. If I just happen to own stock in Colt does that make me liable? Heck, I also dislike the republican party. Crimes by the republican party define it as an ongoing criminal enterprise in my opinion. So can they sue me?
  • Meaning that if Bleeping Computer wins the lawsuit, the Streisand Effect means Enigma loses a lot more business than if they had just ignored the review. I, for one, have never heard of Bleeping Computer and would never have read the review in the first place. Of course, I've never heard of Enigma and would never have bought their software in the first place; most antimalware software seems like a scam to me anyway. Microsoft provides Windows Defender for free; why would I want to PAY for anitvirus?

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