180solutions Sues Seven Former Distributors

180solution filed suit against seven former distributors of its search software for allegedly causing the software to be installed on people's computers without proper notice and consent. 180solutions claims the distributors used botnets to fascilitate the software installations.

Computers become part of botnets when worms infiltrate a system using vulnerabilities in the operating system or its components. A computer can also become a bot when the user unknowingly installs malicious software. Botnet operators can use the bots for any number of purposes, including targeted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, as staging points for software piracy rings, as storage for illicit material, and more. Apparently botnets are also used to directly generate revenue by distributing software for a fee.

"Our top priority is to ensure that everyone who has downloaded 180solutions software has done so through proper notification and consent prior to installation," said Daniel Todd, co-founder and president of 180solutions. "We have implemented strong policing efforts to detect distributor wrongdoing, and have a no-tolerance policy through our Distributor Code of Conduct. When we discover a partner in violation of our code, we shut them down and, when necessary, take legal action to avert future bad behavior."

180solutions is seeking a monetary award as a result of damages the company says it suffered due to the actions of the distributors that violated its code of conduct. The company said it will use any award for a fund  to "foster pro-consumer practices for downloadable software."

The company said every person who has 180solutions software installed on their computer receives a notice within 72 hours of installation. In June the company began re-notifying its 20 millions users. 180solutions said the notice includes information on how to uninstall the software.

In July the company settled another lawsuit against Internext Media Corp that stemmed from conduct violations of an Internext affiliate, Aztec Marketing. In the settlement Internext paid an undisclosure amount of money without admitting liability.

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