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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Morpheus - they used to claim to be spyware free - no more!!
    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-864086.html

    Do you know how many millions of people installed this last time? We have to fight this as hard as we can.

    Go to their band page - email everyone of them - let them know, it is corporate america squashing the little guy, they can be with the little guys or with corporate america.

    Morpheus is part of STREAMCASTNETWORKS.COM
    Their address:
    StreamCast Networks, Inc.
    347B Main Street
    Franklin, TN 37067

    I cannot find a working number

    Here is a streamcast press release about not supporting spyware.
    http://www.streamcastnetworks.com/3_1_02.html

    I HATE THEM.

  2. #2
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    By the way - they are doing this with befree.

    I am writing all my befree partners and telling them I am dropping them. We cannot look the other way. Drop your befree partners now!! Befree is only going to screw us all for a bigger fish.

  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Well spotted Chez Noir [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Slashdot are running with the same story here with some more info.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    "TopText is KaZaA's version of this mess so I assume Streamcast is doing basically the same. Specifically, it reads the HTML coming through and does two things. First, any link to an affiliate program it recognizes gets rewritten so that the referal ID is TopText's NOT the site which provided the link and content. Second, the text is searched for keywords which are then rewritten to be links again with a refer ID for TopText. This is the source of the so called Yellow Text links.

    The first one is theft pure and simple. The people like me who write the site are trying to get paid by putting the link there. KaZaA, Morpheus etc are simply stealing scarce and hard earned money from others. The second activity might barely be legit but not likely. For example, if I linked "Buy your books at BN" with my referal ID and TopText then grabbed "books" to point it at Amazon, I have still been robbed.

    If my sites didn't make at least some money off the links, they would disappear when the hosting bills come around. For all the screaming about the right to advertise how bad would it be if all the ad revenue disappeared because Morpheus and KaZaA/TopText stole it? Now think about all of the free sites out there run by ABW members trying to live off the referal ads. They will all die if scumware like this becomes standard and incorporated into the "super affiliate" program by BeFree and CJ. Cut off their revenue source of affiliate networks and these guys become plan old spammers.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Morpheous was using the FastTrack network til a few days ago. FastTrack and it's largest customer Ezula/TopText were 100% parasite/scumware providers.
    Hint: The point is that the Morpheus user isn't the customer, even though there are 70 million of them. The "Morpheus user" is the product that is sold to these scumwarez advertisers, the real customers. The Morpheus software is bait and the net results are ala.. 1990's.. Eyeball generating scams. The Advertising industry's answer to banner blindness....use parasite warez to capture and control the endusers system. Eliminate the choices and control the drones is the new Mantra for the Ad industry. God I get a itchy feeling about even being remotely tied to the online Ad industry.

    I played with a few typed in URLs with their latest download, and here's my findings: www.ebay.com

    links to http://www.qksrv.net/image-280514- 220264, which has an instant redirect to pages.ebay.com ( installs the CJ tracking cookie for Morpheous). I played with this in netscape 6.2 and lynx, and they still directly put me towards www.ebay.com so they aren't infected YET. There is definitely redirection occurring here.
    www.amazon.com

    links to http://www. amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/home/home. html/104-9801158-34639 ( Hello BeFree), while netscape and lynx go similar (but not the same) page in the same sub-directory tree. I'm not sure if there's a url redirect occurring here.
    www.barnesandnoble.com

    In IE, goes to http:// service.bfast.com/bfast/serve?bfmid=2181&so urceid=21425507&categoryid=rn_home, then redirects towards a barnesandnoble.com redirected address. Netscape and lynx still go straight the low level barnesandnoble.com address. There is also definite, blatant redirection occurring here. So, there you have it- out of just three simple checks, Morpheus went and screwed with two of them. I'm getting this crap off my machine if it let's me before they release the un-installable version.

    [ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

    [ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Mike, you're saying it's happening now?

    That if Morpheus is installed, links are being stolen/re-written/hijacked now?



    I think the only way we can fight scumwarez is to ride on the back of the music industry and try to get rid of file sharing. Kaaza was popular then when people realized what it was doing, many changed to Morpheus thinking it was clean, now they're going the same way.
    I'm rambling, I'm mad, I'm upset

    [ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: mousejockey ]

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    MJ,

    It will be ... it is not confirmed yet, but all indicators point towards it ...
    www.BuyersPort.com

    Mark the name and see.

    Haiko

  8. #8
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    My God, thank you for this thread!!!

    I used to use Morpheus a while ago and got everything I wanted and stopped. Two days ago installed their "Preview" addition. Scumware or Al Quaeda or somewhere in between.

    Everytime I went to eBay it said qkserve or whatever and then crashed. Needless to say I uninstalled it but it was too late. So far I have had to reinstall IE, ZoneAlarm, Outlook Express, and a couple other programs that I had running at the time. All of them got scrambled and still IE continues to crash on certain pages.

    Any ideas how to get the last of their scumware off my computer??? I tried Ad-Aware which found nothing. I think I will try uninstalling IE and then reinstalling it but that will be a nightmare but I don't see any other way.

    I had no idea what was wrong other than it was Morpheus' fault till I read this thread.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work of warning others.

    [typed too fast]
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    [ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: Planetwide Exodus ]

  9. #9
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    Mike, I have it installed and am not finding the same results as you. No redirects.

    When did you install yours? I grabbed a copy today. If you still have your download, can you email it to me or link it for me?

    I can not figure how this is installing as it does not get listed as a regular boh or show up in the objects list. Any clues?

    Chet

  10. #10
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Don't forget to update your AdAware signature though

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I used the Grandkids machine which had the old version on it and just did an upgrade from the alert box. Maybe only the existing users get the immediate scumwarez version ..but they number over 50 million. It's there and I used IE 5.5 with cookies enables to see their Morpheous affiliate attachments to CJ and BeFree servers.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    My Take on the Morpheous P2P initiative is the people behind it are intending to get rich quick and hide the proceeds. Let's look under the hood for a moment. The IE plugin containing the trojan horse redirect .DLL spreads like TopText or those Porno autodialers right into your WinXXX systems registry. Not easily removed by novices and can be made to recreate the offending files upon rebooting the system.
    What does it do? Whether you type in a URL -follow a search engine link or Click on a merchant banner at AOL or EcomCity.com the Morpheous .DLL file has TAKEN OVER all page requests from your ISP service. They OWN your internet connection to any content. They determine if the URL is an affiliate enabled merchant at their server and embedd their own commissionable cookie if none is present ..or strip & replace EcomCity's ID# with their own and send the shopper on his way. Phase II will be allowing competitor merchants ( WalMart vs BestBuys) to popup their Ads when visiting Amazon.com based upon URL's main shopping thrust.

    The Threat: When this thing spreads and the AOL's and Yahoos see a real dent in their commissionable banner links they will private label or build their own parasitewarez plugin. Major ISP's like Earthlink or Comcast/AT&T who currently control all page requests from their subscribers might resort to the same tactics. So the EyeBall Cookie War begins. With all the scumware WarLords trying to get THEIR cookie in last before the order confirmation screen.

    The results: Morpheous and "Wurld WhatEver" need an enabler to monitize these redirects and eventual Popups ( For Cases where the buyer gets the comparison shopping jitters and needs some INCENTIVE to continue or go to a competitor). Who is the enabler? CJ BeFree/ValueClick and Linkshare...or any other private or public affiliate program like Kowabunga or Performics. Morpheous calls the "super affiliates" and Portals and shoves 70 million surfers into the EyeBall cannon breach. These are the ones in real jeopardy not little guys like EcomCity. So they join the Morpheous scheme and entice their vistors to DOWNLOAD some FREEBEE full of this crapolla to keep their COOKIE active.

    Has this senerio been discussed in private meetings prior to merging BreFree with ValueClick?? Does Morpheous like ShopNow/Whenu.com have multiple affiliate accounts on all 3 major networks and co-consipirators in waiting?? CJ by hiding the Affiliate ID in their coding makes that part easy. BeFree autoloads incent offers and product links everynight for the parasite warez folks and provides tracking and payment. Linkshare has taken a stand on this but gets broadsided due to LS merchant greed and long standing e-biz plan to shaft the mass affiliates out of traffic with piss poor conversion ratios.

    The NET result is COOKIE chaos where the hybred deal involves scumwarez tactics to suppliment CPM -CPC and CPA programs. Hello ValueClick goodby ABW affiliate marketers. The weakest link won't come from immediate legal actions ...lawyers want their long drawnout fees like the bottom feeding Adware scumlords..it will be that Morpheous and copycats will overload the P2P network they reside on and create outages. My advice is to immediately pressure the networks to STOP this practice dead in it's tracks. Those that don't ..boycott them.. and let your own EyeBalls know why!

    --------------------

    WebMaster Mike WWW.EcomCity.com

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Thanks Haiko for pointing out that www.buyersport.com will highlight the MERCHANTS who knowingly jump in bed with Morpheous. If they don't know then we can wake them up. I just looked at my 2 year stats for the majors shown there and a boycott would'nt hurt me or you a bit. None produce average conversion results and all are Branding advertisers...not sales revenue partners.

  14. #14
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    If they are redirecting thru Befree and CJ and Linkshare links when a user type in a direct url (e.g. www.ebay.com), then either:

    1. The affiliate managers and affiliate networks are unaware and need to stop it.

    or 2. The affiliate managers, Befree, CJ, LinkShare and Morpheus guys are all in bed with each other and embezzling money from the likes of 1-800-Flowers, Walmart, Staples, BestBuy, etc.

    or 3. Somewhere in between.

    I see no possible way that the upper management of Walmart is aware that they are paying Morpheus (and Linkshare) everytime a web user types in Walmart.com into a browser and buys something. They need to be made aware how the affiliate managers and affiliate networks are ripping off the company and stockholders (if this is indeed happening).

    The one news article suggests that Befree is a knowing participant.

  15. #15
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    I think that Morpheus makes The Borg look like a little kitten. I have never had a lot of experience with invasive, self-replicating programs in my computer before.

    I spent some time reinstalling, editing the registry, etc and nothing worked. After deleting the same things enough times, I utilized the advice given in the Windows Tips and Tricks forum and I think the last remnants are gone. (The latest version of Ad Aware seemed to be the final blow.)

    If I hadn't been on the receiving end of this level of hijacking I may have marveled at the genious of this attacker called Morpheus.

    I think, sad as it is, that I will throw in on any efforts to ban file sharing if it is in the hands of people like Morpheus.

    In terms of time, this has been very costly. At the very least there should be some kind of class-action lawsuit against them for any number of these offenses.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    The good news is rabid file sharers aren't at all happy with this new Morpheus, it's going to be interesting to watch the boards over the weekend.

    Anyone know about the person or company in the Netherlands that developed the program that is making our lives a misery?

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    TopText and Ezula were coded by programmers out of that area. Maybe the same group who develop the browser hooks and ASP server apps to license to others. Hosting was by Globix but I think they are in financial troouble since they obviously don't get a cut of revenue ..just bandwaith fees.

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