This one looks equally as nefarious…
Driving Installations to Gain Referral Income From Prey
You’ll notice from the Reddit post that inspired this that cyrus9020 was referred to open-office.us through a Google Adwords campaign. I was not able to duplicate this with a search on Google, but a search on Bing revealed the same ad, from the same domain…
Bing seems to be the perfect place for these predators to place paid links on. If a user is searching from Bing, it’s a safe bet that they are using Internet Explorer. If they are using Internet Explorer, it’s a safe bet that they are complete luddite’s in regards to technology making them perfect victims to this pirate greed.
It’s Not Just Open Office…
As a Linux user of over a decade, this wacky world is foreign and bizarre to me. Out of curiosity, I ran a search in Bing for Gimp. Sure enough, this is what I saw at the top of the search results:
Gimp 2012… Nice. This time I uncovered a huge operation based around repackaging open source installers for Windows to point to referral wares. Searchapps.me.
Registrant Name:Robert Gannon Registrant Organization:SearchApps Registrant Address:233 South Wacker Drive Registrant Address2: Registrant Address3: Registrant City:Chicago Registrant State/Province:Illinois Registrant Country/Economy:US Registrant Postal Code:60606 Registrant Phone:+1.8886416670 Registrant Phone Ext.: Registrant FAX: Registrant FAX Ext.: Registrant E-mail:email@example.com
Searchapps.me seems to run ads on Google and Bing for all sorts of open source software. Need a copy of Inkscape? Searchapps.me has got you covered. They also claim to be a great place to work!
SearchApps is an innovative founded by Robert Gannon, a veteran of the Chicago software community. Robert launched SearchApps with a team of executives with experience from Amazon, Groupon, and LivingSocial to bring the ease of use social search to the emerging app space.
With the goal of simplifying social search and social discovery, SearchApps will revolutionize social, local, and mobile and have a major impact on all modes of software with trusted reviews and an intelligent rating engine for new software.
SearchApps is actively recruiting the top development talent in Chicago. We are located in the beautiful downtown area of Chicago and offer generous perks like catered lunches and all the snacks you can eat. We also encourage telecommuting. Join us at SearchApps and have an impact today! Send us your resume today.
What does the FOSS world have to defend against this?