When I told my hubby about this sad story, he said … Fool’s Gold!
This story, that Wayne Portor calls “All that Gitters is Not Gold…” and Steve Shubitz calls “Dale Begg-Smith & AdsCPM: A Spyware low life Criminal Distributor wins an Olympic Gold Medal for Australia,” is apparently not very funny despite the puns.
Wayne Porter at ReveNews says,
Steve Shubitz of StopScum has put together a fascinating entry on his site. It appears an Olympic Gold Medal winner was one of the young puppet masters behind a slimy network (AdsCPM) that made a killing in spyware. (Many of which I have seen before e.g. Lop.)
Now Lop is one nasty piece of work .. many of us remember it best from having to remove it from computers of clients, friends and families!
Steve exposes this guy for who he may well be:
AdsCPM actually ran and hosted http://www3.adscpm.com/FreeMP3Music.exe This exe is loaded with Spyware.
– FreeScratchAndWin also installed lop/rnd and in it’s earlier iteration dealt with xzoomy. It has it’s own parasite designation and eadgbe appears to be correct that it is affiliated with adscpm somehow
– Xzoomy.com, which is actively running also has the contact info (Mike Cass) firstname.lastname@example.org. Xzoomy.com was apparently involved in some autodownload via exploit activity (no prompt download).
Special thanks and attribution to Scott Ashman – CTO Jaspin Interactive for the 3 Spyware connections noted above.
Anyone have to deal with these pieces of crapware? Yeah, thought so. And Steve also has some other revealing info on their domains which will also be very familiar to those who fight this scumware.
Steve has some suggestions for Mr. Begg-Smith:
1) Return your Olympic Gold Medal. Your checkered past has tainted the Olympics and you don’t represent the high moral and ethical standards which the Olympics endorse.
2) Come clean with additional details. Remember, we just started our invesatigation on you!
3) Return all your “wealth” to the Canadian authorities. Including but not limited to your Lamborghini and all the money you have stashed away.
4) Cooperate with the local authorities and provide details of other Spyware players.
In Wayne’s article he promptly follows that with:
Perhaps he might also consider hiring an alchemist because if these allegations are true his gold medal is nothing more than lead in my book. Dale it is not to late to atone for your sins against computer users across the globe. People, especially young ones, make mistakes- do the noble thing.
What is most interesting is what touched this fiasco off- a little research by a denizen at GeekVillage named (Joshua Smith/ Czar) who saw the “hero” on TV. This shows there is power in individual effort and speaking out around the campfire! Smalll things can lead to large things and most importantly- you can run, but you cannot hide. Rest assured this additional intel (many were already tracking it) will wind its way up into the security powers in a flash.
Well stated Steve and Wayne…I think it likely will fall on deaf ears, but nice try anyway.
Personally, I don’t believe he will ever give the Gold back – either to the computer users he fleeced – or – the Olympic Team he swindled into thinking he was a moral and ethical person.
So maybe my hubby was right … maybe it is Fool’s Gold after all.
Sad story…..If true, I really feel for the Australians as he laughed in their faces and tainted their Olympic win, not to mention the Canadians since he’s from Canada.
More at SpamKings @ O’Reily.com in their article: Asterisk on pop-up mogul’s gold and Bloomberg.com in their article: Begg-Smith, Australia’s `Spam Man,’ Wins Gold in Olympic Moguls.
Gotta love this from the Bloomberg article:
Begg-Smith, a 21-year-old native of Vancouver, British Columbia, who now lives primarily in Melbourne, is the founder of a Web pop-up ad company and worth $40 million, according to estimates by the Herald Sun and other Australian newspapers. The official Web site of the Olympics said he drives a $300,000 Lamborghini.
The International Olympic Committee’s Web site said that Begg-Smith runs an Internet pop-up advertising company that he describes as the third largest of its kind. The IOC website also said he drives a Lamborghini in Vancouver, where he still lives part of the year.
His sports success is easier to document.
Dale and his older brother Jason left Canada for Melbourne when Dale was 15 because the Canadian Junior Ski Team wouldn’t let them divide their time as they wished between school, skiing, and their nascent Internet ventures. Steve Desovich, a Canadian coach who had emigrated to Australia, convinced them to try out for his new country.
“I was very busy when I was young, so I couldn’t get to all the training camps,” Begg-Smith said after his win. “I was pretty young, I was going to school and trying to do other stuff, too.”
The brothers had to sit out two years of competition to be able to switch countries. After his first year skiing for Australia, Dale was 18th in the World Cup rankings for the 2003- 2004 season, finished second the next season and took bronze at the Freestyle World Championships in March 2005 in Ruka, Finland.
And this from the SpamKings article:
Canadian-born Begg-Smith reportedly is president of AdsCPM Network (a.k.a. CPM Media Inc.), a firm notorious for using “driveby downloads,” security exploits, and other cheap tricks to install spyware (including keyloggers and browser hijackers) on unsuspecting Internet users’ computers.
Very interesting….and a very sad day in Olympic history.
Oh, and that GeekVillage connection?
Posted by Czar, a webmaster administrator,
This is unbelievable.
I was just watching Australia’s first gold medal win in the Torino Winter Olympics and noticed a name that rang a bell. The gold medal winner of the Men’s Moguls event was one Dale Begg-Smith, formerly of Canada.
Since this was our country’s first gold of these games, Begg-Smith has been receiving a lot of coverage. One of the most intriguing points that has been mentioned is that he is apparently a self-made IT millionaire. That’s when the name started to ring an even louder bell.
Dale, in an interview, mentioned that he has a company that helps companies to manage their ad campaigns. Strangely, he said that his company doesn’t have a name or a website, but that it works as a team of programmers in the background. He possibly said this so that the press wouldn’t pick up on the fact that his company has attracted a questionable reputation within the marketplace. That’s right, our Aussie gold medallist is the same Dale Begg-Smith who used to run AdsCPM.com. The same Dale Begg-Smith who used to be a member of Geek/Talk, before being banned back in 2002.
Here’s an earlier thread featuring comments from the soon-to-be superstar:
How funny is that!