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Is this freshly minted Microsoft MVP actually an adware pusher?

“Patchou” (aka Cyril Paciullo) has just been given Microsoft MVP status. Worthy of congratulation, except… Patchou got his fame through a program called Messenger Plus!, which has the option of installing LOP (opens in new tab)(a not-so-pleasant piece of adware).

Note that he does give the option to infect your machine (and quite politely, at that). But it’s still LOP.

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ihs/alex/messengerplus_1123219081_small.jpg

And here’s what a typical LOP popup looks like after having installed Messenger Plus:

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ihs/alex/lopscreen_12312397_thumb.jpg

(opens in new tab)

Not even an indication that it’s coming from LOP — unlike even Zango or WhenU, who at least tell people where the pop-up came from.

And then when you go to Add/Remove programs, you don’t see it either. Instead, it’s lumped together with Messenger Plus:

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ihs/alex/addremo012312397_thumb.jpg

(opens in new tab)

And here’s a cute little addition to the mix. There’s a bunch of icons installed with LOP, like this:

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ihs/alex/icons012132312397_small.jpg

Notice that “My Antivirus Update”? What a misleading icon, because this crap is what you actually get: A fake McAfee-looking page doing the age-old scam of “click here to test your CD-ROM Drive”.

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ihs/alex/adwaremcafee_thumb.jpg

And this has all has made at least one highly respected MVP (opens in new tab)quite unhappy.

Alex is a technology CEO, with leadership, operating partner, investor, and board member roles at security firms including AutoLoop, Borland, Quarterdeck (now Symantec and Cisco WebEx), GFI/TeamViewer, Sunbelt Software (now ThreatTrack Security), BlueStripe Software, StopBadware, Knowbe4, Malwarebytes, and Runaware Holding AB. When CEO of Sunbelt he ran a security blog, and he still writes on security.