Lavasoft Affiliates

Lavasoft Affiliate Program

Happy Birthday Lavasoft Affiliate Program 1 Month Old Today

Lavasoft Affiliate News.
Happy Birthday

I welcome you all to the very first Lavasoft Affiliates News Letter, I would like to start this by firstly personally thanking everyone who signed up to participate in the Lavasoft Affiliate Program so far.

This was a monumental turning point for Lavasoft in taking more of a personal approach towards our affiliates and I have already seen a great drive on behalf of you to put this program on the map, whether through paid search activities, social media networks like Twitter and WordPress or prime banner placements of your sites. I would like to also like to share a big thank you to the following people that participated in the soft launch phase of this program and help establish the start of this network and iron out any potential problems which I’m very happy to say never materialized, so a big thank you to Jim McMahon at MajorGeeks.com, Erick Vincent at Software.com, Peggy Yu at Cnet.com, Andreas Koschinsky at PcWelt.de and Richard Clooke at PCAdvisor.com. I wish you all the greatest of success in your business ventures and I hope to see some of you during the affiliate summits,

Mark Knighton – Lavasoft Affiliate Program Manager

Personal message from Lavasoft’s CEO Jason King

Over the last year and a half, Lavasoft has been going through a time of transitions. As part of that, we have re-organized our internal processes and have also taken an in depth look at the functionality of our various externally hosted partner programs.

Our precise objective was to optimize all programs through which we manage and communicate with you, and all of our partners who add value to our business.
We identified areas that needed improvement and others that required a complete overhaul. I can assure you that we have not been afraid to act, regardless of the size of the task at hand.

The measures we have implemented, or are in the process of working towards, have included transitioning to a new e-commerce partner; it became apparent that our strategies and goals had outgrown the incumbent provi der. Due to that, we set out on an exhaustive process to find and implement solutions which better cater to the needs of our business. For you, our affiliates, this means a completely new, leaner and more efficient, Lavasoft Affiliate Program. In addition to that, as part of our strategy to better serve you in our programs, new roles have also been created within our internal Sales and Marketing structure. These are only a fraction of the steps we have taken to fulfill our optimization and improvement objectives. Rest assured, you can expect further diligence on our part to ensure that we continue to advance our partner programs and services.

I would now like to personally welcome you to the Lavasoft Affiliate Program.
On behalf of both myself and the entire team here at Lavasoft, we look forward to our partnership – to serving you better than ever and to doing business that grows your company whilst growing ours.

Best wishes.

 
Jason King, CEO, Lavasoft
Affiliate Summit Mark will be attending the Affiliate Summit East; New York City from 9th to 11th August. To arrange a meeting with him, email affiliates@lavasoft.com
Lavasoft Affiliate News.
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06/05/2009 Posted by | Lavasoft Affiliates Program | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Increased Thievery in Online Games

Lavasoft Malware Labs on April 30th, 2009 

 

Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) have become a massive industry over the last decade. World of Warcraft alone has approximately 10 million active users. (1) That’s more than Sweden’s total population! A lot of users and money involved means that malware writers have a good opportunity to earn some “easy cash”.

In MMORPGs, players socialize, battle and discover a whole new world. It’s a never ending story but even online games has its drawbacks. The games include characters which can be upgraded. It may take several months or even years to get the highest skills and earn all the “cool” items.  It’s also possible to upgrade the character by buying virtual property; to do that, “real money” is applied. A character may become invaluable and highly attractive for thieves to steal and sell to others.

There are tons of rogue servers for MMORPGs out there. These servers offer free versions of the virtual worlds. The rogue servers are popular among people who cannot afford to play on the legitimate servers. But, the game quality is worse than on official ones and may cause support problems for users. (2)

“Any valuable item in an online game can have a monetary equivalent in the real world. This is when demand arises and when other peoples’ virtual property is stolen.” (2)

The system which verifies the player’s authenticity is most likely based on the username together with a password. This means thieves can steal passwords to be able to get items and sell them to other players. A known strategy is to use phishing techniques where the burglar pretends to be the administrator of the server and ask the victim to authenticate the account, if not they will be suspended. Another way is to make use of the “Have you forgotten your password?” function. The thief searches for known answers to security questions. Then he/she gets the option to change the password and “hijack” the account. (2)

There are known trojans which are developed with the specific purpose to steal passwords from MMORPGs. Lavasoft Malware Labs calls this family of threats Win32.TrojanPWS.OnlineGames. There are also families related to specific games, like, for example, Win32.TrojanPWS.WOW and Win32.TrojanPWS.Lmir. They are often constructed to harvest passwords while users visit certain game-servers and fill in their login data.

Gamers in China and South Korea have a much higher probability of being hit by trojan password stealers compared to users in other areas. According to statistics, 90% of password stealers are written to target users in China. (2) This doesn’t, though, necessarily mean that it’s impossible to be a victim in other parts of the world.

MMORPGs are a massive industry – one that’s growing every day. In 2008, Western consumers spent over $1.4 billion on subscriptions. (3) My conclusion is that the amount of malware will increase in proportion to the amount of new subscribers to the various MMORPGs games. 

Lavasoft Malware Labs tries to prevent this type of fraud by constantly updating our definition file and including MMORPGs threats.

(1) h**p://eu.blizzard.com/en/press/081223.html
(2) VirusList, Online games and fraud: using games as bait, h**p://www.viruslist.com/en/analysis?pubid=204791963
(3) Harding-Rolls, Piers (PDF). Subscription MMOGs: Life Beyond World of Warcraft. London, UK: Screen Digest. h**p://www.screendigest.com/press/releases/pdf/PR-LifeBeyondWorldOfWarcraft-240309.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-03-30.

05/05/2009 Posted by | Lavasoft Affiliates Program | , , , , | Leave a comment