Software // Enterprise Applications
02:18 PM
Connect Directly

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, GoDaddy Subpoenaed

Grisoft seeks info on companies that promoted counterfeit AVG antivirus products through sponsored text ads.

AVG said Wednesday that it has filed subpoenas under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Internet domain registrar GoDaddy.

The antivirus company, also known as Grisoft, is seeking the identities of search advertisers responsible for fraudulently promoting AVG antivirus products through sponsored text ads.

It is also seeking domain registration information associated with these search advertisers in order to identify those behind the sites selling counterfeit AVG software.

"AVG was founded to protect the Internet community against cyber-threats, so we find it particularly disconcerting that criminal organizations are exploiting our good name for fraudulent purposes," said J.R. Smith, president and CEO of Grisoft, in a statement. "Our goal is to locate and prosecute these criminal organizations to protect our users and the integrity of the Internet."

Reached via cell phone in the Czech Republic, Smith characterized the subpoenas as necessary since search engines and registrars get lots of requests for information that may not be legitimate. He said that those posting ads on search engines using AVG's name are trying to sell cracked or illegal software and that, rather than let the sellers get away with it, he believes it's important to try to stop the abuse.

AVG said it's working with French police in an active criminal investigation of the matter and that it had numerous other investigations under way throughout the world.

AVG expects to drop the Grisoft brand and be known only as AVG in the new year, according to a company spokesperson.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 Digital Issue, April 2015
The 27th annual ranking of the leading US users of business technology
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of April 19, 2015.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.