Lincoln, NE – April 13, 2006:
A new Spyware infection was discovered this morning by the Schrock Innovations research department called MoviePass. Internet users intentionally or unintentionally install the MoviePass software on their computers while attempting to download music or movies from the Internet. Once the free trial software expires, MoviePass demands $29.99 a month from unsuspecting victims. Those who refuse to pay can be slapped with a $359.88 bill and a damaged credit report.
According to Thor Schrock, owner of Schrock Innovations, the MoviePass software blurs the line somewhat between a legitimate software subscription service and a dangerous spyware threat. The software seems to provide a legitimate service, but also collects information about all of the programs on your computer to prevent “software conflicts.” This same information could be used to detect anti-spyware programs and build counter measures into the MoviePass software.
The agreement continues by specifying “IF YOU FAIL TO PAY OR CANCEL DURING THE TRIAL PERIOD, YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO PURCHASE AN ANNUAL LICENSE TO THE MEDIAPIPE SOFTWARE AT THE PRICE LISTED IN THE ADVERTISEMENT YOU CLICKED THROUGH TO INITIATE INSTALLATION.”
Schrock said a telltale sign of the presence of this software is when your computer starts displaying MoviePass messages asking you for billing information. Schrock recommends that unless you wish to continue subscribing to the MoviePass service, you immediately call MoviePass and cancel your account before you remove the software
The MoviePass and MediaPipe software do have uninstallers that are provided by the company and located in the Add/Remove Programs folder. While the uninstallers remove a great deal of the software, they do not remove everything so a manual cleanup is required of up to 5 folders in the Program Files folder on your computer’s hard drive.