Enigma Software, which makes the security software SpyHunter, first filed a lawsuit against BleepingComputer earlier this year over what it called defamatory comments about one of its programs, SpyHunter. Now, BleepingComputer claims Enigma allegedly used its trademarks and site code to associate Bleeping’s name with spyware, and promote its own software.
The original libel suit stems from a message board post made by a volunteer forum moderator called “Quietman7” that disparaged SpyHunter for misleading pricing, false advertising, and all-around shady practices. While Quietman7 doesn’t work for the site, the user backs up these claims with a series of references and past reports of foul play by Enigma, which had landed them on Spyware tracking lists for a brief time.
BleepingComputer claims that Enigma’s original lawsuit is an attempt to “bully and censor” the site and anyone that criticizes it.
After six months in court, an interesting discovery came to light. The reviews site is now suing Enigma for registering domain names that include “bleepingcomputer” and for publishing part of the site’s source code in a bid to damage its reputation.
In this new lawsuit, the filing says that Enigma Software “has been engaged in aggressive, secretive, and cowardly attacks against Bleeping Computer, including ripping off Bleeping Computer’s content and pretending it was authored by Enigma, repeatedly misusing Bleeping’s registered trademark to trade upon its goodwill, and publishing blatantly false claims about Bleeping.”
The suit, which is being led by Marc Randazza, a noted First Amendment attorney, called Enigma’s business approach “illegal, unethical and simply immoral”.
BleepingComputer is accusing Enigma of registering sites featuring its name and associating the brand with malware while also promoting SpyHunter. Some of these domain names (which you should not point your browser to) include bleepingcomputerregistryfix.com and browser.hijack.bleeping.computer.virus.spywareremovalfreetrial.com. The latter site for example insinuates that BleepingComputer infects users with a browser hijacker.
The suit goes on to claim that Enigma has also been carrying out an online smear campaign against BleepingComputer’s own security software, such as RKill. It quotes a site allegedly run by Enigma that stated RKill can “destroy the infected computer and record your personal information”.
In the filing, the reviews site said it bases much of its claims on “information and belief” but Enigma Software has not responded to the counter suit, stating that it will not comment on any ongoing litigation. We’ll update the story as the legal status between the two companies grows ever more complicated.