Following vnunet.com's exposé of the fake Xbox emulator being circulated on the web last week, someone claiming to be the creator of the program has contacted us to apologise to the internet community.
The author of the email, known only as Scorpion, said: "I nearly shit a brick when I went online today to my favourite news source and saw an article regarding this.
"I am the creator of this program. It is not, as you reported, a Trojan. A Trojan is by definition harmful to the end user."
Scorpion explained that the fake Xbox emulator, EMU_xbox.exe, which came to light last week, was not malicious in any way, although it did hijack victims' machines in an attempt to scam cash from pay-per-click sponsors.
Insisting that the NetBUIE program, which stealthily installed itself, removed itself after a week, Scorpion said: "This program was built to fake click-throughs, as you stated, but it was unsuccessful.
"That is why I made six revisions before I decided to call it quits. The program is currently not making any money, and I have not received a dime from it.
"I wrote this program with an admin page. This allows me to deactivate the later versions of the program, which I did immediately.
"The people who downloaded the last two versions of the software will get a pop-up with uninstallation instructions as well as a sincere apology.
"The rest will continue to receive adult pop-ups, but absolutely NO harm will be done to their computers."
He maintains that the program was not designed with any evil intentions. It was to make money, which it has failed to do.
Because all the fake clicks rather suspiciously came from Internet Explorer browsers the affiliate programs killed his accounts.
Scorpion said in his defence that the only people who downloaded the software were actively browsing for illegal programs anyway.
An Xbox emulator would not be backed by Microsoft and the program itself was only listed on warez sites.
He also claims that he mentioned the NetBUIE program in the terms and conditions for the download. "If the user didn't read these terms that is not my fault," he said.
To a degree, he does have a point. Anyone downloading illegitimate software from warez sites and running it without any precautions may well be asking for trouble.
"This program was a mistake, but it is not a Trojan, it is not harmful, and I have done my best to undo what I have done. I am sorry people feel this was a Trojan. It was written in under two hours using visual basic. It is not, and doesn't claim to be, anything exotic," said Scorpion.
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