Official Statement on the ‘Listen To Bitcoin’ Malware
If you’re here, you’re probably wondering why my name shows up alongside “malware” in search engine results.
The short story is that in 2013 I sold my popular domain ListenToBitcoin.com, and the new owner put malware on it. Since I was the previous domain owner, and since the domain now had malware, search engines started associating the malware with my name.
My 2014 interview with 99bitcoins.com does a good job of going into more detail. Relevant quotes are below.
The platform was launched in March of 2013 and was praised by the users until Laumeister sold it to an anonymous buyer, without knowing the new owners intended to infect the website with malware. It was a hard hit for the student, who never thought this could happen.
Later, Laumeister launched a similar new platform, an original clean site that is currently hosted at BitListen.com. Six months after the controversy generated by the case, he talked to Bitcoin Examiner.
Did you ever figure out who the buyer was and why did he infect the website?
Max – In my correspondence with the buyer, there was nothing that led me to believe they would use it for malware. I assumed they would change the donation address, make improvements to the site, and/or find a legitimate way to monetize the site.
The Bitlisten software holds sentimental value to me as the first substantial piece of software I’ve written, and I never would have willingly let the original domain name fall to malware.
What is ListenToBitcoin’s status right now?
ListenToBitcoin.com is still serving up the Java applet, which is presumably still malicious. I have reported the site to be blocked by Google for malware, and I encourage others to do the same.
Since publication of the interview, the domain is not serving malware anymore.
The person who purchased the domain from me in 2013 only owned it for one year (maybe two, I can’t remember) before letting it lapse for someone else to pick up. Now it’s parked, and it appears to be squatted.
How is your new project, BitListen.com, going?
My own fork of the open-source project is hosted at BitListen.com and includes a few bug fixes and features, such as exchange rate display from Mt. Gox and Bitstamp, and better handling of running in a background tab.
I believe the above quotes from my interview do a decent job of covering what happened. If you have any questions, please contact me and we’ll chat about it.