Gregory D. Evans' Book Plagiarism: "Spyware Reference & Study Guide" 99.3% Plagiarized

Thu Mar 3 16:26:49 CST 2011

The book "Spyware Reference & Study Guide" is published by LIGATT Publishing (ISBN 0-9745611-1-8), in other words self published by Gregory D. Evans. The information sheet lists William R. Fisher as the editor, but it does not appear the book benefited from any form of editing other than layout. For example, one of the few lines that we found not to be plagiarized reads "Attacked has complete control over your machine, can execute command is your place." The last two chapters can not be positively identified as coming from another source, but exhibit enough characteristics to make us completely sure that the material is not authored by Evans. Notes and examples of this are included below.

Due to the style of his plagiarism (copying up to 100 pages at a time), this book was thoroughly examined. It is our belief that this book could have been completed in under 8 hours, relying solely on a handful of web sites and an aggressive cut/paste session.

Pages / total Description Original Source
8-17 Full news articles with varying degrees of attribution (none, name, partial name or name/pub) Home Office: Spyware Primer
Spyware killers that install spyware
Spyware vs. Spyware
House Toughens Spyware Penalties
Next: Outlawing Spyware?
Spyware Follows In The Footsteps Of Spam
Calif. Spyware Bill: 'Worse Than Nothing'
Spyware at center of wiretap case (two paragraphs and URL, taken from here)
All four article summaries verbatim under "Spyware in the news"
19-20 Three paragraphs and bullet list of types of software What is spyware?
22-24 "Spyware statistics" Two Million Scans Uncover 55 Million Instances of Spyware (Earthlink/Webroot press release)
24-26 Two full pages of text Eighty-Seven Percent of WhenU Users Are Unaware They Are Using It
26-29 Three full pages of charts / statistics "Statistics courtesy of"
31-35 Spyware Glossary - entries taken verbatim from glossary Adware
Anti-spy software
anti-virus software
BackDoor Santa
BHO (Browser Helper Object)

(Note: The glossary cuts off and does not continue past 'Honeypot', instead finishing with three paragraphs on spyware removal. This includes recommending readers go to LIGATT's web site to download Spybot or go to (the source of some text used in the book).
37-46 Spyware Vendors - entries taken verbatim from spyware company guide Belcaro Group
Electronic Group
48-130 Spyware Programs - partial entries taken verbatim from spyware products guide 123messenger
132-216 Spyware Programs - entries taken verbatim from spyware products guide (Note: This is a repeat of chapter 7, but includes more details for each entry, grouped according to spywareguide's category list.)
218-276 Chapter 8, although not labeled as such, "Computer Surveillance: Spyware" (Note: This entire chapter is a slide deck, with the same graphic on the left side of each page, and no material on the bottom half of each page. The first slide contains text that can be found in his book "Laptop Security Short & Simple", and appears earlier in this book. The rest of the material in this chapter does not appear to be written by Evans, but a confirmed original source cannot be found. It is our belief that the presentation was likely in digital format, handed out on CD between 2003 and 2004, at a conference Evans attended. The presentation was either not put online, or has since been removed and an archive not maintained. Based on the serial plagiarism of Gregory D. Evans [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7], analysis of the writing style, off-colored text denoting what was originally hyperlinks, final slide saying "Let's Review" and other characteristics, we are confident this material was not authored by Evans. See notes for page 276-337 for additional validation of these claims.)
276-337 Chapter 9, "Computer Counter Surveillance (Anti-Spyware)" (Note: This entire chapter is a slide deck in the same format as Chapter 8. This chapter demonstrates with a high probability that the material has been copied from another source. Along with the evidence of hyperlinks and writing style, there are numerous places where material/pages are repeated in part or full. Some appear to be simple copy/paste errors, others appear to be including a previous draft of the presentation or some attempt to pad the content of the book. At least 9 pages of Chapter 9 are reprinted from Chapter 8 or 9. For example, the following pages are identical: 260 / 262, 219 / 279, 223 / 282 / 283, 245 / 290, 253 / 294, 254 / 295 and 257 / 299. The following pages are mostly identical, with one page containing an extra paragraph, sentence or bullet: 269 / 271, 252 / 293, 255 / 296 and 256 / 298. If Evans or LIGATT can demonstrate ownership of these two chapters, will publicly apologize and update this article accordingly.)

Total Pages with Plagiarised Content
320 / 322 (99.3%)

Note: Each chapter is proceeded by a page with a low resolution graphic, and no text content. These pages are not included in the percentage above.

Update: TechDirt indicates that their articles are free to use, but Evans can not claim copyright over them like he does.

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