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FTC stops WinFixer, WinAntivirus and friends

 
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suzi
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: FTC stops WinFixer, WinAntivirus and friends Reply with quote

Hot off the wire from the FTC.

http://ftc.gov/opa/2008/12/winsoftware.shtm

Quote:
For Release: December 10, 2008

Court Halts Bogus Computer Scans

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has issued a temporary halt to a massive “scareware” scheme, which falsely claimed that scans had detected viruses, spyware, and illegal pornography on consumers’ computers. According to the FTC, the scheme has tricked more than one million consumers into buying computer security products such as WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus. The court also froze the assets of those responsible for the scheme, to preserve the possibility of providing consumers with monetary redress.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used an elaborate ruse that duped Internet advertising networks and popular Web sites into carrying their advertisements. The defendants falsely claimed that they were placing Internet advertisements on behalf of legitimate companies and organizations. But due to hidden programming code that the defendants inserted into the advertisements, consumers who visited Web sites where these ads were placed did not receive them. Instead, consumers received exploitive advertisements that took them to one of the defendants’ Web sites. These sites would then claim to scan the consumers’ computers for security and privacy issues. The “scans” would find a host of purported problems with the consumers’ computers and urge them to buy the defendants’ computer security products for $39.95 or more. However, the scans were entirely false.

According to the complaint, the two companies charged in the case – Innovative Marketing, Inc. and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC – operate using a variety of aliases and maintain offices in various countries. Innovative Marketing is a company incorporated in Belize that maintains offices in Kiev, Ukraine. ByteHosting Internet Services is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


More info in the article.

And more documents here:
http://ftc.gov/os/caselist/0723137/index.shtm

Cheers!

Edit.. this documment is particularly interesting because it has a breakdown of their operations... how they did it.

http://ftc.gov/os/caselist/0723137/081202innovativemrktgcmplt.pdf
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Proactive Services
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Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A worthy Christmas present! Nice to see that the larger authorities are stepping up to the challenge of dealing with this. Thee cheers are in order I think!
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trickyricky
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, and not before time. I actually went to a client this morning to remove one of their "innovative" products, so reading this was very welcome indeed.
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datababe
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are, of course, trying to ignore the hammer:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/24/scareware_mongers_fined/

Hopefully they will continue to get whacked harder and harder. Evil or Very Mad
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suzi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...

Quote:
A federal judge has fined a Belize-based company $8,000 for each day it continues to flout his order to halt a major internet operation alleged to have duped more than 1 million computer users into buying bogus malware protection.


Hehe.. that will add up quickly. Laughing
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