Spyware operations shut down by FTC

Share this article:

The nation's consumer watchdog announced today that it has halted two spyware operations - one of which was forced to pay more than $4 million.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had sued Sanford Wallace, and his company Smartbot.Net, as well as Odysseus Marketing, and its principal, Walter Rines, claiming that the companies' downloads were unfair and deceptive to consumers.

One piece of Smartbot.Net's spyware caused a PC's CD-ROM tray to open, telling the user, "If your CD-ROM's drive's open...You desperately need to rid your system of spyware pop-ups immediately! Spyware programmers can control your computer hardware if you failed to protect your computer right at this moment! Download Spy Wiper now!"

The promoted programs sold for $30.

A judgment against Smartbot.Net ordered them to pay more than $4 million in profits, and prohibited them from downloading spyware onto PCs.

The FTC said that another settlement was reached with defendants OptinTrade and Jared Lansky, who allegedly disseminated ads for Smartbot.Net's spyware. They were ordered to give up $227,000 in profits.

In another case, the FTC issued a revised injunction against Odysseus Marketing, claiming the company lured PC users to its website by offering anti-spyware products, before capturing personal information. The company would then sell access to the collected personal data.

The injunction bars the company from downloading spyware software onto PCs.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

TOP COMMENTS

More in News

Adobe exploit used to spread Dyre credential stealer

Adobe exploit used to spread Dyre credential stealer

Users running vulnerable Adobe software could be in danger of having credentials for Bitcoin websites stolen.

Staples is investigating a potential issue involving credit card data

Staples is investigating a potential issue involving credit ...

The company said it is investigating a potential issue involving credit card data and that customers are not responsible for fraudulent activity on cards if an issue is discovered.

Skills set a priority over legacy prejudices, experts say

Skills set a priority over legacy prejudices, experts ...

Cybersecurity expert Winn Schwartau and Robert Clark, a cyber law attorney at the Army Cyber Institute, discussed issues around hiring in the information security industry.