A US District judge has imposed a temporary restraining order against so-called "Spam King" Stanford Wallace and his companies SmartBot and Seismic Entertainment Productions.
The District Court in the District of New Hampshire court ordering Wallace to disable a malicious application "Spyware/Spydeleter" that is designed to force users to pay for its removal from their computers.
The Spyware/Spydeleter script, which automatically infects PCs through links or Java scripts when users visit web pages, can download up to nine spyware programs, warned security firm PandaLabs.
Once it has reached the system, Spyware/Spydeleter downloads the spyware programs through FTP connections. Similarly, it creates several processes and leaves them memory resident. These processes have names like sd.exe or sd3.exe and ensure that the script is running at all times.
Additionally, Spyware/Spydeleter creates several entries in the Windows Registry. The most visible symptom of these entries is that they change the home page of Microsoft Internet Explorer for another page warning the user that the computer could be infected by spyware.
This page also includes a link where the user can supposedly find help to clean the computer. If the user clicks on this link, a page opens from which the application Spy Deleter is downloaded, which will remove the spyware from the computer for the "modest" price of $29.
Affected users may also find that two links called Click to Remove Spyware and Remove Spyware Now have been created on their desktop which point to this purchase page.
Luis Corrons, head of PandaLabs said: "It could be said that this is the start of a new era for malware, in as far as many of the authors of these kinds of programs are not just trying to prove that they can create damaging code better than the rest, but are trying to make a profit out of doing so.
"The number of fraud attempts through phishing is growing and many Trojans are circulating that try to steal confidential data, above all, bank account details. Now more than ever, it is vital to take precautions in the Internet, especially as they can hit where it most hurts: users' pockets."