FTC Permanently Halts Media Motor Spyware Scam
"Operators who infected more than 15 million computers with destructive, intrusive spyware will give up $330,000 in ill-gotten gains from their venture to settle FTC charges that their scam violated federal law. The settlement will bar the defendants from downloading software onto consumers’ computers without disclosing its function and obtaining consumers’ consent prior to installation, bars them from downloading software that interferes with consumers’ computer use, and bars false or misleading claims.
The order will permanently bar the defendants from distributing software that interferes with consumers’ computers, including software that tracks consumers’ Internet activity or collects other personal information; generates disruptive pop-up advertising; tampers with or disables other installed programs; or installs other advertising software onto consumers’ computers. The defendants will also be required to fully disclose the name and function of all software they install on consumers’ computers in the future, and to provide consumers with the option to cancel the installation after viewing the disclosure. The defendants will give up $330,000 in ill-gotten gains. Should the court find that the defendants misrepresented their financial status, $3,595,925 – the total revenues from their scam – will be due. "
Ok, so the defendants have to give up $330,00.00 - this is a much better result than that announced by the Washington Attorney General not long ago. That being said, when you consider that the stated income for the defendants from their software is $3,595,925 - this fine of $330,000.00, at only 9.177% of the stated income, can be classed as no more than a minor irritation - after all, who cares if they can't do what they did any more - they still get to keep over $3,000,00!! Is it at all surprising that fraudware/scareware/betrayware/malware is such a growth industry when we consider the real world impact of such low fines?