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Thread: Suit filed against Spy Wiper/Spy Deleter

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Suit filed against Spy Wiper/Spy Deleter


    First Suit Filed Against Internet 'Spyware'

    By Andy Sullivan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has sued a New Hampshire man in its first attempt to crack down on Internet "spyware" that seizes control of a user's computer without permission.

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday asked a federal court to shut down an operation that it said disables users' computers in an attempt to bully them into buying anti-spyware products.

    Internet users unwittingly download the software when they visit Web sites that contain certain banner ads, the FTC said.

    The software exploits a hole in Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Internet Explorer Web browser to work its way onto computers without users' knowledge, according to the lawsuit.

    A Washington consumer group, the Center for Democracy and Technology, had demonstrated the software to Reuters before it filed a complaint with the FTC in February.

    The software hijacks Web browsers, causes CD-ROM trays to mysteriously slide open and slows down computers or causes them to cease working altogether.

    A torrent of "pop up" messages urges consumers to buy programs called Spy Wiper or Spy Deleter to clean up the mess.

    The FTC has taken action against companies that redirect browsers before but has never sued a company for secretly installing software.

    Spyware comes in many forms -- from keystroke loggers that can capture passwords, credit-card numbers and other sensitive data to relatively harmless programs that deliver pop-up ads.

    Currently there are no national anti-spyware laws on the books, though several states have them. The House of Representatives passed two anti-spyware bills this week and another is pending in the Senate.

    The FTC used deceptive-business laws to go after New Hampshire resident Sanford Wallace and his two companies, Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc. and SmartBot.Net Inc.

    The FTC asked the court to shut down Wallace's operations and force him to return any money he has made.
    Wallace could not be reached for comment.

    "We're glad to see that they've taken some action; it was a really egregious case," Center for Democracy's Associate Director Ari Schwartz said.

    The FTC was expected to discuss its suit at a press conference on Tuesday. An FTC spokeswoman declined to comment.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Thanks for that, things are looking up...............I just read in my local newspaper that a guy was given 24 months for selling pirate CDs.

    It is about time we saw a bit more focus on real issues rather than the RIAA style "knee jerks" and legislation that is totally unenforceable.

    My thoughts

  3. #3
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Interesting, about time something was done. Thanks Meeeeeeeee.

    On the other side of the fence, read that Sophos Av recently had to stop detection of a particular dialer.

    Anti-virus firm Sophos yesterday suspended detection of a "porn dialler application", following complaints from its UK-based developer.

    A Sophos spokeswoman confirmed that it had removed detection of the Coulomb dialler yesterday afternoon on legal advice, following representations from Coulomb Ltd. Sophos is investigating if its AV software is wrongly detecting a legitimate dialler application developed by Coulomb Ltd as a Trojan
    Full article here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09...n_dialler_row/

    Seems to be one step forward two steps back
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    "The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday asked a federal court to shut down an operation that it said disables users' computers in an attempt to bully them into buying anti-spyware products"

    This just happened to my computer today. The spyware deactivated my pop up blocker and put about 25 porn site links on it and a porn dialler. All the pop ups that came up were to advertise for anti spyware programs. Thank god for Spybot: Search and Destroy and norton's GO BacK. I just bought this computer last week I dont want it screwed up already

    I hate spyware!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    SpyBot Search and Destroy is a great tool. But most people aren't aware that it (by default) is set up to ignore approximatly 4 or more spyware products. If the user clicks on "Mode", then selects "Advanced Mode" then scrolls down to "Ignore Products" the user will see that there are about 4 items that are selected ("checked") to be ignored. Once the user has reviewed all items in all of the tabbed categories, SpyBot will then remove ALL spyware.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Oops! I made a mistake.
    Actually to uncheck the pre-selectected items the path is Mode/Advanced Mode/Settings/Ignore Products.


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