Feeds

New York sues Intermix over spyware

Spitzer 'The Blitzer' on the warpath against adware

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

New York Attorney General Eliot 'The Blitzer' Spitzer has launched a suit against Intermix Media, claiming the firm markets software that covertly installs "spyware" and "adware" on infected machines. The suit against Los Angeles-based Intermix is the largest to date involving programs that redirect web addresses, add toolbars and deliver pop-up ads. New York reckons Intermix is responsible for infecting million of home computers with nuisance programs and worse.

The suit follows a six-month investigation in which the Attorney General's office found that Intermix had installed a wide range of advertising software on home computers without giving consumers proper notice. Intermix owns and operates a wide range of web sites, including mycoolscreen.com, cursorzone.com and flowgo.com, which advertised "free" software available for download, including screensavers, screen cursors and games. Along with these programs comes invasive ad-ware programs which allegedly get installed without the consent of consumers visiting these sites.

Among these malign programs are KeenValue, which serves pop-up ads and IncrediFind, which redirects web addresses to Intermix's proprietary search engine. Other programs placed advertising "toolbars" on users' screens. The Attorney General documented at least ten separate web sites from which Intermix or its agents were downloading spyware, providing either no warning or other misleading disclosures. In this way, Intermix and its agents downloaded more than 3.7 million programs to New Yorkers alone, the Attorney General alleges. In addition, the programs omitted "un-install" applications, and even reinstalled themselves after being deleted.

The Attorney General's suit seeks a permanent injunction against Intermix from secretly installing spyware, an accounting of all revenues made on these products, and payment of penalties. The lawsuit was drafted under New York's which prohibits false advertising and deceptive business practices, and New York's common law prohibitions against trespass.

Negotiations with Intermix prior to the lawsuit failed to reach a settlement to New York has turned to the courts. Intermix is yet to comment on the case. Shares in Intermix fell 55 cents, or 11 per cent, in early trading American Stock Exchange following news of the suit, AP reports. ®

Related stories

Adware-infected PCs net slimeware firms $3 a pop
Spitzer the Blitzer goes after music label payola
Spam King dodges $20m big stick
'Spamford' Wallace agrees to stop spyware assault

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?