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FTC fines notorious adware firm $3m

Hurrah!

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The company formerly known as 180Solutions has been fined $3m for using drive-by downloads to smuggle adware on the PCs of unwary Americans and for offering no way to remove the software.

Now called Zango, the adware firm has promised the Federal Trade Commission that it will ask consumers first before injecting software into their PCs. And it will provide the means for people to remove the hateful software from their computers.

That could be a lot of people. According to the FTC, Zango/180Solutions software has been downloaded on American computers more than 70 million times and has pumped out more than 6.9 billion pop-up ads. Much of Zango's 'success' was down to rogue affiliates, who tempted consumers with offers of free software and then downloaded Zango software without their knowledge onto their computers.

Canned quote time from Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Consumers' computers belong to them, and they shouldn't have to accept any content they don't want. If consumers choose to receive pop-up ads, so be it. But it violates federal law to secretly install software that forces consumers to get pop-ups that disrupt their computer use."

FTC release is here. ®

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