Feeds

FTC spanks Sony BMG, porn operator

Spyware and x-rated spam

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

It's been a good day for the Federal Trade Commission, which has spanked Sony BMG for its surreptitious installation of nasty-ware and an adult Web site that - gasp - was responsible for the sending of x-rated spam.

Sony BMG agreed to pay up to $150 for each computer damaged in its secret scheme to load spyware-laced DRM software on its customers' machines. Not only did the software (a) load with no warning (b) report users' listening habits to a Sony BMG-controlled server, (c) prevent copying that may be protected under the fair use doctrine and (d) open a gaping hole that could have allowed online criminals to completely own the machine, but Sony also (e) rained down salt in customers' wounds by suggesting their complaints over the practice were trivial.

The settlement could represent a bitter dose for Sony if enough infected users - estimated by one researcher to range from 100,000 to 1m - claim their stake. The record label has already settled state claims in California and Texas, which call for Sony to pay up to $175 to CD buyers who were stung.

Sony's remorse is a far cry from defenses erected in late 2005 when one exec famously remarked: "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"

Also crying uncle was TJ Web Productions, which agreed to pay $465,000 to settle charges that the spam campaign it initiated failed to comply with an FTC rule requiring sexually explicit spam to be marked as such and the CAN-Spam act, which dictates spam must display a physical address. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.