Feeds

Dutch regulator slaps spyware purveyors with €1m fine

Millions of PCs infected

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Telecoms watchdog OPTA has fined three Dutch firms and their two directors a total of €1m for the illegal distribution of spyware.

It is the first time OPTA has imposed fines for spreading malicious Trojans, and has been called "one of the biggest cases of illegal software crime", by the regulator.

In 2005, the two unnamed businessmen distributed software called DollarRevenue among millions of internet users. Approximately 450 million software files were installed on 22 million computers in the Netherlands and abroad.

The adware application silently downloaded advertising software and installed it to the computer without the user's knowledge. DollarRevenue was also bundled with some ad-supported products and was extremely difficult to remove.

The software was also directly linked to certain botnet attacks, with over 7,700 machines hacked within 24 hours.

DollarRevenue was popular for its high payouts to affiliates on a pay per install basis. It paid 30 cents per install in the USA, 20 cents per install in Canada, 10 cents in the UK, one cent in China, and .02 cents in other countries. OPTA estimates that the trio of companies grossed more than €1m.

Although the directors deny any wrongdoing, OPTA believes the companies deliberately contacted hackers and cybercriminals, often after learning about them on the web. Its biggest partner became InfraDollars.biz, a Russian gang which at one point offered websites $0.06 for each machine they infected with adware and spyware.

You can find the judgement, in Dutch, here®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?