Feeds

Dutch regulator slaps spyware purveyors with €1m fine

Millions of PCs infected

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.