Feeds

Dutch regulator slaps spyware purveyors with €1m fine

Millions of PCs infected

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.