Feeds

FTC settles with scareware scammers on reduced terms

10 cents per victim? We've spent the rest

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

US consumer watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission have agreed to settle a lawsuit against rogue security software distributors on reduced terms.

James Reno and ByteHosting Internet Services were found responsible for distributing scareware products that used underhanded methods. The scam foisted software of no utility on the basis it was necessary to fix supposed security problems or remove smut from the PCs of prospective marks. The defendants - found responsible for tricking more than a million punters into buying rogue products including WinAntivirus, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus - were ordered to pay $1.9m last year.

Reno pleaded poverty, so the FTC has agreed to take $116K to settle the case, on condition that the defendants first get out of the scareware and second never trade with their co-defendants again. The agreement - which leaves the FTC free to pursue other defendants in the case - is conditioned on the promise that Reno and his firm told the truth about their finances, and is subject to court approval.

It's unclear how much Reno and his firm made from their illicit trade but scareware packages typically sell for upwards of $50, suggesting the whole scam might have easily netted more than $50m. Reno's original fine, much less the final settlement, is only a tiny percentage of this and therefore not much of a deterrent against future would-be scareware moguls.

More on the settlement can be found in an FTC statement here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.