Feeds

FTC settles with scareware scammers on reduced terms

10 cents per victim? We've spent the rest

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
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.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.