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FTC slaps down commercial keylogger firm

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CyberSpy Software, which markets the controversial RemoteSpy commercial keylogging application, has agreed to rewrite the software and clean up its business practices to settle a case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.

RemoteSpy was marketed as a “100 per cent undetectable” app that might be used to “Spy on Anyone. From Anywhere”. CyberSpy helpfully provided instructions on how the software might be sent to potential victims disguised as an innocuous application or supposed image in an email attachment.

Following a lawsuit brought by the FTC, CyberSpy is now banned from providing its clients with the means to disguise the product as an innocent file or email attachment. CyberSpy was also ordered by a US district court in Florida to warn potential buyers that misuse of the software may violate wiretapping laws and to remove legacy versions of its software from computers.

RemoteSpy is capable of logging chat conversations, website history, documents opened and keystrokes. RemoteSpy clients would log onto a web site to access harvested information.

Many commercial anti-malware vendors, such as Sunbelt Software, have labelled the application as spyware since it first arrived on the interweb around five years ago. The technology is marketed as "especially perfect for those who want to monitor their employees or children, while away from home or work" although suspicious spouses checking up on partners, unscrupulous private eyes or stalkers might also find the technology useful.

The court order and a statement in the case against CyberSpy can be found on the FTC site here. The ruling comes two years after the US consumer watchdog first launched suit against the Florida-based software developer. ®

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