FTC halts fake anti-virus scans that scammed a million people

Graham Cluley

A US District Court has temporarily halted the operations of two firms accused of tricking internet users into buying bogus security products (also known as scareware or rogueware).

According to a statement by the Federal Trade Commission, Innovative Marketing and ByteHosting Internet Services tricked more than one million internet users into purchasing security software products such as DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, WinAntivirus, WinFixer and XP Antivirus.

The two companies, alongside Daniel Sundin, Sam Jain, Marc D’Souza, Kristy Ross, and James Reno, are accused of misrepresenting the security of consumers’ computers by displaying fake security alerts.

A sixth individual, Maurice D’Souza, has been named as receiving proceeds from the scheme.

As we described in the Sophos Security Threat Report 2009 which we published…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.