back to article Washington and Microsoft declare war on scareware

Washington state's top law enforcement official has filed suit against a man accused of bombarding end users with misleading messages designed to trick them into buying software to fix PC problems that don't exist. The complaint, filed in Washington state court by Attorney General Rob McKenna's office, names James Reed …

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  1. ZM

    You know...

    They could take a page out of Kentucky's book and just have the domains transferred to their name and close them down.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this article about Vista itself?

    Sounds like it, up to the trusted source bit.

  3. Mathew White

    Mac's too

    I was bombarded with an inline dhtml (Does anyone even say that now?!?!) popup for a mac equivalent of the 'OMG you have 9 billion viruses on your system" system scanning software.

    It was for the MacScan software. I took a screenshot thinking I'd bagged the most recent mac malware, but it turns out it was a genuine, retail, product after a bit of googleing. My further research is that its pretty much a cookie cleaner - not quite living up to the impression of evil that the initial advert portrayed; Death, Dooom , EXPLODING COMPUTERS!.

    Maybe I overstated their overstatements.

  4. Charles Manning

    I hope there's balance

    Ban MS's FUD too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Finger in the what?

    It might be time to retire the word "dyke" when used to refer to "a wall built to restrain floodwaters", especially since there is an acceptable and widely-used variant, "dike".

    I'm just sayin'....

  6. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Only fake virus warnings?

    Heh. Before the university here finally started blocking the windows messenger port in about 2000 or so, I was mainly seeing ads on how I should make my wang bigger. Luckily I did not personally use a Windows box -- I mainly used a Mac to ssh into a Linux box.

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Sad, sad, sad...

    "I took a screenshot thinking I'd bagged the most recent mac malware, but it turns out it was a genuine, retail, product after a bit of googleing."

    Now *that's* sad!

    Re the original article, can anyone remind me of the legitimate reason why a browser might need to open a popup window, and why the benefits of such marginal cases justify the phishing risks? Put another way: Why do browsers not have an *absolute ban* on popups?

    Rocket science this ain't, When Java was invented (about 15-20 years ago?) it was obvious to its creators that a popup window should be *forced* to have the web-site in its title bar, and that no Java application should be able to draw outside its own windows. How can anyone implementing a language embedded in a web browser be unaware of this? Do we need to introduce the notion of negative IQ here -- someone whose stupidity actively repels a clue, in a way that (say) a rock doesn't.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Pot & Kettle...

    Starting with Microshites 'you are running pirated software' popups?

    No I am not!

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Coat

    Well so Long and thanks!!!

    The States Attorney, for the State of Washington is called Rob McKenna?!?!

    I guess the All Weather Haulage, got to be to much for Mr. McKenna now didn't it?

    No bleeding wonder why it rains so much up there in Washington State...

    Then again this could be just another meaningless coincidence...

    The Mac, with the battered well-worn copy of the Hitchhikers Guide in it turned to the entry on Eccentrica Gallumbits the Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon-6

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    MS bash...

    Rant, MS, Evil, Pointless bash, Flame, evil MS, <alternate> OS good, MS spawn of Satan...

    Sigh......

  11. Jan Buys
    Paris Hilton

    Only now?

    Those scarewares have been around for ages. Via the messenger service and on lots of sites as well.

    Back in the days it was even funny to see on my win2000 pro box how I got such pop-ups in winXP layout.

    If they act now, I guess they will start to tackle spam somewhere around 2050.

    Paris, because she would even embrace protective measures sooner.

  12. Dave

    as they sow, so shall they reap

    OK, M$ being seen to 'take a responsible stance' by trying to drag a scareware peddler into court. Such a pity, then, that it is due to the egregious performance of their product - built and peddled on the gullible public without security aforethought - the poor reputation of which such chancers and dodgers are now hitching a ride.

  13. Mark

    Scareware? Like

    "This program needs privileged access. Cancel or Allow?"

    "This DLL is no longer referenced but may still be used. Dhould I remove it? Yes No"? (how would I know, YOU'RE the Operating System. YOU tell ME!.)

    "Linux have over 200 of our patents unlicensed in it!"

    Monkey Dancing.

    ?

  14. tuna
    Thumb Up

    Bring On The Champions Of Security & Warfare

    MS and DC, no two are more reliable and competent to ensure online safety and rounding up evil-doers.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Remember...

    Only the truly stupid.....click!

  16. Brian Milner

    Wars on Concepts

    There are so many wars on abstract concepts, Wikipedia has made a list of them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_on_concepts

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Henry

    "...I was mainly seeing ads on how I should make my wang bigger. Luckily I did not personally use a Windows box -- I mainly used a Mac to ssh into a Linux box."

    Certainly an unorthodox way to make your wang bigger...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @re. Henry

    "...I was mainly seeing ads on how I should make my wang bigger. Luckily I did not personally use a Windows box -- I mainly used a Mac to ssh into a Linux box."

    Certainly an unorthodox way to make your wang bigger..."

    Yes, but everyone knows a Linux box is tighter than a Windows box... *

    (*security-wise of course) What did you think I meant...

  19. Trevor Watt
    Pirate

    re - Finger in the what? By Anonymous Coward

    I have just spent a marvelous week on the Norfolk Broads and there were loads of dykes and not one dike. What is your issue?

  20. Paul Buxton
    Coat

    @Henry Wurtz

    "Heh. Before the university here finally started blocking the windows messenger port in about 2000 or so, I was mainly seeing ads on how I should make my wang bigger. Luckily I did not personally use a Windows box -- I mainly used a Mac to ssh into a Linux box."

    Does this mean you still have a small penis?

  21. Huw Davies
    Joke

    @tuna

    MS and DC? Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard? Now if it was road safety I'd understand...

  22. James Pickett

    Real scareware

    I shall sit up and take notice after they've nailed the guys responsible for XP Antivirus...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @Trevor Watt

    >I have just spent a marvelous week on the Norfolk Broads

    Yeah, Elsie and Bernice of Slag Row, Great Yarmouth - two of the biggest Norfolk Broads around - cheap too...

  24. Matt
    Alert

    Money money money

    Well, as frustrating as scareware is, "programs" such as XP Antivirus and all the Registry Destroyers -sorry- Cleaners keep me in work. I see a couple of these every day while fixing slow computers and promptly remove them.

    But the oddest thing is that people get annoyed with me for removing them - either because they paid for them - or because they think they are part of Windows.

    Don't get me started on MyWebSearch and Zango.......

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