back to article Judge buries bogus malware-protection gang

A federal judge has closed down a major online operation that duped more than one million computer users into buying bogus malware protection using fraudulent ads and false claims viewers' machines contained illegal pornography. The order against two firms, Innovative Marketing of Belize and ByteHosting Internet Services of …


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  1. mittfh

    Next stop, Panama...

    Please tell me someone's looking into the chappie that signs his emails as coming from Plaza Neptuno, local #7 in Panama and offers fake versions of OpenOffice, Google Earth etc....

    His emails always land directly in my Junk Mail folder (with nice high SpamAssassin scores), but no doubt some newbies are tempted into visiting his sites...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "216 items that are dangerous to your reputation"

    WTF? Who looks at that and says, "Oh no! Two hundred SIXTEEN? I'd better do something!" without wondering how this program knows which things are dangerous and how?

    Oh well... I guess it's pointless to ask those questions. But I do nonetheless.

  3. Jonathan


    I think, the 216 is meant to seem more legitimate than a 'arbitary round number'.

    In many ways, scareware is worse than malware, it has taken a long time to get average joe to take their compy's security seriously; many still remain ignorant. Those who now do, get shafted if they don't know where or who to look for a legitimate service. Its the same psychology as phishing. Dupe the weakest link, the human.

    Hope the defendants go to prision.

  4. David Wilkinson

    Lost of people fall for this stuff....

    Lately half the non hardware problems I have dealt with is from scareware infections. These people use computers for work ... its not their hobby or profession.

    All those website's need to be sued. They in turn need to sue the ad brokers ... the ad brokers then need to host every ad and check every link to avoid being sued.

    How hard would it be for a knowledgeable human to determine that these ads were point to illegal software. From a virutal machine ... visit the site ... run their tests ... 5-20 min to detect scam like this ... 3-4 min to restore virtual machine to a prior snapshot.

    Actual even less time because you'd report your results to some site or other ... and you'd have checked that site ....

    At some point someone has to be responsible for the content of a website including its ads.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    world <> USA

    "some of the world's most popular sites, including those belonging to Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, The Economist, E-Harmony, and"

    Nope. Never heard of them / been to them. Perhaps you mean "the USA's most popular sites"?

  6. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Paris Hilton

    Learning Curves

    Wouldn't it be cheaper even quietly remunerative for national agencies to ensure that potential computer users are not brain dead.

    Anyone can make a mistake but the young and inexperienced and the old and unsuspecting see the world the way it is supposed to be.

    Perhaps if no-one was allowed to use a computer before they were seasoned or at least well informed, OK... that will never happen but at the moment the TV companies are desperate for advertisers. I can't stand another ASDA Krizzmaazz ad...

    Couldn't the public information people wind up to this century? I know that is asking a lot from Her Majesty's Govt. but ...ah...


    Come to think of it, how come you never see the Music Industry advertising antipiracy? Is it that they don't want to give the young and inexperienced and the old and unsuspecting ideas?

    How about a knicker elastic warning icon? I am getting fed up with clicking on cheap trollop icons every second post.

  7. Steven Jones

    Suing is not enough

    Using civil law to sue people for stuff like this is not enough. The perpetrators of this were engaged in an atempt to extract money through fraud. It's the criminal law that needs to be thrown at these people. Maybe the threat of a prison sentence might deter them.

    That's not to say that the ad brokers don't have some civil liabilities if they are being negligent in checking.

    As for those people who suggest that nobody with their wits about them would have fallen for this. Well there are many, many people for whom a computer is a tool, and not an obsession, and they have a right (at the very least) to expect those perpetrating fraud to be dealt with appropriately and for systems and suppliers to at least use due diligence in vetting their customers. We wouldn't tolerate con-men making door-to-door calls, nor should we accept this sort of thing.

  8. AC

    simple solution

    shoot them.

    it's not like we'll miss them and it's not like they are doing anything useful. Once you start to shoot them, others will think again and if they don't we'll shoot them too.

    Whether you're a cyber criminal stealing peoples' money, a rapist, a murder or a credit card skimmer (etc), we don't need you and it's expensive to pay for your upkeep in jail so we'll shoot you. Sounds more than reasonable to me.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I look forward to the day when a misinformed witness lands you in front of the firing squad for a crime you didn't commit - who needs appeals and judicial due process anyway! If you're in court, you're obviously guilty!

    Hell, if you're going to assume that the courts never make a mistake in convicting someone, you might as well assume that the police never make a mistake in ARRESTING someone. Do away with those nasty, pesky trials altogether. Yay!

  10. Simon B

    doubt they'll lock them up as the justiceless system never learns

    But will they lock them up this time? probably not! crime pays too much

  11. Mark
    Thumb Up

    Shoot Em

    Got to agree with the poster who suggests shooting them.

    Life's cheap, as a society we are quite happy to let perfectly innocent people starve to death in large numbers, so why the f*ck don't we shoot more of the useless time-wasting tw*ts who contribute nothing.

  12. Lee
    Thumb Up

    @ Simple Solution

    Should you ever decide to run for goverment - you have my vote

  13. Lionel Baden

    work ..

    Well the company i work at manages multiple business's and i know at lease 5 different places that got shfted by these.

    But on the bright side the boss was very pleased with me because i was able to get the computers up and running in a short period of time.

    So this worked out well for me :) but yeah now its a pain in the butt.

    But still its gets me work so again im not to bothered. god my life would be boring if all i fixed were occasional software glitches and the odd hardware faliure

  14. Cameron Colley

    RE: Lost of people fall for this stuff....

    There is one slight problem with what you are saying -- if those who "use computers for work" are getting these infections then their IT guy is obviously not setting their machines up correctly.

    While I have no problem with these scammers and business partners being sued and/or arrested any company spending even a moderate amount on security should be almost immune to this kind of attack -- and anyone using the internet in this day and age ought to know it's not all safe and use a healthy amount of scepticism and mistrust.

  15. kain preacher

    AC December 2008 08:49 GMT

    some of the world's most popular sites, including those belonging to Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, The Economist, E-Harmony, and"

    Nope. Never heard of them / been to them. Perhaps you mean "the USA's most popular sites"?

    Hmm lets see

    Major League Baseball,

    Well that only includes most of south America and countries like Japan. But hey dont let that get in the way of a good rant.

    National Hockey League,

    Well I guess places like Canada are not important

  16. Apocalypse Later

    Canada is a nice place, but...

    It doesn't count really, not in relation to the "world's most popular" anything. There aren't that many Canadians. Do Russian's play hockey? They have ice, and maniacs.

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