FTC Seeks Injunction Against Site, Allegedly Distributing Spyware

Considering the request of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has instructed a Web business supplying free browser updates, music files and ring tones to stop downloads of its alleged spyware and adware. The FTC declared the court order on July 5, 2007.

The FTC also said that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles has sealed the property of an organization conducting business under different names like Enternet Media Inc., Searchmiracle.com, Cash4toolbar.com, and C4tdownload.com. In addition, the court has halted downloads of an associated site, Iwebtunes.com, which allegedly distributed spyware under the pretense of offering free background music to Web log operators, as reported by Intergovworld in news on July 11, 2007.

The defendants' websites along with those of their affiliates install pop-up boxes on the computer screens of users. Sometimes the installation boxes present various kinds of freeware consisting of music files, song lyrics, mobile phone ring tones and photographs. In another instance, the pop-up box would alert users about owning defective Internet browsers so they could use the site's free security patches or upgrades, said the FTC allegation.

Users who trusted the site's offer and tried to avail it found their PCs infected with spyware rather than get the free patches. The defendants' code behaved maliciously by intercepting users' Internet activities, altering the settings on their home page, planting new toolbars on their Web browsers, planting a huge frame on the browser that would display advertisements and showing pop-up ads. The software interfered with the functions of the computer and was hard to remove, the FTC said.

The FTC wants a permanent judicial order banning downloads. The agency also wants the court to make the defendants surrender their "ill-gotten earnings". Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., and Webroot Software Inc. have been helping FTC in conducting its investigation.

FTC has filed the complaint against Enternet Media Inc., Conspy & Co. Inc., Lida Rohbani, Nima Hakimi, and Baback Hakimi conducting business under the name 'Networld One' in California. The complaint also charged the affiliate company Iwebtunes situated in Ohio, according to Intergovworld.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

» SPAMfighter News - 24-07-2007

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