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November 11, 2005

FTC Shuts Down Spywate Site

The FTC has successfully sued a spyware operation that offered free music, ring tones, and other lures and included unannounced spyware along with the downloads. 

From the FTC press release:

Defendants named in the FTC complaint are Enternet Media, Inc.; Conspy & Co., Inc., Lida Rohbani, also known as Linda Rohhani and Lida Hakimi; Nima Hakimi; Baback (Babak) Hakimi, also known as Bobby Rohbani and Bobby Hakimi, individually and doing business as Networld One, all based in California which used exploitative code called: “Search Miracle,” “Miracle Search,” “EM Toolbar,” “EliteBar,” and “Elite Toolbar.” The defendants do business as “Enternet Media, Inc.,” “Enternet,” “www.searchmiracle.com,” “www.c4tdownload.com,” and “www.cash4toolbar.com”. The affiliate, also charged in the complaint, is Nicholas C. Albert, doing business as Iwebtunes and www.iwebtunes.com, based in Ohio.

The agency’s complaint alleges that the defendants’ software code tracks consumers’ Internet comings and goings; changes consumers’ preferred home page settings; inserts new toolbars onto consumers’ browsers; inserts a large side “frame”or “window” onto consumers’ browser windows that in turn displays ads; and displays pop-up ads on consumers’ computer screens, even when consumers’ Internet browsers are not activated. In addition, the agency alleges that once the spyware is loaded on consumers’ computers, it interferes with the functioning of the computer and is difficult for consumers to uninstall or remove.

The full press release and links to court documents are here.

November 11, 2005 | Permalink

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