Federal Trade Commission shuts down the "scareware" trade
Dec 18th 2008 12:00PM
Updated Dec 18th 2008 9:32AM
We've all encountered them. At some time in our Internet lives, we've each landed in a safe, or even familiar, website, when suddenly a blaring warning message has appeared. We were then informed that our computer was being assaulted by any number of nasty viruses, spy ware programs, or Trojan uglies of some sort. Those who fell for the gambit then spent $39.95, or more, to download a "scareware" program which, they were told, would uncover all those predatory computer parasites, and then scrub the user's hard drive clean of all the dastardly little attackers. There's just one problem; The warnings were a hoax - and so were the useless downloads which were often purchased to fix them.
The good news is that the FTC has won an injunction to end the peddling of those useless black hole downloads. What's more, a federal court has frozen the assets of a group of businesses which are said to have been flourishing in the scareware trade. You might recognize some of the names from your Internet travels. They include: "WinFixer," "WinAntivirus," "WinAntispyware," "AntivirusXP" and "XP Antivirus 2008", among others.
The temporary court order is an intended precursor to a permanent ban against scareware, flimflam artists.
So, there's good news in the blogosphere, knowing that bogus hard drive cleaners have been shelved at last. However, we must all remember to always take adequate precautions to protect our precious computers: install, and keep updated, one of the many good quality protective software packages available for protection against computer viruses, would be hackers, and spyware.
I cannot overstress this; It's an Internet jungle out there.