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Scareware developers indicted by US Department of Justice


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#1 Grinler

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 11:50 AM

As you know BleepingComputer.com does a lot of research on rogue programs and how to remove them. One of the earliest and a highly distributed family of rogues is the Winfixer family. This past week, the FBI had released a press release stating that the US has indicted a "Ohio Man and Two Foreign Residents in Alleged Ukraine-Based “Scareware” Fraud Scheme That Caused $100 Million in Losses to Internet Victims Worldwide". These people are the same ones behind the Winfixer rogues. The press release further states:
"An international cybercrime scheme caused Internet users in more than 60 countries to purchase more than one million bogus software products, causing victims to lose more than $100 million, according to a federal indictment returned here against a Cincinnati area man and two other men believed to be living abroad. The charges allege that the defendants, through fake advertisements placed on various legitimate companies’ websites, deceived Internet users into falsely believing that their computers were infected with “malware” or had other critical errors to induce them to purchase “scareware” software products that had limited or no ability to remedy the purported, but nonexistent, defects. The alleged scheme is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing and most prevalent types of Internet fraud"
This is good news on all fronts and shows that the developers of these types of malware are actively being pursued. Hopefully we will see more of these indictments in the future.


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#2 JohnWho

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 03:07 PM

This is good news on all fronts and shows that the developers of these types of malware are actively being pursued. Hopefully we will see more of these indictments in the future.


Agreed.

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#3 Vaerli

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:25 PM

To me its hard to believe some people fall for these things sometimes. Its nice to see them being cracked down on.

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#4 orourkeej

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:48 AM

To me its hard to believe some people fall for these things sometimes. Its nice to see them being cracked down on.


Some of these fake PC security malware programs are getting pretty good at emulating the look and feel of Windows or Anti virus alert messages. The ones that are over the top are not the problem so much as the truly stealthy copy cat messages that are given away only by slightly odd phrasing or misspellings. As they get more sophisticated they also are directly interfering with anti malware programs, I got infected with one that specifically asked permission to delete Malwarebyte anti-malware because "it was slowing down the system". No IT guy will fall for that but general users can easily.

#5 mboyl004

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:48 AM

Yeah, this is definitely good news. Part of the problem is that a person's system can still be affected whether or not he or she agrees to purchase the fraudulent program. My computer was attacked by AV Security Suite and although I didn't fall for the scheme, the fast-acting virus hijacked my browser and left me with a massive headache. I hope they throw the book at these guys.

#6 sreez

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 04:00 AM

thats the best news for morning :flowers:

if the top one is on the board, im sure many others on the list is already panic :thumbsup:

I am also glad that govt/justice are playing their role in stopping these great scammers ;)

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#7 djseanpc

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:03 PM

This is the best news I have heard all day! Great job Department of Justice!

#8 keyboardNinja

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:46 PM

It's about time... :flowers:

Thanks for posting, Grinler. :thumbsup:

Edited by keyboardNinja, 07 June 2010 - 06:46 PM.

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#9 650038haig

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:07 PM

I hop they end up getting shot in the foot but really every one just needs to have decent security to make these buggers have no money then they may give up makeing fake antiviruses

#10 Layback Bear

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

Well it's not that easy. If one owns a business or not and checks this program out and finds that it is being use in 60 countries with happy customers. One might think this program is worth a try. Thirty years to life is not good enough, thirty years to death is better if they are guilty.

#11 chromebuster

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 09:56 PM

What would be really nice is if users would just realize the age and learn what not to fall for. My friend got a rogue last year, and to this day I still feel bad since I new practically nothing then about security, and as a result, I was stunned by the experience and couldn't help her fight against it and save her aging, but still strong, five-year-old toshiba laptop. But today, in light of it, she now is running windows 7. That is the only good thing that came out of the whole thing. And this might be a bad idea, but I know the government will have a hard time getting these guys. They're psychopaths, and they're good at lying. I think users should do their part and warn each other about such things, even if other folks won't listen, and if we're all in this together, then after a few more years, maybe even months, all of those guys will be history. But again, this is only one instance. How on earth can the department of justice expect to get everyone involved in rogue AV cases? They can't. They're only a few thousand. That's a lot of people, so most of the bad guys will get nailed, but what about those who make different rogues under different names, different identities, and different company names? How can those folks get caught even with the government's advanced technology? I don't know about this one, folks. We'll have to see how many will be going down next.

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