Microsoft and US Gov. go after Scareware perps

Ever been online and had one of those windows pop up on your computer saying that you had a virus or your computer had a critical error…

Ever been online and had one of those windows pop up on your computer saying you had a virus or your computer had a critical error… Do you recall the slight feeling of fear until you realised it was just a scam?

Annoying wasn’t it? Well fear no more – as the folk from Microsoft have just hired some top notch lawyers and joined forces with the US Attorney General to file suit against a pair of Texan business men who are behind a scam that is frightening people into purchasing a Registry Cleaner program.

Attorney General Rob McKenna said the lawsuit “has yanked the fear factor dial out of the hands of businesses that use scareware as a marketing tool and have spun it toward them.”

The complaint accuses the operators of firms Branch Software and Alpha Red of sending incessant pop-up messages resembling system warnings to peoples’ personal computers.

The messages read “CRITICAL ERROR MESSAGE! REGISTRY DAMAGED AND CORRUPTED,” and instruct users to visit a Website to download Registry Cleaner XP.

People that went to the Registry Cleaner website were offered a free computer scan that always reported finding “critical” errors. They then usually forked out money (US$39.95) to buy the program that supposedly fixed the issues.

The Attorney General is treating the case as cybercrime and prosecuting the perpetrators…

Commented McKenna: “Spyware has arguably become the biggest online threat to consumers and businesses since the advent of the internet.”

Source: SMH



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