Cyber Crime in the Courts

If you follow this blog, you know all about rogues and scareware on the Web, how these scam products are proliferating at a rapid rate, fooling users into buying software that offers little or no security against the real threats that abound online.

Most of the news we share with you on this topic is updates on the growth of these rogue products, along with information on the new ones making the rounds. Today, we’re happy to report news of a different kind – the U.S. FTC recently announced a $1.9 million settlement with James Reno and ByteHosting Internet Services, who allegedly hoisted scareware to over a million consumers, scamming them into buying rogue anti-virus products like WinAntivirus, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus.

While there’s no doubt that bringing a rogue provider to justice is a positive step, questions have been raised as to whether or not the punishment fits the crime, and if this measure will serve as a deterrent towards preventing the spread of rogues.  The Register sums it up as:

“It's unclear how much Reno and his firm made from their illicit trade but scareware packages typically sell for upwards of $50, suggesting the whole scam might have easily netted more than $50m. Reno's original fine, much less the final settlement, is only a tiny percentage of this...”

Still, this settlement is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of recent developments in online crime cases. To learn more, The Washington Post’s Security Fix blog takes you through a run-down of the past “Bustling Week for Cyber Justice.”

We’ll keep you updated on what cyber crime news the rest of the summer brings!