FTC Takes On Rogue ISP

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) broke the news yesterday that it shut down a notorious rogue Internet service provider which, it claims, actively participated in hosting spam-spreading botnets, phishing sites, child pornography, and other illegal and malicious content.

From the FTC news release

“The defendant, Pricewert LLC, which does business under a variety of names including 3FN and APS Telecom, actively recruits and colludes with criminals seeking to distribute illegal, malicious, and harmful electronic content including child pornography, spyware, viruses, trojan horses, phishing, botnet command and control servers, and pornography featuring violence, bestiality, and incest. The FTC alleges that the defendant advertised its services in the darkest corners of the Internet, including a forum established to facilitate communication between criminals.”

The FTC alleges that over 4,500 malicious software programs are controlled by command-and-control servers hosted by 3FN.

According to The Washington Post’s Security Fix blog, agency chairman Jonathan Leibowitz confirmed that this marks the first time the FTC has sought, and been granted, an order to shut down an ISP.

A preliminary injunction hearing on the case is set for June 15. Stay tuned for more news to come – we’ll be watching this one!