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Microsoft, Washington State Sue Scareware Purveyors

     
9:42 pm on Sep 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft, Washington State Sue Scareware Purveyors [voices.washingtonpost.com]
Microsoft Corp. and the state of Washington this week filed lawsuits against a slew of "scareware" purveyors, scam artists who use fake security alerts to frighten consumers into paying for worthless computer security software.

The case filed by the Washington attorney general's office names Texas-based Branch Software and its owner James Reed McCreary IV, alleging that McCreary's company caused targeted PCs to pop up misleading security alerts about security threats on the victims' computers. The alerts warned users that their systems were "damaged and corrupted" and instructed them to visit a Web site to purchase a copy of Registry Cleaner XP for $39.95.

[edited by: engine at 2:56 pm (utc) on Sep. 30, 2008]

11:19 am on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I repair lots of computers with these useless scanners and alert messages.

I feel for the average users that get duped by these...

12:10 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Can I get in on this suit based on the half dozen times a month I have to pull these things off the computers of friends and family. I've still never figured out the actual clicking behavioural pattern to get this on your computer. I've never gotten one before.
1:14 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Good! Glad to see this! I'd like to get in on it as well. Everyone I know has got this crap and I have to get it off for them, it is like a freaking plague!
3:08 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Agreed! And there are others too: Rogue anti-spyware like AntiSpyware XP 2008 && 2009. I had to add dozens of sites to my CAF, and they still come! Plague indeed!
4:00 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Oh, well, that used to be good business for me, when I was on computer repair business... haha.
Since in third world countries most people won't hand their credit card over the internet, they end calling the local pc guy to "fix" it.
The easier $20/hour ever.... :)

But, well, seriously, it is good they're taking auction against these people.

4:12 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Another article I read said this was also being pushed via Windows Messenger Alert spam. Wasn't that pretty much outdated and ineffective as of about 2003?
6:51 pm on Sept 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Throw 'em in jail and throw away the key, and then sieze all of their assets too.
5:04 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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to the average person they look real
6:27 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My brother just got nailed by these. Spent a few hours dealing with it. PITA all the way. Sorry to hear one of these guys is a fellow Texican....or at least located in the Great State.
9:13 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"Windows Messenger Alert spam. Wasn't that pretty much outdated"

I still see this and many more attacks that are perfectly preventable.

"actual clicking behavioural pattern"

I've seen ads on major download websites with 'Your computer is infected' warnings. Often these adverts appear to be the actual download button for the effective software I was looking for. I'm not talking about junk sites here, it's the big mirror sites that are helping to push this junk out.

No wonder average users get confused, half the time PC's are a guessing game for them anyway.

Still, it does bring me an income but my sense of morality would rather it doesn't exist.

10:46 am on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Great. I hope Microsoft sue the shirts off their backs.
1:48 pm on Oct 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, there will be others following up right behind these guys.

It happened to one of my computers at home last year. I have no idea how I got infected. I am very good at spotting scams and potential scumware but somehow it got through.

But good for Microsoft for nailing one of them.