Thursday, September 07, 2006

Elitebar Forced To Give Up 2 Million Dollars

The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with Enternet Media, makers of the spyware called Elitebar. The FTC said that people were tricked into installing this spyware from pop up windows that looked like installation boxes. People were further duped by false promises of free wallpaper, song lyrics, and ring tones. Another way people were deceived was a false warning that their browser had a problem or needed a security patch. Instead, people found that their web browser was hijacked. The home page was changed, a toolbar was added, and search results were changed.

In addition to paying 2 million dollars, a suspended fine of 8.5 million dollars was issued. The defendants are also prohibited from making anything that changes people's browsers in the future.

The defendants in this case are Enternet Media Inc., Conspy & Co. Inc., Lida Rohbani, Nima Hakimi, and Baback (Babak) Hakimi, all based in California, whose software codes were “Search Miracle,” “Miracle Search,” “EM Toolbar,” “EliteBar,” and “Elite Toolbar.”