Monday, October 01, 2007

Media Motor Gets Slammed by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission slammed Media Motor with a $330,000 fine and a possible forfeiture of $3,595,925 in money that was "ill-gotten" according to the FTC. While the whole amount should be turned over, it is good to see that another malware maker has been slammed for ripping people off.

Back in November, the FTC charged ERG Ventures, LLC with tricking people into downloading Media Motor by hiding it in free downloads. Screen savers and video files were two of the most common types of files. Even today, many spyware programs use free videos to get their crap onto your computer. The Zlob trojan, responsible for the likes of SpyAxe, SpyFalcon and VirusRescue, used videos and a fake codec to get on your computer. Anyways, once Media Motor got on your computer, it would your home page, track you, try to disable your antispyware programs and generally be a pain to get rid of.

Here's an excerpt from the FTC report describing the penalties that Media Motor is subject to:

The order will permanently bar the defendants from distributing software that interferes with consumers’ computers, including software that tracks consumers’ Internet activity or collects other personal information; generates disruptive pop-up advertising; tampers with or disables other installed programs; or installs other advertising software onto consumers’ computers. The defendants will also be required to fully disclose the name and function of all software they install on consumers’ computers in the future, and to provide consumers with the option to cancel the installation after viewing the disclosure.

You can read the full report on the FTC media Motor press release here.

The Federal Trade Commission is the branch of the US Federal Government that handles fraudulent Internet web sites and programs. You can file a complaint against any web site or computer program by visiting the FTC complaint page and filing a complaint. You can also call 1 877 382 4357 to complain as well.