Fake Antivirus Ringleader Must Pay $163 Million - Security -
Acting on a Federal Trade Commission complaint, a federal court has imposed a $163 million judgment on a woman who allegedly helped run a scareware ring that tricked over one million consumers across six countries into purchasing fake security software.
That decision, announced by the FTC Tuesday, came after a two-day bench trial last month. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett, who presided over the case, also wrote in his related judgment that the defendant, Kristy Ross, “shall be permanently restrained and enjoined from the marketing and sale of computer security software and software that interferes with consumers’ computer use as well as from engaging in any form of deceptive marketing.”
The fake software in question—often referred to as scareware, fake antivirus, or fake AV—is part a social-engineering scam designed to trick users into thinking their PC contains viruses, system errors, spyware, or pornography. The software then advertises information security software to help, which is available for immediate download. But in reality, the results of the system scan, as well as security software’s cleaning power, is fake.