Antispyware company sued

By Derek Sooman on January 26, 2006, 1:10 PM
Lawsuits have been filed against antispyware software vendor Secure Computer by Microsoft and the Washington state attorney general, alleging that the company's Spyware Cleaner software fails to do what it says on the tin (i.e. remove spyware as advertised) and that it makes changes to users' computers that renders them less secure.

Washington's 16-count lawsuit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, and follows investigations by both Microsoft and the Attorney General's High Tech Fraud Unit. In addition to the Spyware Act violations, the lawsuit accuses Secure Computer of violating the state's Commercial Electronic Mail and Consumer Protection Acts, as well as the federal CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act, said Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna in an interview.
Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna has said that Secure Computer has been marketing its Spyware Cleaner product using false and misleading means, and that the company has also corrupted computer users' hard drives as a result of the so-called free scan that they offered to consumers.

User Comments: 13

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DragonMaster said:
Hope spywares don't start to be told as anti-spyware apps...
Cartz said:
Ha, it was going to happen eventually...I fully expected to read that this program infected your computer with its own code whilest cleaning others out... I guess it just straight up doesn't work, which is almost as bad...Well, thats one down, I wonder how many more are out there... I'll stick with my ad-aware and spybot.
djleyo said:
well there you go allways and allways dont trust anybody especially M.S. oh and beware of those free scans !!! nothing is free .
PanicX said:
Nice, lets hope they go after Symantec next.
vigilante said:
Two more come to mind:SpyaxeSpyware StrikerAvoid, danger Will Robinson!!
MonkeyMan said:
wow man, the U.S. government is getting involved? wow, this must be huge. But its wrong for Secure Computer to do what they did, and they should be punished for their misdeeds. Hopefully, they will make a comeback, and create a more stable and secure software release, to counter this issue.
nathanskywalker said:
[quote]Spyware Cleaner does detect some spyware and adware, but it does not qualify as reputable software, Howes said. "It's not completely worthless, but compared to the top antispyware products on the market, it's not even in the same class," he said. "The number of false positives turned up by this product was just ridiculous."[/quote]Adware, Spybot, and Hijack This, that is all i have to say.[quote]Nice, lets hope they go after Symantec next.[/quote]Mabye, symnatec never was very good, and they're programs seem to monopolize a rather ridiculusly large amount of system resources. Mabye a lawsuite would convince them to do better. However, i would not be too happy about anti-vi corps getting sued, unless they are intentionally opening up systems to attack. There really are enough problems being created by those actually sending out the malware, we don't need to tear down the companies that are realy helping us. Symnatec though....ok, yeah me too ;)
Need_a_Dell said:
Wow. Now there's a gimmick and a half!
Race said:
While I do give Secure Computing credit for firing the affiliate using the Microsoft name (whether it came after the lawsuit or not), their lack of keeping any sort of tabs on the practices of it's marketing affiliates, and the software itself, is questionable.The fact that the software deletes the 'Hosts' file after installation is also very suspicious. At any rate, Secure Computing's claim of no responsibility, or 'playing dumb', just doesn't fly.Washington State has some of the toughest laws related to this sort of thing, so it's satisfying to hear that action is being taken.
exscind said:
At first glance, I didn't have much to say about this topic. Secure Computer got busted big time, period. But as I was going over the entire article, I realized how ingenious, yet deadly, Secure Computer is. It provides a free scan for spywares, and it will show up something, whether or not that computer really has any spyware. So the software will then prompt the user to buy the license so the user can eliminate the spyware(s). What a nice gimmick to pull in revenues! The level of intelligence of worms/spywares is simply astounding. I hope Secure Computer bites a big piece of dust as an example to other companies who are or thinking about scamming users like this.
otmakus said:
Actually there are lots of similar "software companies" out there doing the same thing. One of them I remember clearly is "Spyware Sheriff", which infected half of the computer in the company where i work, and this software has been operating from about a year ago. They advertised itself everywhere in the net as "Warning, your computer has been infected" in large capital letters, and once a user was hooked, they provided "free scan" in which they installed themself and hijacked the computer's desktop so that the background changed to show a warning and there was a blinking cross in the system tray. The warning said that Spyware Sherriff found a "desktop hijack malware" and urged the user to go to their website to buy Spyware Sherriff full version to be able to remove the malware.I can't help but think that this is a very clever scheme to con unsuspecting user, the website looked like an official website, even receiving payment via credit cards, although I noticed some misspeling in it.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
Maybe it was started by the same fellow who brought attention to Sony's rootkit: [url=
spiracy.html]The Antispyware Conspiracy[/url]
mentaljedi said:
Bout time. We all knew that this was happening but who was the question. Guess they got found out and good riddence!
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