I never feel bad when spyware or malware pushers get their dues, which is why this story brought me a bit of a smile. A man in California who was abusing a particular messaging function of Windows to sell his own software has been tagged and settled with the courts. He will be coughing up
$25,000 for his actions, which included outright fraud.
Essentially, he would use a command internal to Windows 2000 / Windows XP to display a message which would warn of system errors, even if no such errors were present. The point was to coerce people into paying for a “fix”:
The bogus warnings directed users to download a free trial version of software that would report "critical errors", even on machines that had no registry problems. The program claimed the errors could be repaired if users spent $30 for a full version of the program.
It's impossible to ask for all computing to become fair and legit, but perhaps at least one scammer has learned his lesson. Then again, he probably will go right back to doing the same thing, in a different way.