A US spyware outfit has been temporarily shut down by a Los Angeles court pending further action. Seemingly, the operation hit 600 blogs with spyware attached to free downloads, it is alleged. California-based Enternet Media is accused of disseminating spyware via an affiliate programme in which webmasters were paid to include Enternet "installation boxes" in their websites.

According to the FTC, the spyware was "very difficult for users to remove or uninstall". The Commission added that Google, Microsoft and Webroot had assisted in the investigation, without giving details.

An FTC spokesman said the Commission is "seeking a preliminary injunction against the defendants" and expects a hearing in the LA court soon.