The FTC has sent a powerful message to would-be spyware peddlers, in a recent settlement with three men who did just that. The men, who were using deceptive tactics to install "Media Motor", a devilish app of which the likes have become all too familiar, have agreed to pay $330,000 for their crimes.

Still, that $330,000 is nothing compared to the estimated $3.6 million the illicit operation generated for them. Sadly, they will probably use that money to start yet another malware peddling company.

The software, which ultimately ended up on over 15 million machines, came under the attention of the legal system last year and was shut down as an operation in late 2006. While a lot of bad software comes from places outside the U.S., we can only hope that as malware peddlers are found and punished that it will serve as a sign to others. Probably not, but we can at least hope.