Rogue Antispyware Company Forced to Pay $1M

Dennis Faas's picture

Think those goons infecting your computer with spyware are mischievous? How about a company that persuades users that they have an infected computer, and then sells them a $49.95 program to clean the "infection" that never existed in the first place?

Doesn't sound so bad, unless you're considering the case of Secure Computer, which recently settled a lawsuit against it alleging that the company falsely informed people of possessing spyware.

The original suit was filed in January, and cited the New York state-based Secure Computer as violators of the 2005 federal Computer Spyware Act. Those in the capital are calling the settlement, which forces Secure Computer to pay a reported $1 million, "a significant victory". (source:

What it really shows is that the government might finally be making ground on Internet fiends that are seeking to profit through any number of sketchy avenues. Now that spyware has become a mainstream term, it opens the door to those who have been given a golden opportunity to "spare" those most fearing it. It's kind of like, well, any other con artist scheme ever devised.

Despite the fact that over a thousand Washington residents who used Secure Computer's wares are due for compensation, Secure Computer, under the settlement, has not admitted guilt. That's surprising, especially considering the fact that they'll next be up against an imposing giant -- Microsoft -- who oppose the use of their name in Secure Computer's attempt to validate the product.

The lesson? Be as careful in purchasing spyware-removing software as you are in avoiding sites that make you vulnerable to malware in the first place. Oh, and never buy Spyware Cleaner from Secure Computer (stick to a trusted name like Spyware Doctor instead). (source:

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