Risk
5/31/2010
10:18 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

FBI Busts $100 Million 'Scareware' Gang

The three men who were indicted are alleged to have been part of an illegal scheme that spanned 60 countries and sold victims $100 million worth of bogus software that purported to fix system problems that apparently didn't exist.

The three men who were indicted are alleged to have been part of an illegal scheme that spanned 60 countries and sold victims $100 million worth of bogus software that purported to fix system problems that apparently didn't exist.From the Chicago FBI field office:

According to a federal indictment returned here against a Cincinnati area man and two other men believed to be living abroad. The charges allege that the defendants, through fake advertisements placed on various legitimate companies' websites, deceived Internet users into falsely believing that their computers were infected with "malware" or had other critical errors to induce them to purchase "scareware" software products that had limited or no ability to remedy the purported, but nonexistent, defects. The alleged scheme is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing and most prevalent types of Internet fraud.

Two defendants, Bjorn Daniel Sundin, and Shaileshkumar P. Jain, with others owned and operated Innovative Marketing, Inc. (IM), a company registered in Belize that purported to sell anti-virus and computer performance/repair software through the internet and that operated a subsidiary called Innovative Marketing Ukraine, located in Kiev. The company appeared to close down last year after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a federal lawsuit in Maryland seeking to end the allegedly fraudulent practices.

Like most of these scams, federal officials claim that the company, Innovative Marketing Inc. (IM), lured Internet users to a web site that would serve bogus alerts:

• the IM scareware site appeared not to be a website at all, but rather a warning message from the computer user's operating system, falsely informing the user of an error and prompting the user to click on a box to address the purported error. Further error message prompts occurred regardless of whether the user clicked the box agreeing to or declining to proceed or attempted to close the error message window;

• the IM scareware displayed an animated graphic image that gave the fake appearance that the computer was being scanned for various errors or viruses. Bogus results falsely showed that critical errors were detected by the fake scan; and

• the IM scareware website then prompted the victim user to download a free trial version of an IM product, falsely promising that the software could repair the nonexistent critical errors. Those who fell for the alleged scam then purchased fake software named "Malware Alarm," "Antivirus 2008," and VirusRemover 2008."

These types of scams have been increasing during the past couple of years. In January we highlighted how Microsoft customers were being targeted in the post Office Users Targeted In Phishing, Rogueware Attacks as wells as this post from October 2009: Scammers Up Rogueware War.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-1544
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the CERT_DestroyCertificate function in libnss3.so in Mozilla Network Security Services (NSS) 3.x, as used in Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger cer...

CVE-2014-1547
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0, Firefox ESR 24.x before 24.7, and Thunderbird before 24.7 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1548
Published: 2014-07-23
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in the browser engine in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-1549
Published: 2014-07-23
The mozilla::dom::AudioBufferSourceNodeEngine::CopyFromInputBuffer function in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 does not properly allocate Web Audio buffer memory, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and applica...

CVE-2014-1550
Published: 2014-07-23
Use-after-free vulnerability in the MediaInputPort class in Mozilla Firefox before 31.0 and Thunderbird before 31.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (heap memory corruption) by leveraging incorrect Web Audio control-message ordering.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Sara Peters hosts a conversation on Botnets and those who fight them.