Microsoft sues spyware distributor
American software giant Microsoft is bringing ERG Ventures LLC to court, claiming that the latter distributed "Media Motor" spyware using screen savers, among other methods. The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already taken action against the company. It successfully pursued a restraining order against ERG Ventures, forcing it to shut down its operations. This consisted primarily of distributing spyware onto millions of computers, where it then opened porno pop-up windows and sapped computing resources, the FTC report notes.
Microsoft helped the FTC with its investigation, the company indicates. Now it is following in the FTC's legal tracks and is demanding compensation from the defendants, since the latter's products violate the Washington Computer Spyware Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Microsoft explained how the screen savers featured images of prominent stars. Yet each screen saver came with additional software piggybacked on it that established its own connections with external computers, downloading various additional programs in the background and then "bombarding" popup ads. The spyware also spied on the user's internet activity, rewrote Windows Registry settings and redirected Internet Explorer to undesired sites.