Microsoft filed lawsuits against “scareware” purveyors – Registry Cleaner XP uses fake alerts to frighten consumers

Interesting piece of news in the Washington post: Microsoft Corp. and the state of Washington this week filed lawsuits against a slew of “scareware” vendors who use fake security alerts to frighten consumers into paying for worthless computer software.

Quote from Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna: “We won’t tolerate the use of alarmist warnings or deceptive ‘free scans’ to trick consumers into buying software to fix a problem that doesn’t even exist. We’ve repeatedly proven that Internet companies that prey on consumers’ anxieties are within our reach.”

The lawsuits were filed under Washington’s Computer Spyware Act, which punishes individuals who prey on user concerns regarding spyware or other threats. Specifically, the law makes it illegal to misrepresent the extent to which software is required for computer security or privacy, and it provides actual damages or statutory damages of $100,000 per violation, whichever is greater.

Web of Trust is delighted to see Microsoft to take an active role in the fight against Internet scams. The recent Web of Trust video dealt with the same problem. Read the entire story at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2008/09/microsoft_washington_state_tar.html?nav=rss_blog

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