TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: U.S. FTC Sues New Hampshire 'Spyware' Operation

U.S. FTC Sues New Hampshire 'Spyware' Operation

Reuters News Wire (
Wed, 5 Oct 2005 12:25:38 -0500

U.S. regulators asked a court on Wednesday to shut down a maker of
what they termed computer "spyware" that steers Internet users to fake
search engines and tracks their movements online.

Odysseus Marketing Inc. of New Hampshire said its free Kazanon
software would allow users to share music anonymously over "peer to
peer" networks to avoid prosecution from the recording industry.

But the software doesn't work as advertised and the company's work
should be halted, the Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint
filed with a U.S. court in New Hampshire.

The FTC said the software serves as a Trojan horse for other, unwanted
programs that deliver "pop up" ads and track the user's online
movements, the FTC said.

Those infected with Odysseus' spyware have their search results
corrupted as well, the FTC said. When they try to use a search engine
like Yahoo or Google, they are steered to a look-alike page that
prominently lists Odysseus clients in the results.

Those who use an Odysseus software tool to remove the spyware only
draw more unwanted programs on to their computers, the FTC said.

Odysseus principal Walter Rines was not immediately available for

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in May to stiffen jail
sentences and establish multimillion-dollar fines for spyware
purveyors. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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