Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FTC Kills Scareware Scam That Duped Over 1M Users

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-let-it-happen-to-you dept.

The Internet 329

coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today got a court to at least temporarily halt a massive 'scareware' scheme, which falsely claimed that scans had detected viruses, spyware, and pornography on consumers' computers. According to the FTC, the scheme has tricked more than one million consumers into buying computer security products such as WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus. The court also froze the assets of Innovative Marketing, Inc. and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC to preserve the possibility of providing consumers with monetary redress, the FTC stated."

cancel ×

329 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I hope this helps this problem (5, Interesting)

vwpau227 (462957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068497)

At the computer store where I work in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, we see at least 3-4 computers each week with these rogue anti-virus and anti-spyware applications. These programs are a real pain to deal with, both for our customers and for our computer store as well, since the programs are often difficult to remove and take up a lot of time that would otherwise be used to help our customers find solutions that make them more productive.

However, given the fact that new versions of these programs are being developed on a regular basis (for example, as of late we are seeing a new rogue program called Trusted AntiVirus), and the fact that the organizations behind them are often located offshore and in multiple jurisdictions, I wonder how much a dent this judgement will make into the scammers' operations. Hopefully, at least, this will be a start.

Part of the problem, of course, is user education. We have users that receive warning messages that tell them that this program is possibly a virus, and ask them if they would like to run the program anyway. Many users that do not know any better will run the program even though the warning is telling them this may not be a good idea. Helping the user understand what the legitimate warnings are on the system tends to reduce the problem.

It's easy to stop ... (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068641)

Turn off the $$$ - the credit card companies know that payments to certain entities are for scam crap just from the number of complaints, but they still do nothing because, let's face it, a million sales @ $30 a pop == $30,000,000. 3.5% of that is over a million bucks. It's not in their immediate financial interest to turn off the tap.

Re:It's easy to stop ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068957)

the credit card companies know that payments to certain entities are for scam crap

Like iTunes [apple.com] (look for this one to be taken down soon from your friends at Apple), iTunes [getsatisfaction.com] , and iTunes [pirillo.com] .

Re:It's easy to stop ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069375)

Paypal and iTunes - now that's a marriage made in hell.

I can't wait until the day when everyone can accept email payments [interac.ca] .

Re:It's easy to stop ... (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069543)

Not gonna happen.
Why would a bank provide flatrate b2b/c2b money transfers when they can take a rake from each transaction?

Re:It's easy to stop ... (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070019)

So, it's like Paypal meets Western Union. Fraudulicious!

Re:It's easy to stop ... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069743)

Why don't they contact their banks instead? Not unlikely that they have messed up themself though.

Re:It's easy to stop ... (5, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069709)

It's not in their immediate financial interest to turn off the tap.

Nor is it their responsibility to make sure their customers spend their money wisely. And they can't just indiscriminately stop processing payments made to certain companies...they'd get sued.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (5, Insightful)

lalena (1221394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068765)

I agree that going after these scareware companies is too difficult, which is why we should go after the advertising networks that help them post their ads instead.
According to the article "The defendants used an elaborate ruse that duped Internet advertising networks and popular Web sites into carrying their advertisements."
Even if you are duped, once you see the scareware ad you should revoke the ad account for that company.
Most sites have a way of clicking that a blog post, wiki article, ... should be reviewed or removed because it is inappropriate, but you never see something like this for an ad.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069233)

Well of course you don't see something like that for an ad. The advertisers are PAYING real money. The only reason you see a "click here if this is inappropriate" on any website is so they can cover their own ass and prevent getting sued. It is "good faith" effort to remove stuff that is liable or DMCA. Many of these sites are so 3rd tier, they don't give a damn what bad ads are on their website, as long as they get paid.

Silly me, I still think that part of the cause is that Windows is entirely too easy to pwn.

There is enough blame to go around, but the one thing that is universal is money. The crappy forum/blog/wiki websites want the ad money regardless of content, the scammers want your dollars, MS wants to overcharge and underdeliver, many people are too lazy to learn about their computer and would rather pay the extortion (which doesn't end the problem) than keep their systems up to date, no matter how easy you were to make it.

Hoard your clicks (3, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069485)

...The only reason you see a "click here if this is inappropriate" on any website is so they can cover their own ass and prevent getting sued...

Actually, there's another reason. If you click on anything at all, they can record your address in their web journals and tick a box labeled "This person is a potential mark". It's one of the reasons why I close these bogus displays by going around and closing them from the operating system. I do not trust any button or other clickable control presented to me from any window that I didn't specifically ask to see. Even the little X in the top right corner, they can emulate those controls with controls of their own, and can record the fact that you've paid them a bit of attention. And for such people, the less attention you pay them the better.

Re:Hoard your clicks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069759)

Imagine how much of your life you would get back if you just didn't care?

Re:I hope this helps this problem (5, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068953)

Part of the problem, of course, is user education

Part of the problem is that these users have administrator privileges. I have seen many posts here on /. and elsewhere that claim it is quite possible to run as a non-administrator under Windows. In a corporate environment it should be possible to remove admin privileges (unless those who posted such claims were lying).

Personally, I was amused by this scamware, seeing it scan my PC and find various infected DLLs -- the only problem being that my Linux PC doesn't have any DLLs (except for a few in my WINE installation).

Re:I hope this helps this problem (2, Interesting)

lord_sarpedon (917201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069037)

Are you...running malware in WINE for fun?

You _do_ realize that this grants write access to all your priceless documents in ~
The UNIX security model (as with Windows) doesn't give a shit about protecting _users_, just the system. A terribly dated and broken concept.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (5, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069165)

Are you...running malware in WINE for fun?

No. Perhaps you don't understand. The "scan" is totally bogus -- it "ran" in my SeaMonkey browser under Linux and "detected" various infected DLLs. Since I don't have any DLLs on my system, the "scan" is obviously a scam.

Now, I just wanted to qualify the "I don't have any DLLs" by making a throaway remark that there are actually some on my system as part of WINE. This does not mean I ran the malware under WINE.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069617)

Now, I just wanted to qualify the "I don't have any DLLs" by making a throaway remark that there are actually some on my system as part of WINE. This does not mean I ran the malware under WINE.

Never give more information than is necessary, it will confuse some people.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (1)

slugstone (307678) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069933)

But where the fun in that?

Re:I hope this helps this problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070153)

I saw the same thing on my Mac. One of my users (educated one!) called me to ask if this is legit. The page 'scanned' my Mac under FF, and displayed a Windowish-looking UI claiming to have detected a bunch of Win32 trojans.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069595)

Even though users can have their files easily restored in minutes from a backup? And since the malware can't infect at the system level it is then a simple matter for an administrator to nix the offending files?

Re:I hope this helps this problem (2, Interesting)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070141)

Even though users can have their files easily restored in minutes from a backup?

What backup? [slashdot.org]

And since the malware can't infect at the system level it is then a simple matter for an administrator to nix the offending files?

Is "administrator" a fancy term for "geeky neighbor kid"?

The only files that matter are the user's files, everything else can be fixed with apt-get and a livecd. If those files are messed up, it does not matter that the stock OS files are still intact. The *nix security model is good for protecting users from eachother, while malware protection requires protecting users from themselves. Probably the only ways to get the latter are some unmaintainable SELinux config or a highly inconvenient browser-in-a-VM and email-in-a-different-VM setup, and even those can't ever be idiotproof.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (2, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070193)

Administrator is a fancy term for the guy who logs in as root and can kill any misbehaving processes launched by the user.

Again, backups. I just lost 6 months of work to a hard drive crash two days ago that will cost me $1200 to recover. Mechanical failures are wonderful things. Now I have backups in my apartment and remote backups setup. Backups are trivially cheap, there is no reason not to use them other than your own stupidity. Yes, I was stupid not to have one two days ago.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069185)

the problem is that lots of software (e.g. World of Warcraft and anything that includes Punk Buster) assumes that you have more than normal user privileges. So while you can do it, it makes everyday tasks a pain.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (0, Flamebait)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069385)

If you don't like it quit WoW or your other silly games. If anyone asks, explain why. If you can convince others to quit WoW, write the company and tell them why you're doing it. Yes, they might think they need these programs to keep the game balanced. But if you're concerned about your computer's security you should make that decision as hard for them as possible, to the point that some companies will stop requiring root access.

But if you're too much of a sheep I have no sympathy.

Or, alternately, you could keep a separate OS install for games that require root. WoW supposedly will even run in Wine, so you might not even have to fork over for another Windows license. Your other drives/partitions, of course, would then be available to any program able to mount them, so doing this is pretty stupid unless you encrypt or physically remove them. Sound too complicated? Get a new hobby! It's their job as smart programmers to make anti-cheat software in a way that doesn't compromise your security.

sloppy developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070103)

By and large they don't need admin access. In the case of WoW it is because they are assuming that the current user has write access to the directory that the executable is in instead of using the current user's "application data" directory. PB could work just as well by running components that require admin privileges as a service and/or driver and leaving user level components with reasonable permissions. Other apps have problems because they write user specific data to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

In almost all of these cases it isn't the effectiveness of cheat detection (or w/e) its just sloppy engineering. The source of my frustration is not that require admin access but that require it for no good reason. Applications that have a legitimate reason to require administrative access, Wire Shark for instance, don't bother me in the slightest. They can get away with it because most home users don't care or don't know enough about security to realize there is a problem.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (4, Informative)

xlsior (524145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069761)

You can't lock out the primary user of a home computer from installing programs. No matter how many hoops you have to jump through (excplicitely authorize, enter password, etc.) there are still a ton of people that will jump through all the hoops and still end up with the garbage installed.

After all, keep in mind that there were a million people that were esentially tricked into pulling out their creditcard and paying money to these people. Removing admin rights and having to enter a sudo password before they can install the malware in question still doesn't change the fact that they honestly thought they 'needed' to install the program in question in the first place.

You can only do so much to protect people from themselves, and in cases like there there isn't much you can do other than prosecute / sue the snot out of the companies doing the malicious advertising and unfounded scaremongering.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070177)

You'd be surprised - recent versions of this will still infest a limited user account by writing its startup entries into the user's personal registry hive and keep itself tucked away in temporary folders. Sure, you can log in as Administrator and blow it away pretty easily if you keep on your system updates, but it'll bust through with old local privilege escalation exploits if you don't, and often loads a rootkit that does a pretty passable job of hiding itself even from an offline BartPE disc.

And the seemingly hourly updates keep antivirus vendors pretty much lost with this. I uploaded a few samples I'd cleaned today to VirusTotal's site, and the root infection .dll file was detected by a grand total of THREE out of fourty scanners (and they weren't even the "reputable" ones).

The only solution I've seen is to completely revoke execution privileges on the user's account directory. Now I'll just wait while they update the sites to ask people to save to a USB drive... and I promise you that the year of the Linux desktop hits, they'll start giving out .rpm packages, too.

Captcha: resent

Re:I hope this helps this problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069255)

Do you ever see Macs with those problems?

Re:I hope this helps this problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069501)

Part of the problem, of course, is user education.

Education does not help. I have a tenured Professor of Computer Science working in research on Software Security whose faculty PC was compromised 4 times in 2 years. I finally convinced the CS Dept head I had to revoke this faculty's Administrator privileges on his systems. After about one year, he begged me to gives his privileges back. Condition: in the future, if his system is compromised he has to reinstall his system after I wipe it.

McAfee was installed; this software bypassed and disabled McAfee.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (5, Insightful)

FLEB (312391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070063)

McAfee was installed; this software bypassed and disabled McAfee.

Probably a relief. It takes some sophisticated software to get McAfee to stop begging for money. Where could one obtain this miracle malware?

Re:I hope this helps this problem (1)

SHaFT7 (612918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069573)

same thing at the shop i'm at. most of the virus infections are from this.

Is there a clickjacking connection? (1)

tbg58 (942837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070011)

One of my client sites was clickjacked, and another had an attempted clickjacking. The connection is that the one that succeeded redirected users to a Russian site with scareware/malvertisement (AntiVirus Defense 2009). Same modus operandi - their scareware scanned my C: drive and found infected exe and dll files galore, a fact most curious on an Ubuntu Linux desktop.

The other attempted clickjacking was to a Chinese site, but I can't help but wonder if there's something more serious going on here. Some of these scareware sellers are paying to have script kiddies put iframe clickjacks on every index.* file in a web host they can compromise, which is more than just a civil matter.

Do they stop with just charging $39.95 from the victim's credit card, or keep on charging until they hit the limit or get an alert? And does the victim's machine get free from the scareware, or is it recruited into a botnet to send out more malvertisements?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (2, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070107)

If everyone knew how to properly use a computer, you and I would be out of a job.

Re:I hope this helps this problem (1)

Capeman (589717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070125)

At the computer store where I work, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, we see computers infected with these rogue applications, I have succefsully easily removed these infections using Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware [malwarebytes.org] . Try it.

Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (5, Funny)

DelitaTheFridge (912659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068501)

Click here to fix it, we promise.

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068599)

Sure, it is 127.1.

Have fun with it.

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068895)

Fuck, that's my FTP server! How'd you hack my accnt?

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069377)

What's with all the gay porn on there? Are you some kind of homo?

Oh, shit...

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (2, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069247)

My IP is 192.168.0.1

my login is admin. my password is admin

Please fix my computer broadcasting!

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069873)

Thanks. I did some port scanning, and in just a few minutes I've managed to pwn 10.0.0.1, 127.0.0.1, 172.16.0.1, 192.168.0.1, and even 192.168.1.1. I'll let you kn

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (4, Funny)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069581)

This was (deservedly) modded funny but this scam really exists [hotbrick.com] ! (WARNING link points to the scam site, click at your own risk, you may broadcast your ip address to them...)

Re:Your computer is broadcasting an IP address! (2, Funny)

FLEB (312391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070099)

The family-portrait photo, of the child riding a dog, on the imaginary software box, that's a clear indication of quality. I could see how someone could be taken in.

A fool and his money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068511)

...well, you know the rest.

Re:A fool and his money... (0, Redundant)

ExploHD (888637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068681)

That would normally be funny, however, this program will overtake the computer to the point where the normal Window's Security Center is replaced by this program. People will then be told that they need to buy a subscription to protect their computer and it all seems to be under Microsoft, not another offshore company.

Re:A fool and his money... (5, Funny)

Keramos (1263560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069257)

I believe this is called Windows Live OneCare, right?

Re:A fool and his money... (1)

ExploHD (888637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069959)

No, it's security center. If you have XP, look for it under the control panel.

Get a rope! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068531)

My university has seen so many students (and even staff!) with variants of this. I'll volunteer for the firing squad.

I'll one up that. (4, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068569)

My university has seen so many students (and even staff!) with variants of this.

One of my users managed to get it on a fully patched XP machine that I somehow forgot to install Symantec on (yeah, stupid), with basic User privileges.

Of course, I've seen it a million other times too, but those people were all running with admin privileges.

Re:I'll one up that. (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069229)

Really? If it lived soley in user space then it would be trivial to remove and couldnt do all the tricks that it does, namely installing services, registering dlls, and over-writing system files.

  One of my users tried to install it and it failed. Something tells me your limited user config isnt standard. There's no shortage of shops that give write access to the c: drive and large parts of the registry because theyre too lazy to find the specific file or key they really need.

Re:I'll one up that. (2, Informative)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069773)

That shop was a small shop, and the users need a little more slack with their machines since I only talk to them about once a week. I don't have backdoors like the task scheduler locked up, so if you *really* wanted it, you could have admin on these boxes, and a couple apps (I hate quickbooks) require it, so there's a few RunAs scripts and so on that could port you into adminship.

Nonetheless, I was still impressed.

Re:Get a rope! (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068849)

I'll volunteer for the firing squad.

Finally! We usually have to get someone sentenced on trumped-up charges to get our weekly execution, because nobody ever responds to the call for volunteers.

Re:Get a rope! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069295)

Well played, sir, well played.

The obvious truth (1)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068557)

Scaring people makes them do irrational stuff that ultimately hurts them. Thank you captain obvious!

Re:The obvious truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069355)

But they had my IP address and knew what state I'm in! AND told me my system was infected even naming the malwair! I had to do something to get rid of the trojan pony!!1 So I clicked the shaking window and paid my money on this to ensure that my system was safe so I could continue to learn how to use it more. I even think I'm getting smarter than my kids-I created a folder and a desktop shortcut thing all on my own yesterday! I must be the next Bill Gates!

All joking aside, I really know people like this, and I like to think a little part of me dies every time they open their mouth.

</rant>

Old news (1)

IDKmyBFFJill (1428815) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068563)

It's called Norton/McAfee anti-virus

Re:Old news (1, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069029)

It's called Norton/McAfee anti-virus

Really? That's the new name for Vista?

I think there's a bug in their web site - it told me I had 427 viruses on C:, but I can't find C: anywhere. I looked in /home, /usr, /var, /srv, /etc, /root, /lib, /sys, /mnt, /opt, /proc, /other, /sbin, /bin, /boot, /dev, /media ... I can't find any C: ...

Seriously, with 8 gig usb keys going for $30, and the ease of installing linux on one, 500 gig hard drives going for $70, or booting off a dvd if you're REALLY cheap, there's no excuse to surf the web using Windows. It's like having sex with a million strangers - you KNOW no amount of protection is going to be enough - you're gonna catch SOMETHING.

Re:Old news (0, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069131)

The excuse I use for using Windows is that Linux doesn't work on my computer. I've tried several distros and trying to use the internet is unusable on any of them. My computer is only a couple of years old, I shouldn't be having this problem.

Until Linux solves these problems, it will never be commonly used.

Re:Old news (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069221)

I find that interesting. My laptop is almost 10 years old, with a PII 233 Mhz chip and maxed out at 96Meg of RAM, but I have Linux running on it. And, I've never had the slightest difficulty connecting it to the Internet or surfing the web. Either you have some very weird hardware or you haven't tried very hard.

Re:Old news (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069553)

I think it's weird you believe age, processor speed, and the amount of RAM are determining factors for the reliability of drivers. Maybe it's time to ask Santa for a new laptop.

Re:Old news (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069707)

My point was that if Linux could get such an old machine on-line without any messing around (It Just Worked) it should be able to get a more recent machine going without any trouble, unless there's something weird about the hardware. (Quite possible, and that's why I mentioned it.)

Re:Old news (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069807)

My point was that if Linux could get such an old machine on-line without any messing around (It Just Worked) it should be able to get a more recent machine going without any trouble,

It works exactly the opposite, actually. The older your machine, the more likely that your hardware has been fully fleshed out, and open source drivers are available and working reliably.

Do you really think that, somehow, the hardware in a laptop deteriorates and gets less reliable with age?

Re:Old news (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070159)

Considering the (by current standards) small amount of RAM, I need a rather compact distro, and ended up with Puppy. It recognizes my PCMCIA NIC with no trouble, and the PCMCIA USB hub only needed a little tweaking to get working better than it ever had with Windows. That's my point, really, that unless you're using bleeding edge equipment, Linux almost certainly can handle it, especially when it comes to networking.

Re:Old news (2, Interesting)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069915)

Well you may not have problems with your hardware, but that doesn't mean others don't. Since we're giving personal anecdotes, I'll give you mine.

To give you an idea of my computer skills, I've installed Linux on three of my computers over the last 5 years, though I never really used it too much. I'm "fluent" with Windows. I have some experience with C++, so using the shell and so forth doesn't bother me too much. I'm not a developer or anytihng like that though. In other words, I'm pretty much the "best-case" inexperienced user.

That said, every time I tried to install Linux, I ALWAYS have problems. The first time it took me literally two days of frustration before it was in a usuable state. I define usable as "being able to reliably hit the power button, boot with no problems, log in, and surf the internet". It would take too long to go through all the problems I had.

More recently, I just installed Linux on my laptop two days ago, and it took me over four hours to get my wireless internet to work correctly. I figured out how to use ndiswrapper on one of my previous installs, but it didn't solve the problem this time around. Eventually I figured out the problem had to do with the order of drivers being loaded. That's right, to surf the internet I had to learn about crap like modprobe, how to run scripts at startup, etc. All the sysadmins here probably think it's easy, but it's nearly impossible for inexperienced users like me to learn. The worst part was finding a well written bug report on the ubuntu tracker which listed my exact problem, but was closed with the reason "This is a well known problem, just google it"... like I hadn't been doing that for hours.

Anyway, my point is that even though Linux is mostly awesome and everything mostly "just works", there are still some stuff that doesn't. You can blame broadcom or whoever for the problems, but if those few things still exist and are frustrating enough to turn off a dedicated and best-case-inexperienced user, then it still needs more work if you want everyone to use it.

Re:Old news (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070227)

Anyway, my point is that even though Linux is mostly awesome and everything mostly "just works", there are still some stuff that doesn't.

How well I know! I'm a regular on my distro's support forum, and I've seen lots of cases where Linux Just Didn't Work. However, I also know that I never see anything from all the people who install it and never have to ask. That's why I mentioned the possibility of "weird hardware." There will always be NICs, video cards, hard drives or whatever that are either so new or so obscure that it's hard to get them going, and that might have been what happened to the OP.

Re:Old news (5, Funny)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069267)

That's because the Linux community has collectively decided that *you* don't deserve to run it, so we put in special code to keep you off the 'net. It's better for everybody this way.

;oD :op

Re:Old news (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069479)

Nah, it's because "I've tried several distros and trying to use the internet is unusable on any of them." means that he didn't know where to clock get the flash player to get rckrolled.

And they didn't select "install all Windows media codecs from packman.de", so they can't watch streaming video ...

For many people, if they can't get youtube and can't play those wmf files their friends send them via email, it's game over ...

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069659)

PEBKAC

Re:Old news (0, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069213)

I know people who can count the number of girls they've gone to school with that they haven't slept with. I know one person who has counted every girl he slept with, and after 5 years out of high school broke 1000. Condoms and weekly STD tests...

Re:Old news (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069427)

Condoms and weekly STD tests...

Condoms aren't going to do squat about herpes simplex cold sores. Also, testing after the fact doesn't prevent STDs. Even prior testing doesn't - there's an incubation period.

It's like the trojan in the article that claims "You have nnn viruses" - once you see that, even if you inow it's a scam, you also know that your computer has been compromised. You can never be 100% sure, short of a wipe and fresh install, that there's not something else "ticking away under the hood" just waiting to release its' payload.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069317)

Thanks for your comment, it didn't have anything to do with... anything.

Re:Old news (5, Insightful)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069469)

...and if all you want to do is surf the web, sure, Linux or even an old WebTV box is just dandy. Problem is, people are used to doing more with their computer. That's where Linux leaves most people with the feeling of holding a wet fish.

you KNOW no amount of protection is going to be enough - you're gonna catch SOMETHING.

I know your trolling, but it's worth pointing out this is dead wrong. I'm using Windows with no anti-virus/spyware programs and the firewall built into my DSL Router. The one and only time I've personally had a virus was in 1997, when my then idiot girlfriend downloaded and executed an IRC script. The best defence is knowledge. Period. There is no OS in the world that is secure with ignorance behind the keyboard. Sure, Linux offers a huge huge security advantage because of it's obscurity, but that's a double edged sword that points back to my first point. People want more out of their PC, and I can't blame them. You want protection? Start with you. Those who rely on others first are usually the ones to get screwed first.

Re:Old news (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069535)

As I point out elsewhere, most people think that their computer is useless if they can't view wmf files, or yutube videos. For the former, there's "install all windows codecs" which uses the dackman.de repository; for the latter, if they want the latest flash player, they have to include the non-oss repositories for their distro.

Then they can get rickrolled to their hearts' content, play those flash games, etc.

Re:Old news (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070199)

...Seriously, with 8 gig usb keys going for $30, and the ease of installing linux on one, 500 gig hard drives going for $70, or booting off a dvd if you're REALLY cheap, there's no excuse to surf the web using Windows. It's like having sex with a million strangers - you KNOW no amount of protection is going to be enough - you're gonna catch SOMETHING.

But think of the fun you'd have, especially compared with using Vista

Wait --- those strangers are all attractive females, right? Otherwise, it would be very similar to using Vista.

Great (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068585)

Too bad they didn't do this 6 fucking months ago when idiots started opening fake UPS/USPS/FEDEX emails to print their .exe "invoice" inside a zip file.

Hey you! (4, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068627)

You've got a virus!

Pay me or I won't tell you what it is!

The sad thing is that people fall for it.

I've actually had the following conversation:

"What antivirus program was that?"
"Oh let me see here... [Horrible Trendy Name]"
"When did you install it?"
"I don't know."

I told him to call his credit card issuer.

Though, as if that's not enough, my neighbor recently couldn't understand how a dialog that, after analyzing basically indicated his computer was "too secure" wasn't a bad thing.

I have them beat (5, Funny)

LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068639)

Sure these might just be "scamware"... but I beat them at their own game by installing all 5 of the mentioned programs. The combined power is sure to be effective even if one alone is not!

creators break up scams that duped billions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068789)

some things happen in the wink of an eye. some of us never learn. it's all in the manual. see you there?

I have WinXp Viruses on my Mac! (4, Insightful)

JimMcc (31079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068801)

According to these guys, my Mac is infected with Windows XP viruses. Ok, now I'm not that gullible, but the sad part is that there are plenty of people that are and believe whatever they read. Of course these are the same people that send birthday cards to little whats-his-name who wants to be in the Guinness's Book of World Records.
 
At one level I'm sympathetic, but at another I think that people need to learn to be more than a little skeptical on the internet. So instead of getting money returned to the people that purchased this junk, how about using it to fund advertising programs that politely ask "How can you be so stupid?" (Obviously not saying it like that.) Education is the only thing that will change this in the long run. Otherwise they'll just fall for whatever the next trick is that comes along.

Re:I have WinXp Viruses on my Mac! (1)

m1ss1ontomars2k4 (1302833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068831)

Knowing some of my fellow Mac users, I wouldn't be surprised at all if at least some of them fell for it. :-/

Re:I have WinXp Viruses on my Mac! (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069051)

In Australia several years ago there was a major government advertising campaign with the slogan "If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot."

Your proposal "You can you be so stupid?" sounds okay bit a bit too mild...

Re:I have WinXp Viruses on my Mac! (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069747)

Yeah.. but JimMcc is probably speaking about America. The country where everything must be politically correct or else. One of the schools a few hours away made the news recently because the old Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer stop motion movie uses the word "christmas" and is thus unsuitable for viewing in the classroom.

So.. while harsh honesty about the ignorance of computer users may be educational, it won't be tolerated. Not here, anyway.

Re:I have WinXp Viruses on my Mac! (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069157)

Guess Mac isn't as secure as everyone thought.

Better late than never (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068813)

The FTC is supposed stop and punish fraudsters. This is their job. I can't understand why it has taken this long.

Re:Better late than never (4, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069419)

The answer to why is probably simpler than you think - they don't "get" this internet thing either.

Re:Better late than never (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069797)

Nah, one of the FTC figureheads fell for it I'd wager.

(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (0, Redundant)

dougallinux (1428827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068837)

I found it very funny when my Linux Mint system had a scamware page up in opera (internet browser) and the rest of my family belived as it said that my computer had a virus, problem was it claimed to be scanning my C: drive. LOL

Re:(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068943)

i would have just felt sad for you. you know. not being able to run a real os. i'm surprised that your family talks to you after coming out of the closet as a linux fag and all. they must be pretty compassionate people.

Re:(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (0, Offtopic)

dougallinux (1428827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069083)

Sorry to mislead you, I primarily run XP Media Center and Vista. I only have linux on 2 hard drives I have used macs and responded like most people WTH they call this a user interface. The mouse has one button, The os is an insult to unix.

Re:(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069263)

2 hard drives? are you one of those asshats that calls a pc a hard drive? fucking moron. you're nothing but a bitch. i know you've never run osx because you're too fucking stupid to run osx.

Re:(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (1)

dougallinux (1428827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069813)

Man these mac fanboys are brutal, but they are still Anonymous Cowards. My Crapintosh powerbook G4 boots and loads 1/4 of the time if i am lucky, then safari crashes before i can download firefox or opera, much less click on a link to "scareware"

And no hard drives are hard drives and linux can boot of almost all computers i have, can't say the same about any other os

Re:(Re: FTC Kills Scareware Scam) (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069939)

mmmm troll fishing...

I'll never run OSX 'cause I'm a cheap bastard who won't buy a Mac and doesn't pirate software. (which happens to be why I have only one Windows PC...)

The Great Mouse Paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069599)

The mouse has one button, The os is an insult to unix.

You're right. Real UNIX users don't even have mice, just keyboards and emacs. Seriously, even GNOME and KDE can be used without a mouse.

So, if an OS is usable without a mouse at all, surely you can get basic functionality with a one button mouse. Yes a five button mouse puts a lot more options at your fingertips, but it's hardly required.

Not that any of this matters, nobody ships computers with one button mice anymore. We're about to enter 2009, try to keep up. ;)

Helllooo.... FCC ... um, Stopsign.com ? (2, Informative)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069369)

If I go to stopsign.com it will detect all sorts of Windows nastyware on my Linux box.
They have ads on Direct TV.....

2 solutions (1)

eniacfoa (1203466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069657)

its a bit late after a million fools have purchased the software... the only 2 things that will fix this issue is all the people before born before 1975 die OR you make people get a computer license. I did tech support for a few years and imho majority of people who were born before 1975 are too stupid. yes i say stupid because they also ask you how to spell COMMAND (is that one M or two M's) or they say "whats internet explorer?" when you ask them to open it...everytime they switch on their pc it tells them what OS they have...it flashes up WINDOWS XP or whatever...but they have no clue what OS they are running...tech support makes you want to kill yourself so you never have to speak to a fool again....

How to get rid of this software... (1)

racazip (829595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069755)

I see this kind of stuff about 3-4 times a month between clients and friends. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is the only program I've seen that removes it easily, and within 5 minutes, to boot. Happy cleaning! http://malwarebytes.org/ [malwarebytes.org]

Alternate title: FTC Identifies Over 1M Morons (2, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069765)

In an unrelated story, the FTC has invested in some extremely large ovens in an effort to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign energy sources. They claim the new fuel is actually self-perpetuating and that "There is an unlimited supply here at home."

Thankful for Winantivirus (1)

Trenchbroom (1080559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069997)

I was a safe Windows user. Unfortunately the wife was not, and because of a few mistaken mouse clicks on her part Winantivirus was installed on my computer. It's tenacious grip on my XP install forced me to look for an alternative. Linux was installed over XP, and for three years now I've had the pleasure of laughing at articles just like this one. Thanks Winantivirus!

How many years did this take? (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070005)

At this rate they will nail the Extenze scam by 2015 and Head On by 2020. If they can't shut these things down fast enough, the amount of money they make is still vastly larger than any fine, so the fine and shutdown is just a cost of doing business. They need to be more proactive.

Sign me up! (5, Funny)

whizzleteats (1364017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070121)

You mean there's anti-virus software that will find pornography on my computer? Will it show it to me as well? :D

Particularly nasty (1)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070151)

The most interesting part of this operation was that they apparently impersonated legitimate businesses, created advertisements for these businesses, and then had them placed on high-profile websites. The buyers of these ads typically had no idea anything was wrong because the ad code was both obfuscated and would only redirect the user to the bad website a small percentage of the time.

Is it the same Sam Jain (2, Interesting)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070245)

I wonder if the Sam Jain referenced in the article is the same Sam Jain behind efront [wikipedia.org] . There was plenty of good reading on fuckedcompany.com way back then when the ICQ logs were released on the net.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>