A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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June 23, 2005

SpyKiller shut down over bogus claims

sk_screencap.gifThe Federal Trade Commission has busted another spyware company. A Houston, Texas firm called Swanksoft aka TrustSoft and its owner Danilo Ladendorf have been hit with a stipulated preliminary injunction order issued by a U.S. District Court judge.

The FTC alleges that a trial version of the company's SpyKiller program fraudulently claimed to find spyware that wasn't really on users' PCs. The false positives were designed to goad users into "unlocking" the program so that it could remove the phantom spyware, according to the FTC.

The company also operated an affiliate marketing program called KillerCash that relied on spamming and deceptive ads, says the FTC. Here's a nasty pop-up window (animated GIF), served from the KillerCash.com site, that apparently was used by affiliates to trick people into thinking they were infected with spyware. And here's another.

The company has removed SpyKiller from its site, but promises on an online message board that a new version is coming in July. (The deceptive version of SpyKiller is still available at Download.com.)

SwankSoft apparently got started in 1999 with a product called HistoryKill, which download.com generously awarded a 5-star rating. (SpyKiller got a 1-star rating from Adware Report.)

The FTC is seeking a permanent ban on the defendants' deceptive claims and will ask the court to order consumer redress.

Last month, the agency also shut down a company that made a rogue spyware application.

Posted by brian at June 23, 2005 6:20 PM



I have purchesed ur software before, now just wanted to download it, because i don't have it anymore. If u start ur co. please inform me.

Thank you

Posted by: Moe Sobouti at April 7, 2006 10:18 PM


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