Theif Gives Spyware Even Worse Name

Wired: In the first U.S. prosecution of its kind, FBI agents arrested a 20-year-old Los Angeles man Thursday on charges that he cracked some 400,000 Windows machines and covertly installed pop-up-generating adware on them, in a scheme that allegedly brought in $60,000 in ill-gotten profits.
Jeanson Ancheta faces a 17-count federal indictment charging him with two counts of conspiracy and various forms of computer intrusion and money laundering. The government is also seeking the seizure of more than $60,000 in cash, a used BMW and some computer equipment from the alleged hacker.
According to prosecutors, Ancheta used a customized form of the “rxbot” Trojan horse program to find and take control of large collections of vulnerable PCs, spinning them into “botnets” capable of being directed as one. He then installed ad-delivery programs from two adware firms: Quebec-based Gammacash and LOUDcash, which was purchased by adware giant 180solutions and renamed ZangoCash earlier this year.
Adware firms officially require their partners to obtain the user’s permission first — a step unscrupulous affiliates have been known to dispense with.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.