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FTC Wins TRO Against Keylogger Spyware Company CyberSpy

FTC Wins TRO Against Keylogger Spyware Company CyberSpy
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Nov 17, 2008 10:00 AM PST    Text size: 
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Federal Trade Commission has won a temporary restraining order halting the sale of keylogger spyware by a Florida-based company.

CyberSpy Software marketed and sold RemoteSpy keylogger spyware to clients who would then secretly monitor unsuspecting consumers’ computers, the FTC said Monday.

The software company, run by CEO Tracer Spence, was ordered in the TRO from selling the program that steals private information from unknowing users and allegedly can “Spy on anyone. From anywhere.”

In its federal complaint, the FTC says CyberSpy Software pushes its RemoteSpy surveillance spyware by claiming it can “secretly and covertly monitor and record PC’s without the need of physical access.”

The program records users’ keystrokes, screenshots, email, passwords, chats, instant messenger conversations and the websites visited. It can be disguised in a common email attachment, such as a word document or a song. When a user downloads the attachment, RemoteSpy is installed on the user’s computer, undetected.

The FTC said that information from the victim’s computer is sent to CyperSpy’s servers every 10 minutes. Whoever bought the software can log on to RemoteSpy.com and access all of the information.

CyberSpy’s website boasts that RemoteSpy offers the “stealth capability to prevent the remote user from removing the software.”

The company offered an affiliate program with 50 percent revenue sharing.

Under terms of the order approved by the court, in addition to halting the sale of their RemoteSpy software, the defendants must disconnect from the Internet any of their servers that collect, store, or provide access to information that this software has gathered.

The FTC, which filed the case at U.S. District Court in Orlando, seeks to permanently bar the unfair and deceptive practices and require the defendants to give up their ill-gotten gains.

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