Wash. State Settles Spyware Lawsuit
An Oregon man will pay nearly $84,000 in fines and consumer restitution for
using e-mail to market bogus anti-spyware software called Spyware Cleaner, Washington
state officials said in announcing a settlement.
State Attorney General Rob McKenna said the penalties are the first under an
anti-spyware law the Legislature passed last year.
"We will not tolerate those who try to profit by preying on consumers'
fears of spyware and other malware," McKenna said Tuesday in a statement.
The settlement with Zhijian Chen of Portland, Ore., follows a five-month investigation
by the attorney general's consumer protection high-tech unit.
Officials say Chen made thousands of dollars in commissions by sending e-mail
meant to mislead people into believing their computers were infected by a virus
and that Spyware Cleaner sold by Secure Computer was the fix.
The lawsuit filed in January in U.S. District Court names Secure Computer LLC
of White Plains, N.Y., along with company executives and other associates.
Chen will pay $16,000 in restitution to consumers who bought Spyware Cleaner
as a result of receiving his message, the attorney general's office said. He
will also pay $24,000 in civil penalties and nearly $44,000 in attorneys' fees