Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
You are here: Home / Digital Life / FTC Settles Charges with App Maker
FTC Settles Charges with App Maker
FTC Settles Charges with App Maker
By Dan Heilman / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
An Ohio maker of smartphone apps has agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey attorney general that it lured consumers into downloading a rewards app that turned out to be malicious.

The company, whose app is called Prized, had promised consumers the app would be free of malware. But in fact, the main purpose of the app was to load the consumers’ mobile phones with malicious software to mine virtual currencies for the developer.

The defendants, Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, began making the Prized app around February 2014 in outlets including the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. According to the FTC, thousands of consumers downloaded the app under the impression that they could earn points for playing games or downloading affiliated apps and then spend those points on rewards such as clothes, gift cards and other items. Consumers were also promised that the app would not contain malware or viruses.

What consumers got instead, was an app that contained malware that took control of the device’s computing resources to mine for virtual currencies including DogeCoin, LiteCoin and QuarkCoin, according to the complaint.

Exploiting Hardware

How did they do it? According to the FTC, virtual currencies are created by solving complex mathematical equations, and the malicious app attempted to harness the power of many users’ devices to solve the equations more quickly, thus generating virtual currency. The use of that power also caused the devices' batteries to drain faster and recharge more slowly, and to burn through consumers’ monthly data plans.

The defendants agreed to a settlement that will permanently ban them from creating and distributing malicious software. "Hijacking consumers’ mobile devices with malware to mine virtual currency isn’t just deplorable; it’s also illegal," stated Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The complaint also alleged that the defendants violated both the FTC Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In addition to the ban on creating and distributing malicious software, the court order also requires the defendants to destroy any information about consumers that they collected via the distribution of the app.

Trojan Horse

The FTC and the New Jersey attorney general filed the complaint and order in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The settlement also includes a $50,000 monetary judgment against the defendants payable to the state of New Jersey.

The FTC said the case is part of its ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology. As new technology increases the number of consumers who can store, share, and spend money, the FTC said it’s working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation.

"Consumers downloaded this app thinking that at the very worst it would not be as useful or entertaining as advertised," said acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman. "Instead, the app allegedly turned out to be a Trojan horse for intrusive, invasive malware."

Tell Us What You Think


Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter

The British government officially blamed Russia for waging the so-called NotPetya cyberattack that infected computers across Ukraine before spreading to systems in the U.S. and beyond.
Security software company McAfee has adapted to many changes over the years, but Chief Executive Chris Young says one thing has remained constant: "our commitment to protecting everyone."
© Copyright 2018 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.