Cyber Spy banned from encouraging cyber spying

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Cyber Spy has agreed to stop customers from installing its keylogging software on other people's computers without their consent.

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered the company to provide notice that the its RemoteSpy spyware has been downloaded and obtain consent from computer owners before the software can be installed.

In 2008, the FTC filed suit against CyberSpy Software and its owner, Tracer R Spence.

It claimed the defendants gave their clients detailed instructions explaining how to disguise the spyware as an innocuous file, such as a photo, attached to an email. When the recipient clicked on the attachment, the RemoteSpy program was secreatly downloaded and installed.

"The spyware recorded every keystroke typed on an infected computer; captured images of the computer screen; obtained passwords, and recorded websites visited," says the FTC.

To access the information gathered and organized by the spyware, RemoteSpy clients logged into a Website maintained by the defendants.

The final order, entered in the Middle District Court of Florida, bars the defendants from allowing purchasers to disguise the product as an innocent file or email attachment. 

Cyber Spy has also been ordered to try and reduce the risk that its spyware is misused, keep an eye on its affiliates to make sure they do the same, and remove legacy versions of the software from existing machines.

The company is still doing its best to market its product's major selling point, though.

"Remote Spy can record all keystrokes typed, websites visited, documents accessed, applications ran, passwords used, screenshots and so much more, all in total stealth mode! Especially perfect for those who want to monitor their employees or children, while away from home or work!" its website now reads.

But, it adds below, "Installing computer monitoring tools on computers you do not own or do not have permission to monitor may violate local, state or federal law."

So now you know.