Microsoft sues creator of spyware screensaver

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Microsoft today said that it has filed suit against the creators of a "notorious spyware program" which recently also had been the targeted by the Federal Trade Commission. Microsoft said that "Timothy P. Taylor and others" used celebrity screen savers and "other seemingly benign programs" as trojan horses to secretly install unwanted software on computers of Internet users.

According to a press release, Microsoft seeks damages from the spyware distributors based on the rules set by the Washington Computer Spyware Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

Microsoft said that Taylor's screensavers showed pictures of well-known celebrities such as Jessica Simpson. Once installed, the software "called home" and downloaded numerous other programs that "bombard users with unwanted pop-up advertisements, track users' Internet activity, redirect their Internet browsers to unwanted pages, add icons to the Windows desktop, and change the users' Windows Registry settings."