In January, we brought you news of the N.Y., USA settlement that held advertisers, not just third party media buyers, responsible for ads delivered through adware.

But we haven't seen the end of advertisers displaying online ads through software installed without computer users? consent. Researcher Ben Edelman says that two of the companies in that N.Y. settlement have yet to sever their ties with spyware vendors.

Social networking sites have been all the talk in the news this week. If you are among the millions who message on MySpace, or any of the thousands of sites similar to it, here's the latest security news you won't want to miss:

- Crafty cyber-thieves are skimming personal details from social networking sites to use in targeted attacks.

The adware distributor DirectRevenue LLC, which you may remember from a New York, U.S. adware case, has settled U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges that it used unfair and deceptive means to download adware onto consumers' PCs and obstructed them from removing it, the FTC says.

Along with giving up $1.5 million in ill-gotten gains, the settlement:

- Bars future downloads of DirectRevenues adware without consumers' consent.

If you are following the case about the substitute teacher that faces 40 years in prison, you won't want to miss this recent article on Julie Amero.

Stay tuned for the March edition of Lavasoft News (where we'll be publishing letters from some of you who wrote in to us about the so-called "spyware" teacher) and for an update from us on Friday (when Amero's sentencing is expected).

The state of New York, USA has sent out a message to advertisers: You will be held responsible when your ads end up on consumers computers without notice and consent.

That's what New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo had to say after settling a lawsuit that forces companies to get consent before they use pop-ups for advertising.

Rule number one in e-mail safety is never open suspicious messages.

But even after hearing that over and over again, we computer users do click without using our better judgement. And sometimes we even take the bait.

Today we bring you two cyber-crime updates of shocking proportions.

The first news story surprises us because of the sheer size of the crime. Two botnet operators who allegedly ran a network of 1.5 million computers may spend up to three years behind bars, Dutch authorities say.

The latest court case involving spyware that has all the online world talking is quite a bit different from the other legal cases we've told you about.

Rogue anti-spyware vendors should take a cue from this case.

The U.S. state of Washingtons first case brought under its Computer Spyware Act just reached a conclusion, with a $1 million settlement.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought on another win for the good guys in the battle against spyware.

ERG Ventures, along with one of its affiliates, was ordered by a U.S. district court to stop distributing what the FTC says is deceptive and unfair software downloads. They will also be requesting that the operation give up any ill-gotten gains.

You can surf the net with a little more ease this morning, knowing that an important legal benchmark has been set in dealing with those who sneakily install malware, spyware and adware onto your computer.

Zango, Inc., one of the world's largest distributors of adware, settled charges by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the company violated federal law by using unfair and deceptive methods to download adware and obstruct consumers from removing it.

You know how we love to bring you good news? Today's story: dedicated law enforcement professionals are somewhere out there, prepared to travel the world at a moments notice to protect you from cyber intrusions.


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