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Computer Forensics

  • Date Submitted: 12/17/2011 10:06 AM
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Cyber Crime

The Scareware Scheme

Monty Douglas

December 13, 2011


This paper explores the topic of a “scareware” scheme that the police in the United States and seven other countries seized computer and servers used to run this scheme. The scheme netted more than $72 million from victims tricked into buying fake anti-virus software.

Keywords: scareware, victims, computer, software

      I came across an article on the internet that is titled “FBI Busts $72 Million Cyber Crime Ring” which caught my attention immediately because I think we have all been challenged to buy anti-virus software at one time or another.

      Twenty-two computers and servers were seized in the United States and 25 others in France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These computers were all used to run a “scareware” scheme that affected 960,000 victims. The goal of the scheme is to persuade the victim to voluntarily hand over credit card information, paying to resolve a nonexistent problem.

      The Latvian authorities seized at least five bank accounts believed to have been used be the leaders of the scam, and the Justice Department said nothing about arrests. This article also reports that U.S. authorities charged two Latvians with running a similar scheme that led to $2 million in losses through an advertisement placed on a Minnesota newspaper’s website.

      The evidence in this article is the computers and the servers that have been confiscated during the raid. I think that other evidence that would come into play would be the victim’s computers that were affected by the scheme. I think that statements from those victims would be a valuable source of evidence also. Another key evidence piece in this case would be any money or accounts that are tied to this scheme or at least the persons involved in the scheme. Phone records I would think could also play in to evidence.

      Examples of reasons...


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