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Pricewert allegedly hosted child porn and botnets among other illegal activities

Some of the biggest problems with the internet are spam, child porn, and other malicious activities. Many of the illegal activities are carried out by criminal groups that operate on the same servers or within the same ISP.

The FTC has announced that it has closed down one of the most notorious of the rogue ISPs operating in the U.S. called Pricewert LLC. According to the FTC Pricewert LLC does business under several names including 3FN and APS Telecom.

The ISP allegedly actively recruits and colludes with criminals that distribute illegal, malicious, and harmful electronic content. The content distributed on the ISP servers includes spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, and porn.

The FTC wrote in a statement, "The FTC alleges that the defendant advertised its services in the darkest corners of the Internet, including a forum established to facilitate communication between criminals."

Other allegations in the FTC complaint include that the ISP hosted botnets and the bot herder that controlled the botnets. These bot herders are the computers that relay commands to the compromised computers in the botnet.

Court documents in the case include IM transcripts of senior ISP employees talking about how to configure botnets with the bot herders. The court issued a temporary restraining order that required Pricewert's upstream providers to cut their servers off from the Internet and froze Pricewert assets.

The FTC has charged the defendants in the case with, "distribution of illegal, malicious, and harmful content and deployment of botnets that compromised thousands of computers caused substantial consumer injury and was an unfair practice, in violation of federal law."

The preliminary injunction hearing will be held on June 15.





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