A U.S. district court judge today permanently shut down a rogue Internet Service Provider that recruited, hosted and actively participated in the distribution of spam spyware, child pornography, and other malicious and illegal content, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.
The ISP’s computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court-appointed receiver, and the operation has been ordered to turn over $1.08 million in illegal profits to the FTC.
In June 2009, the FTC charged 3FN, which does business under a number of names, actively recruited and worked with criminals to distribute spyware, viruses, Trojans, phishing scams and other illegal activities.
The FTC complaint alleged that 3FN actively shielded its criminal clientele by either ignoring take-down requests issued by the online security community, or shifting its criminal elements to other Internet protocol addresses it controlled to avoid detection.
Transcripts of instant-message logs filed with the district court show the defendants’ senior employees discussing the configuration of botnets with bot herders. In filings with the district court, the FTC alleged that more than 4,500 malicious software programs were controlled by command-and-control servers hosted by 3FN. This malware included programs capable of keystroke logging, password stealing, and data theft, programs with hidden backdoor remote control activity, and programs involved in spam distribution.
The court has now ordered a permanent bar on the illegal activities of 3FN and its agents and has appointed a receiver and instructed him to liquidate the operation’s assets.
The defendants named in the FTC’s complaint are Pricewert LLC, also doing business as 3FN.net, Triple Fiber Network, APS Telecom, APX Telecom, APS Communications, and APS Communication.