'Rogue' internet firm 3FN shut down

Spam in e-mail inbox, BBC The FTC said the ISP helped funnel spam on to the internet

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An internet firm linked to many of the internet's criminal gangs has been shut down.

The US Federal Trade Commission said Belize-based 3FN aided gangs that ran botnets, carried out phishing attacks and traded in images of child abuse.

The servers and net hardware of 3FN have been seized and are due to be sold off as the firm is dismantled.

The operators of 3FN must also pay back $1.08m (£750,000 ) they are reputed to have made by hosting criminal sites.

Servers seized

The FTC began its legal action against 3FN in June 2009 charging that it was "actively colluding" with the web's cyber criminals to distribute almost every type of malware and illegal content.

It was involved in distributing spyware, viruses and trojans, had a hand in many phishing schemes and helped gangs sell illegal images. It also acted as a discussion forum for many spammers.

In particular, said the FTC, the net firm worked with fraudsters who run botnets and helped them steal data by seeding hijacked computers with keyloggers. It maintained a library of more than 4500 malicious programs that could pilfer data from hijacked PCs.

In June last year, the FTC used an injunction to cut 3FN off from other hosting providers and sever its connections to the net.

Now the FTC has gone a step further and won a court order that will see the company stop trading and its hardware confiscated. The FBI has been ordered to carry out the shut down and seizure operation.

3FN operated under a number of aliases including Pricewert LLC, 3FN.net, Triple Fiber Network, APS Telecom and APX Telecom.

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