FTC takes out notorious porn- and botnet-spewing ISP

FTC downs rogue 3FN and sells off assets

The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off  the Internet Service Provider 3FN who the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing and all manner of malicious Web content. 

The ISP's computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered to give back $1.08 million to the FTC

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According to the FTC in June 2009, it charged that 3FN, which does business as Triple Fiber Network, APS Telecom, APX Telecom, APS Communications, APS Communication and Pricewert LLC, actively recruited and colluded with criminals to distribute harmful electronic content including spyware, viruses, trojan horses, phishing schemes, botnet command-and-control servers, and pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest. The FTC alleged that the defendant advertised its services in the darkest corners of the Internet, including a chat room for spammers. 

The FTC complaint stated 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 IP addresses it controlled to evade detection. 

The FTC also alleged that 3FN deployed and operated botnets as well as recruited bot herders and hosted the command-and-control servers - the computers that relay commands from the bot herders to the compromised computers known as zombie drones. 

The FTC showed the court transcripts of instant-message logs from the defendants' senior employees discussing the configuration of botnets with bot herders. 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 FTC stated. 

In June 2009 when a court issued a preliminary injunction against 3FN, spam volumes dropped by about 15% according to M86

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