A spyware company has been fined $1,4-million by Dutch authorities. DollarRevenue would install itself on users' computers and then inundate them with advertising, often rendering their systems unusable.
As many as 22-million computers around the world are thought to have been infected in 2005 and 2006, when the system was active.
The spyware made its way on to users' machines in a numer of ways, including via botnets or by users downloading it themselves, thinking they were simply downloading a video.
The fines imposed by the Dutch telecommunications watchdog, against two people and three businesses, is thought to be equivalent to the profit earned from the system.
Companies which contributed advertising are apparently safe from prosecution, as they would have contracted agencies to place advertising on their behalf.