Feeds

Pirated movie downloads offered as Zango sweetener

Holy warez, Batman

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Zango affiliates are offering gateway access to pirated films, including the Hollywood blockbuster The Dark Knight, in a bid to induce users into accepting adware.

Freetards who accept the offer are likely to to be disappointed with the shaky videocam footage of the eagerly awaited next installment in the rebooted Batman franchise, and the dodgy sound.

Christopher Boyd, director of malware research at IM security firm FaceTime, has identified two sites (one registered by someone in China and another by a person in China) offering the ropy content in exchange for installing Zango adware. The Indonesian site further sweetens the pill by offering Hellboy 2: The Golden Army as well as The Dark Knight and other recent hit films.

Zango spokesman Steve Sratz said that the sites concerned are not hosting copyrighted content and are only acting as a search engine for this content. By only acting as gateways to the unsanctioned content they are operating within the terms of partnership agreements. If industry rules change Zango will review this position, he explained.

"We do not sponsor (partner, much like we do with hundreds of Web sites) any site hosting copyrighted streaming content. In this case, they are not actually hosting the content. We view services that don't actually host content as if they were a search engine. In these instances, the Web publisher is not violating our terms today. However, obviously, there's moves to be made here as an industry and as those change, so will our terms," Sratz said.

Normally the content offered through Zango is material such as movie trailers easily found on official sites for those who care to look, screen savers, erotic content and games of questionable value. Providing gateways to pirated content is a new departure.

Users attempting to cancel the installation of Zango software in case of the pirated movie gateway sites are confronted by a confusingly worded warning that states that they about to miss out on free access to "premium content", anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software reports. Users might easily inadvertently install the software my misunderstanding they have to select "cancel" followed by "OK" in a second further dialog box, it argues.

Once installed it has historically been difficult to get rid of Zango simply by attempting to uninstall the package in Windows Control Panel.

Zango has taken action against "rogue affiliates" who illicitly install its software on PCs, sometimes using botnet agents. In November 2006, Zango paid $3m to settle a lawsuit brought by US consumer watchdog the FTC over these actions without admitting to any wrongdoing itself. Since then, in between unsuccessfully suing anti-malware firms over its malware classifications, Zango has engaged in an extensive image makeover stressing claims that it operates ethically.

In offering a gateway to pirated copies of Hollywood movies its affiliates are sailing close to the wind so, all other considerations aside, it's just as well for them they are operating in countries outside the reach of Warner Bros. and MPAA lawyers. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.