Feeds

Fake Firefox site bundles undead adware

Zango crapware rises from the grave

Security for virtualized datacentres

Adware slingers have taken advantage of the buzz around the latest version of Firefox to establish a fake browser download site.

The counterfeit Firefox download site is disguised as a kosher browser download site and might easily fool the unwary. A closer look, however, reveals the version of Firefox on offer is version 3.5 (instead of the latest 3.6 version supplied by Mozilla). In addition, terms such as "Anti-Pishing" (sic) are misspelled on the glossy counterfeit download site.

Web users taken in by the scam will wind up downloading browser software contaminated with the Hotbar toolbar from Pinball Corp, formerly Zango. The software bombards marks with irksome pop-up ads while also further slowing performance by loading the Hotbar weather application in the system tray.

Security firm eSoft, which documents the risk here, reckons that the ruse is more likely the brainchild of a rogue Pinball agent rather than the firm itself. Pinball rewards its pay-per-install affiliate with up to $1.45 per install, eSoft adds.

Users looking to get the latest version of Firefox are advised to go to Mozilla's getfirefox.com site. eSoft has blocked access to the fake site for users of its technology. Other vendors can be expected to follow suit.

Zango was repeatedly obliged to defend itself against accusations that its ad-serving software was distributed without the informed consent of users. Security firms routinely categorised Zango's software as adware, sparking unsuccessful lawsuits against Kaspersky Lab and PC Tools in 2007. Its PR staff tenaciously held the line that any problems were down to rogue affiliates, which it was in the process of culling even before it paid the FTC to settle a privacy lawsuit back in 2006.

However its chief tormentors - Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, and Chris Boyd, former security researcher at Facetime Security - continued to document evidence of malpractice by Zango years after the FTC settlement. Zango went titsup last April, but its Hotbar technology lingers on the interwebs, as evidenced by the fake Firefox download ruse. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.