Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/08/bribeware/
Adware touts $1 bribe to prospective zombies
An offer you can refuse
An adware distributor is offering to pay punters $1 to install their crud.
The bribe comes attached to malware, specifically an application bundle that includes adware and agents that change browser home pages, detected by Sunbelt Software as C4DLMedia and classified as a medium risk threat. The offer of payment is buried in the application's terms and conditions.
Even if the adware slingers come through on this offer to pay via PayPal, the amount of the bribe is probably a problem. "In places where a dollar is worth enough to make this worth the effort, there probably isn’t any internet connectivity," writes Sunbelt security researcher Tom Kelchner.
Sunbelt's blog contains a screenshot illustrating C4DLMedia's terms and conditions here.
Even though $1 barely stretches to a pint of milk these days, the price on offer from C4DLMedia (taken at face value) appears high. Pay-per-install malware affiliates typically earn far, far less. Recent research found that malware affiliates might earn only $140 per 1,000 US-based machines they infect, between $30-$110 for Western European infections and just $6 per 1,000 infected computers located in Asia. ®