Deceptive vendors of PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) continue relying on a multitude of traffic acquisition tactics, which in combination with the ubiquitous for the market segment ‘visual social engineering‘, continue tricking tens of thousands of users into installing the privacy-violating applications. With the majority of PUA campaigns, utilizing legitimately looking Web sites, as well as deceptive EULAs (End User License Agreements), in 2014, the risk-forwarding practice for the actual privacy-violation, continues getting forwarded to the socially engineered end user. We’ve recently intercepted a rogue portfolio consisting of hundreds of thousands of blackhat SEO friendly, legitimate applications, successfully exposing users to the Sevas-S PUA, through a […]
Posts Tagged: Potentially Unwanted Application
Rogue vendors of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) continue tricking tens of thousands of gullible users into installing deceptive and privacy violating applications. Largely relying on ‘visual social engineering’ tactics and basic branding concepts, the majority of campaigns convincingly present users with legitimately looking ToS (Terms of Service)/EULA (End User License Agreements) which socially engineered users accept, thereby assuming the responsibility for the potential privacy-violating activities taking place on their host. We’ve recently spotted yet another PUA campaign, relying on deceptive “Download Now” types of ads, enticing users into downloading the bogus GetMyFiles (Adware.Linkular) application, as well as the rogue SpeedUpMyPC (Win32.SpeedUpMyPC.A) PUA. […]
Deceptive ads continue to represent the primary distribution vector for the vast majority of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) that we track. Primarily relying on ‘visual social engineering’ tactics, gullible end users fall victims to these privacy-violating applications, largely due to the fact that they instantaneously agree to the terms in the End User’s Agreement presented to them. We’ve recently spotted yet another variant of the InstallBrain family of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA’s), tricking users into installing a bogus PC performance boosting application. Let’s assess this campaign and provide actionable intelligence on the domains/IPs and related privacy-violating MD5s known to have shared the […]
A typical campaign attempting to trick users into installing Potentially Unwanted Software (PUA), would usually consist of a single social engineering vector, which on the majority of cases would represent something in the lines of a catchy “Play Now/Missing Video Plugin” type of advertisement. Not the one we’ll discuss in this blog post. Relying on deceptive “visual social engineering” practices, a popular French torrent portal is knowingly — the actual directory structure explicitly says /fakeplayer — enticing users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA. What kind of social engineering tactics is the portal relying on? Let’s find out.
Whenever a user gets socially engineered, they unknowingly undermine the confidentiality and integrity of their system, as well as any proactive protection they have in place, in exchange for quick gratification or whatever it is they are seeking. This is exactly how unethical companies entice unsuspecting victims to download their new “unheard of” applications. They promise users the moon, and only ask in return that users install a basic free application. Case in point, our sensors picked up yet another deceptive ad campaign that entices users into installing privacy violating applications, most commonly known as PUAs or Potentially Unwanted Applications.
We’ve just intercepted yet another rogue ad campaign, attempting to trick users into installing the EzDownloaderpro PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Primarily relying on catchy “Play Now, Download Now” banners, the visual social engineering tactic of this campaign is similar to other PUA related campaigns we’ve previously profiled. Let’s take a look at this new rogue ad campaign, and provide relevant threat intelligence on the infrastructure behind it.
Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) continue to visually social engineer users into installing virtually useless applications. They monetize each and every install by relying on ‘bundling’ which often comes in the form of a privacy-violating toolbar or third-party application. We recently intercepted a rogue ad that entices users into downloading the Mipony Download Accelerator that is bundled with the privacy-invading FunMoods toolbar PUA, an unnecessary bargain with the integrity and confidentiality of your PC.
We’ve all seen it; maybe it’s on your own computer, or that of a friend, your spouse, child, or parent. Your home page has been changed to some search engine you’ve never heard of, there’s a new, annoying toolbar in your browser. Maybe you’re getting popup ads or have a rogue security product claiming you’re infected and asking you to buy the program to remove the infection. Even worse, you don’t know how it got there! Welcome to the world of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs.) Chances are that these programs were inadvertently installed while installing software from sites that use […]
By Adam McNeil PUA’s (Potentially Unwanted Applications) are often nuisance applications which serve little purpose other than using your computer as a gateway for online advertisements or as a catalyst to deliver annoying applications that may pester you to the point where you want to throw your computer out a window. Anti-Malware companies usually have pretty weak detection of these types of programs and have generally failed to protect their customers’ computers from this sort of bloatware. As a result, countless users have to suffer through agonizing pains of pop-up windows, webpage redirects, search redirects, and sometimes even bluescreens just […]
Remember the Win32/Somoto.BetterInstaller Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA)? We’ve just intercepted the latest rogue ad-campaign launched by a participant in their affiliate network, potentially exposing socially engineered users to privacy-invading risks without their knowledge. More details: