Posts Tagged: privacy


Deceptive ads expose users to PUA.InstallBrain/PC Performer PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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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 […]

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Popular French torrent portal tricks users into installing the BubbleDock/Downware/DownloadWare PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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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.

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Deceptive ads lead to the SpyAlertApp PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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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.

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Rogue ads lead to the ‘EzDownloaderpro’ PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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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.

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Rogue ads lead to the ‘Mipony Download Accelerator/FunMoods Toolbar’ PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)

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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.

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Fake ‘Change Facebook Color Theme’ events lead to rogue Chrome extensions

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Cybercriminals have recently launched a privacy-violating campaign spreading across Facebook in an attempt to trick Facebook’s users into installing a rogue Chrome extension. Once installed, it will have access to all the data on all web sites, as well as access to your tabs and browsing history. More details:

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Social Nets Put Your Privacy at Risk

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By Mike Kronenberg Attention Facebook and Twitter users: You’re still at risk. Last year, our survey found that lots of people using social networking sites were taking the risk of financial loss, identity theft, and malware infection. Have things gotten any better? Well, the answer is yes but, unfortunately, not better enough — and potentially a lot worse for some of you. The results of our 2010 survey reveals that more of you are adhering to some safe behaviors — like blocking profiles from being visible through public search engines. That’s a good thing, but the downside is over 25 […]

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Steam Users Targeted by Phishers

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A phishing campaign that started around the beginning of the year, targeting gamers who use Valve Software’s Steam network, continues unabated but with a twist: The phishers have registered dozens of domain names, such as trial-steam.tk or steamcommunity###.tk (where the ### can be a two or three digit number), which are used to host the phishing pages. The pages appear to be a “Steam Community” login page which looks identical to Valve’s Steam Community Web site. There are a few ways you can quickly identify whether you’re on the right page, or a fake. For one, the real Steam Community […]

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