Zango allegedly distributing spyware as fake Firefox updates
According to eSoft the security company, Zango the malicious software company is utilizing a new program succeeding 'Toolbar,' its spyware program, to attack people using Mozilla's Firefox in the name of providing phony browser updates.
In its warning, ESoft says that the Hotbar application, which Pinball Corp., a new name for Zango, ran in May 2009, is being pushed through a bogus, although persuasive Firefox update web-page to end-users.
Surfers who do Web-search for the most recent updates and come across the Firefox update page, would find it exactly same as the original web-page except the version. The version offered is 3.5 whereas the latest is 3.6. Moreover, the update page contains a few misspelled words.
If users of 'Windows' become convinced with the bogus page, and download and install software from it, they'll actually download another toolbar application, which too displays pop-up ads along with weather software.
Says eSoft, the trick possibly is the idea of a malicious Pinball agent instead of the company as such. Ecommerce-journal.com reported this on February 4, 2010. Understandably, Pinball pays its associate for pay-per-install at the rate of a maximum of $1.45/ install.
Security analysts examining the trick remark that the fault here isn't with another toolbar program as such, but the manner in which a different group is distributing it and is being loaded based on untrue reasons. Usually, a software product becomes legal if the consumer agrees to install it after the proposition is explained to him correctly. However, in the current case, that's not what's happening.
Hence, due to bogus web-page and software updates, Web-surfers seeking for Firefox's latest version are suggested that they visit Mozilla's authorized website.
Meanwhile, Zango, presently Pinball Corp., had to repeatedly prove its position vis-à-vis allegations that it was distributing its ad-serving programs without acquiring end-users' consent. Security companies many-a-times classified Zango's products as adware. In response to that, Zango engaged in unsuccessful lawsuits it filed against PC Tools and Kaspersky Lab during 2007. Consequently, the US Federal Trade Commission fined Zango $3m for its malevolent acts. Eventually, the company went out of sight in April 2009.
Related article: Zango Refutes Passing Adware via Facebook Application
» SPAMfighter News - 12-02-2010