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Deceitful Affiliates Using Malware for Advertising Legit Security Products

Security Company Sunbelt Software compiled data for a study that found deceitful affiliates are employing malware to promote security software of legitimate companies.

Sunbelt revealed that this practice is employed by those people who takes a commission on every sale rather than by security providers themselves. However, it also raises concerns with regard to the policing and integrity of affiliate advertising on security products from reputed firms like CheckPoint and Symantec.

According to Sunbelt, the company is trying to draw attention towards affiliates' unscrupulous practices rather than churning marketing gains for themselves out of such a development. President and Chief Executive, Alex Eckelberry, Sunbelt, said that affiliate program is an effective way of spreading word about the security vendor's product but these should be carefully monitored from being abused, as reported by The Register on February 12, 2008.

Sunbelt Software has also compiled instances of the deceitful practice in which PC Tools was 'malvertised' in January 2008 by manipulating search results on computers infected with a Trojan that changes DNS settings. Separately, C2 (AKA Lop) adware-generated pop-ups maliciously gambled with CheckPoint and Symantec products in early February 2008.

Besides, Sunbelt also said that it is no surprise how the security products perform in malware detection, proactive detection, in generation of false positives, standard signature identification and in their time taken to respond to malware attacks. Apart from these, legitimate sites confront with interesting challenges during their onward movement and further growth.

Today, the biggest risk for modern system of security is the malicious programs like worms, viruses, Trojans, spyware, rootkits, and other deceitful software that hackers conceal in data packets. So the first step for defense is to scan for these malware signatures but scanning of signature is becoming very difficult and the number of signatures is rising every day.

In a similar instance, Ben Edelman, an independent security investigator and assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, detected pop-ups on Symantec's online store, creation of the SurfSideKick adware that Symantec and some other security providers described as unwanted, as reported by The Register on February 12, 2008.

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