Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is Facebook Advertising Malware?

Beware of Facebook pages
offering free apps
A current “suggested” post on Facebook claims that a “New Unique Patented Technology” will “Restore Old Photos in a CLICK!” And they’re giving this powerful software away. Now, remember, if you’re getting something for free, you’re the product, not the customer. Just what exactly is Facebook selling you for?

I can’t comment on the current iteration (probably because I commented on an earlier one), so I’m hoping that this post reaches as many people as possible (and not just because I love blog hits). The product is malware. It starts off with some really inconsistent marketing. The Facebook page calls the application “MacPhotoPro,” but the link takes you to a web page where it’s called “OldPhotoPro,” although the URL is (In the interest of revealing all, the full URL was:

Best as in "best for the vendor"
Wow! This seems too good to be true! Yeah, I was tempted, but I decided to look first. There is an application called “OldPhotoPro,” but it’s on the iOS app store (and apparently unrelated; it sepia tones photos). Who then awarded this “2013 Best of Mac App Store”? That’s a good question, considering that there are no products named “MacPhotoPro” or “OldPhotoPro” on the Mac App Store. The website now claims the product is “Best Mac App of 2014,” again the question comes up, “according to whom?” I did mention that this is malware, right?

Does it really do this?
Or does it just install malware?
It’s a browser hijack. The program sets your browsers to go to the “Genieo personalized homepage,” which will then bombard you with ads. Wikipedia notes that the company bundles applications that track the user’s behavior and serves advertisements along with the applications they are claiming to install. It seems that “MacPhotoPro” is the trial version of Macphun (photo editing software), with added browser hijack. In the end, you’d have to pay for Macphun to actually use it. And you might have trouble getting rid of the stuff that Genieo has put on your system.

Should you download “MacPhotoPro”? Hell no! The only question left is, “why is Facebook making themselves complicit in this?”

Update: Genieo keeps renaming the promotion. It's still malware.
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