Malware + Security News

Softonic Download Site Briefly Delivers Trojan Adware Installer

Posted on April 17th, 2013 by

Until just a few minutes ago, Softonic, a software download site, was delivering adware that would be installed regardless of whether the user had declined to install it. This threat was embedded in fake UnRarX and VLC installer packages.


These packages purported to install a toolbar that is related to ChatZum. Even if the user declined the offer to install the toolbar, the package would silently install an Internet plug-in called Zako, and would change the browser's search option to point to ChatZum's site.

It is important to note that valid UnRarX and VLC packages do not try to surreptitiously install adware. The fake package is signed with a certificate that does not pertain to either software company.

Shady adware installers are becoming increasingly common. When you install applications from app stores and download sites, be sure to check reviews to make sure that other users have tried the package and that it behaves as expected.

Intego VirusBarrier users with up-to-date virus definitions will detect the components of this threat as OSX/Okaz.A. The fake installer and its related files are reported as Trojan, and the other components are reported as adware.

  • Ezequiel

    Hi Lysa,

    My name is Ezequiel and I´m Softonic´s Social Media
    Manager.

    As the biggest multiplatform software guide in the world, we are always trying new services to give our users the most complete software experience in each platform.

    In this case, we were testing an Installer for Mac on selected software and we have immediately stopped the distribution of this installer until our provider corrects the error.

    To fix the bug where some users have had their default search changed to ChatZum even if they opted out of the toolbar installation or, had difficulties uninstalling the toolbar, please follow these uninstallation instructions to ensure that the default ChatZum search is removed: http://support.softonic.com/index.php?/english/Knowledgebase/Article/View/425/35/how-to-uninstall-zako-and-monotizer

    Cheers,

    Ezequiel

    • Cowicide

      Is Softonic secretly installing adware at all at this point with any apps or was this a one-time thing? According to this website, you are: http://www.thesafemac.com/boycott-softonic/

      I’m considering joining the boycott against your company and spreading the word to other Mac users as well that Softonic installs adware.

      What’s your official position on this, Softonic?

      • Ezequiel

        Hi Cowicide, it was one in a time thing. A bug of our provider and we have stopped inmediately with the activity and suggesting solutions to correct the error.

        In fact, Softonic is the most secure multiplatform software guide. Every download made with our Softonic Downloader, is analyzed with 30 different antivirus apps.

        More info about it–> http://en.softonic.com/antivirus-security

        Cheers,
        Eze

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