'Download Pro' Adware
The Download Pro browser extension was discovered being promoted via questionable and untrustworthy websites. This extension is marketed to users as a useful tool that can assist in managing downloads and download histories better. However, after conducting a thorough analysis of Download Pro, cybersecurity researchers confirmed that the extension actually functions as adware.
Adware Like Download Pro May Pose Various Security or Privacy Risks
Adware is a type of software that is designed to support advertising campaigns by displaying ads on various interfaces, such as websites and desktops. This advertising could be intrusive, as the ads are often designed to promote scams, untrustworthy or harmful software, and malware. In some cases, the ads can even initiate stealthy downloads or installations upon being clicked.
It is important to note that legitimate products and services can sometimes be advertised through adware, but it is unlikely that their developers or creators would be involved in this type of promotion. Instead, it is more likely that scammers are using the content's affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
While it is possible that advertising-supported software may not display intrusive ads if certain conditions are unsuitable, such as incompatible browser or system specs, or if the user does not visit specific websites, the presence of Download Pro on a device could still pose a risk to user safety and privacy.
One reason for this is that Download Pro is likely equipped with data-tracking abilities, which means that it may be able to collect targeted information about the user's online activities. This often includes visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, downloads, internet cookies, login credentials, personally identifiable details, and finance-related data, among other things. This information can then be monetized by selling it to third parties or otherwise abused for profit.
Users Should Be Aware of the Questionable Methods Involved in the Distribution of PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs)
PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and adware are software programs that are typically designed to display unwanted advertisements, hijack web browsers, or collect user information without their knowledge or consent. These types of programs are often bundled with other software or installed without the user's knowledge or consent.
To mask their installation from users' attention, PUPs and adware often use a variety of tactics. Here are some examples:
- Bundling: PUPs and adware are often bundled with legitimate software downloads, such as free games or media players. When users install the software, the PUP or adware is also installed without their knowledge.
- Misleading installation prompts: Some PUPs and adware use misleading installation prompts that trick users into agreeing to install the software. For example, the prompt may claim that the software is necessary to view a particular website or to access certain content.
- Hidden installation options: Some PUPs and adware may be installed with hidden installation options that are selected by default. These options may allow the program to collect user data or display unwanted ads.
- Disguised as legitimate software: Some PUPs and adware may be designed to look like legitimate software programs. This can make it difficult for users to detect that the program is actually unwanted or harmful.
- Social engineering: PUPs and adware may use social engineering tactics to convince users to install them. For example, the program may claim to offer free prizes or other incentives in exchange for installing the software.
Overall, PUPs and adware often rely on deceptive tactics to mask their installation from users' attention. Users can protect themselves by being cautious when downloading software and paying close attention to installation prompts and options.