Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 191
Threat Level: 20 % (Normal)
Infected Computers: 2,554
First Seen: May 22, 2024
Last Seen: June 24, 2024
OS(es) Affected: Windows

MegaGuard is an adware disguised as a helpful browser extension. It is marketed as a security tool designed to block access to suspicious websites. However, adware, by definition, is software that supports advertising, and its primary purpose is to generate revenue for its developers or publishers through intrusive advertisements. Furthermore, it is highly likely that MegaGuard also tracks and monitors users' browsing activities.

MegaGuard may Expose Users to Increased Privacy and Security Issues

Typically, adware displays third-party graphical content, such as pop-ups, surveys, overlays, coupons, and banners, on websites, desktops or other interfaces. These advertisements often promote online tactics, untrustworthy or unsafe software and even malware. Clicking on some of these advertisements can trigger scripts that perform sneaky downloads or installations. It's important to note that any seemingly genuine content encountered through these advertisements is likely promoted by fraudsters who exploit affiliate programs to earn illegitimate commissions.

Furthermore, this type of adware browser extension often includes data-tracking functionalities. Adware typically targets information such as visited URLs, viewed Web pages, search queries, Internet cookies, usernames, passwords, personally identifiable details and financial information. The harvested data can be sold to third parties or otherwise misused for profit.

Adware Like MegaGuard may Try to Sneak Its Installation Unnoticed via Questionable Distribution Tactics

Adware often employs various deceptive distribution tactics to sneak its installation onto users' devices unnoticed. Here are some common methods used:

  • Bundling with Legitimate Software: Adware is frequently bundled with legitimate software applications. When users download and install a wanted program, the adware is installed simultaneously without the user's explicit consent or knowledge. This method takes advantage of users who do not thoroughly review the installation process.
  • Deceptive Installers: Some adware is embedded within deceptive installers that masquerade as genuine software updates or necessary components. Users may believe they are installing a critical update or a helpful tool, only to install adware inadvertently.
  • Fake Download Buttons: Adware developers often create fake download buttons on websites that look like legitimate download links. Users who click on these buttons may unknowingly download adware instead of the software they intended to obtain.
  • Malvertising: Fraudulent advertisements, or malvertising, can lead users to websites that automatically download and install adware. These advertisements often appear on legitimate websites and can redirect users to harmful sites that initiate the download without explicit permission.
  • Phishing Emails and Messages: Adware can be distributed through phishing emails or messages that contain unsafe links or attachments. Users who click on these links or open the attachments may inadvertently install adware.
  • Fake System Alerts: Adware developers may use fake system alerts that warn users of non-existent issues with their computers. These alerts often prompt users to download a "fix," which is actually adware.
  • Social Engineering Tactics: Adware distributors use social engineering methods to lure users into downloading and installing their software. This might include posing as technical support agents or offering free trials of premium software.

To protect against these deceptive tactics, users should:

  • Download software only from reputable sources.
  • Carefully read through installation prompts and opt out of any additional software they do not want.
  • Keep their operating systems and software up to date to prevent exploits.
  • Use reputable anti-malware programs to detect and block adware.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, and ads that prompt downloads or installations.

MegaGuard Video

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