Soccer Leagues Browser Extension
The Soccer Leagues browser extension exhibits the typical characteristics of a rogue application and a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). Indeed, upon a thorough analysis of the application, it has been determined that its primary function is that of a browser hijacker. The Soccer Leagues will modify several settings of users' Web browsers with the intention of causing redirects to a promoted Web address. Furthermore, users should keep in mind that PUPs and browser hijackers are often capable of collecting sensitive user data.
The Soccer Leagues Browser Hijacker could Cause Privacy Issues
Browser-hijacking software typically assigns the addresses of promoted sites as the homepages, default search engines, and new page tabs of the targeted Web browsers. This means that when users open new tabs or try to search the web via the browser's URL bar, they will be redirected to a promoted website. Soccer Leagues also operate in this manner.
In most cases, browser hijackers change these settings to fake search engines. These fake search engines cannot generate search results, so they redirect users to legitimate Internet search websites. However, Soccer Leagues directly promotes a genuine search engine, Bing (bing.com). The endorsement of legitimate content is often done without the approval of the developers. Fraudsters abuse the product's or service's affiliate programs to fraudulently obtain commissions.
Moreover, most browser hijackers are equipped with functionalities for tracking user data, and the Soccer Leagues might possess this capability as well. The targeted data can include visited URLs, viewed Web pages, search queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable information, financial details and more. The misappropriated data can then be shared with or sold to third parties, potentially including cybercriminals.
Users Should be Aware of the Shady Distribution Tactics Used by PUPs and Browser Hijackers
Dubious tactics are commonly employed as part of the distribution of PUPs and browser hijackers. These tactics involve various deceptive and misleading methods that aim to trick users into unknowingly installing the unwanted software.
One of the frequently used tactics is bundling, where PUPs and browser hijackers are packaged alongside legitimate software. Users may download and install desired applications, but the bundled unwanted programs are included without their explicit knowledge or consent. This practice often takes advantage of users who rush through the installation process without carefully reviewing the bundled software options.
Another tactic involves disguising the installation process by employing misleading interfaces. This can include presenting misleading buttons, checkboxes, or dialogue boxes that encourage users to accept the installation of additional software or browser modifications. These tactics aim to confuse users and lead them to install PUPs or browser hijackers unintentionally.
Furthermore, deceptive advertising techniques are utilized to promote PUPs and browser hijackers. This can involve displaying pop-up ads, fake system alerts, or enticing offers that claim to improve computer performance or provide exclusive features. These advertisements often redirect users to websites hosting the unwanted software or encourage them to click on misleading links that trigger the download and installation process.
Social engineering techniques also are commonly employed to manipulate users' trust and emotions. This can include impersonating trusted brands or displaying fake endorsements from reputable sources to give the impression of legitimacy. Such tactics aim to deceive users into believing that the software is reliable and safe, persuading them to install PUPs or accept browser hijacker modifications willingly.
In summary, the distribution of PUPs and browser hijackers involves a range of dubious tactics that exploit users' lack of awareness or vigilance. These tactics include bundling, misleading interfaces, deceptive advertising, and social engineering methods, all aimed at tricking users into unintentionally installing unwanted software or accepting unwanted browser changes.