Does your Chrome browser seem a little “off”, but you can’t figure out why? Maybe it’s eFast.
Here’s another reason to slow down when installing software, especially free software. A new Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) disguised as the Google Chrome browser is sneaking onto users computers bundled with legitimate software, hidden deep within the ‘Custom’ or ‘Advanced’ settings that most people skip over. Once installed, eFast, as it has been called, serves up ads and tracks your online activities and sells personally identifiable information to advertisers.
“Read the installer screens to make sure what they actually install,” warns Michal Salat, researcher in the Avast Virus Lab. ” The Next->Next->Next->Done approach is exactly why we deal with PUPs daily. If there isn’t an option not to install some additional software, terminate the installer immediately. Better safe then sorry.”
Researchers at Malwarebytes says that eFast actually installs a new browser rather than hijacking your existing one. If you already have Chrome installed, it will replace it making itself the default browser. The fake browser uses the same source code for the user interface as the real thing making it difficult to tell the difference. It is so tricky that it even replaces shortcuts on your desktop that look similar to Google Chrome.
Bad Piggies, the spin-off game to Rovio’s wildly popular Angry Birds, hit the online stores last week, and following in its sizable wake were fake versions designed to install an aggressive adware program into Chrome browsers. Reportedly, over 83,000 Google Chrome users have been infected.
Cybercrooks found a niche because Bad Piggies is only available for Android devices on Google Play (free) or Apple devices ($0.99 for iPhone and $2.99 for iPad) on iTunes. Free versions of Bad Piggies that claimed to be from the creators of Angry Birds appeared on the Chrome web store shortly after the release. The top 3 listed are called Bad Piggies, but they are from different companies; padeba, gametc.com, and the HD version from HitsGames. They have over 13,000 downloads.
Reviews of the games reveal the anger and disappointment of Rovio fans. Read more…
As we get close to our launch date for our new Avast! Free Antivirus, version 5 we have an exciting new agreement with Google to announce. Starting in mid-November, we will be giving our new users an option to install Google Chrome when installing Avast. And to be clear here since I think some readers were reading too much into this entry. We are not forcing Chrome on users. It is entirely up to the user–to download/install is entirely up to the user and nothing is hidden.
Personally, I think Google Chrome is an exciting new browser. As you can see below it is very clean—a single menu bar and a combined search/url entry window. It also launches very fast, its source code is open source, and most important for Avast users, it has some real neat features that complement the Avast security. You can read more about it here: http://www.google.com/chrome?hl=en. Read more…