MacKeeper ad scam uses fake movie downloads to force download of its software
Talk about sleazy advertising practices. I’ve written before how MacKeeper ads blanket pirate websites. Well, I’ve discovered another unsavory twist to their pirate spam schemes. This time MacKeeper software, a product of Silicon Valley based Zeobit, is appears ensnare web users via clickable links designed to look like (pirated) movie downloads.
I became aware of this scam when a fellow filmmaker sent me a copy of a Google alert she received about a download for her film. When I went to check it out I found (shown below) what looked like a typical pirate “forum” post listing a link (DVDrip) for her film. When I clicked the link to see where it would take me, a MacKeeper ad filled my browser and the software began to download onto my computer.
Now it’s obviously a good thing the link wasn’t an actual pirated copy of her film, but what does it say about a company that disguises its software download as an (illegal) pirated film. I never did find the film, only another weird download “exe” file that was likely more malware or spam.
Oh, and by the way, later the same week I received a Google Alert for my film “And Then Came Lola” and discovered an identical scenario whereby MacKeeper downloaded onto my computer when I clicked the fake pirate link.
Malware downloads linked to pirate sites is nothing new, but to see a Silicon Valley based company rely on such unsavory tactics to promote its product is disappointing and certainly marks a new low in the sleazy world of ad linked piracy.