Free MP3 player! Warning: You get what you pay for

The focus in malware lately has been on the theft of personal data, but adware still is out there ' and the bad guys are coming up with better ways to deliver it to your desktop PC.

McAfee Avert Labs reported a rapidly spreading Trojan downloader disguised as an MP3 file that installs a pop-up ad delivery program on victims' computers. More than 360,000 infections were found within days of development of the signature, prompting a medium severity ranking from McAfee.

Users clicking on a supposed MP3 file instead download a file that will install the adware, which is bundled with a cheesy MP3 player. The download includes a user license agreement warning the user of the adware bundled with the player.

What is clever about this Trojan is the number and variety of names attached to the supposed MP3 file, said Dave Marcus, security researcher and communications manager at McAfee Avert Labs. 'Somebody did a lot of homework' on keywords that would get maximum distribution, he said. The file also is padded. 'The download itself is dinky,' Marcus said. 'That would be a tip-off it was a fake MP3 file.'

When anybody offers you something for nothing, just consider for a moment who might really benefit.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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