the true freetard steals...
....even when it's free! Seriously some people get a thrill from stealing something even if it has no value (see 99% of illegal music downloads) and these scammers are doing a fine social engineering work.
Scammers are trying to con gullible marks into getting infected via a fake Firefox 4.0 beta download scam. Preview editions of the next version of Firefox are available for download directly from Mozilla at no charge (natch). So it's pretty obvious that offers of Firefox 4 beta cracks or a keygen are entirely bogus and almost …
...various sites offer you downloads implying to be unavailable elsewhere for free, but of course they rely on the fact that people haven't heard of it before, and are too lazy to do a quick google search.
One key example was the SysInternals BSOD BlueScreen screensaver. I'm sure hacked and trojan'd copies of that made the rounds quite a bit.
Ever more ironic is the fact that the author of the screensaver, a certain Mark Russinovich, who became a MS employee after SysInternals was dissolved into the MS website, is a bit of a low-level Windows expert and quite up on security issues too!
script kiddies getting the boot-in undoubtedly.
a bit of a low-level windows expert = 'an absolute genius'
I had to explain this to a Portuguese friend whose spoken English was perfect but who was nevertheless prone to giving away his non-native origins by saying things like 'Those Mercedes soft-tops are fantastically expensive'. What he should have said, of course is '... a little steep' or 'a tad pricey'. Oh and not waved his hands about quite so much, either!
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It depends. When I started messing with Linux, I had to regularly buy books and magazines that shipped with "free" copies of Linux and OpenOffice on the cover. They were usually outdated because I'd buy them off a bargain bin due to their price as well. Reason? I was on dial-up. DSL was unavialable my area then, since the monopolizing ISP said "there wasn't enough demand" in my area. I wasn't going to put up with the ridiculous one-month download time. And I was reluctant to use download managers because at that time was either shareware that expires in 7 days (too short a time to download a 650MB ISO over a connection that averages at 12kbps) or shipped with that infamous "gator" spyware. And oh, I had no CD burners then too.
Those days may be long gone for me - that was exactly 10 years ago. But to my dismay I find that it's still a bleak reality to many of those living elsewhere, particularly in third world countries (or heck, even in the redneck territory of many developed countries, where the Internet connection available is either 56k or lower.
Sent from a crappy EDGE connection.
It's not hard to imagine how one might dupe the uninitiated into trying to crack a FF beta, simply remark that it is a newer version not released to the general public that *won't work* unless cracked -OR- simply claim it's the entire Firefox installation EXE of a newer beta version, then no need for a separate crack or patch as the infection is started when the downloader attempts to install the new FF beta.
Should people know better? Of course, but it doesn't change human curiosity particularly if you up-sell the beta claiming it has sweeping changes compared to that offered as a beta on Mozilla's site.
It's all about social engineering, if you can sell a widget for money you can sell a free download all that much easier.
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