back to article Google to deep six dodgy download buttons

Google has taken aim at another class of internet scumware: the deceptive download buttons that infest advertising on places like free software directories. “Your computer is out of date!” ads and the like that take the unwary either to adware and/or malware installers - or worse - are in Google's sights. Lucas Ballard, the …

  1. MrDamage Silver badge

    Good start

    Will be even better once they start applying the same rules to sites that offer legit packages, but bundle them up in their own crapware installers.

    I'm looking at you,

    1. Fraggle850

      Re: Good start

      Yes, sourceforge too these days

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS Android is full of this crap."You have a new message" on every ad-supported app. It's a fundamental part of their app model.

    If I install an app that turns out to have ads I tend to get rid of it straight away, but not everyone does. All of them come from Google's own play store, so they're the perpetrators, not the good guys.

    1. Ole Juul


      They're using the less of them means more of us model.

    2. S4qFBxkFFg

      As an alternative, root the device, and install a whitelisting firewall (e.g. droidwall).

      (There are options that don't require root, but I found they used too much battery to be useful.)

      1. Shades

        "install a whitelisting firewall (e.g. droidwall)"

        Why bother installing an app, consuming resources, when, if you've gone to the trouble of rooting the device, you can just download one of the many anti-advertising/malware hosts files from the internet?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        NoRoot Firewall free from the Playstore seems to be OK, without much hit on the battery. Its just a simple local VPN that lets you filter internet connections on an app by app basis. e.g. for Angry Birds you can choose block everything and you don't get any ads at all.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So, they will flag the Adobe Flash site? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part:?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet....

    Google still takes the Ad money though!

    The sad fact is, many members of my family & circle of friends won't even stay on the warning long enough to acknowledge it. If the Ads were banned, then the asses behind them would just have to stop...

  5. Aslan



    Re: AC I suspect you of being an iPhone user. For several years there has been a policy on the Google play store that

    "Apps and their ads must not display advertisements through system level notifications on the user’s device, unless the notifications derive from an integral feature provided by the installed app (e.g., an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions)."

    While I'm not using Android as much as I was, I do find apps from the Play store are adhering to this policy and I've been able to turn off any notifications I wished within the app.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yay!

      Nope. Only thing from Apple in my house is my wife's work iphone, which doesn't get to go on the LAN.

      I'm not talking about the system notifications. I'm talking about the buttons on the bottom or top of the screen, much like those illustrated in the article, which tell you you have a message waiting. I saw one of these on Skype the other day. I block them at home through DNS but can't on the 4G network.

  6. edge_e
    Paris Hilton

    What does to deep mean?

    see title

    1. Aslan

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      While I'm not 100% certain this is the correct definition and origin, it feels right

      "A nautical expression indicating a water depth of 6 fathoms (36 feet, 10.97 metres) as measured by a sounding line; "deep six" acquired its idiomatic definition because something thrown overboard at or greater than this depth would be difficult, if not impossible, to recover."

      1. Mephistro
        Thumb Up

        Re: What does to deep mean?

        I always thought that "deep sixing" someone meant emptying a full revolver on him. Ha, not even close!. TYA for the info.

    2. David Roberts

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      ...and why only 6 dodgy download buttons?

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: What does to deep mean?

        My hunch, when you bury a body, you go down 6 feet

    3. Nuno

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      I would think of a "6 feet under" analogy, as in what to do after you kill them - those ads

    4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      In a broader sense, to drown or to scuttle...

    5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      The expression to "deep six" has a long, if not honourable history. In All the President's Men Woodward and Bernstein learn that one of Nixon's henchmen has suggested somebody should deep six a briefcase (IIRC). They're horrified that members of the US government talk like gangsters. Nowadays it might be less surprising.

      1. davidp231

        Re: What does to deep mean?

        It's when the gangsters start to talk like politicians you want to worry.

    6. Doogs

      Re: What does to deep mean?

      I always thought it was Air Force slang related to the "clock" method of relating a direction: eg deep 6 would mean to put something far behind you (ie 6 o'clock position).

      1. davidp231

        Re: What does to deep mean?

        The only military link to the clock method I can think of is that 6 is whatever is behind you (ie. "watch your six").

  7. oceanhippie


    I thought Google PROVIDED those fake buttons via its ads platform

    Google Suicide Squad....

  8. John Geek

    for the past couple weeks, google 'freenas' and the first link to the website is flagged as 'this site may be hacked'. I sure don't see anything bogus anywhere on their site.

    sure,, as a site offering a popular opensource package, they have a download link on their home page, could that be it??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also in the last couple of weeks when I was typing in it was redirecting to a microsoft live site (something like which would then land you at the normal outlook email site ( However in the process the sc. site was blocked by Google as being malicious.

      So Google were blocking Microsoft.Not doing it today though)

  9. pklong

    I wonder if we in the UK could get the ASA to do anything?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Like what? ASA core competencies look to be wringing their hands and looking ineffectual, so if that's what you'd like, then you could be in luck.

      If on the other hand you wanted the ASA to act decisively and effectively in consumers' interests, then you may well be disappointed.

      1. Captain Badmouth


        as in "Advertisers supine associates" perhaps.

  10. pewpie

    Only took em 20 years.

  11. Alistair


    I've become quite adept at noscript interpretation.

    -> Google going after the dodgydownloadnow buttons is more than just a tad ironic. At sourceforge they seem to be served up by someone else, however if you chase both domain name and ip ranges, that be google tossing you crap downloads.

    Not quite sure if this will clean things up - although the implication is that they'll let you *HIT* the button, but will toss the "ohnoes this be liers and tigers and bears territory" screen at you *after* you hit it.

  12. techmind

    What took them so long?

    Dodgy "download" button-ads have been a widely acknowledged blight on the web for years.

    As a website owner, I actually removed Google ad panes completely from pages of mine which offer downloads of applets I've written, because I was worried users would be misled by the dodgy download button-ads (which were more prominent than my own links) and I didn't want the reputational damage.

    In the last few days I've been seeing "driver update (recommended)" ads overlaying youtube videos.

    Sort it out!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, lets hope they flag the Java download page because the JRE version comes with crap-ware. Maybe that would be enough to finally have it removed.

  14. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    you shouldnt be driving around on the internet if you dont know that EVERY large green button with download written on it is a malware installing trap

  15. Vinyl-Junkie

    Seems to me...

    ...that the piece of dodgy software that most often tries to get me to install it when I download something else is Chrome.

    So pot and kettle....

  16. EPurpl3

    Nice try to make me disable the ad blocker, Google, but you didn't convinced me. Try harder!

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