Torrent websites displaying ads for My Mobile Secure program
James Patterson | Last Updated:
Online Gaming & Internet Privacy Expert
Rogue ads on several torrent websites have tried to get iOS users to start using their VPN that’s openly collecting large amounts of information from the user’s devices.
Supposedly, the ad appears and upon clicking it, the user will end up on a website claiming that the device that the user is currently surfing the web with is infected with malware, trojans or similar threat, and then offers a guide on how to fix the problem before the device is ruined. A high-pitch beeping starts playing as a part of an aggressive tactic that’s supposed to put a sense of urgency and panic into the user, thus preventing them from thinking things through and forcing them to try and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
The website then offers a link to a “My Mobile Secure” program and claims that it’ll fix and protect the device. If the program is installed, it will connect user’s emails and the market firm called MobileXpression that’s trying to collect as much of users’ information as possible for a supposed study of the web behavior.
The lead malware intelligence analyst from Malwarebytes has stated that “In this particular case, one cannot help but feel that this VPN application comes with some serious baggage and unfortunately the average user will not take the time to review the fine details. If the intent is to use a VPN to anonymize your online activities, this does almost the opposite.”
Some say that this is to be expected from a malvertising campaign and that this sort of behavior is nothing new for those who decide to get involved in such actions.
The users are advised to watch out for this and similar attempts to steal their data, and that they should take extra care and not click on suspicious ads that randomly appear. Ad-blockers are a decent way of preventing such pop-up ads from putting your privacy and devices in danger, but the even better solution would be for the users to download the real VPN. Even during this process, they’re advised to be careful of what they’re agreeing to, and who are they working with. The more information and details you manage to gather before taking action, the better.