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Windows 7: Mozilla: Protecting our brand from a global spyware provider

02 May 2013   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
Mozilla: Protecting our brand from a global spyware provider

A recent report by Citizen Lab uncovered that commercial spyware produced by Gamma International is designed to trick people into thinking it’s Mozilla Firefox. We’ve sent Gamma a cease and desist letter today demanding that these illegal practices stop immediately.

As an open source project trusted by hundreds of millions of people around the world, defending Mozilla’s trademarks from this type of abuse is vital to our brand, our users and the continued success of our mission. Mozilla has a longstanding history of protecting users online and was named the Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012 by the Ponemon Institute. We cannot abide a software company using our name to disguise online surveillance tools*that can be – and in several cases actually have been*– used by Gamma’s customers to violate citizens’ human rights and online privacy.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 May 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Let us raise a glass to Mozilla! Doing no evil, and fighting it too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2013   #3

windows 7 ultimate x32

way to go Mozilla, Keep up the good work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Awesome action from Mozilla. Keep it up, my favorite browser company!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit

Good for them. Anybody else notice that these days when you do a search for something, especially security related, the first five or six hits at the top of the page usually lead to fake sites. I've started just sending people to sites like Major Geeks so I know they get the real deal and don't end up in an even worse situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2013   #6

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server

Hi there
Unfortunately this type of "Attack" is all too common these days -- I've seen clones of "Barclays Bank" or more popularly known as "Sharkleys Bank" online banking web site being linked to -- and the basic plot is to get customers payments routed to the rogue site -- end of your Money !!!.

This is one of the reasons why I think people are wasting a lot of their time on wondering whether A/V software A is better than A/V software B. Any A/V software won't defend against these types of Scams.

Where Intellectual copyright is being infringed then I support Mozilla or whoever it is in being able to get maximum redress from the Courts -- but when it comes to things "Internet" there's a HUGE difference in obtaining a Court judgment and actually getting it enforced.

Basic rule is -- SURF SENSIBLY and be on the lookout for all these sorts of scams -- and if this stuff does get installed on your machine just restore a previous image - then its GONE.

Better still - Only surf on a Virtual machine --however that might be a bit impractical for a lot of people though.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1

Well that's great to hear that they are taking action against these dirty practices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

The bad thing is most surfers of the net will never see articles on this trick by Gamma. They will just keep surfing and come what may.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2013   #9

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick

The actual spyware in the article isn't a run of a mill spyware, Finspy is a sophisticated, commercially available spyware that currently isn't detected by AV. It is utilized by governments around the world that do not have the capability to develop their own. Unlike other countries that had developed Stuxnet, Flame, etc...

The spyware does not actually infect Firefox, it infects the system it runs on; the more appropriate name for Finspy is rootkit that has the capability of stealing everything from the infected machine. The link to Firefox comes from examining the properties of Finspy executable on the infected machine. The property/details page of the Finspy display the property/details page of Firefox.

Unless you are targeted by a government, it is unlikely that you'll see Finspy on your machine. It is much more likely that your machine will meet Zeus, or other underground rootkits utilized by hackers.

The history of rootkits are rather amusing. At the beginning the rootkit was the exclusive territory of sophisticated hackers. Later, they made these kits available for script kiddies and they still do for a fee. Some of the governments had a eureka moment and developed their own rootkits that had been and are being used. Doing so limits the governments the type of laws that they can have against malicious software. Hackers seeing this inability made their malware commercially available, therefore legitimizing both themselves and their income.

BTW... Finspy is also available for practically all smartphones under different names, that includes iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Symbian, and Windows smartphones. Here's the link to the research document:

The optimist in me hopes, that Mozilla raising the flag will result in enough uproar that the governments will reconsider their view of commercially available rootkits.

The pessimist in me says, that this news is just advertisement for the commercial rootkit companies...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2013   #10

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Thank you Kari and Cr00zng for the information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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