Trojan adware hiding in MP3s, McAfee says

Hundreds of thousands of McAfee users have reported fake MP3 files containing adware recently

Adware pushers have found a new way to trick you into downloading their annoying products: fake MP3 files.

On Tuesday, security vendor McAfee reported that it's seen a huge spike in fake MP3 files spreading on peer-to-peer networks. Although the files have names that make them look like audio recordings, they're really Trojan horse programs that try to install a shoddy media player and adware on your computer, said Craig Schmugar, a researcher with McAfee.

"Once you run it, there is no content. You're taken to this site to install this player which you don't really need," he said.

Fake file names include: preview-t-3545425-changing times earth wind .mp3 and t-3545425-just got lucky.mp3. Schmugar listed more filenames, as well as details on the adware, in a Tuesday blog posting.

Users are first asked to OK an end-user license agreement before the Trojan installs two programs, Mirar and NetNucleus, on their PCs.

Ironically, while the Mirar software tells users that it doesn't display popups, NetNucleus does deliver popup ads, so users who do not realize that they are installing two programs might feel tricked, Schmugar said. "You have a Window telling you that there are no popups and right behind it is a popup."

Although McAfee has seen some nasty software disguising itself as media files in the past, it has never seen anything on this scale, Schmugar said. Over the past 24 hours, nearly a third of the McAfee customers who reported data back to the security company have detected these files, he said.

In the past few days McAfee has spotted the files on more than 360,000 users' desktops.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?