Zango May Have Worked Things Out With The FTC, But What About The MPAA?

from the out-of-the-frying-pan,-into-the-fire dept

We've pointed out for years the various questionable activities performed by adware firm Zango (or one of its earlier incarnations). The company has gone through so many changes it's tough to follow, but every time it insists that it has somehow "cleaned up" its act, it doesn't take long for researchers to find evidence to the contrary. For a while, the company was in hot water with the FTC for tricking people into downloading its adware. It eventually settled with the FTC, paying a hefty fine. These days, once again, the company insists that it's reinvented itself to focus on the "casual gaming market."

However, that doesn't appear to be the case. I recently saw a presentation from the company where it didn't mention casual gaming at all, but instead called itself a "publisher" of content -- though it was quite vague and evasive about just what kind of content. Perhaps that's because it doesn't want parties like the MPAA to know. As Ben Edelman had noticed a few months ago -- and now more and more security researchers are finding, Zango's software is being offered up by folks who are promising fully pirated movies.

It makes you wonder if Zango recognizes that dealing with the MPAA may be a lot less pleasant than fighting the FTC. Of course, maybe the MPAA recognizes that when pirated movies come with intrusive adware like Zango, it only gives pirated movies a bad name.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 19th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Heh

    Of course, maybe the MPAA recognizes that when pirated movies come with intrusive adware like Zango, it only gives pirated movies a bad name.

    I do not think that the MPAA has the intelligence to make such a distinction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    wasnt me!, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    if only life was so simple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    TeMerc, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 10:02am

    Zango was being vague and evasive? What are you gonna say next, there's spam on the interwebs?

    Last I looked right next to the words vague, evasive, greedy, sneaky, underhanded, snake oil salesman and unethical it said 'See Zango'.

    JMHO based on observances

     

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  4.  
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    another mike, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Heh

    Here's hoping that the MPAA doesn't make the distinction and decides to go after Zango for the pirated movies. That will be fun to watch. We'll be able to see the explosion from here.

     

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  5.  
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    Sean Larabee, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Zango, spyware, viruses and trojans

    Almost every instance I have ever seen of Zango being intalled on a PC was accompanied by a myriad of spyware, the vundo and/or virtumonde virus and in many instances has required a lenghtly cleaning process costing my customers downtime and money. The public should be aware of this and being aware I do not think a company like Zango "can" re-invent themselves. To me it would be much like a group of thieves that break in and vandalized homes trying to advertize as a home improvement company. Just doesn't work. But good luck to them and may they burn in hell. :)

     

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  6.  
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    stephanie, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 12:22pm

    Yay

    Death to Zango. I hate those bastards.

     

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  7.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 19th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Heh

    That would indeed be fun to watch. I kind of hope they go after them for a change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Zango Support, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:47am

    Zango is safe!

    In some of the above posts Zango is listed as a threat.
    We would like to correct this listing.

    Zango is a safe and secure program and is tested daily to make sure it is always safe.

    We are certainly aware of the ever-growing number of harmful applications that have surfaced on the Web.
    Please be assured that Zango, unlike such applications, will always make the user’s privacy our top priority. Zango is a safe and secure program which installs only upon user's download and does nothing without the user's consent.

    Following are some clarifications on the function of Zango's software:

    1. Zango does not build personal profiles.
    2. Zango does not gather any data you enter in online forms.
    3. Zango does not access any sensitive information entered while surfing, such as account details, passwords, credit card information, products you purchase online, etc.
    4. Zango’s installation does not install any third party applications. In addition, Zango can be installed only through a standard download process initiated by the user from Zango's websites and is easy to uninstall.

    Unfortunately, it appears that some scanning applications have mistakenly included Zango on their lists. We are aware of this situation and our legal team is contacting these companies in order to be removed from their lists.

    Zango works with various partner sites. This means that when a site owner partners with Zango, the site offers content for free and the content on this site requires downloading Zango first.
    Once Zango is installed, you will have free access to all Zango related items without having to download Zango again.

    Zango is a user friendly program, and it is of paramount importance to us that our program will function properly and will be easily installed and removed.
    As in common practice among on line companies, Zango can be removed from the computer via Add or Remove programs (Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove programs), you may use our uninstaller and you may also use the uninstall instructions we offer under the Zango component in the program’s list.
    Following this procedure, Zango and all Zango related components will be completely removed from your computer.

    To remove Zango from your computer, please do the following:

    1. Close all open applications/programs/windows
    2. Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs
    3. Find Zango on the list
    4. Click the Change/Remove button
    5. Check the components you wish to remove, click Next and follow the on-screen instructions.
    6. Restart your computer

    Alternatively, you can use our uninstaller:
    1. Click on the following link - http://installs.zango.com/downloads/Uninstaller/Uninstaller.exe
    2. Click Run and follow on-screen instructions
    3. Restart your computer.

    If you have additional questions do not hesitate to contact us:

    Zango support team can be easily contacted through our help site: http://catalog.zango.com/destination/corporate/supportform.aspx
    or directly at: zangocustomersupport@zango.com

     

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  9.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:04am

    Re: Zango is safe!

    Odd that this message from Zango doesn't even respond to the points raised in the post.

    Also:

    Unfortunately, it appears that some scanning applications have mistakenly included Zango on their lists. We are aware of this situation and our legal team is contacting these companies in order to be removed from their lists.

    Why would your *LEGAL* team contact them? Why wouldn't it be your tech team, to show them that your software isn't problematic?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    TeMerc, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 9:11am

    Typical Zango Reply...

    Of course they wouldn't address the the points raised in the article, they're being evasive and vague.

    Wayne Porter has some nice stuff here too:
    http://tinyurl.com/6z6jdo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    President Zango, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 5:22am

    Definding my compiny

    Zango do sneaky good. Hurray! Zango is like antiantivirus, which is beter thaan antivirus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Moriak, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    uhm what..

    i had zango installed a while ago.. no problems at all except for the ads ofcourse. it actually has a few nice games. i uninstalled it and it was gone completely.. no nasty virussus at all.

    anyway the reason why alot of people think that zango is harmfull is .. if a regular user installs it on a machine you can pretty much bet it isnt the first thing he installed from the internet.. most of which is crap filled with virussus.. you only notice zango because you can actually see he installed that and it gives ads.. after that people just conclude that zango installed that stuff..

    then again.. it could just be that my antivirus/spyware rules and thats why it didnt bother me at all .. :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Freddy L., Mar 9th, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Honestly, what is the difference between this and the ASK toolbar being bundled in with so much software. They are both unwanted adware that nobody really wants on their system, and that most antivirus will warn you about (always a bad sign). I mean, I can think of nothing I want or need less than the Ask or Yahoo toolbar, but these things always end up on my machines..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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