Latest McDonald's Giveaway Prize: Spyware

from the not-lovin'-it dept

McDonald’s Japan came up with what it certainly thought was a great promotion recently: print a code on its soft-drink cups, then get users to send in a text message with it to see if they’d won one of 10,000 MP3 players pre-loaded with 10 free songs. But not only were the MP3 players some junky-looking McDonald’s-branded model, but they came with an added bonus: spyware. Apparently the devices were laced with the QQPass trojan, which logs keystrokes and passwords. McDonald’s Japan has apologized and set up a hotline for affected consumers to call. Just what good that will do remains to be seen if a consumer’s passwords for financial sites have already been stolen. Ah, those halcyon days when all you had to worry about from McDonald’s giveaways was keeping babies from choking on their small pieces…

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Comments on “Latest McDonald's Giveaway Prize: Spyware”

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thecaptain says:

The article is a little light on details.

Does anyone know if this was done on purpose (ie: Because of some really moronic marketer who might have thought this was a good idea?) or due to a hacker or wannabe who works there?

At this point I would have NO trouble believing a marketting exec or a committee of them sitting around and thinking this is a GREAT idea.


beeurd says:

Re: Re:

I doubt it was on purpose.
As a manager for McDonalds, i’ve had to endure lectures on how hard the company works to avoid bad publicity, because lets be honest now, McDs don’t really need to do anything to get bad publicity. So the thought of them risking something like that knowing it could backfire just doesn’t add up to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I work in McDonald’s US IT and know the guy currently in charge of APMEA (Asia-Pacific-Middle East – Africa) IT. There’s no way this was intentional on McDonald’s part.

I’m 100% speculating, but the “gold” load was probably infected at the factory where these things were assembled. If intentionally infected, it was someone working on the image in the factory, not someone in McDonald’s managment.

ConceptJunkie (profile) says:

In Soviet Union, capitalists spy on you. Wait…

I’m glad I finally figured out years ago that McDonald’s sucks all the joy out of their food and sells it to places like Wendy’s on the side. I’m no food snob, but the last time I ate a Big Mac (in the mid 90’s), I felt afterwards like I had eaten something, and I remembered the act of eating, but no sensation of taste or enjoyment remained in my mind.

I’m no food snob, but that was horrible. That McDonald’s has to resort to all these giveaways to entice customers is no surprise to anyone. If they would get back to selling food people want, maybe they could give their hyperactive marketing department a little breather.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: D'UH

and how exactly would that happen? not on my pc it wouldn’t. it’s a removable drive no matter how you look at it, so at most, even with an autorun.inf, my pc asks me what I want to do, which is usually something like:

1. Open folder to view files
2. Run pointless_application.exe

which would you do? oh wait, you’re probably an idiot…. nm

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: D'UH

I guess avoiding malware for dummies should be sent to all the idiots that were infected. CH1: common sense; CH2: not using shitty DRM capable media players; CH3: autorun junk programs you don’t need to begin with are pointless.

Don’t forget to send this new “… dummies” book to that idiot “hacker” up there. He must’ve been infected by a kids meal from japan. sorry dude, but you need schoolin’

While we’re at it, who is planning on letting the macincrap users in on the fact that they keep blabbing about being malware resistant and people will finally take notice and start writing malware for macs…. only one reason it hasn’t happened yet… there aren’t enough of you morons using macs for it to be profitable, or even to matter at all. yeah, keep pushing your macs 😉

Chris says:

Re: McD

roflol, Wendys is so much better.

Honestly though, how did this happen? Wait, I know, when they gave away the songs teh got the trojan and the DMR mixed up and thats how all those trojans got on those computers. Lets blame Sony for thinking up the enitre DMR thing.

Wouldn’t it be funny if that really happened and McDonalds sued Sony for them getting the two mixed up?

nunya_bidness says:

Same old story

McDonalds has been selling trojans for years, they are disguised as various food items, and once consumed can cause all sorts of problems to your operating systems. Several variations such as the BigMac and McLobster can empty the contents of your entire digestive system in a matter of minutes! Other more malicous ones like the salads and “French” fries, have the ability to alter perception and cause the victim to consume abnormal amounts, and deposit clogging residue in the circulatory system, only to show up years later in the form of a heart attach. We must ban together to stop this relentless foe once and for all.

Dainichi says:


Watch out, the macs are starting to use intel chipsets. This means that any code written for windows and x86 is potentially just a few lines shy of being a mac proggie.

The difference before was something along the lines of the following example

this is data in memory: ioioiiii
this is data in memory: 11110101
the difference is in the order of the bits

Now with the Mac-intel the difference is more like
the diference is more just the format

Robyn says:

Re: #34

There’s a lot more potential than reality in this danger.

Keep in mind that Linux has been running on x86 chipsets for a LONG time, and code written for Windows AND x86 lacked not only the equivalent system calls in Linux, but might not even get to EXECUTE on Linux.

Also keep in mind that Mac-Intel can only run X, which is based on UNIX.

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