Paltalk installing spyware? (drive cleaner, etc)

Discussion in 'malware problems & news' started by kplpsy, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. kplpsy

    kplpsy Registered Member

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    I installed a fresh Windows XP on my other computer, went to Windows Update and installed all of the latest updates and then installed Paltalk. No AV software, no anti spyware, no other apps except default windows apps, Just Paltalk. As soon i logged into Paltalk I started getting popups to about.com, not long after maybe an hour or two, I was infected by drive cleaner. I did not initiate any connections to other websites. Only Paltalk did this.

    The computer is NAT translated thru my linksys router so it cannot be directly connected to via the outside internet, and the only program running was Paltalk.

    I've done this several times, and the results are the same. It seems after I install AV software the popups to about.com no longer occur, nor any infections or any infection attempts alerted to me thru AV software.

    I did a search for Paltalk and drive cleaner on google and found alot of hijackthis logs show paltalk being installed. I realize that isn't good evidence to go by, but considering my recent experiances with Paltalk infecting my other computer, I believe that Paltalk has affiliated with rogue spyware sites. If this is true, It probably only pertains to the free version of Paltalk as the commercial version doesn't display popup ads.

    Can anyone else verify this? Something should be done if this turns out to be true.
     
  2. kplpsy

    kplpsy Registered Member

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    Further evidence against Paltalk:
    http://www.nomorespyware.50megs.com/mailwiper.html

    The IMPORTANT NOTICE paragraph denied all responsibility and claiming that I "visited" the website which hijacked my browser, which is untrue. Mail Wiper made a quick denial on the grounds that as long as they don't own a website, they are not responsible for what their hired advertising does.

    Over the next couple of days in my attempts to locate and remove the source of the hijack, I began to notice something strange. The browser stayed set and operated correctly until I opened a chat program called Paltalk. When I opened the Paltalk program, Paltalk operated as usual but the next time the IE browser was opened, it defaulted back to the Spy Wiper advertisement page. At first I thought this must have been my imagination so I tested it several times and without fail, it was the opening of Paltalk that triggered the browser hijack to activate. Paltalk is a program I have been using for 3 years without any problems so I did not see this program as being the fault of what was currently happening, moreover, they seemed to be the portal and trigger for what was happening.

    This left me with only two possible explanations. A) Somehow an affiliate or hired advertising company of Mail Wiper, Inc. had discovered a way to channel code through the Paltalk program or, B) that Paltalk itself had allowed their program to be used for this sort of advertising technique for monetary reasons. I tend to believe the former, not the latter, since Paltalk has two forms of usage, paid or unpaid subscriptions. Unpaid subscriptions are subject to pup-up and banner advertising while paid subscriptions are not. I am a paid member and do not receive pup-ups or banners on the program. The other reason is because I have this program installed on two separate computers with the same account name, yet this had only happened on one machine.

    At this point I had discovered more information through searches about the company, Mail Wiper, Inc., including Rob Martinson's email address (rob@mailwiper.com) so I issued a response to the email I received from his Sales Department directly to Mr. Martinson and again requested instructions on how to remove the source of the hijack, adding the additional information I had discovered about Paltalk. I am still waiting for a response back from him.

    My search on this company also turned up a wealth of information concerning their business practices and people who have listed them as spammers and placed them on boycott lists. The most informative site I have located on them is at http://www.whitis.com/mailwiper.htm . Apparently, Mail Wiper, Inc. supports the marketing technique of spamming people, then offering a solution to get rid of the spam. This technique has probably been around awhile....create a problem or be a part of the problem, then sell the solution. In the case of Mail Wiper, Inc., they hire other spamming companies to create a problem and offer the solution so they can later deny responsibility by saying they don't own that site and it wasn't them who spammed or hijacked you. True, they're only the ones who paid someone else to do it.
     
  3. kplpsy

    kplpsy Registered Member

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