Things That Scare Us

Bad News: Some Sketchy Marketer Has Realized They Can Do Pop-Ups on Mobile

If you developers could whip up a pop-up blocker, that'd be great.
snapad Bad News: Some Sketchy Marketer Has Realized They Can Do Pop Ups on Mobile

UGH. (Photo: Krebs on Security

Remember back in the mid-2000s, when everyone used to get those annoying “YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED” pop-up ads for anti-virus software?  (For that matter, remember pop-up ads?) Like anyone with an ounce of Internet savvy was going to download software marketed via sketchy pop-ups.

Well, get ready for a blast from the past, warns cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs, because that same tacky, spammy tactic may now be coming to your mobile device.

Mr. Krebs tells the tale of one security consultant, who was doing a little dining-while-browsing, when suddenly,

his screen was taken over by an alarming message warning of page errors and viruses. Clicking anywhere on the ad took him to a Web site peddling SnapSecure, a mobile antivirus and security subscription service that bills users $5.99 a month.

“It gives the impression of being rather ominous,” he told Mr. Krebs.

SnapSecure’s marketing VP blamed the pop-ups on “rogue marketing affiliates” who’ve since been blacklisted, but presumably the offenders are still out there, lying in wait in the digital ether until the time comes to leap out of the Internet mists once more.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com