PandaLabs has discovered that Browsezilla, a free web browser available on several web pages, infects computers with the adware PicsPlace, without users’ knowledge. This adware, which activates whenever a user starts up the infected PC, opens a series of adult web pages, although they are not visible to the user. This tactic is aimed at artificially increasing visits to these pages.
Browsezilla is an application similar in appearance to the widely-used Mozilla browser, and also uses a dinosaur as a logo, no doubt to encourage users to trust the application. Ironically, the creators claim that Browsezilla offers safer Internet use than other browsers, as it supposedly does not store the history of pages visited or favorites lists. To encourage users to install it, the official page offers an Internet search service. However, the search always results in a page advising that it is necessary to download the browser in order to obtain the requested information.
Browsezilla is detected as adware due to the following reasons:
- It is automatically downloaded to the computer when carrying out a search using it, without asking for user permission.
- It installs itself without user’s explicit permission and knowledge.
- It does not display an EULA (End User License Agreement) during its installation.
- One of its components downloads and runs automatically a file without asking for user permission.
- It offers links to adult content without clearly asking for user consent.
Browsezilla can be voluntarily downloaded when visiting certain websites for adults, and from the website belonging to the company that has developed it.
Note: although a former version of Browsezilla downloaded a copy of the adware PicsPlace to the affected computer, a newer version has been released, which does not carry out this action.