What is ZipCloud and why do I need to get rid of it?
ZipCloud is a browser extension developed to hijack the web browsers. It primarily targets Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome to take control of the system.
ZipCloud itself is not a virus, but it causes a lot of inconvenience to the users. After forcing itself into the system, ZipCloud begins to promote a variety of advertisements in the form of banners, coupons, and by redirecting the user to a third-party website.
According to its developers, ZipCloud is an authentic application designed to help users by providing them with the best offers and discounts on various things, but honestly, ZipCloud is just trying to get you to make a pointless purchase since most of the proposals and schemes are nothing but a scam.
ZipCloud is categorized as Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) due to its malicious nature.
A PUP is characterized based on its type that includes spyware, virus, trojan, malware, and worms.
Objective behind ZipCloud
Mac Operating system has catered an enormous user base, which makes it vulnerable to ‘n’ number of threats.
Consequently, programs like ZipCloud target operating system with the wide user base. The more users they gain, the more revenue is made by scaring them.
The primary objective of a PUP like ZipCloud is to make money for its developers either by demanding it or by stealing it from a user.
ZipCloud being a browser hijacker can also get hold of your personal details, i.e., credit card information used in Mac, user id and password, and many more – by tracking your browsing activities.
It can also act as a backdoor for other malware. So, while you still stand a chance to eliminate the threat, act quickly and uninstall ZipCloud.
How is it different from the regular malware?
End goal of a PUP and malware is similar the only difference is how they are being distributed. Malware hits a system without the user’s consent, whereas, a PUP is arrived with EULA and trick the user into installing them.
Should You get rid of this PUP?
You almost certainly don’t want that potentially unwanted program installed. Now that you are aware of its presence the best approach to stay protected against it is by eliminating the threat.
Distribution techniques if necessary can be used from ZipCloud
ZipCloud is being promoted inappropriately and aggressively through various rogue affiliate marketing campaigns.
These kinds of campaigns are directed to trick a user into downloading the application, i.e., advertising campaigns, bundling, social clickjacking, spam emails, torrents, etc.
- Social Clickjacking: Developers of such program use online media such as Social Network and tempting advertisements to provoke or let us say in fooling the users to click on the ads, i.e., update your flash player or win an iPhone X, fake security alert or system updates.
A malicious program can also get through the firewall of a system if a user frequently visits insecure websites like Porn sites or betting sites which contain illegal stuff.
So, users should avoid clicking on such misleading ads and random links which frequently show up on the screen while viewing social websites.
- Spam Emails: Spam emails or email frauds are the quickest and easiest approach towards PUP/malware distribution.
These campaigns are majorly carried through phishing emails, they disguise themselves to be from a reputed organization or from a bank.
Such emails are usually loaded with malware as an attachment, and once these attachments are opened, it would straight away install the malicious application on the system.
These spam messages are an exceptionally simple strategy followed to distribute undesirable software like ZipCloud.
Although a spam message goes straight into the spam folder, it won’t hurt being watchful while opening messages from the regular inbox.
These are the best way to avoid a PUP or malicious application from being downloaded to your system without your permission.
And if you find a mail to be threatening or in the form of advertisements, do not open the attachments that come along to avoid any kind of infection.
- Bundling: Through third-party installers by covering itself in freeware installation.
ZipCloud comes bundled with free applications hosted by unreliable websites.
When a user installs these free applications, ZipCloud automatically gets installed.
This is one of the quickest, and the easiest way of infecting a user’s PC with PUP is through a third-party website.
In such case, the user is equally responsible for authorizing the installation of a program from an untrusted or third-party website.
Unfortunately, some freeware programs cover that a malicious program will also be installed with it.
- Torrent and Peer to peer file sharing: Document/file sharing through distributed (P2P) networks is a prominent method to share music, movies, games and different files on the web.
A P2P network is a virtual system of participants that make their very own section of computing resources accessible to other network participants.
This is altogether managed without the requirement for any centralized servers. P2P is very commonly used to distribute malware and can also perform other malicious activities.
To interface with a P2P network or to share and download files, a PC user downloads different software from the Web that empowers his PC to communicate with others on a network.
There are various prominent and well-known file sharing applications and P2P network.
The potential threats of utilizing P2P network begins immediately after that, as adware is attached to free variants of such well-known file sharing programs.
Adware is an undesirable program, or a malware that forces advertisements on the user’s screen and clicking on these ads can cause redirects to target portal or can open the back door to other malware.
The issues don’t stop there, however, despite the fact that huge numbers of the files accessible by means of P2P file sharing are genuine, attackers frequently attempt to trap PC users into downloading malware using basic P2P file sharing applications.
They do this by transferring malware to shared directories made accessible to users. They give malware misleading or fascinating names to trick the users into downloading them.
At this point when a user opens the file, rather than being welcomed by what he expected, he ends up with an infected system.
These are the standard distribution techniques followed by the cyber-criminals to trick the users into various frauds they do.
ZipCloud also uses scareware or scare ads that are displayed as “pop-under” ads on third-party websites, with a message that asks the user to clean their Mac as it has a virus on it.
The pop-under business is the first thing we don’t like about it. We frankly think it’s a real bottom-feeder technique and a low-class way of doing business, and it tells us that they’re not concerned with what people think of them.
ZipCloud’s designers have been called out in the past for facilitating third-party websites advancing their items and furthermore for manipulating phony user reviews.
When they’ve been held responsible for this behavior in the past, they’ve plainly held the aggressive affiliate marketers accountable for it, saying it’s not them, it’s someone else. We would post it that if your affiliate marketing strategy is attracting lying douchebags and scum, then you’re the problem as much as they are.
But the real problems with ZipCloud that we witnessed was that it provides questionable value to most users, can destabilize a stable Mac, and implants itself in the operating system so thoroughly that expelling it is an uncomfortable and weird process.
Eliminating a Mac application should never be more complicated than dragging it into the Trash and emptying the Trash, and maybe entering an administrative password if it’s an authentic app that you have downloaded from the App Store.
Also, “uninstalling” ZipCloud doesn’t dispose of every last bit of it — you’ll come across different traces of it in your Mac’s system library folder and eliminating them would require technical assistance.
We have seen huge masses of forum posts and comments on websites calling ZipCloud a virus or a malware package.
We don’t really understand the reason of ZipCloud destabilizing an operating system, but what we can assure is when we eliminated ZipCloud from the test Macs, they didn’t have the same problems anymore.
Most searched Results on Apple Community about ZipCloud :
Figure 2: User’s facing trouble while