PUP Download Site Makes Use Of Virtual Assistant

PUP Download Site Makes Use Of Virtual Assistant

You know how you visit a website and suddenly there’s a person talking at you from the bottom right hand corner of the screen about how you should buy product X or make use of service Y?

We recently saw a page asking visitors to upgrade their media player, which Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detect as PUP.Optional.SaferInstall (VirusTotal 12 / 53). It looks a lot like many similar download sites out there [1], [2], with one curious addition standing over on the right hand side:

Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant! She isn’t very interactive, instead launching into a recorded voiceover after a minute or so of the visitor doing nothing on the webpage. She says:

Please upgrade your media player for faster hd playback.

It only takes a minute on broadband and theres no restart required

Just click this button and follow the easy steps onscreen.



Pretty interesting – I haven’t seen a virtual assistant / automated online assistant / video spokesperson / video web presenter / whatever they’re called this week used to promote a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) download before.

One could argue the virtual assistant also looks somewhat out of place – it looks more like the kind of character you’d see on a children’s website than a page aiming for adults and media player upgrades.

Who knows what the brave new world of download advertising will offer up next…

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.