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