The Scientific Indian

Add emoticons to your emails!

I was looking for some information on the intertubes and google dropped me onto a website that it thought would help. I found a large block of ad content on the site that said “Add emoticons to your emails!” with a collection of the ever-stupid animated gif images that wink, grin, clap, and do all the other idiotic things that invariably attract the clueless. I started wondering what sort of business model would these folks – the ones who put these ad out – have. So, I clicked on the ad (I am on a Mac using Safari, which is important to note). And, no surprises here, it downloaded a windows executable file. I am and my Mac declined to entertain it. A bit more digging revealed who were the malware makers and how they work. (Learn more about malware here) But, here’s their business model (understood after reading the EULA. The EULA can be paraphrased as: I’ll do your machine in. You indemnify us against it. Have a nice day.):
The malware presents ads based on your browsing habits: websites you visit, keywords you search with, etc. That in itself is standard operating procedure among such software. What’s sinister about this innocuous looking “emoticon-in-your-email” ad is this: malware ads can (and I am sure do) target ads for adult sites. As you may know, on the internets, porn is big money. That’s how these emoticons makers make their fucking money.

All this is not really hard or anything to figure out. But, then, I didn’t know these details before. Now I know what those stupid online emoticon ads are and I hate them more. Use Firefox for safe browsing and clue yourself in. It’s a bad world out there.


  1. #1 Doug Alder
    June 21, 2008

    And make certain you have the NoScript plugin added to FireFox

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