McDonalds asks, “Would you like fries with your spyware?”

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McDonalds recently ran a contest for winning a free MP3 player for text messaging a code. It appears that 10,000 people won an MP3 player and couple free songs. What they didn’t account for was winning some free spyware with their player. It seems that McDonalds didn’t think to carefully when choosing the vendor that supplied their McDonalds branded MP3 player. The MP3 player when plugged in, automatically installed the spyware QQPass that sends password information to a web site as well as other information. It also opens up the computer for backdoor access that can cause even more problems for the infected computers.

We all heard about the Sony rootkit issue with playing Sony CDs and them restricting users from burning to CD as well as opening up the computer to a new vulnerability which spawned even more viruses that compromised the infected computers.

This new McDonalds spyware causes even more problems including the user/password sending to a set server for collection from the developers. This issue is becoming increasingly worrisome for regular computers users, it seems that the playing field isn’t as clear as it used to be. Not only do you have to worry now about playing games online, downloading anything from anywhere or attempting to listen to a CD but you have to worry about what you plugin to your computer and risk losing by doing such.

This story is early in its bad media cycle so it will be interesting to see how badly it gets spun and how McDonalds will deal with the issue.

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