Mozilla has asked a European firm to stop making spyware that pretends to be the popular open-source Firefox web browser, a tech site reported last week.
A report on PC World said Mozilla sent a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday to Gamma International, which was linked to the "FinFisher" spyware.
The research project Citizen Lab had described FinFisher as a command-and-control spyware that is active or had been present in 36 countries.
"We identify instances where FinSpy makes use of Mozilla’s Trademark and Code. The latest Malay-language sample masquerades as Mozilla Firefox in both file properties and in manifest. This behavior is similar to samples discussed in some of our previous reports, including a demo copy of the product, and samples targeting Bahraini activists," Citizen Lab said in its report.
PC World said Citizen Lab alerted Mozilla to the masquerade.
It added Citizen Lab's research showed the spyware was being used "in a number of countries with poor human rights records and has been used to target activists."
PC World noted hackers "often dress up malicious files to make them appear to be benign, piggybacking on the inherent trust users put into known programs."
"Appearing to be Firefox makes it more likely potential victims will be duped into installing FinSpy," it added. — TJD, GMA News