Ever try to download a known application from the net and got something that was completely different than what you were expecting? You Google FileZilla or WinSCP and click on the first download button you can find and next thing you know you have a shiny new toolbar! This type of bait and switch distribution of unwanted software is called “cuckooware” named after the habits of the cuckoo bird that tricks other birds into raising its own cuckoo egg instead their own offspring.

The unwanted software often introduces malware, performance issues or ads on the screen and becomes as much as a pain in your ass as the baby cuckoo is to the surprised adoptive parents.

Check your application websites carefully to ensure you are downloading the right files or send them to virustotal before you install it to make sure you have the real deal. Otherwise you will be dealing with cuckooware.

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