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Pando Media Booster

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Pando Media Booster

Postby Zancarius » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:21 pm

I was doing some spring cleaning early fall/late summer and managed to clear up around 150-200 gigs of accumulated crap by removing unused games, compressing and deduplicating numerous back ups that have slowly propagated over time, and generally just migrating most of the things the archivist in me just can't part with over to an external drive (to give you an idea, before a script inadvertently wiped a download storage dir, I had almost every version of Winamp from 2.0 until the latest). As a result of this, I stumbled across a number of very curious things.

This post is the first in a series of things I've encountered and probably one of the most bizarre as I don't know whose fault it was that this particular product found itself on my system.

Once upon a time, something I installed from Steam installed what is called the Pando Media Booster, which purportedly uses BitTorrent and other techniques to distribute large files (including game patches) in effort to save the publisher's bandwidth. Unfortunately, the caveat is that Pando (the company) went out of business in late 2013 and as of earlier this year, their domain has been hijacked by nefarious individuals in order to install malware on systems that have Pando installed. I've never seen any such upgrade prompt, so I assume the domain was probably removed or acquired by law enforcement for reasons related to these activities, but it does present a rather curious scenario that we often overlook with all this cloud-related nonsense.

Cloud-distributed everything is all the rage today. But what happens if these businesses close? What happens if their distribution architecture doesn't take appropriate precautions like cryptographically signing their software to guarantee it hasn't been changed?

It's a bit of a problem.

So, do your part and take 5 minutes to see if this rubbish is installed and remove it. It should be dated around August 2013 (in the add/remove dialog), and no, it shouldn't break anything. Pando is gone for good. Removing their software won't make much of a difference at this point.
I gave that lich a phylactery shard. Liches love phylactery shards.
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Zancarius
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