I suppose it was inevitable but undesirable actions have invaded my morning reading.

This morning, as per normal, I’m reading stories on Zite on my iPad.  In the background, I had a Detroit television station on and was giving partial attention to it.  The stories and pictures from the American Thanksgiving Day Parade were terrific. 

As I looked down at my iPad, I noticed that it was sitting at the Apple App Store, wanting me to download this application.  It was one of those fighting world applications that I wouldn’t normally be bothered with.  Weird.  I exited the store and went back to Zite.

As it was loading, I thought to myself that I must have had a story open and then attention flipped to the television and my finger slipped and touched something on the screen to launch a download.

So, I go back in and tap to bring up the same story that I had been reading, and again, paying only partial attention because there was a story about the Pistons.  As I looked down again, I was back in the App Store.  This was more than a coincidence now.

Ever the believer in three strikes, I mute the television and try again.

Sure enough, just after the article loads, Zite quits and the App Store opens to this application.

Now I know for sure it wasn’t something that I was doing.  This was a deliberate move on the part of the story that I was attempting to read.

I started to think – this has to be some scam / scum to get the reader to download the application.  I’m sure not about to do that.

But, I’ll get even.  I’ll review the app and give it a one star rating.  That will fix them.  There’s a mean side to me after all. 

Sadly, the App store won’t let me rate something that I don’t own.  Rats.

Well, I suppose the best I can do is make sure that Zite doesn’t send it to me again.  I gave the article a big thumbs down.  I should never see something from that place again.

During our noon hour walk, Jaimie asked if I had tried to open the story on a computer instead of the iPad.  That way I could look at the source code and see just how the article was forcing Zite to quit and the App Store to open.  Damn, that dog is smart.  I’ve got to file that under things I wish I’d done.

We’re back home and I decide to try it.  But, of course, I’ve shot myself in the foot.  I can’t find the story again because I’ve told Zite never to show me it again.

Opportunity lost.

In a world where you think you’ve seen everything, this was something new for me.  The frustrating thing is that there isn’t anything to indicate that the story to be read was shady at all.  The title and preview were legitimate enough.  It was only after opening the story that a hidden payload action was released.


2 thoughts on “Scumware

  1. I’ve had that happen several times on iOS. I’m not sure whether the site intended for that redirection, or if it was a scummy/poorly written advertisement. Good idea to check the source code, Jaimie; I’ll do the same when it happens again.


  2. Pingback: OTR Links 11/30/2014 | doug — off the record

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