The Raspberry Pi—the popular mini-PC that's about the size of credit card—is attracting attention from malware distributors. But not in the sense that you might think.
Last Wednesday, the Raspberry Pi Foundation tweeted a screenshot of an email in which a company effectively asked to install malware onto users Raspberry Pis.
In the email, the company, whose name was redacted, offered the Foundation money in order to distribute an exe file on Raspberry Pi machines (never mind the fact that the Raspberry Pi doesn't run Windows). Installing the exe would place a shortcut icon on the desktop; if you open it, you'd be taken to the company's website. "Then this is our target," the email reads in part.
Needless to say, the Raspberry Pi Foundation didn't take too kindly to the idea.
Amazing. This person seems to be very sincerely offering us money to install malware on your machines. pic.twitter.com/1soL0MIc5Z— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) December 23, 2015
The story behind the story: It's hard to say exactly what the company in question planned to peddle, but it does seem like some sort of adware distribution scheme. Bundling adware with apps isn't uncommon in the PC industry—all you have to do is look at all the apps for Windows that drop in advertising, browser toolbars, browser extensions, or other unwanted extras when you install them. It's a widespread problem, and it's part of the reason why Google no longer allows users to install Chrome extensions that aren't in the Chrome Web Store.