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The Walking Dead: Tasty Bait

16
Oct
2012

You’ve boarded up your windows. You’ve sabotaged the stairwell. You’ve thrown that one whiny guy to the zombie hordes as bait (it’s okay, nobody liked him anyway). Even so, fans of all things Walking Dead would do well to consider how badly they want Walking Dead content via the noble art of installing things and clicking on stuff (technical term).

The first episode of season three has just arrived on US TV, and of course everybody wants to see it in other regions before the inevitable spoilers hit (or at least complain about deviations from the comic). Music themed social networking site Last.fm had a bit of a spam run on just such a topic:

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The site being spammed was a typical cookie-cutter survey site.

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Elsewhere, we have executables promising episodes – in this case, 18 Miles Out, an episode from the tail-end of Season 2.

The end-user is asked to install a variety of programs (and a Chrome browser extension):

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Eventually the episode of The Walking Dead was revealed to be a link to a download on a Torrent website.

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Taking chances with random rips of TV shows via torrents you’ve not got a clue about? Good luck with that, I’ll pass.

Finally, we saw a file called “Walking-Dead” which we just had to take a look at:

What shining examples of Rick telling his kid not to go outside would we see next? As it turns out, not many. After a standard EULA in a box we were offered two toolbar installs, both of which came pre-ticked:

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Humorously, you’ll see that both toolbars were ticked under both “Set as default search engine” and “Set as my homepage and new tab in browsers”. ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO WATCH YOUR TOOLBARS HAVE A FISTFIGHT?

Anyway, once all the installs were complete you’d finally get to tell Walking Dead characters that any time the camera shoots a closeup of their face an inevitable surprise zombie chomp would be the result.

Or, you know, not.

This is what the end-user would see:

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In testing, clicking the Download Now button didn’t do anything – hovering over it would reveal a Javascript Void tag, which is often used to make sure a page doesn’t reload when clicked. After much clicking on my part and the occasional page reload, the above splash screen was nowhere to be found and I ended up with this:

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That is a Flash game called The Last Stand, and as far as I’m aware it has no relation to The Walking Dead. I mean, it’s still more fun that standing around outside a barn for 6 weeks but it isn’t quite what I was looking for.

Watch what you click, consider if an offer sounds too good to be true and always, always aim for the head. Or throw the one random whiny guy at the baying hordes, that works too.

Christopher Boyd

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