Unity Merges With Malware Distributor

Stock down 17%.

Unity’s stock is crashing after hours following the news that the company would be merging with malware distributor ironSource. If you don’t know who ironSource is, I’ll let Unity’s nonsense business talk say absolutely nothing over the course of a few sentences.

If you don’t know ironSource, they bring a proven record of helping creators focus on what creators do best – bringing great apps and user experiences to life – while enabling business expansion in the app economy. ironSource’s suite of tools and solutions provides the majority of the world’s top games and many of the leading non-gaming apps with the monetization, marketing, analytics, and discovery capabilities they need to build and run scalable app-based businesses.

ironSource as a company was the creator and distributor of installCore, which was malware that ran on Windows and Mac computers. What did installCore do? I’ll let Tom’s Guide from 2015 explain.

Once the user lets Adware.Mac.InstallCore.1 install, the first thing it does is check for the presence of Mac antivirus programs made by AVG, Avast, Bitdefender, Comodo, ESET, F-Secure, Intego, Kaspersky Lab, Sophos or Symantec, as well as for the open-source antivirus program ClamXav. It also checks for signs that the machine might be used by security researchers, such as whether OS X is running in a virtual machine or with developer tools.

If it finds any of these, Adware.Mac.InstallCore.1 stops installing. If not, then it reaches out to the Internet and installs up to 10 different unwanted programs, including system optimizers, security software, media players and browser hijackers. Most of the programs are legal, but you probably won’t want them on your system.

installCore was a trojan horse malware package that installed bloated software the user did not ask for. Microsoft has its own section for installcore from 2016 as the software was blacklisted on Windows PCs due to low reputation. IronCore, another IronSource product, has the glory of its own page on Malwarebytes warning users of the danger of keeping it on their system. In 2018 Infostruction warned about malware being distributed by IronSource and IronCore. The InstallCore Wikipedia page has been repeatedly vandalized by users attempting to remove details about the software being malware, potentially either by company employees or representatives of them. InstallCore has long since been discontinued.

This news comes just a few weeks after Unity announced 4% of its staff would be laid off. In spite of the layoffs, Unity has been on a spending spree in recent months acquiring Weta for $1.62 billion, ZivaDynamics, as well as Parsec for $320 million.

Stock prices dropped 17% after hours. Unity’s value continues to burn to the ground over 2022, having lost 76% of its value year to date being valued at about $138 at the start of 2022 to the paltry $32.82 at the time of publishing. Response on Twitter has been highly negative, with some indie developers stating that they would be seeking alternatives to Unity going forward.


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