A new study found between 22 to 43 percent of people were willing to install unknown software on their PC in return for a small amount of money. The researcher gathered people on Mechanical Turk, an Amazon service that allows you to get paid for doing small jobs at home, and paid people payments ranging from a penny to a dollar to install a piece of software. Surprisingly, a large number of test subjects were willing to install the software even when their operating system flagged the app as a potential threat.
Apparently, hackers wanting to control PCs are wasting their time with elaborate botnets and vulnerability exploits -- all they may really need is some pocket change. A study found that between 22 to 43 percent of people were willing to install unknown software on their PCs in return for payments ranging from a penny to a dollar, even when their OS flagged the app as a potential threat that required permission to run. While you might think that respondents would naturally be a bit suspicious, that wasn't usually the case. As researcher Nicolas Christin notes, just 17 people out of 965 were running virtual machines that limited the possible damage; only one person went in fully expecting trouble, according to exit surveys.