Oracle has been known to bundle Ask.com Toolbars with their Java product for a while now, but this has typically been for PCs. Now this has all changed with the release of Java for mac. This trusted program is used by millions of people and required to view some websites, so it is considered a trusted application by many.
In the latest release of Java for Mac computers, you can see the Ask Search App is offered during installation. The install will have the option checked to install Ask Search App by default, so unless you manually uncheck the box, this piece of adware will be installed automatically. Most users will not even read this and unknowingly install this on their computer.
Oracle makes money for every person that accepts and installs this Ask Search App onto their computer. It can be quite lucrative for them as you can imagine the accept rate being through the roof.
This adware is known to reset the user’s homepage, default search engine, and new tab page to search.ask.com, and all queries performed in the browser will now go through there instead of whatever it was set to prior. This is known in the adware and malware industry as a browser hijacker.
This product is owned by APN, LLC (Ask Partner Network), a property of IAC, who owns Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid, Vimeo, Dictionary.com, HomeAdvisor, and About.com. As mentioned before, IAC pays a bounty to Oracle every time a user accepts to install the ASK Search App onto their computer. With a customer reach like Oracle has, there is a lot of money to be made with this deal.
IAC disclosed that their Search & Applications segment, which includes, Ask, made over $1 billlion in revenue in 2014 alone. They paid over $800 million in user acquisition to their partners who distribute their products like Ask Toolbar.