Kathy gets an answer from Malwarebytes

By | July 12, 2013
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Kathy writes to Malwarebytes and gets a predictable answer
Hi Darcy – I sent the email below to Malwarebytes re: their not getting back to y’all and not finding and getting rid of PUPS. Their response is included. I have Wise Convert in my VIEW under Toolbars. I never downloaded it and I have it disabled. It’s been there for months. I also did a Search in my C drive for Conduit, and found it there. I am really careful about downloading, and have no idea how this junk got on my computer. I can’t find them in my programs anywhere though. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in the response I got back from Malwarebytes. I guess I’m going to have to use one of my keys and have you clean up my computer. Thank you. Kathy

(Read Kathy’s letter to Malwarebytes, and their answer, here.)

Our answer
Hi Kathy

Other of our subscribers received the same canned response from Malwarebytes. What they fail to explain is the fact they detected all these PUPS for years, and suddenly no longer detected them; they are giving no explanation as to why. While many of the PUPS let you decide if you want to install, most are installing without the user’s knowledge. While some PUPs are easily removed, most require extensive removal from multiple areas.

For example, up until recently ASK toolbar/search hijacker was detected by Malwarebytes. While it oftentimes asks to be installed, it also installs with many programs without your permission. You can find more documentation on ASK hijacker /BHO here: http://www.shouldiremoveit.com/Ask-Toolbar-5552-program.aspx Malwarebytes used to detect Conduit (and all its toolbars), but as you have seen, it does install without your permission, as do many others.

We still think Malwarebytes is fine for actual serious infections, but something we are disappointed about is they no longer remove general (and certainly most commonly found) malware such as PUPS, and are apparently only focusing on actual “infections” so the program is not reliable anymore for detecting spyware/adware/pups for the most part. Your antivirus should already be protecting you from serious infections, but it never hurts to have an extra monitor/scan from time to time.

Another thing we want to point out is that malware of the type Malwarebytes no longer detect has severely deleterious affects on browsers, particularly Internet Explorer; it can cripple a browser and render it less than functional. While Malwarebytes doesn’t admit it directly, the links they provide to remove PUPs proves that PUPs are unwanted and can cause problems.

Essentially Malwarebytes continues to evade direct questions as to why they have stopped detecting PUPS (Potentially Unwanted Programs such as ASK toolbar, Conduit, Installmate, and many others). But by omission they admit that they have stopped detecting PUPS, but they never explain why.

Malwarebytes still has not answered our email to them.

One thought on “Kathy gets an answer from Malwarebytes

  1. Richard

    Read the Malwarebytes response again. It makes it abundantly clear why they no longer remove “PUPs”. In many cases, doing so renders the software they are bundled with inoperable. Apparently they got some flak for that, as well. If you think about it, it’s a Catch 22 situation. The possibility exists that they were threatened with litigation, but the feedback regarding software malfunction when options to install this malware are unchecked is more likely the case. The link to the blog post from the Malwarebytes research team member in their response is a must read, it speaks volumes on this subject and also how to remove the toolbars, I would add to that the use of Revo Uninstaller. They are not difficult to remove, just time consuming.

    The Malewarebytes customer support person and the research team blogger both make the case, as you do, to be wary and proceed with caution, read the EULA, uncheck options to install the bundled malware, the blogger even offers this fantastic advice:

    “Unfortunately, not every software bundled with a toolbar/other junk offers this option to uncheck during install. This is bad practice and such software should be avoided in the first place.”


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