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What are PuP's (Adware)

Discussion in 'General Malware And Security' started by starbuck, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. starbuck

    starbuck Administrator - Malware Removal Specialist Administrator

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    A PUP (potentially unwanted program) is a program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download it.

    PUPs include spyware, adware, and dialers, and are often downloaded in conjunction with a program that the user wants.

    The term was created by McAfee, the Internet Security company, because marketing firms objected to having their products called "spyware": in the view of such firms, all the information necessary for informed consent is included in the download agreement.
    It is widely recognized, however, that many if not most users fail to read a download agreement in sufficient detail to understand exactly what they are downloading.

    Potentially Unwanted Program” probably isn’t the best name.
    Instead, these programs should really be called “almost certainly unwanted programs.”
    In fact, if someone does want one of these “potentially unwanted programs” installed, there’s a good chance that person doesn’t fully understand what that program is doing on their computer.

    Note that these programs do absolutely nothing good on your computer — they slow it down, track you, clutter the system, and show you additional advertisements.

    Free software programs should always be downloaded from the authors own website if possible.
    Other download sites may well try and trick you into installing 3rd party software...
    It is a completely intentional and deliberate decision on the part of the PUP peddling companies to have giant green “DOWNLOAD” buttons peppered throughout the download page, although only one of these point to the actual desired software.

    3c7ac409d997fc51a3b2ff73222671ff.png

    This is done in order to generate additional downloads that rely on a user mistakenly pressing the wrong download link.

    A certain percentage of users, tricked into installing PUP’s won’t bother uninstalling it.
    All of these techniques are used as part of a numbers game.
    • Using double negatives.
    • Emphasizing the desired outcome by making the button you want the user to press more prominent button.
    • Pre-populated checkboxes.
    • Hiding the true purpose of programs in exceedingly long EULA agreements.

    This is all completely legal, of course.
    Blocking such an application and labelling it “malware” would open up a company to lawsuits — at least, that appears to be the feeling across the industry.
    Antivirus companies like Avira have even been sued just for labelling software programs like these as “potentially unwanted programs.”
    Avira won that particular lawsuit, but they might have lost had they gone farther and labelled that program flat-out malware.

    By classifying these programs as just “potentially unwanted programs,” antimalware software creators are attempting to shield themselves from legal action while detecting software most people don’t want on their computers.

    We cannot stress this enough.......
    Our advice is to ALWAYS read the EULA's when installing any software.
    EULAs are the End User License Agreements that come standard with any download.
    They are legal contracts between you and the makers of the software programs you’re downloading.
    EULAs go on forever and are full of legalese, which is why most people skip right past them to the “I accept” button. However, EULAs are where the makers of PUPs can legally slip their programs onto your computer.
    In order to avoid that:
    • Don't accept terms of use that are for bundled programs.
      Read the top title above the fine print to be sure the EULA you are accepting is only for the program you originally downloaded.
      If it isn't, you can decline and still move forward in the install process.
    Alternatively install a program like UnChecky
    Unchecky automatically unchecks unrelated offers, both saving you mouse clicks and making it less likely to miss a checkbox of an unwanted offer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    allheart55 (Cindy E) likes this.
  2. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    Love that
     
  3. Bill

    Bill Registered Members

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    Thanks for that, Pete. I use Unchecky and like it very much.
     
  4. BGBG

    BGBG Registered Members

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    I had Malwarebytes but never used it. Ran it tonight and it detected 30 PUPS which I removed. Was afraid I might be getting viruses I was unaware of.
     
  5. starbuck

    starbuck Administrator - Malware Removal Specialist Administrator

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    What version do you have installed?
    Current version is 3.0.6
    If it's been installed for awhile it may need updating.

    Installing MalwareBytes V3
     
  6. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    I just printed out Starbuck's article and handed it to a customer. Thanks.
     
    allheart55 (Cindy E) likes this.
  7. starbuck

    starbuck Administrator - Malware Removal Specialist Administrator

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    I'll wait for the royalties cheque then :)
     
    allheart55 (Cindy E) likes this.
  8. Tony D

    Tony D Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    You bet.
     

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