Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PUPs - No Virus But Just As Nasty

Updated Oct. 27th, 2013

The latest and fast growing trend of cyber crime against the unsuspecting user of a Windows PC is a new breed of malware, so called PuP programs (Potentially Unwanted Program).

These programs technically are not viruses; that is why anti virus programs don't find them - although there are some special programs for geeks and technicians that can clean this stuff from your computer.

You can easily check your computer for at least a few the most commonly encountered names.
  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Set "View by" in the right top corner to Small Icons and 
  3. Open Programs and Features
You find names of PuPs that I have encountered in this list. Warning: The list is long, by it's very nature incomplete and it keeps growing almost every week. Please be aware that spelling, capitalization, prepended or appended numbers or syllables and inserted or omitted spaces are common and still denote the "main offender" as worthy of removal.

The somewhat good news: Many of these pieces of trouble can be uninstalled, that is removed, from right there in the Programs and Features window where you just found them.

The really BAD news: Even if you uninstall them successfully there will be leftovers in web browsers and other important locations in the operating system.; especially Google Chrome seems to be likely to retain some of that. These leftover entries can be numerous, affect functioning of web browser(s) and significantly hamper the computer; they can only be removed with some specially written very detail oriented clean-up programs.

Well, you know who can help, don't you?

Please remember: Toolbars are forbidden, no matter who promises what, no matter how tempting the name and no matter who made the tool bar! If you find any toolbars remove them right away.

If you find folders with names from random letters or numbers like for example:
you have a clear indicator of malicious software. You know who can help, don't you?

If you wonder how all this stuff got on the computer then please read the explanation  here.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.

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