A user's right to choose: Why Malwarebytes detects Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

A user’s right to choose: Why Malwarebytes detects Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs): the name says it all.

While the programs themselves might have legitimate uses, their vendors often use inappropriate methods to drive downloads or hide within a program bundle. At Malwarebytes, we feel we have an obligation to help protect our customers from PUPs by identifying and detecting them and giving the user the right to choose whether they continue using their services.

It’s worth noting that PUP vendors are unhappy when we detect them. Several, including Enigma, have sued us over the detections. Litigation hasn’t deterred us from continuing to flag software that meets our PUP criteria. Fortunately, a federal court in California agreed that customers should have the ability to decide which software runs on their computers and dismissed Enigma’s initial claims. A copy of the Court’s order dismissing Enigma’s case (Case 5:17-cv-02915-EJD Document 105) may be found online at our press center.

These disputes do not impact the application of our criteria for PUP detections. We continue to identify two Enigma applications: SpyHunter 4 and RegHunter as PUPs. But another release, SpyHunter 5 changed the application behavior to no longer fit into our PUP criteria. We applaud Enigma for the modifications and hope it’s a permanent change.

We will continue to evaluate software against our guidelines to give our customers the tools to make an informed choice about the software running on their computers. We prefer to give each individual the right to manage their devices. We enable consumers who want PUPs to control that choice while protecting the vast majority of our customers by keeping those programs on our PUP list. We think this is the best possible path for our company and our customers.

Stay safe everyone!