PUP’s or (Potentially Unwanted Programs) could well be the largest current threat to home computers.
Everybody has heard of Virus infections and most have heard about Malware, but PUP’s are a relative new kid on the block. In a nut shell they’re infections that you actually agree to install! Not only that but they come with terms and conditions statements that you unwittingly accept, without fully realising what your doing.
Most of the time they offer something you think you’ll need, like free games or discount vouchers, but really you are just handing them your computer on a plate.
Because you have agreed to install them and accepted the terms and conditions, they can’t then by definition be classed as a virus or malware infection, yet they pretty much do exactly the same thing.
They redirect your browser, add tool bars to your browser, change your homepage and takes steps to stop you from changing it back, they directly advertise to you via pop ups and have been known to send out spam emails from your email account to everyone on in your address book and post message on your social media sites.
They put their own safeguards in place to try to thwart any attempts to remove them, but just like any infection they can still be removed. The most common ones we are finding at the moment are:
- Mindspark – Easily removed with programs like Malwarebytes
- SpeedAnalysis – Easily removed with programs like Malwarebytes
- OmegaPlus – Slightly tougher and a bit more aggressive, see this post a few days ago for instruction