Malwarebytes Adopts Aggressive PUP Policy

July 26, 2013 | BY

 good pup

In the past, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected only PUPs, or Potentially Unwanted Programs, that were mostly harmful and deceiving. Our users expected more and so we’ve revised our policy to include PUPs in our database that most of our users find annoying or misleading. Within the next few days, detection for many new variants will be added.

Malwarebytes feels most of our users have no knowledge that these PUPs were installed and would like them removed. Several thousand forum posts and support tickets confirm our standpoint. Ranging from difficult to uninstall applications to software that makes you opt-out, we’ve had enough of it all!

We invite all antivirus companies to join our fight, not only against malware, but also against unwanted and undesirable software. The only way we will make a difference is collectively.

Read an update here.

bad pup

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  • Rosita Herrick

    Good idea. Those PUPs usually show up when you download freeware and are hard to detect. Thank you Malwarebytes.

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  • Wayne Quigley

    The problem with PUP detections is that it creates false positives. My several attempt to fix the issues with the PUPs ‘detected’ by my jigsaw puzzles at have been met with only generic push-button responses from MalwareBytes. The latest generic non-response is what lead me to this post.
    Other software creators have this issue too, from what I’ve read online. In my case each jigsaw puzzle is treated as a separate program, and because a million people aren’t using it, MalwareBytes hasn’t taken the time to verify that it indeed doesn’t do anything harmful. The puzzles don’t download themselves; my visitors have to click on a link then confirm they want to download and run the puzzle. I’ve had scan both my website and individual puzzles, and MalwareBytes is the only one that squawks about them, and it never gives a logical reason for flagging the puzzles.
    MalwareBytes’s ignoring this issue and classifying them as PUPs without reasonable cause is harming my business and costing me income. I’m starting to wonder if a lawsuit is the only way I can get their attention on this matter.

  • Wayne Quigley

    Sorry, meant to say “, not

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  • Les Freund

    Why does your PUP detection not find PC Optimizer Pro? This thing was silently installed and is almost impossible to eliminate.

  • James crow

    I can’t tell the good pups from the bad ones a lot of the time, maybe I should just delete this trail version of Maywarebytes and stop pulling my hair out!

  • PunchiBunch

    “InstalleRex is a copycat, stupid, bundled installer, customized to your ads.”


  • John Yungton

    Problem I have with MBAM Ver is in settings I have chosen to ignore “PUP’s and MBAM insists on ‘Removal’ (PUP is ‘local appData’ Security Preferences for Google Browser application) The last version of MBAM didn’t do this, MBAM when overboard regarding PUP’s user control.

  • John Yungton

    Version mbam-setup- didn’t do this, in MBAM settings under detections, ‘ignore’ worked for PUP’s. It’s a good product, In MBAM’s reaction to users PUP alarm request(s), the programmers’ created a small glitch.

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  • Dave Kinsella

    I felt the exact same way this year (2015). Seems not much has changed. It’s way too aggressive. It messed up my Internet Download Manager (IDM) on Chrome. And it never really was the same since then.
    Coincidence? Maybe, but as a non-techy I simply cannot tell the difference between a good pup and a bad one. And to be honest I don’t want to take the time to learn.
    Like having my vehicle fixed or teeth examine I need a professional who knows what their doing and won’t make matters worse. Someone who gives me piece of mind so that I can get on with what I have to do.

  • Ken Schafer

    Attention Software Developers

    MalwareBytes is refusing to correct a false positive PUP designation for our legitimate program. Our program has NONE of the qualities of a PUP. It is only installed if the user manually downloads a ZIP and unpacks it. It never runs itself, nor does it remain in memory once it has completed. It never installs or runs other programs nor does it do anything other than its stated function, which is to import a 3D Object file which the users manually selects into our software.

    It is a signed program and is a completely legitimate part of our software package for which my company is receiving an Emmy.

    Malwarebytes’ refusal to acknowledge and correct this false designation strikes me as akin to slander as they are knowingly continuing to accuse my program of doing things that it simply doesn’t, causing our company time and effort to assure our clients that the program is legitimate, in the process decreasing confidence in our company and its products.

    If any other developers are experiencing the same problem, please contact me at and let’s discuss our group options.