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Malware in installer.

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#1 Malware in installer.

Posted by: marcohastror | Date: 12/17/2011 09:57 | IP: IP Logged

Hi,

I've been using PSPAD for various private development projects for a couple of years and enjoyed using it.

Today I downloaded the latest release pspad456inst_en.exe from the pspad homepage (which directs to brothersoft.com).

The brothersoft.com site clearly says, "Tested by 3 antivirus solutions, this software does not contain any kind of trojans, spyware or viruses".

Yet, when I install it, it tries to install random spyware into my computer, 'highly recommended' by PSPad.

First time, it installed SweetIM, even though I clearly selected that I didn't want to install it. I noticed a flashing icon in the taskbar of an install tool, and then had to uninstall 2 installed SweetIM programs + an extension in Firefox.

When I rerun the PSPAD installer, it's now Babylon Toolbar which is tried to be installed by default.

image

This is really the reason why so many people complain about Windows-software in general. Who the hell would have accepted anything like this in a Linux-environment?

I take it that I can use the zip-solution (also on the Download-page) without having to worry about getting spyware into my computer, but this really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hope the profit on adding this crap to the installer is really worth it economically.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2011 09:58 by marcohastror.

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#2 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: pspad | Date: 12/17/2011 10:26 | IP: IP Logged

PSPad installer contains SOMOTO toolbar (www.somotoinc.com) or them suggested software.

Installation is optional as you can see on your screenshot. Nobody forcing you to install it. There is no hidden instalation of anything.

PSpad itself doesn't contains any spyware. If you will use ZIP, there is nothing what will bother you.

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#3 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: carbonize | Date: 12/17/2011 18:16 | IP: IP Logged

marcohastror:
The brothersoft.com site clearly says, "Tested by 3 antivirus solutions, this software does not contain any kind of trojans, spyware or viruses".

Yet, when I install it, it tries to install random spyware into my computer, 'highly recommended' by PSPad.

And Brothersoft are right as PSPad does not contain any kind of trojan, spyware or viruses. The installer may try to install something considered spyware but Jan does not make the installer. In fact nearly all free software will try and install something else in the installer but will always give you the option not to.

marcohastror:
When I rerun the PSPAD installer, it's now Babylon Toolbar which is tried to be installed by default.

image

Even in your image it is clearly saying it is going to install something other than the program you want and makes it clear how to disable that.

marcohastror:
This is really the reason why so many people complain about Windows-software in general. Who the hell would have accepted anything like this in a Linux-environment?

Most Linux software does not come with an installer gui and just installs it's self silently so who could say what else it installs?

marcohastror:
I hope the profit on adding this crap to the installer is really worth it economically.

You mean as opposed to the profit made from not including anything?

--
Carbonize

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#4 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: jsherk | Date: 12/17/2011 18:33 | IP: IP Logged

@marcohastror - Note that the installer does not "try to install" anything it did not tell you about! You have the option to choose. By selecting Custom you can clearly UNcheck anything you dont want installed with software.

If the software installed those extra toolbars without telling me or asking me about it, then I would complain, but since it is clearly labelled, I have not complaints.

If everybody who downloads and uses PSPad could be bothered to send in a few dollars to author (yes I have made a donation in the past), then he probably would not have to resort to finding additional sources of income, like those toolbars!

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#5 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: pspad | Date: 12/17/2011 18:53 | IP: IP Logged

I add code to installer. And yes, it makes profit for me. It's way of profit cause Adsence on PSpad page isn't significant. Please note, that PSpad is freeware for all, include commercial purposes.

And I must repeat, you can choose if you want to install suggested software or not. If you uncheck it on first installer page, nothing will be installed. So it depends of you.

If you will see button with notice: if you will press it, you will die. Will you press it? It's your decision.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2011 18:58 by pspad.

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#6 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: marcohastror | Date: 12/17/2011 22:13 | IP: IP Logged

Allright, fine. smiling smiley I see your side of the coin and understand the reason why it's added to the installer.

My biggest beef is the message on the brothersoft.com-page about 'no malware' when the installer infact will install this if you're not careful. The same goes for the banner on the PSPad-page. If the installer will install malware unless you specifically tell it not to, then simply state it.

Also, I can not replicate the install procedure where I got the option to install SweetIM (therefore I sadly have no screenshot of that), but I was sure at the time that I selected that I did not want to install it (by deselecting two checkboxes if I remember correctly).

Yet it was installed right after the PSPad-installation. This was what made me angry and made me decide to write about it here in the first place.

Maybe I read it wrong - then again, maybe I'm right. Without replicating the case I'll never find out.

Yes, deselecting the "Babylon Toolbar" option worked fine when I tried to reinstall PSPad just for the sake of it: no malware was installed and that is of course how it's supposed to work.

Anyway, I'm certainty happy and grateful about PSPad and would consider donating. If I wasn't, I wouldn't take the time to make a comment about it in the first place.

Best regards,

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#7 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: Atnevon | Date: 12/18/2011 20:05 | IP: IP Logged

I am 100% sure I unchecked the boxes for installing SweetIM, and it installed anyway. Consider me extremely unhappy about this.

After a long period where I switched from PSPad to Notepad++, I decided to switch back yesterday, and this is what I get...

I don't think I'll be using your product again.

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#8 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: carbonize | Date: 12/18/2011 20:22 | IP: IP Logged

Atnevon:
I don't think I'll be using your product again.

Your choice but why bother posting it here like a petulant child?

--
Carbonize

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#9 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: jsherk | Date: 12/19/2011 02:54 | IP: IP Logged

If you did uncheck all the boxes and it still installed, then I am sure it is a bug that the author would be happy to fix.

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#10 Re: Malware in installer.

Posted by: Kyle_Katarn | Date: 12/22/2011 09:02 | IP: IP Logged

Hi !

I'm a the developper of SUMo, from KC Softwares ( www.kcsoftwares.com )

Some users were reporting exactly the same problem (unwanted installation of Babylon and SweetIM or AdvTech).

We have found a potential flaw in Somoto (software monetization bundled with PSPad too) that might lead to such behavior.

PSPad developpers : if you want to know more details on the fix, please get in touch with me : contact [AT] kcsoftwares.com

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