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Adware/Malware found in the WinPenPack Flash 2GB Software

by Nocturnallunacy / August 10, 2011 4:41 PM PDT

I downloaded this program and installed on my flash drive to help with cleaning and repairing pc's with xp still installed. And somewhere along the installation of it onto my flash drive, my security software Microsoft Security Essentials was deactivated. I didn't notice it happening and didn't realize it til I rebooted my laptop and it said that MSE couldn't be loaded and that I had to reinstall it. After doing so, MSE reported that I had an infection and listed it as being in the WinPenPack installation file which I did not install on my laptop. So I did a scan of my Flashdrive and sure enuf MSE found it infected with Startup Manager/OpenCandy/OCSertupHlp.dll
After doing research it's been verified that this is definately an Adware/malware program. Here is a forum discussion at Malwarebytes where they are actually arguing with the makers of OpenCandy. It's quite entertaining.
http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=18938

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Blimey that's a massive file
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 11, 2011 10:16 PM PDT

I'm downloading it now. 509 MB and on my 50Mbs connection it is taking 3-4 minutes.

For some utility or other that is just huge!

I can see from http://www.winpenpack.com/en/page.php?28 that it bundles a large number of applications.

Being that size, I can't send it to either of the two online file malware scanner sites, because they limit uploaded files to 20MB or so.

However, I did scan it with my own ZoneAlarm anti-virus component, (it took 4 and a half minutes to scan), and with an updated MBAM scan, and they both found nothing.

So, about OpenCandy:

It isn't malware but is Adware. I agree that it is likely to be unwanted, but if it is bundled into the WinPenPack installer file then that will be the developer's choice and I am unsure what you can do about that.

It's a shame because that utility seems a useful one.

Mark

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OPENCANDY. Do we need another discussion?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 13, 2011 6:34 AM PDT

It's been discussed but it is something that does not disable MSE or such.

Yes, Microsoft is gunning down OpenCandy and it will be interesting to someday find out why.
Bob

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I read the linked discussion
by oldad1955 / August 15, 2011 1:23 AM PDT

I read the linked discussion entirely (unusual for me) and you are right, It WAS amazing! Amazing that OpenCandy would even bother to openly discuss this issue in another's forum (A plus for them to me), but truly entertaining to see the MalwareBytes administrators systematically dissect and disarm the OpenCandy defense, which to me amounted to a lot of computer double-talk. They seem to know what the consumer's complaints are but refuse to take any definitive corrective action they deem might displease their publishers, Too bad. Bottom Line The consumers buy the products and if they are constantly aggravated with no corrective action, then they stop purchasing! WHERE are you then, Opencandy?

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Links please.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 15, 2011 3:00 AM PDT

We have to old opencandy and the current version so while the old version was annoying there's not much we can do to kill off old versions.

You write "displease their publishers" but what do you want to do instead?

Let's use the great little app Media Info as an example. LINK -> http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/powered_by_opencandy

It's opt-in only, no bundled software and I'd like to know how else a small author can please you and still make a buck.
There are a few that insist that the software authors get nothing. Sadly that means there would be less choice and less great apps.
Bob

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I suppose you will please whoever pays you?
by oldad1955 / August 29, 2011 1:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Links please.

You wrote "We have to old opencandy and the current version so while the old version was annoying there's not much we can do to kill off old versions". Forgive me, but you lost me on that statement. What relevance was there to my statement, I do not know.
I'm not a software Author, so I have no idea how you get paid for your work, through program sales (from the consumers) or by the publishers? To me the situation is simple. You 'Author' (produce?) a program and then contact a publisher (What? purchases your design?) who then attaches annoying extras to the product before it is sold to the consumers, which complain about the extras and after awhile, they stop buying this product and shop elsewhere. Publishers get bad rep, make no more money, you make no more money.
You find a NEW publisher who does not use these 'marketing techniques' and sell your designs to them, they sell the products that consumers like and all are happy. All get paid and meet for dinner at 'Disney World' Silly

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Good typo?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 29, 2011 2:49 PM PDT

Ouch. I dropped a letter and wow that reads badly.

I apologize for that as I break in a new keyboard.

OK, I see John W. has a longer post so let's defer to that for now.
Bob

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