Hot Take Malwarebytes may not be allowed to label rival's app as 'Potentially Unwanted'

upnorth

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The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week ruled that Enigma Software Group can pursue its long standing complaint against rival security firm Malwarebytes for classifying its software as "potentially unwanted programs" or PUPs.

Florida-based Enigma has been trying to hold Malwarebytes accountable for blocking its programs since 2017 when the firm initially sued Malwarebytes for tortious interference, violation of New York business law, and false advertising under the Lanham Act. This suit was filed in response to antivirus maker Malwarebytes labeling Enigma's anti-spyware tool a PUP – soft, supposedly legally safe industry jargon for malware or almost-malware. That labeling caused Malwarebytes' software to automatically quarantine and remove Enigma's Spyhunter from PCs. Enigma objected to the classification. A district court judge hearing the complaint in California dismissed the claim, citing the 2009 Zango v. Kaspersky decision, which affirmed that security firms have some latitude to classify software as harmful. The judge dismissed the case on Section 230(c)(2)(B) grounds, which exempts interactive service providers from liability for content moderation decisions. But Enigma appealed and the Ninth Circuit in 2019 reversed the district court's decision, creating in the process an anticompetitive animus exception to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that generally shields online service providers.

That appellate ruling meant that Malwarebytes may be liable for characterizing Enigma's software as PUPs if it's deemed to be a competitor – a decision that has the potential to discourage security companies from characterizing software as harmful.
Malwarebytes, supported by advocacy groups and other security outfits, asked the Supreme Court to review the case but was denied in 2020. In 2021, the California district court, having been told by the Ninth Circuit to reconsider Enigma's lawsuit, again dismissed the complaint. So far, Malwarebytes has been generally winning, and Enigma losing.

At the time, Malwarebytes' outside counsel, Moez Kaba of Hueston Hennigan, celebrated the judgment by noting the district court’s ruling "validates the right of cybersecurity firms to identify potentially unwanted programs and recognizes the rights of users to choose whether or not to enable those programs on their devices." But Malwarebytes' victory lap was premature. Enigma appealed again, and the Ninth Circuit last week revived the case [PDF], except for Enigma's claim of tortious interference with contractual relations. The case now heads back to the district court, subject to the appeals court's direction that New York law also needs to be considered alongside the false advertising claim.
 

Ink

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According to the Internet, "Enigma Software Group", “EGS", "EnigmaSoft Limited", “SpyHunter" and “RegHunter” is scareware/unwanted software.

Controversies​

SpyHunter is often labeled an Potentially Unwanted Program due to its misleading results of always showing infections, including on clean computers, and injects tracking cookies into a users browser, raising concern whether it is legitimate or not. The company also floods web search results when searching for a specific threat, linking a download to SpyHunter, even if the product is not able to remove it.
Source: SpyHunter (software) - Wikipedia

Users have posted online that they are unable to i. uninstall SpyHunter software and ii. unable to cancel their subscriptions.
 

Ink

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I would be genuinely interested to see some tests of Spyhunter, it is supposedly very good, but no one even bothers to test it, because of well Malwarebytes.
Enigma has some nice malware guides, similar to Driver Easy, which is also bashed by Malwarebytes and thus suffers greatly, though it is a great software.

What changed in the 2 years to go from “is a very good AV” to “supposedly very good”?

Edit: Why defend a company that have shady ethics? EGS previously owned MalwareTips(dot)org to push their SpyHunter software to unsuspecting users.
Edit 2: malwaretips.com - Beware of Enigma SpyHunter Scam "MalwareTips (dot) org"


Screenshot 2023-06-07 at 16.34.55.png


 
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TairikuOkami

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Edit: Why defend a company that have shady ethics?
Not much different from malwarebytes or any other AV for that matter, but I do not want to go in too deep to avoid legal issues.
I would rather use and buy Spyhunter than Malwarebytes, it has great features, like DNS/HOSTS lock, something that AVs omit.

Just tested it and got 2 generic "fake" detections (80%), one for windows repair toolbox, which seems reasonable and another one for hibit uninstaller. I am pretty sure, it could be whitelisted.

EDIT: Uninstaller requires 2 reboots, there were virtually no leftovers, which can not be said about other AVs, I could even uninstall Kaspersky last time, I had to use system restore to get rid of it.
 

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Ink

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Not much different from malwarebytes or any other AV for that matter, but I do not want to go in too deep to avoid legal issues.
I would rather use and buy Spyhunter than Malwarebytes, it has great features, like DNS lock, something that many AVs omit.
No need, there’s a free tool called DNS Lock by Sordum.

SpyHunter Pro for Windows is almost 10 times more expensive than Malwarebytes over 12 month period.

SpyHunter Pro (Windows) is $288 for 12 months, per 1 device. Equivalent to $12 per month. Users are billed at $72 for a 3 month period.
Malwarebytes Premium (Windows) is $30 for 12 months, per 1 device. Equivalent to $2.50 per month. Users are billed at $30 for a 12 months period.
 

Behold Eck

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Not much different from malwarebytes or any other AV for that matter, but I do not want to go in too deep to avoid legal issues.
I would rather use and buy Spyhunter than Malwarebytes, it has great features, like DNS/HOSTS lock, something that AVs omit.

Just tested it and got 2 generic "fake" detections (80%), one for windows repair toolbox, which seems reasonable and another one for hibit uninstaller. I am pretty sure, it could be whitelisted.

EDIT: Uninstaller requires 2 reboots, there were virtually no leftovers, which can not be said about other AVs, I could even uninstall Kaspersky last time, I had to use system restore to get rid of it.
No other AV that I know of has used its financial muscle to sue a site for hosting an unfavourable review ?

What are the other great features apart from the one mentioned ?

Last time I had a look at SH it was pushy in the extreme making it a PUP/PUA candidate and the ram consumption was too high for my liking.

It would be good though to see a test of it if anyone out there is brave enough to do so.

Regards Eck:)
 
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