Network World Weighs in on Malwarebytes’ Accusations of PC Matic Being a PUP/PUA

“Never Disable A Competitor”

In an opinion piece on Network World, Andy Patrizio broke down the current situation between our company PC Pitstop and Malwarebytes. Andy believes that an anti-malware product should never disable a competitor and he even dinged Microsoft for doing that in the past. He also states that,

“The idea that one Microsoft security partner would attack another is unprecedented, as far as I know, especially in the security arena.”

The full Network World article is available at http://www.networkworld.com/article/3155113/security/when-anti-malware-vendors-get-into-a-slap-fight-users-lose.html

Dismissing Trivial Claims

Andy comments on Malwarebytes decision to label PC Matic as a PUP, stating,

“PC Pitstop was considered a PUP for a few reasons, some of which are trivial (claiming that registry cleaning is necessary) and for more logical reasons, such as silent removal of necessary applications, including Chrome’s updater and Java’s updater.”

While he believes that PC Matic disabling updaters is a more logical reason to be a PUP, this is incorrect. PC Matic doesn’t leave the user without updated applications as it takes care of software updates for them. We only disable updaters for programs that we patch automatically for the user. Our vulnerability updates are done quietly and automatically in the background leading to a higher percentage of updates and keeping users more secure.

Software Vulnerabilities — NOT Trivial…

The vulnerabilities disclosed by Malwarebytes were highlighted as “the most damning claim” in the blog. These vulnerabilities, which were disclosed to us a few hours before the blog by Malwarebytes was posted, have already been fixed by our development team. We do take vulnerabilities very seriously and thank Malwarebytes for helping us make our program more secure. However, software having a vulnerability does not make it a PUP/PUA. All well known software has vulnerabilities that need to be patched, some more frequently than others. Java, Flash, Chrome, Firefox and a long list of others have had hundreds of vulnerabilities in the past and are not PUP/PUA.  It’s the harsh reality within software development.  Malwarebytes themselves also had several severe vulnerabilities in the last year.  Andy also mentioned the issues Malwarebytes recently experienced, reporting

“…a few months back, Flexera listed Malwarebytes as one of the top 10 most out-of-date apps, the only anti-malware product on the list.”

Something Missing?

After seeing the claims made by Malwarebytes Andy says,

“Have you noticed something missing in all of this? Like, all of the other anti-malware competitors. Why haven’t Symantec, McAfee, ESET, Kaspersky, Trend Micro and Microsoft labeled PC Matic a PUP? Why aren’t they disabling PC Matic? This really does smack of sour grapes on the part of Malwarebytes simply because PC Pitstop pointed out their lousy performance.”

Background

On December 8, 2016, Malwarebytes started classifying PC Pitstop’s security solution, PC Matic, as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)/Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).  PC Pitstop officials attempted to reach out to Malwarebytes via both formal and informal channels.  After no response, PC Pitstop CEO, Rob Cheng, wrote a message informing PC Matic users of the issue. 

Shortly after this message was generated, Malwarebytes wrote an article explaining why they were classifying PC Matic as a PUP/PUA.  To which, PC Pitstop released a response addressing each claim.

This has led to several third parties, Network World included, sharing their opinions of both Malwarebytes and PC Matic.  One instance was Tom Lawrence of Lawrence Systems.  Initially, Tom agreed with Malwarebytes’ classification of PC Matic.  However, he took the time to speak with PC Pitstop’s Vice President of Cyber Security, Dodi Glenn, to discuss the allegations.  After conversing with Dodi and learning more about the product, it is safe to say, he agrees Malwarebytes is incorrectly categorizing PC Matic.

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5 thoughts on “Network World Weighs in on Malwarebytes’ Accusations of PC Matic Being a PUP/PUA

  1. Now why in a time that we really need some protection with our PC’s, laptops and other equipment are you fighting amongst yourselves. The people that are causing us problems have you right where they want you. As long as you are fighting between yourselves you are not concentrating on the problem at hand. Now I use Malwarebytes, but please you just don’t go around removing something from someone elses equipment. This is a world in which we should all be working together. And when we stop we loose. Has greed gotten a hold on us so bad.
    I worked most of my life as a project manager over all different kinds of jobs. And at no time in my life would I tear down another mans bridge just so I could build my own. I would if anything try to help him figure out a better way.
    Did you all grow up without any parents? You sound like children fighting over a bag of candy. And if you are not carefull someone is going to end up in a lawsuit. And I am sure no one has time for that.
    And when you put a label on something no matter how hard you try to remove it the damage is done. It will remain in the backs of some peoples mind for a long time to come. Even if you think you are in the right there is a line that you just don’t cross. Would you want your children to follow your example?
    If you have a problem with someone or something don’t you think you would get better results if you sat down and talked over the problem. Just to see if there is a solution that could be reached instead of the way it was handled.
    And if you removed anything from anybodies equipment you should fix the problem no matter what the cost. If you are going to be in big business there are times you are going to have to bite the bullet.
    And I don’t mean to sound like I am beating up on Malwarebytes although it may seem like I am. When something like this comes up everyone starts doing and saying things before they think about the concequinces. And before it is over everyone has a little of the blame to carry.
    The solution to the problem is for everyone involved to sit down in a meeting and discuss the issues at hand. And to work out things that both parties are having problems with. Would it hurt so much to work together? I know it is all about money this day and time. But money earned at the expense of other people is not honest money.
    And I know that everyone is fighting to stay ahead. And that company secrets and business have to be protected. But I think that in the long run it will be to everyones advantage to work together. Together we can keep building a better world. Divided and the other side wins. Which way do you want to go?

  2. “The idea that one Microsoft security partner would attack another is unprecedented, as far as I know, especially in the security arena.” As stated by Andy Patrizio, sums it up. I am still in shock even after following this whole fiasco for some time. I watched the Dodi Glenn and Tom Lawrence discussion earlier today and wish everyone commenting on the forums would do the same. I am not a PC Matic user but use other Microsoft Affiliated Programs that MBAM since Dec. 8th has singled out as PUPs. As stated before you can exclude these programs in MBAM but that is not the point. MBAM has clearly crossed the line and become a BULLY and Competitor Basher.

  3. Had so much trouble with the malware tech staff trying to get back pcmatic. Even after malware was checked to see pcmatic as pum and exclude scrutinizing all pcmatic updates the malware continued to do so. The technicians were full of bull shit. The exclusions obviously exclude nothing and pum or wum doesn’t do anything either. I spent hours doing what they told me to do. When it didn’t work, the put me in touch with another technician who actually told be to do the same thing in a different way.. What to do? I uninstalled Pcmatic and Malwares. Then I proceeded to re-install pcmatic. Those malware bastards didn’t know well enough to leave things alone so they no longer get my renewal on the 14th of this month. Hurt the fuckers in the wallet.

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