Malwarebytes Snaps-Up French Startup AdwCleaner

Malwarebytes has announced its acquisition of AdwCleaner, a tool created by three French students aimed at removing potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), adware, and tool bars.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Malwarebytes will retain the AdwClaner brand name for the time being and the acquisition gives it access to the startup’s tool which will bolster its own malware-fighting offerings.

Malwarebytes also noted it will continue to support the growth of AdwCleaner, which it believes will aid awareness of the Malwarebytes brand in Europe, Asia and other nation beyond the US.

Grey software

Removing malware and other viruses may be Malwarebytes raison d’etre but when it comes to tackling adware and unwanted programmes things get a little more difficult. These programmes are often bundled into legitimate software downloads, and while are not malware, they can cause problems like replace browser search bars and install invasive and irritating programmes onto a person’s computer, as well as slow the machine down.

This ‘grey’ software can also lead to information being shared with undesirable third-parties and open up people to malware threats. AdwCleaner, which according to Malwarebytes gets downloaded 200,000 times per day, can curtail unwanted software and adware.

For a startup set up by three 17-year-old students in 2011, AdwCleaner’s growth is impressive but indicative of the problem faced by unwanted software finding its way onto people’s personals and work computers.

“While dangerous malware is still on the rise, there is a growing trend for programs that operate in a legally grey area to achieve questionable ends,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO at Malwarebytes.

“We have seen some PUPs that are blatantly illegal; most are simply unethical and abusing privilege, which is why we are taking such an overt stance against them.  The acquisition will help further this cause. Many PUPs present a security risk that is growing. Last year, we removed PUPs off of tens of millions of endpoints. Eliminating PUPs will make businesses and consumers safer.”

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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