I just imaged a new drive on my PC. I downloaded a lot of the tools that I have been using for years.... VLC player, MPC-HC, Media Info, handbrake, imgburn, stream transport, etc. etc. Most of this stuff is freeware/shareware type stuff.
To my surprise, there is a new form of spyware which seems be running rampant everywhere called "OpenCandy." It installs itself on your computer without your knowledge..... sometimes it even comes embedded into software without any mention that it is there.
Of course, this p1sses me off to no end.
I have no problem with software developers including extraware as long as they are open about it. For example, virtually everyone now offers to install some sort of special toolbar in your browser. It is up to you to make a conscious decision if you want it or not.
I have removed OpenCandy from my computer multiple times already by using MalwareBytes. However, I am looking for a way to take this a step further. How can I stop OpenCandy from ever even installing on my computer in the first place?
I saw the comments below....... I am not knowledgeable enough in this area, so can someone please educate me on whether or not this will work......or if you have any other recommendations that you can make about what can be done.
There are 2 things one should do to install a OpenCandy program.
1. Block OpenCandy servers in the windows host file.
You do not want OpenCandy to spy on you.
Click on your start button, go to programs, accessories, right click on notepad and run as administrator.
Click on file, open.
Go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
type *.* and click on host
Add this to the host file
And click save.
2. Now go to the command line and enter:
The program will now install with no chance of installing third party software & no chance of spying on you by communicating with the OpenCandy servers.
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My Dell PC system info.....3.4 Ghz Quad Core i7 processor....... 12 gigs of ram DDR3...... Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit.......video card Nvidia GTX 650
Installers for freeware program that install PUPs too usually provide the means to opt out of installing the junk. (At least this was true the last time I installed ImgBurn.) If there is a custom installation option, use it, then expand and look carefully at everything and uncheck the crap toolbars and spyware.
Yes, blocking OpenCandy's servers in your hosts file will prevent your computer from downloading and installing their malware. I haven't see anything from them since doing so.
Of course, future iterations of their online installer might use new servers.
Regarding whether or not you can opt out during installation of other software: you often have to opt out more than once. For example, an installer may first ask you if you want to install the OpenCandy software, and you answer no. You're then given the option of automatically installing the software you originally set out to install or to use selective install. If you select automatic OpenCandy is run and malware is downloaded from their servers. If you use selective install you can opt out again to avoid thier malware. So avoid using the "automatic" or "full" install options; always use selective install.
Host Blacklists are effective if constantly maintained on a weekly basis. There are thousands of these spyware products and new ones added daily. These malware have a life cycle; I haven't had an Open Candy infection come across my bench in weeks now, but there are others I have never seen before.
Malware prevention methods that aren't 100 percent effective? That need periodic updates? Incredible!
Open Candy isn't really malware. It may not be desirable, but as pointed out it is adware, so it's not like it is letting Russian hackers take over your PC for nefarious purposes.
In addition to jagabo's install suggestions, I can't remember the program but I remember once seeing some negative logic used with regards to the installation of some add on program. The installer asked you something like "Do you not want to install this?" If you answered quickly without thinking, you might answer "No", meaning to say that you don't want to install, but in fact you are saying no to not installing it, which means it gets installed.
And be sure to read every step of the installation. Especially if yet another EULA(that no one reads) appears like:
Decline sounds like cancelling the installation.
Last edited by jagabo; 23rd May 2014 at 17:44. Reason: left out "is"
You can set your firewall to inform you what wants to connect to the net and what processes want to start up. I have Comodo firewall - its firewall set to Custom Ruleset and its HIPS to Safe Mode. So if any program I install wants to "bless" me with some addons/changes I have means to block it.
You can also check up Unchecky: http://unchecky.com/
Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd May 2014 at 15:13.