Are PUP files dangerous?

“Potentially Unwanted Programs”: Much more than just annoying

The user usually installs PUP himself

During the installation of the repackaged original program, the user is then shown options for installing helpers, toolbars, etc., whereby the selection boxes are often already ticked (opt-out) and thus signal "Yes, I want to install this additional option" . If the user simply clicks the “Next” button in the installation dialog out of carelessness and does not read the options, he will install the PUP as well. The typical user behavior, fast clicking on, is exploited here.

In some cases, the third-party providers also pretend that a "skip" button in the installation dialog for the PUP options is inactive by coloring it light gray. Users then click “Next” as it appears that the other option is not available to them in the first place.

Another deception is the skillful selection of dialogue texts. In them, double negations are sometimes used and the click on "Yes" or "No" must then be particularly careful.

The tactic of hiding PUPs in programs that supposedly want to protect themselves from malware and PUPs is particularly perfidious. Similar to fake AV programs, the user is offered supposed help functions that could be activated for a fee.