PUP.Optional.WebWatcher

Short bio

PUP.Optional.WebWatcher is a commercial system monitor by Awareness Technologies which may have the capabilities to harvest keystrokes, screenshots, network activity, and more from computers where the software is installed.  PUP.Optional.WebWatcher may covertly monitor user behaviour and harvest personally identifiable information including names and passwords, keystrokes from emails, chat programs, websites visited, and financial activity.

PUP.Optional.WebWatcher may be capable of the covert collection of screenshots, video recordings, or the ability to activate any connected camera or microphone.  Collected information may be stored locally and later retrieved, or may be transmitted to an online service or location.

Symptoms

PUP.Optional.WebWatcher may run as a start-up entry and may be visible as running processes on compromised machines.  Alternatively, PUP.Optional.EmployeeMonitor may also be configured in a manner which prevents visible processes and start-up entries.

Type and source of infection

PUP.Optional.WebWatcher may be distributed using various methods.  This software may be packaged with free online software, or could be disguised as a harmless program and distributed by email.  Alternatively, this software may be installed by an individual with physical or remote access to the computer.  PUP.Optional.WebWatcher may be installed with or without user consent.

Remediation

Malwarebytes can detect and remove many PUP.Optional.Webwatcher infections without further user interaction.  Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. Then click Finish.
  4. Once the program has fully updated, select Scan Now on the Dashboard. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  5. If another update of the definitions is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  6. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  7. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

Add an exclusion

Should users wish to keep this program and exclude it from being detected in future scans, they can add the program to the exclusions list. Here’s how to do it.

The Exclusions tab includes a list of items to be excluded from scans. The items may include files, folders, websites, or applications that connect to the Internet, as well as previously detected exploits.

To access the exclusions in Malwarebytes:

  • Click on the Settings tab in the left pane.
  • Click on the Exclusions tab.
  • Click the Add Exclusion button.
  • Select the exclusion type Exclude a File or Folder and use the Browse button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary folder(s) that belong to the software.
  • If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, add an exclusion of the type Exclude an application that Connects to the Internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

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