PUP.Optional.WebWatcher

Short bio

PUP.Optional.WebWatcher is Malwarebytes’ detection name for a commercial system monitor by Awareness Technologies which may have the capabilities to harvest keystrokes, screenshots, network activity, and more from computers the software is installed on.  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.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  4. Click on the Get started button.
  5. Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  6. Click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  7. Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.

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.

  • Open Malwarebytes for Windows.
  • Click the Detection History
  • Click the Allow List
  • To add an item to the Allow List, click Add.
  • Select the exclusion type Allow a file or folder and use the Select a folder button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary files or folder(s) that belong to the software.

If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, also add an exclusion of the type Allow an application to connect to the internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

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