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Ask Toolbar will be marked as “Unwanted Software” (or Malware) by Microsoft’s Security Tools

Microsoft security products will detect programs with browser search protection functionality from June 1, 2015.

Non-compliant programs that exhibit such functionality will be detected by our software signatures that look for browser search protection code. Any program using code that can potentially perform search protection may be detected, regardless of whether the code is active.

To avoid detection, developers should remove any search protection code from their programs, regardless of whether it is functional or not.

We’ll be working with search protection developers and vendors who have completely disabled search protection functionality from their programs in alignment with our evaluation criteria.

Developers and vendors can email mpcreply@microsoft.com to start this process. They should provide links to side-by-side downloadable samples of:

    Any programs with fixed behavior that does not exhibit search protection functionality, but has inactive, dormant search protection code.
    Any older programs that are non-compliant with our evaluation criteria.

MMPC  help reduce the risk of having programs with search protection functionality turned off, but still containing non-compliant code, being detected as developers work on completely removing the non-compliant code.

Ask Toolbar  will be marked as “Unwanted Software” (or Malware) by Microsoft’s security tools Microsoft previously warned it would take action against software that tries to prevent users from changing their browser’s default search engine.

Ask Toolbar has its own special annoyances. When installed it switches your browser’s default search provider to Ask.com, and when you try to switch away it attempts to prevent you from doing so with a pop-up warning. If you’re not careful the toolbar can also reappear the next time you update Java.

Ask’s Toolbar has managed to live on as software bundled with Oracle’s Java for Windows. In March, Oracle also extended the Ask Toolbar download to Macs.

Bundleware is bad enough since even veteran PC users can be tricked into installing unwanted software—especially when you’re multitasking.

Example is Avira bundle with Ask Toolbar.

Microsoft warned that as of June 1 any program containing search protection functionality—code that tries to stop you from changing your browser or default search settings—would be treated as malware.

It appears Microsoft made good on its promise. Microsoft’s Malware Center now lists the Win32/Ask Toolbar as posing a “High threat to your PC.” The Ask Toolbar entry was first published in February, but was updated on Tuesday.

Microsoft’s security products including Windows Defender on Windows 8 and up, and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and Vista can now detect and remove the toolbar.

{source} : http://blogs.technet.com/b/mmpc/archive/2015/05/26/detection-changes-search-protection-code.aspx

1 comment

Danny Slater said...

It's true, and it was marked as unwanted by all anti-malware programs long time ago. Malwarebytes or Spy Hunter 4 will easily find it. Here is detailed guide how to remove Ask.com from your pc http://removalbits.com/how-to-remove-ask-toolbar-from-your-browser-removal-guide/.

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