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False Positive Removal Request - CompuClever

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[***We had to open a new topic for the same issue as our previous thread was locked out without allowing us to continue responding to Malwarebytes' reply:]

 

To whom this may concern,

 

Thanks for taking the time and effort analyzing our software and posting back your concerns. We would like to provide you with more information regarding PC TuneUp Maestro and PC Clean Maestro in related to your observation:

 

1) Both software offer a list of permanently free functions that require no purchase. Please review this article for detail:


 

2) Not all fixes resulted from scheduled scan require payment to fix or repair. PC TuneUp Maestro's  startup item scan, one of the two types of its scheduled scans, is free, meanwhile, PC Clean Maestro's junk file removal is free, as part of the only scheduled scan. 

 

3) We work with a small group of selected resellers and distributors and thus sometimes we have no direct control over how they distribute our software, although, we strive to assess and correct any installation behaviours that are against commonly accepted marketing methods. Nevertheless, we request that you assess our software based on its own character and behavior instead of grouping it with download wrappers that we have no instant control of. If we can be provided of the name of the wrapper that concerns you, we will take prompt actions to cease its operation. Currently Malwarebytes' false positive categorization not only scares new users who directly download these two software as standalone installers from our website but also nullifies the related software that were previously installed weeks or months ago prior to this incident.

 

CompuClever is a Microsoft Application Development Partner and Intel Elite Software Partner. All of our software are Window 8 logo certified. We look forward to working with you to resolve these issues.

 

Regards
Edited by AdvancedSetup
phone, email, address removed to prevent harvesting and marketing

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Hi,

Since the increased complaints from users to have us detect Registry Cleaners and System Optimizer tools in general, and especially when these are heavily promoted and often included in bundled installers - A lot of users see these programs as unwanted.

Especially Registry Cleaners over all are seen as scareware because they will ALWAYS find errors. We still put it nicely in our detection and label as PUP.Optional instead of Scareware, because many users do see this as scareware.
Registry Cleaning won't really improve system speed anyway. Even though there are a lot of orphaned keys/values present, you won't notice a difference in system speed. The only difference you'll notice is when you actually search in your registry - but how many people do this?

On the contrary, as a matter of fact, if you "clean" the registry frequently, it actually becomes more fragmented after a while - and *that may* result in slower system performance, although you won't notice much difference.
I rather prefer to have a lot of orphaned keys in the registry, instead of keys/values that were deleted by a registry cleaner, which were not supposed to be deleted in the first place. And that's the risk of these Registry Cleaners, because many list keys/values as orphaned or unneeded while they are actually needed.
We have come across cases a lot of times already where registry cleaners were being used, where it actually breaks more than it fixes. It's always a risk to mess around in the registry, because a broken registry is a broken Windows.
This is also why Microsoft has made a note on this: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2563254?wa=wsignin1.0 - and with good/valid reason.

Now as for your Products:

* It is heavily advertised via adnetworks and present in bundled installers - with as a result that it's being installed on the pc often without user knowledge because of the tactics being used by the installwrapper for having additional bundles prechecked. That's how it mostly ends up as unwanted for the user.
* By default, it creates scheduled tasks to launch off a scan + starts up with Windows, even though the user didn't purchase, this again to alert the user about the "errors/problems" on their system where it recommends to purchase.
* I installed it (SmartTuneUp) on a freshly installed Windows 7, I ran the scan and it found more than 500 so called issues (these aren't issues, just orphaned keys and "fixes" to improve system speed). I need to purchase the program to "fix" these issues.
The items it *does* offer to do for free is what has been done by Windows already (system restore points) + Hard Drive cleanup, where you click the "Hard Drive Cleanup" button, it launches windows Cleanmgr.
* By default, even when the user doesn't purchase, it's set to startup with Windows and immediately after reboot, it gives a big notification popup in my system tray to remind me of the "issues". Also when I exit the program, another alert is shown to remind me again with the big green button to "Register Now".
It's good this can be changed in the program settings, but to set this by default for the unregistered user is a bit too aggressive which is why people are complaining about continuous alerting of issues on their PC where it annoys them and see this as unwanted.
* Also, Why is it promoting itself as a "optimizing Windows" and Reducing Startup time if you actually add your program to the startup instead, leaving it running all the time, just to alert of so called errors? This is actually a contradiction of what it tries to promote (faster system, faster startup).

The same tactics are being used for PC Clean Maestro - where, if you purchase, it clears browsers cache and cookies and does the same as what Windows cleanmgr also does for dealing with "junk" files. Funny it even alerts of 0bytes files and lists them as issues. And.. I need to register the program/purchase in order to delete this (what Windows has built in already + browsers have built in already to clean cache and cookies)

 

post-102-0-80446000-1433913071_thumb.png

 

And because of this all, these are extra reasons why it's been labeled as PUP, because it looks like its only goal to get the user to purchase the product by alerting/notifying them all the time of so called issues.

So to resume:

* Aggressive tactics to get the user to purchase the program
* Heavily promoted on webpages/adnetworks + via bundled installs
* An overall unsatisfactory reputation - Example here already how users complain about it, ended up unwanted. I can give many more. This also explains why there are so many removal guides on the internet to explain how to delete PC Clean Maestro and PC TuneUp Maestro. Just googling both programs shows this more than enough how it ends up on a lot of systems as unwanted.
* It has been submitted to us many times as unwanted.

We don't list this as malicious, but as PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). Malwarebytes also clearly states during detection that "One or more potentially unwanted objects have been detected" and tells the user to review them. If the user willingly installed your program, then they would know not to remove these, thus not check for removal and either whitelist the detected entries in Malwarebytes or adjust the settings to not detect PUPs.


Hope this clarifies why we detect.

Best regards.

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I installed the PCTuneupMaestro. (attached in your original post)

I did what most any user would do. Installed using the default settings.

 

Once the scan was completed, I was presented with the following results in the first screenshot.

 

post-3610-0-61928600-1433915245_thumb.pn

 

When I clicked "fix items", I was presented with what shows in the next screenshot.
 
post-3610-0-23175800-1433915459_thumb.pn
 
I cannot see anywhere there where specific items can be fixed. Nor do I see when expanding the details of found items, that this or that item can or cannot be fixed with the trial version.
When I attempt fix, I am presented with a popup to buy the program. No partial fixes. No 'instructions' on what I must uncheck to result in a partial fix.
I cannot find within the program what I must do in order to use the free working functions.

 

 

 

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You're certainly within your  rights to market and sell a registry cleaner. But the reasons listed for why it's PUP still stand.

 

We also have a right to educate users on the use of Registry Cleaners and though we think they're bogus the product is not listed as PUP for that reason.

 

Do I need a Windows Registry Cleaner?
 

 

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I have a question about the CompuClever detection.

 

I detected this issue this morning on both of my home PC's.  I wasn't sure if this was something that has occurred with numerous MBAM users or an isolated incident with my PC's.

 

Here's my info:

 

Timezone: U.S. CDT (Dallas)

 

Desktop PC: Built - Win 7x64 Home Premium OEM version

Laptop: Toshiba L655 Win 7x64 Home Premium OEM version

 

AV: Norton N360 Ver 21.7.0.11  (2014 ver)

MBAM Pro 1.175.0.1300

 

Current Database info:

Date: 6/10/2015 4.50.25AM

Database version: v2015.06.10.02

Fingerprints loaded: 436239

 

I run overnight unattended Quick Scans on both PC's at 01:30am.  Nothing was detected at that time in the logs.

 

During an hourly Flash Scan/update at about 05:11am, the scan detected the following PUP's:

 

 

30rp95e.jpg

 

 

They're quarantine'd.  I left them there for now.

 

The empty folder "CompuClever" is still located at %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming .

 

Are these false-positives or just typical PUP detections?

 

I had a question about this particular PUP detection due to the Registry Cleaning part of the discussion.

 

I'm not sure when I picked up this PUP.  I don't run any Registry Cleaners (never have on either PC). 

 

Since I haven't downloaded/updated any programs/apps, etc during the last 24 hrs, I'm not sure where I picked up this PUP.  Perhaps it was one of those drive-by things that get picked up during routine surfing.

 

Should I treat this as a typical PUP detection (leave in in quarantine for a few days before removing) ?

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If you were not aware you actually had installed this, then you can have malwarebytes remove it. This is exactly why this is labeled as PUP since MANY users aren't even aware this is installed.

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15o87wj.jpg for the info.

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[To Malwarebytes team] please keep this thread open as we are preparing our response to you.

 

[To forum member "Scoop"] PCTuneUpMaestro is a Microsoft Windows 8 Logo certified application and it is free from any Malware and is certainly NOT a driveby download type of threat. We are as concerned as you are of how the appliation ended on your PC without your knowledge. If it was someone, whom we partner with, is conducting such behaviour, we are definitely NOT going to tolerate that. Please kindly send the scan log to our support team (support[at]compuclever.com) so that our security analysis team can take a better look at the overall situation and determine the root cause of the problem - a possible active installer that downloads and installs applications on your PC, as PCTuneUpMaestro itself isn't capable of doing so. If you need assistance in preparing/generating the scan log for our review, please contact us.

 

Regards

 

Rosalie Li

Security Analyst

CompuClever Systems Inc.

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Rosalie Li

 

I don't have the scan logs from 06/10 U.S. CDT time, sorry.  I purge those logs daily but I did look at my "Flash" Scan MBAM log when the detections were quarantine'd.  It basically contained the location of the files.

 

The interesting thing about this for me is that MBAM didn't detect the objects a few hours earlier during the unattended "Quick" Scan at 1:30am. 

 

I have a Windows Task that wakes my PC from Standby ("Sleep") Mode at 1:25am, just before my nightly MBAM (and AV) scans begin.  When the scans complete, my AV returns the PC to Standby Mode.

 

I wake up my PC around 4:30am daily to begin interactive activates (IE surfing, etc).

 

The "Flash" Scan detected the objects at about 5:11am, after the PC had been awake and in use for about 45 minutes.

 

I usually begin my morning PC use (surfing with IE, etc) at 4:30am.  That seems to indicate that I picked up the objects between 1:30am and the time when the Flash Scan completed at 05:11am.

 

During the time between 4:30am and 5:11am, I was visiting my usual daily 'net sites (reputable, etc) and didn't download any updates, apps, plug-in's, etc.  No e-mail attachments were opened.

 

That's why I mentioned a possible drive-by, adware bundle, exploit path, etc.  It's just a guess since I hadn't clicked on any download/install items during that 45-minute time frame while browsing.

 

I guess it's possible that the PC picked up the objects sometime when the MBAM and AV scans were running (the scans run sequentially, not at the same time) unattended since my 'net connection is enabled 24/7 .

 

Thanks for your interest in the object detection relative to MBAM products and members here regarding the issue. 

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Hi Scoop,

 

Thank you for providing further information about your encounter with PCTuneUpMaestro. We here at CompuClever cares about how our software affects anybody's PC.

 

I want to re-assure you that PCTuneUpMaestro alone is a legit and safe application, certified by Microsoft with a Windows 8 Logo Certification, which demands that we follow rigid criteria related to computing safety and security. So PCTuneUpMaestro itself is not capable of self-install on your PC. CompuClever is a Microsoft Application Development Partner and an Intel Elite Software Parnter and we do not take chances when it comes to the safety and security aspect of our software development or marketing practice.

 

Based on your description, we offer two reasons of why it had happened:

 

1. You still have an active downloader which illeagly download stuff on to your PC without your consent. At CompuClever's end, we consider this is a threat to our brand and reputation, and we are working diligently to root out any reseller/partner who practices such marketing tactics.

 

2. PCTuneUpMaestro has been your computer for sometime. Your MBAM's signature database was updated on that early morning and thus it picked up the PUP detection.

 

No matter what, it is of our genuine interest to provide you with any help/support we can to ensure you have a clean, safe, optimized PC. I sent you a message in private regarding the details.

 

Best regards

 

Rosalie Li

Security Analyst

CompuClever Systems Inc.

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I wanted to take a moment to respond to the comment that PC TuneUp Maestro is a "registry cleaner" application. The comment is misleading in that it ignores the majority of what the application actually does.

While the opening panel does start with the tools for the registry it also includes the functions for changing the settings in Windows to increase the speed of the operating system and Windows settings affecting internet performance, based on our proprietary system profiling technology. This panel also includes the tool for defragmenting the registry so that when the registry is cleaned up, the registry hives are also defragged to ensure the best system performance is achieved. (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2498915).

 

What the comment ignores though are to functions to otherwise optimize the system found in the sections under "Optimize PC" and the tools to address various issues and errors in the "Fix-it Centre" and these two sections are the heart of the application. The Optimize tools centralize finding some Windows functions in one location rather than throughout the operating system and also improve on the tools supplied by Microsoft. We have to mention that this set of tools also includes a collection of proprietary tools that fixes or optimize Windows issues, when the default Windows tools fail. They include: proprietary Windows Update system, proprietary hard drive defrag tools, Executable file extension repair tool, Windows image backup image file restore, Internet Explore error repair tools, Startup application timer, VC++ Runtime Error repair,.. just to name a few.

Our hard drive defragment tool is based on newer technology and will supply a faster defragment of the hard drive in most cases. The Startup Management tool allows for easy enabling and disabling of programs so that people can easily adjust the startup of Windows.

 

The Fix-it Centre provides tools and knowledgebase for correcting common Windows issues and issues for internet errors. The Centre is there to make solving errors that people encounter easier, and more convenient. This is true of almost every utility program out there and even malware protection applications.

 

Yes, PCTuneUpMaestro does include quick and centralized collection of a few selected Windows system tools. Finding the tools in one location and having them make performing a task easier is not a shortcoming of any application, it is simply providing a service, which is part of what we do here with PC TuneUp Maestro and PC Clean Maestro. In the past 5 years while we work directly with thousands of our users through direct support session, we found having those tools readily available to be invoked directly from PCTuneUpMaestro saves both us and the users a lot of hassle.

 

To conclude, PCTuneUpMaestro is not a registry cleaner, Nor has CompuClever said that Registry Cleaning tool alone is going to address system performance or stability problem. That’s why we designed and developed PCTuneUpMaestro to be an applications that provides multiple tools and solutions to address wide variety of system performance and stability problems, combined with our technical support service that are available for our customers. 

 

Rosalie Li

Security Analyst

CompuClever Systems Inc.

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My name is Andy Thompson and I am the Marketing Communication Director here at CompuClever.

 

We took your inputs and comments seriously and objectively in order to improve both the value or our products and how we market our products. While we are proactively managing and regulating how our applications are being marketed and delivered to users across the Internet, I do have to point out the key issues here:

 

1. PCTuneUpMaestro does provide a registry scan/clean function but that doesn’t mean PCTuneUpMaestro is only a registry cleaner. Many Antivirus applications (for instance, Bitdefender Antivirus PLUS 2015) nowadays provide registry cleaner functions as well and that doesn’t mean they are registry cleaners.

 

2. CompuClever NEVER said that fixing Registry issues alone solves PC performance or stability problems.

 

3. Due to our choice for how to licensing the products, we don’t currently provide a free trial, nevertheless, that doesn’t give anybody a legit reason to label CompuClever products as PUP.

 

Given the way how this thread is going, we don’t expect to resolve this issue on the forum. Our legal team is in contact with Malwarebytes legal department. Meanwhile, I would like to invite the head of Malwarebytes adjudication team for a direct conversation with our Product Management Team in order to resolve this misunderstanding. 

 

I suggest we move this conversation offline and I have sent a direct message to Mieke Verburgh.

 

Andy from CompuClever

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