Antivirus vendor Malwarebytes has been sued in France for marking the applications SpyHunter and Reghunter, from a company called Enigma Software, as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP). Previously Enigma Software also filed a lawsuit in the United States for the same reason.
When MalwareBytes is running then the software from Enigma Software can’t be easily installed. MalwareBytes also quarantines and disables SpyHunter 4 because it considers the software as PUP.
Enigma argues that the business practices of Malwarebytes limit French users. The company writes in its press release announcing the lawsuit that, “Malwarebytes’ tactics limit French users’ ability to install multiple computer security programs on their systems, thereby not only disregarding consumers’ choice but also leaving users more vulnerable to potential cyber attacks.”
Enigma has submitted a detailed technical report to the French court which should demonstrate how Malwarebytes blocks users from installing and using Spyhunter 4 and how hard it is for users to avoid the software being blocked by Malwarebytes.
In the United States, a judge ruled that Malwarebytes can block any software for any reason, which Enigma appealed. The ruling in the United States also has no applicability in French Courts, according to Enigma.
In October last year Enigma’s SpyHunter 4 was reviewed by well known antivirus test lab AV-Comparatives which concluded in a review commissioned by Enigma Software, “we feel that SpyHunter could be a valuable addition to any computer user’s security arsenal, if used in addition to a full antivirus program with real-time protection.”
Also AV-Test, another well known antivirus testlab, performed a review commissioned by Enigma Software. They conclude that, “SpyHunter cleaned all active parts as well all dropped files of the malware on the system.”
A review from PCMag states that Spyhunter 4 does deliver on its promise to eliminate active malware and malware that launches at startup, but that the software is too expensive for what it offers. The comments from users on the review are less positive, at least. People complain they can’t uninstall the software, that the software automatically renews its license and often use the word ‘garbage’ to describe the software.
Also an editor from Softpedia is pretty positive about the software, rating it 4.5 out of 5 and concluding, “all things considered, SpyHunter is definitely a tool to try. It can successfully find and erase various malware threats, while providing quick access to a lot of features, yet you should know that fixing threads is only possible in the registered version.”
Users who rated Spyhunter 4 on Softpedia are less positive but not outright negative, out of 453 ratings, the software scores a 3 out of 5. On the website SiteJabber, Spyhunter 4 scores a 2 out of 5 with a lot of negative comments, many of them about the licensing and price of the software.
Enigma also sued the website Bleepingcomputer for an alleged ‘smear campaign’, the case was settled and resulted in Bleepingcomputer removing specific references to Enigma’s software.