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  1. #1
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    Question SpyHunter 4: Good or bad?

    Been a member for ages but this is my first post...


    I purchased SpyHunter 4 recently when I had a 'baddie' on my system. It did the job it was supposed to do and cleaned up the problem.

    Since then I have read that SpyHunter is a scam.

    What is the general opinion with this program?

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    2 Star Lounger 1PW's Avatar
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    Hello paulyboi:

    If it was a scam then, it's almost certainly a scam now.

    With the available conventional wisdom, I'm wondering what attraction had you make this purchase?

    I suppose now you realize that almost any free mainstream product would have been a better choice. With all this behind you, maybe reminding you that prevention is always better than remediation and perhaps it's time to re-evaluate if not overhaul your defensive arsenal.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by 1PW; 2014-07-17 at 20:01.
    All viruses are malware but not all malware are viruses and if the malware doesn't self replicate it just isn't a virus.

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  5. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The time to ask would have been before purchasing something as unknown and vague as "SpyHunter 4".
    In the future go here. You don't need to pay for antimalware tools.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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    I have used SpyHunter4 for 2.5 years now. I purchased it after
    doing some considerable research. My first experience with SH4
    took place after I acquired a nasty rootkit that hijacked
    everything on my Win7 machine. I was running McAfee, which
    proved to be no help. The following, all run in safe mode, were
    no help in fixing the issue: SuperAntiSpyware, MalwareBytes, Mcafee,
    Trend Micro. SH4 removed the rootkit instantly and returned my
    Machine to usable status. Since then I have used SH4 on badly infected
    machines of family members, who's computers were protected by full
    registered versions of McAfee, Kaspersky, MSSecurityEssentials. Full
    scans with these softwares, as well as MalwareBytes, did not resolve the issues.
    SH4 took care of the problems!

    SH4 is especially good at dealing with rootkits. In my
    opinion, SH4 is the real deal and is not a scam. It has quite literally
    saved me from having to wipe four HDs and do clean reinstalls on my
    computer and three computers of family members! I use SH4
    as an "on demand" tool. For me, it has easily fixed problems with
    infected computers that Kaspersky, McAfee, MSSecurity, MalwareBytes,
    TrendMicro, and SuperAntiSpyware could not fix or even identify.
    I have recommended SH4 to others who have had similar positive
    results.

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  9. #5
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    I can only agree with Clint, in future get a product listed on the link in his post – I personally recommend the free version of Malewarebytes for all but the very worst.

    And I’m sorry wdorothy, there is wide consensus, on numerous security sites, that SpyHunter (Enigma Software) is bogus. Just because a bogus scanner claims to have got rid of something does not mean it actually has, nor that it is not doing other nefarious stuff in the background. Several commentators have reported Trojan lines in SpyHunter’s code. Others have pointed out that SpyHunter is probably the source of the infections that it is ‘dealing with’. In my work I see bogus ‘Maleware Scanners’ everyday and I’ve never seen one that is not doing real bad stuff against you. Even when the user has made the mistake of paying for it, all that really happens is that they still keep on doing the bad stuff but in a less visible way.

    You may be interested to read this article below, and the victim’s comments thread, which includes a threatening rebuttal from Enigma Software.
    http://antivirus.about.com/b/2004/05...-an-enigma.htm

    Chris
    Remember rule #1: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall UK, for the last 15 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components
    and 16k RAM was considered extravagant!

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  11. #6
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    Thanks for more information, Chris. All I can say for sure is the above mentioned software was unable to resolve the problems I had encountered on 4 computers. They all run great after SH4. Maybe I am missing something. I have been involved with computer setup, IT, and networking since 1991. I will continue to be vigilant and watch for problems. As for the "aggressive tactics" others mentioned in the link you provided, I have not experienced anything like that. Wayne

  12. #7
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    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your response.

    Last night I set out to install SpyHunter on a sacrificial system just to see what some of the respected scanners made of it. But I didn't get that far.
    On going to the Enigma Software website, my WOT (Web of Trust) addon in Firefox instantly blocked the page with a red alert warning of 'This site has a poor reputation based on user ratings'. The link below reveals dozens of negative comments about their products being bogus. Such a weight of disapproval was good enough warning for me - very reasonable evidence of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
    https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/e...-viewsc#page-1

    My personal system has 158 programs installed and my last OS re-install was 3 years ago. All I now use to protect it is Avast Antivirus, Comodo Firewall and Malewarebytes - with HJT and Killbox in the reserve armoury. I regularly have to use it to rescue other people's infected hard drives but I can't remember the last time I got anything worse than some mild Open Candy - and believe me my research takes me to places I would not wish on my worst enemy! I have a whole bank of different scanners to call on if required but these days I find them total overkill for all but the most extreme circumstances.

    I really would give some careful thought to using any scanner that is not on Clint's list.

    Best regards, Chris

    P.S. Just to lighten up a little, but totally off topic: Today I’m working on two Win8.1 laptops (one of them only 25 days old) both of which have gone into a totally un-recoverable tailspin caused by leaving Windows updates to run automatically. Roll up, roll up, try the new Windows9 - it’s here already but they’ve called it Linux Mint 17
    Remember rule #1: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall UK, for the last 15 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components
    and 16k RAM was considered extravagant!

  13. #8
    2 Star Lounger 1PW's Avatar
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    SpyHunter by Enigma Software is a program that was previously listed as a rogue product on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products List because of the company's history of employing aggressive and deceptive advertising. It has since been delisted but AV-Test has not included SpyHunter in their comprehensive testing analysis that would reveal how SpyHunter compares to the best anti-spyware in terms of protection, repair and usability. The reason for this is that the publisher, Enigma Software, has not been cooperative in submitting SpyHunter for testing at AV-Test. In my opinion it is a dubious program which is not very effective compared to others with a proven track record and I would not trust all the detections provided by its scanning engine.

    Further, I have read that some newer versions of SpyHunter apparently install it's own "Compact OS" and uses Grub4Dos loader to execute on boot up. The user no longer sees the normal Windows boot menu but instead sees the GRUB menu. For some folks this has resulted in SpyHunter causing a continuous loop when attempting to boot and other issues.

    When searching for new malware or malware removal assistance (and removal guides) on the Internet, it is not unusual to find numerous hits from untrustworthy and scam sites which misclassify detections or provide misleading information. This is deliberately done more as a scam to entice folks into buying an advertised fix or using a free removal tool. SpyHunter (SpyHunter-Installer.exe) is one of the most common "so-called" removal tools pushed by these sites.

    Reproduced with the kind permission of quiteman7, MVP, Global Moderator @ BleepingComputer.com

  14. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yes. There are plenty of both free and paid applications out there that are well known commodities.
    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to pay for a product that is barely on the radar of any reputable reviewer's listing.

    And for those of you that keep looking at webpage advertisements:
    What is the matter with you...STOP!
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-09-05 at 08:54.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    While the free MBAM has Rootkit capabilities, Norton also provide the free Norton Power Eraser which is saved into Downloads and run as a .exe

    However, clicking on Scan on its face page auto runs it in Rootkit mode which can be quite aggressive and can take out legit programs, but clicking on Advanced Options and selecting System Scan will run a standard scan - there are other options for Cloud, Boot and PuP scans and is another free tool worth considering.

  17. #11
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    Chris, I'm not going to get into specifics about SpyHunter because for all anyone knows, I could rave about it because I'm a shill for Enigma Software or I could trash it because I'm a shill for a competitor or I could do both because I have a multiple personality disorder. Instead I'll just make this request:

    You were using a sacrificial system and the warning you got was based purely on reputation, not on any actual positive or negative knowledge of the product. Therefore, please disregard the warning and use SpyHunter on that sacrificial system of yours. The results might surprise you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Cooper View Post
    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your response.

    Last night I set out to install SpyHunter on a sacrificial system just to see what some of the respected scanners made of it. But I didn't get that far.
    On going to the Enigma Software website, my WOT (Web of Trust) addon in Firefox instantly blocked the page with a red alert warning of 'This site has a poor reputation based on user ratings'. The link below reveals dozens of negative comments about their products being bogus. Such a weight of disapproval was good enough warning for me - very reasonable evidence of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
    https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/e...-viewsc#page-1

    My personal system has 158 programs installed and my last OS re-install was 3 years ago. All I now use to protect it is Avast Antivirus, Comodo Firewall and Malewarebytes - with HJT and Killbox in the reserve armoury. I regularly have to use it to rescue other people's infected hard drives but I can't remember the last time I got anything worse than some mild Open Candy - and believe me my research takes me to places I would not wish on my worst enemy! I have a whole bank of different scanners to call on if required but these days I find them total overkill for all but the most extreme circumstances.

    I really would give some careful thought to using any scanner that is not on Clint's list.

    Best regards, Chris

    P.S. Just to lighten up a little, but totally off topic: Today I’m working on two Win8.1 laptops (one of them only 25 days old) both of which have gone into a totally un-recoverable tailspin caused by leaving Windows updates to run automatically. Roll up, roll up, try the new Windows9 - it’s here already but they’ve called it Linux Mint 17

  18. #12
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulish View Post
    >SNIPPED - I don't like bait that smells bad<
    Based on what I've just seen during the install and scanning of this software, I'd say you are a shill for the company.

    Starting the installer initiates a reset of the User Session - you are logged out and back in, resulting in the instant termination of any running software and some background software, including a Service that should NOT be stopped (it can't be stopped via Services.msc). This behaviour I've never seen before from any legitimate software installer.

    During the install, it tried (and failed ) to install 'something' into a location that's commonly used by malware.

    Next, it removed my hosts file, which is part of my security layers, I was able to reinstate this however. I wasn't able to undo the changes to my DNS, even though the changes were neutral, there should have been a method of undoing them.

    The scan resulted in 180 'hits', most were the equivalent of empty folders (from having tested other crapware previously), including flagging DuckDuckGo as making potentially unwanted changes and suchlike (DDG is another of my security/privacy/anti-tracking layers - safe). It did manage to correctly flag up 4 tracking cookies. It failed to find any other PUPs, potential hack/bypass tools, etc. that are on the machine and which all 'good' security scanners would have warned me of.

    Bottom line = don't touch this software, at best, it may not be harmful, otherwise, you will be less well protected (or worse) with it installed.

  19. #13
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    Bottom line = don't touch this software, at best, it may not be harmful, otherwise, you will be less well protected (or worse) with it installed.
    +1 from me.
    There are plenty of better options out there.
    Michael

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  21. #14
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    Spyhunter 4 - yes, using on 2 PCs, not cheap but legit and works.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulyboi View Post
    Been a member for ages but this is my first post...


    I purchased SpyHunter 4 recently when I had a 'baddie' on my system. It did the job it was supposed to do and cleaned up the problem.

    Since then I have read that SpyHunter is a scam.

    What is the general opinion with this program?
    ANSWER
    I had problems on several PCs, and Spyhunter 4 fixed them and then I too, read it was a scam. It is not a scam. People saying so are IMHO probably trying to reduce the number of people's PCs protected by it !

    Yes, it's almost impossible to remove - there is an 'AVG-look-alike' company who DO have a lying piece of anti-malware that actually never catches malware, but looks like it's searching, THAT one IS a scam. Not the REAL AVG company, but a similar-sounding one? The dodgy one comes up with a dialogue box split into 4 rectangles or something, it's very convincing, but baloney.

    Someone has said you don't need to pay for antimalware. I have looked hard - all the NON-payment antimalware, fails to catch the sneaky crap that Spyhunter 4 gets. It's just had a reasonably major upgrade, too, and the support is second-to-none - posted a message, they were back in hours. They are on top of it - good company, my advice, use it and be glad it's only tenners every 6 months. I would avoid it if possible, but everything else does not work - AVG, and others, free versions don't fix what this fixes.

    It's a real minefield. I trust Windows defender, and Windows security suite or whatever, from Microsoft (er, considering they got us into this malware mess in the first place), and the REAL german-based AVG company (not that their product catches the advertising cookies that SH4 does). I also have one on my daughter's laptop called - let me get this right, because their is an impersonator one doing the rounds - Speedy PC Pro.

    Speedy PC Pro, the dialogue box says it is Gold accredited Microsoft partner, and the 'PC' is in a little red-filled circle. The similar one is malware. It does not identically work as SH4 does, it does more like registry repair which is why I got it AS WELL as SH4? These are the only 4 companies/products I trust.

    You could use SH4's registry-fixer, I just didn't think it worked as well as 'Speedy PC Pro'. Be VERY careful with these names if doing a search - the real Speedy PC Pro, has a little menu 'Overview/system scan/restore/tools/maintenance' menu list of icons down the left side, and has that gold microsoft accreditation in small letters at the top.

    TRUST is a real problem - as I say, the scammers undoubtedly put out propaganda, in particular slagging SH4 off, and yes, SH4 is hard to uninstall - but that's the nature of a program that hacker people are trying to neutralise from snooping their malware out.

    I should do a little YOutube piece on this, it's so hard to trust any source. My youtube is sleekitwan, IT used to be my business, but now I have a family with ipad, iphone, Pcs, WIFI etc - I know a lot more about it! So, you can verify me at least - my 'toob' pieces are very little to do with IT, a hacker's would be.

    best
    ian/sleekitwan, West Yorkshire.

  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Margetts View Post
    I should do a little YOutube piece on this, it's so hard to trust any source. My youtube is sleekitwan, IT used to be my business, but now I have a family with ipad, iphone, Pcs, WIFI etc - I know a lot more about it! So, you can verify me at least - my 'toob' pieces are very little to do with IT, a hacker's would be.
    Don't waste your time...or ours.

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