A Typical Day at Emsisoft’s Headquarters

PUPs, they’re called. Potentially Unwanted Programs that sneak in on the software you buy. Those annoying toolbars and extensions that overload your computer with resource-wasting applications you don’t need.


Creating malware is illegal. Creating a PUP is not. Not yet at least. That’s because PUPs technically notify users before they are installed. It happens when you run through the installation wizard on a new software. You click: NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, ignoring all the fine print because you don’t have the time. All the while, you’re unknowingly overloading your computer with junk.

Sound pretty fishy? That’s because it is. It’s entirely deceptive, and for software developers looking to make a quick buck it’s an excellent way to cash in. PUP-Peddlers approach legitimate developers with pay-per-install offers all the time. PUPs are not really programs at all. They’re just advertising.

“Include my PUP in your installation process, and I’ll give $1 every time it’s installed,” they say. And many developers simply can’t help themselves. Many developers say: YES, YES, YES.

This is NOT the case with Emsisoft. It never has been, and it never will be. It’s entirely the opposite, in fact. In fact, Emsisoft Anti-Malware is designed to prevent PUPs, because we know that nobody wants them. Chances are you probably didn’t know this about us. Funny thing is, PUP-Peddlers don’t know it either.


Episode 1: The Potentially Unwanted Person

As it just so happens, our managing director, Christian Mairoll, was recently approached by a particularly pushy PUP-Peddler on Skype. For all of us here at Emsisoft, this was pretty comical.

We have included the full transcript of this conversation for your reading pleasure below. As a primer, we’d also suggest having a look at our knowledge base article, What is a PUP.

Enjoy the read, and Have a Great (PUP-Free) Day!



PUP-Peddler: Hi Christian Mairoll, I’d like to add you as a contact. PUP-Peddler

Christian Mairoll: hi there. how can i help?

PUP-Peddler: Hi. Christian. How are You ?

PUP-Peddler: I am looking forward to have some conversation with You regarding Bundling

Christian Mairoll: forget it

PUP-Peddler: why not ?

Christian Mairoll: we have strict ethical principles here at emsisoft

PUP-Peddler: Still it can have a lot of revenue

Christian Mairoll: i’ll not ruin my company in the long run for making quick money now.

PUP-Peddler: Yeah I know that

Christian Mairoll: no matter if you offer $1 or $100 per install

PUP-Peddler: Yes I know Christian

Christian Mairoll: ok, then please stop bugging me

PUP-Peddler: Can we have quick call ?

PUP-Peddler: just to ensure we dont get each other misunderstanding ..

PUP-Peddler: Google chrome was itself a pay per install product

Christian Mairoll: yes… and our antivirus product has lots of fun detecting all the bundle installers, like the one you are trying to sell me, as Potentially Unwanted Programs. our customers appreciate that all that browser stuff is effectively deleted by our software.

PUP-Peddler: I just need an introductory call then we can move on

Christian Mairoll: i just need you to stop this

PUP-Peddler: Or can We bundle Your application as advertisers so You have on everyone’s computer

PUP-Peddler: stopping all unwanted programs

PUP-Peddler: and bundle installers

Christian Mairoll: then it would have to detect and remove itself

PUP-Peddler: lol ..

PUP-Peddler: Lets see if we have something in future .. and message me when You are interested in Bundle concepts .. I was just thinking to have a quick introductory call to see everything happening

PUP-Peddler: just to know each other

PUP-Peddler: http://securitygarden.blogspot.in/2012/02/avast-users-frustrated-with-unwanted.html

Christian Mairoll: ok, so you know that bundles are evil, yet you propose that I make the same mistake as avast?

PUP-Peddler: No .. I am looking forward to have a call

PUP-Peddler: and just a introduction nothing more than that

Christian Mairoll: i really admire your determination. hardcore sales guy. but unfortunately our businesses couldn’t be farther away.

PUP-Peddler: I am just looking forward to have a call nothing more than that .. and it will be fine afterwards ..

PUP-Peddler: I am just making business collaboration no sales .. Because avg is a toolbar and many things .. I am not trying to change Your decisions … But to show every path

PUP-Peddler: before deciding anything .. before knowing all facts

Christian Mairoll: to make this clear once again: there is absolutely no chance we could ever do business together. not today, not tomorrow.

Christian Mairoll: do yourself a favor and drop me from your skype buddy list.

PUP-Peddler: ok .. I know we are not going to have Bundling business ..

PUP-Peddler: But in future If anything changes .. let me know

Christian Mairoll: of course

PUP-Peddler: have a nice day ahead Christian

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PUP-Peddler: take care .. bbyee

Senan Conrad

Senan Conrad

Senan specializes in giving readers insight into the constantly and rapidly changing world of cybersecurity. When he’s not tapping away at his keyboard, he enjoys drinking a good coffee or tinkering in his workshop.

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