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Windows 10 PCs will automatically remove fake optimizer software next month

Windows 10 PCs will automatically remove fake optimizer software next month

Effective next month, Microsoft Windows 10’s stock security suite, Windows Defender, will expand its list of “unwanted software”, to fake “optimizer” apps, and automatically remove them from all systems where Windows Defender is in use as primary security software.

Fake optimizer apps are programs, typically malicious, that target unwitting, or less tech savvy users with the promise of getting rid of existing malware, by displaying what may appear as a legitimate system scan.

The “scan” is, not surprisingly, nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and culminates in the display of a list of hundreds of “security issues”, and a doomsday-ish call to action, to purchase the full, paid version of the software to “eliminate the threat”.

To the less savvy, the scan may seem legitimate, as the program does nothing more than show actual files and folders on the system where it is installed, to create the illusion that files and folders are being analyzed. The truth is that any program installed on a system has the ability to show local files and folders, regardless of its function, as it is a requirement for most programs to function.

The biggest question here i what that program actually does once it has unfettered access to files and folders, and the answer can often be on the pessimistic side.

Once a program like these so-called “optimizer apps” are installed and run, it can do a number of very unpleasant things to the system and files, including running its own brand of malware, stealing and sending out private information, and worst of all, even install ransomware designed to lock your computer and demand ransom money.

Windows Defender will begin classifying software like this as riskware, and will begin removing them unless developers begin testing their apps at Microsoft Windows Defender Portal, to whitelist them.

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