As the name suggests, Yet Another Cleaner (also known as YAC) is one of those universal PC cleaner/maintenance utilities that offers a variety of different of components. In YAC’s case, included among these components is a malware scanner and removal tool.
Some of you may remember the furor some time back when the IObit software company was accused of stealing intellectual property from Malwarebytes, an accusation that, to the best of my knowledge has never been repudiated. Now, it would seem, a similar situation has occurred again, only this time involving the developers of the YAC software.
Malwarebytes has published an article detailing all the steps taken to prove beyond doubt that YAC is using Malwarebytes’ detection database in its malware scanner/removal tool. The manner in which Malwarebytes presents the facts is certainly compelling.
- Read the Malwarebytes blog post in full here: Yet Another Cleaner, Yet Another Stealer
Yet Another Cleaner – Users Beware
I have heard of YAC before but never actually checked it out. However, on reading the Malwarebytes article I decided to delve a little deeper into the software’s reputation.
The first thing I did was access YAC’s home page only to be confronted with a warning from WOT. The site is rated Red (high risk) by the WOT site advisory service and a visit to the site details page revealed the following user comments:
- In reallity: yac installs unwanted programs that are hard to remove and takes over control over you computer. After a while advertisement shows up, and the search engine of your browser gets locked.
- This is the same website as http://www.mywot.com/scorecard/www.virus-delete.com They created and new website which redirects users from virus-delete.com which was previously blocked by hpHosts for distributing rogue security products.
- This site hosts rogue security software! Avoid!
And so on, and so on.
Next, I downloaded the YAC installer and scanned same through Virus Total. Six antivirus engines – including Eset, Avira, DrWeb, Fortinet, Trend Micro and, of course, Malwarebytes – all flagged the software.
- Virus total full scan results here: https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/6f062fdc7da4de176acc18c72b65fce88ee407f80c84a0b15565cf2a9ef82c72/analysis/
Finally, I visited CNET Download.com to check out the user reviews there. The editorial review posted by a Download.com staffer is unsurprisingly favorable, further emphasizing the fact that this major download site will list anything, regardless of user safety. However, the user reviews tell a completely different story.
And so on, and so on.
The evidence is overall pretty damning… draw your own conclusions.