Free PDF-XChange Viewer installer: PUP.ToolbarDownloader

Discussion in 'malware problems & news' started by WildarsNube, Jul 20, 2012.

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  1. WildarsNube

    WildarsNube Registered Member

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    PDF-XChange Viewer has got great reviews as a PDF reader that can edit PDF files. (It was either this or Foxit, and I thought I'd try this first). I downloaded the installer from http://pdf-xchange-viewer.en.softonic.com/download. However, MalwareBytes Free classifies this as "PUP.ToolbarDownloader". Ugh, not what I want. A google search doesn't find anything informative, at least not in English. This is odd, because a real problem usually generates a significant number of hits.

    Has anyone else found this problem? Has anyone found this to *not* be a problem? How bad *is* "PUP.ToolbarDownloader"? Some installers don't even ask the user for permission to install toolbars (or ignore it when the user refuses). From past experience, I know that I certainly don't want that kind of situation.
     
  2. Peter 123

    Peter 123 Registered Member

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    Why not downloading the Viewer directly from their homepage?

    You can find it here:
    http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

    I installed version 2.5 (using the exe-installer on the mentioned site) about a month ago. No problems when downloading the installer.

    During the installation process of the viewer there is already ticked a box for the option "Install the Tracker Ask Toolbar".

    So if you don't like the toolbar you have to uncheck the box!

    I did so and my PDF-viewer works fine. And the toolbar was not installed. :thumb:


    PS:
    A thread in a German forum says that the "ToolbarDownloader" you mentioned is specific for the Softonic-site (http://www.computerhilfen.de/hilfen-17-395585-0.html). So simply avoid downloading from Softonic and use instead the original download source mentioned above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  3. WildarsNube

    WildarsNube Registered Member

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    Thanks Peter! I thought that I *was* at the original site. I certainly didn't suspect that a site with a name like Tracker would be the original site!

    The Tracker site download passed all my malware tests, and I saw the option to install the toolbar (which I declined). However, I still get a button to search Ask. Sigh. Oh well, it's free.

    Afternote: Dang. It made itself the default app for PDFs. I distinctly remember saying no to that. What is it with these free apps? Don't they realize that they are fostering ill will by doing this? I was considering designating it the default app some time down the road, but now I just think of it as another greasy grub trying to get into...never mind. It could have cultivated trust, but it piqued my disdain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  4. Dermot7

    Dermot7 Registered Member

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    Are you sure that has actually happened? Can anyone confirm? If that's correct it's not good, thanks.
    I'm guessing you're talking about the search box in the viewer, as I haven't used PDF-X for a few years now, and switched to Sumatra due to Tracker's association with Ask.
     
  5. Peter 123

    Peter 123 Registered Member

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    That is indeed a little bit confusing. I also did not figure it out from the beginning that this is the original site. ;)

    I don't have it. Please take a look at:

    Edit --> Preferences --> Search Providers

    There I have ticked the box for the option "Switch off all search providers":

    http://www.abload.de/img/spxkduf.jpg

    Try it - I could imagine that afterwards the button will disappear.

    So this should not have happened. But anyway you can change this too at:

    Edit ----> Preferences ---> File Associations

    There you click on "Restore File Associations"

    With this step you
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  6. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Peter is correct in that the Ask Toolbar installer check box does NOT control the Ask search BOX within the program. The Toolbar, if allowed to install, would be for internet browsers like IE, Firefox and such. The Ask search box within the PDF program can indeed be switched off using Peter's instructions.

    FWIW, PDF-XChange is my favorite free PDF viewer. It runs pretty light, is quite tweakable and if you are careful, has no auto installed bloat/nag/spy ware.
     
  7. WildarsNube

    WildarsNube Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm talking about the search field in the viewer.
     
  8. WildarsNube

    WildarsNube Registered Member

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    The Ask button disappeared, but when I downloaded the PDF manual, a new viewer opened and it did have the Ask button. Fortunately, after shutting down all instances of the viewer, subsequent opening of PDF files with the viewer did not result in an Ask button/field. I can't help shake the question about why a web search field is built into a PDF viewer.

    I used Windows Explorer to change the default app for that extension. I'm just rather miffed at how the otherwise good app would do things that compromise trust like this.
     
  9. WildarsNube

    WildarsNube Registered Member

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Han. It helps counteract some of the less comforting behaviour that I have observed.
     
  10. s23

    s23 Registered Member

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    The ".MSI" installer not have the ask browser toolbar.
     
  11. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Like some other PDF viewers, PDF-XChange can run inside of a user's browser. And like those other PDF viewers, the settings for PDF-XChange running in a browser window can be different than the standalone version. The choices are to either make changes to the settings of both versions or do as I do and not allow a PDF to open inside of the browser.

    My feeling is that opening any file inside of a browser raises the risk of PC infection. So I always save the PDF file I wish to view to the PC, scan it with my AV and then open it in the standalone version of PDF-XChange. This also means I never see the issue you did (having the settings of PDF-XChange be different depending on the use of it.)

    As for the Ask search issue... I agree that it's not cool. I said as much publicly (in a posting forum) to Tracker when they started their association with them. My understanding of Tracker's answer was that giving a program away like PDF-XChange has a bigger cost than we (the public) realizes. They wanted (needed?) to try to have some kind of revenue stream from their work. So they signed on with Ask.

    It's their product and their decision to make. All I can say is that I wish they had chosen some other way. But I am not in that business and am in no position to give them business advice. The one thing I can say in Tracker's favor is that as long as a user is careful, and takes the time to read each installation screen, you won't end up with the Ask Toolbar installed without your approval. From rumours I hear, some other PDF viewers install crap without a chance to prevent it...
     
  12. Peter 123

    Peter 123 Registered Member

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    That's my experience too.

    I don't have the Ask button neither when running the PDF-XChange Viewer within the browser.* As you say, it may depend on different settings when running the pdf-viewer in the browser. (I am not sure because certain settings seem to work automatically for both - standalone and within the browser.) Anyway, in my case the box for the option "Switch off all search providers" is also ticked (as described above) when I open the pdf-viewer in the browser.
    ______

    * (I dare to do this as I always browse within Sandboxie. :D)
     
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