Ask Toolbar Targetted by Microsoft as High Threat Malware
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
Microsoft looks to be serious about making their Windows platform more safe and secure after years of being derided as being malware prone. In its latest move, Microsoft has branded the notorious Ask Toolbar as a piece of malware. As many of you who might have to clean relatives and friend’s computers, the Ask Toolbar can often be found installed in Internet Explorer. While there are many problematic toolbars, Ask Toolbar is noted in particular due to it’s bundling with Java.
Being branded as malware means that Ask Toolbar will be removed by Microsoft’s security software. For Windows 8.1 that means Windows Defender while Windows 7 and Vista will be served by Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft has taken issue with the fact that the Ask Toolbar restricts a users control over their search provider. It also attempts to restrict or block users from changing their search provider and tries to get the user to revert back to Ask if a change is made. It’s important to note that Microsoft is not targeting the current version of Ask Toolbar which is apparently less egregious, focusing only on the older versions.
While viruses and other malicious malware are frequently the target, the increased attention to adware, crapware and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) is much-needed. We’ve all seen Internet Explorer cluttered by numerous toolbars and if Microsoft wants to improve change their image, this is a much-needed change.