Viber is detected as a harmful virus.

Recently my Windows Defender has detected Viber for Desktop as a harmful virus and removed it immediately; Moreover, ESET has flagged Viber as a threat.

Is Viber really harmful?


What type of threat is ESET detecting the file actual virus, Trojan, potentially unwanted program (PUP)?

herdprotect analysis of vibersetup.exe indicates the detection most likely is a "false positives."

The most recent virustotal analysis of vibersetup.exe indicates the detection is a variant of Win32/Toolbar.SearchSuite.W.gen (aka adware, aka potentially unwanted program).

A Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) is a very broad threat category which can encompass any number of different programs to include those which are benign as well as problematic. Thus, this type of detection does not always necessarily mean the file is malicious or a bad program. PUPs in and of themselves are not always bad...many are generally known, non-malicious but unwanted software usually containing adware or bundled with other free third-party software to include toolbars, add-ons/plug-ins and browser extensions. PUPs are considered unwanted because they can cause undesirable system performance or other problems and are sometimes installed without the user's consent since they are often included when downloading legitimate programs. PUPs may also be defined somewhat differently by various security vendors and may or may not be detected/removed based on that definition. That fact adds to confusion and a lot of complaints from end users asking why a detection was not made on a particular file (program) they are having issues with.

Some programs falling into the PUP category have legitimate uses in contexts where an authorized user or administrator has knowingly installed it. Since PUP detections do not necessarily mean the file is malicious or a bad program, in some cases the detection may be a "false positive". Anti-virus/Anti-Malware scanners cannot distinguish between "good" and "malicious" use of such programs, therefore they may alert you or even automatically remove them. Usually, if you installed or recognize the program and it is not causing any issues, you can ignore the detection or add to it's exclusion list. If not or you downloaded it from an untrusted site, then you need to investigate further.

Windows Insider MVP 2017-2020
Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2016
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2007-2015
Unified Network of Instructors and Trusted Eliminators (Malware Removal Expert)

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Last updated November 17, 2020 Views 3,961 Applies to: