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 malicious. They may also be defined somewhat differently by various security vendors.
Some programs falling into the PUP category have legitimate uses in contexts where an authorized user or administrator has knowingly installed it. When flagged by an anti-virus or security scanner, it's because the program includes features, behavior or files (compressed
) that appear suspicious or which can potentially be used for malicious purposes. Compressed and packed files in particular are often flagged as suspicious by security software because they have difficulty reading what is inside them. Other legitimate files which may be obfuscated, encrypted or password protected in order to conceal itself so they do not allow access for scanning but often trigger alerts by anti-virus software.
This type of detection does not necessarily mean the file is malware or a bad program. It means it has the potential
for being misused by others or that it was simply detected as suspicious or a threat due to the security program's heuristic analysis
engine. Anti-virus scanners cannot distinguish
between "good" and "malicious" use of such programs, therefore they may alert you or even automatically remove
them. Since these detections do not necessarily mean the file is malware or a bad program, in some cases the detection may be a "false positive
Usually, if you installed or recognize the program, then you can ignore the detection. If not or you downloaded it from an untrusted site, then you need to investigate further.
According to SystemExplorer.net, HeliosPaint.exe is a file related to HeliosPaint by Helios 101 Software Solutions Ltd. and is available for download from such hosting sites as Download.cnet.com, Downloads.zdnet
Keep in mind that all scanning tools are susceptible to false positive
detections from time to time, especially if the scanner uses heuristic analysis
technology. Heuristics is the ability of a scanning program to detect possible new variants of malware
before the vendor can get samples and update the program's definitions for detection. Heuristics uses non-specific detection methods to find new or unknown malware which allows the anti-virus to detect and stop if before doing any harm to your system. The disadvantage to using heuristics is that it is not as reliable as signature-based detection (blacklisting) and can potentially increase the chances that a non-malicious program is flagged as suspicious or infected.
If you still had the file, you could get a second opinion by submitting it to one of the following online services that analyzes suspicious files:
In the "File to Scan
" (Upload or Submit) box, browse to the location of the suspicious file and submit (upload) it for scanning/analysis. If you get a message saying "File has already been analyzed
", click Reanalyze
or Scan again
If the results indicate/confirm a probable false positive, then the file should be reported to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Support > False Positives
so the Research Team can investigate and make corrections.