Security Warning: Foxit 3.3 ‘force-installs’ foistware

Our forum member hackerman1, who had earlier managed to install Windows 7 on a Pentium 2, has posted a very disturbing fact about Foxit pdf reader v 3.3.

UPDATE 15.05.11: Well, when I went on to install Foxit 4.3.1.0323 yesterday on my new Dell laptop, it did install Ask.com toolbar inspite of having opted out during the setup.

He decided to install Foxit 3.3.

“Can Foxit be trusted ? Check screenshot #1, it secretly tries to download a lot of BS … check the list at Threatexpert…

 


…and it´s running immediately, even before showing any setup-screens. You are also NOT asked for permissions, and NOT told that it´s running ! That really makes you wonder WTH is going on ?

Fortunately my AV effectively blocked ASK-Installchecker from connecting to internet !”

Read his full report at TWC Forum.

So no matter what is checked, you still end up getting the IAC / ASK search toolbar!

Time to look for other free PDF readers I suppose!

UPDATE: RESPONSE FROM FOXIT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

Foxit Corporation takes security and customer privacy seriously and we demand the same from our partners. Foxit and Ask Partner Network (APN) have a partnership which allows millions of PDF users to access our award winning Foxit Reader for free. The Ask Toolbar, bundled with the Foxit Reader, requires user permission prior to install, which is consistent with industry standards for bundled software. The Ask Toolbar complies with strict security standards to ensure customer privacy, but the Toolbar is not required to take full advantage of the Foxit Reader services. APN takes privacy as seriously as Foxit and both companies share a commitment to providing a safe online environment.

Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

18 Comments

  1. Lio

    I use the FREE version of the PDF-XChange Viewer
    http://www.docu-track.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

  2. Clara

    You might want to check out Sumatra pdf reader. Its free and fast!

  3. I’ve been using Sumatra for a long time. The default interface is butt ugly, but it renders pages just fine. Plus it’s FAST and tiny. 🙂

  4. Oaken

    Sham-ful 🙁

    Tried both the above and my vote is with PDF-XChange Viewer 🙂

  5. bill m

    Sumatra.. definatley. Fastet too i reckon.

  6. Ali

    Is there a portable version of foxit?

  7. Luis

    AskInstallChecker.exe sends install information to ask.com so your FREE Foxit PDF reader can earn some money.

    Don’t block it!

    And btw, Foxit is not the only software that uses AskInstallChecker.exe to earn money.

  8. Luis

    Oh, and you are not forced to install anything.
    You can untick the Foxit toolbar during installation if you don’t want it.

  9. Thinker

    This is how the Ask partner programme works – it is how Ask.com checks for valid installs and compensates Foxit for the same. And the screenshot (from the forum) shows the Ask search box within the PDF viewer itself and not in a browser window – so claiming that the toolbar “installs” irrespective of whether the user chooses to or not is a little far fetched. And responsible thing to do would be to ask the company involved for their explanation before jumping to conclusions.

  10. -Pablo-

    I think you should double check what you are saying. I agree that it should ask you before trying to call home. But I’m not sure whether or not in the end it will install anything if you specifically uncheck the boxes. At least, the fact that “you end up with the Ask.com toolbar installed anyway” doesn’t seem to be the case. I have Foxit installed and the bar is nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t even find it installed.

    I’m not saying this in support of Foxt, but your posts states things that are probably not true and you seem not to have checked it by yourself (imho).

  11. tuxplorer

    Problem with other PDF readers besides Adobe is they don’t support all the PDF features like transparency, embedded color profiles etc. The latest version of Foxit still doesn’t show transparent graphics right in my PDFs.

  12. I have not tried this myself. This post merely attempts to bring to notice a member’s forum post.

  13. red

    STDU Viewer. Much better alternative.

  14. Clara

    Thera are many free PDF readers available

    http://pdfreaders.org/

  15. Foxit Corporation takes security and customer privacy seriously and we demand the same from our partners. Foxit and Ask Partner Network (APN) have a partnership which allows millions of PDF users to access our award winning Foxit Reader for free. The Ask Toolbar, bundled with the Foxit Reader, requires user permission prior to install, which is consistent with industry standards for bundled software. The Ask Toolbar complies with strict security standards to ensure customer privacy, but the Toolbar is not required to take full advantage of the Foxit Reader services. APN takes privacy as seriously as Foxit and both companies share a commitment to providing a safe online environment.

  16. Thank you for the clarification Alex on behalf of Foxit.

    It has been added as an update to the main post.

  17. Matrix

    When I uncheck all options it did not install any toolbars or change my homepage.

    But it put an eBay shortcut icon on my desktop.

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