Upon starting Comodo System-Cleaner today, I was presented with an “update” available for download. Regretably, I chose to install it without first researching the “changes”. I was appalled by what transpired, and hastily uninstalled it from my system.
The update appeared to install cleanly, but provided no “read-me” or feature list providing a hint of what was in store. Without being presented any option, the new version auto-launched immediately.
As it started, there were numerous hits to the Internet, which I assumed were routine update checks, registration, etc. Some were not. I later found that one was a hit to Facebook and two others to IP addresses that reverse DNS’ed to “domain.not.configured” somewhere in the Verizon network. Odd behavior for a software package touting itself as a “Privacy Cleaner”.
Ignoring my previous CSC preference settings, an “automatic scan?” of my system was reportedly launched. I opened preferences and found many operations enabled that I would not have undertaken without first understanding their impact.
When I went to investigate the unrecognized IP addresses from the launch, I found a process called “Cleaner_Analyzer” had been launched in the background, and that it was opening numerous Internet connections and consuming a tremendous amount of CPU time. I found that this Cleaner_Analyzer had been installed as a Service which would automatically load and run at system start-up.
Wikipedia defines “malware” as " software designed to harm or secretly access a computer system without the owner’s informed consent. "
Having been kept uninformed of the major changes in functionality, and deprived of any opportunity to consent to launch the program, have it hit Facebook and other mysterious sites, then proceed to open multiple Internet connections while consuming all available CPU cycles doing undisclosed operations on my system in concert with an unknown site on the Internet - I find the way this newly released update was delivered comes mighty close to the definition above.
I immediately uninstalled Comodo System-Cleaner … and adding insult to injury my system would not shutdown cleanly to perform the required reboot.
I am deeply disappointed. I hope this episode is not indicative of a new direction in Comodo’s customer relationship strategy.