DriverHub PUP - How to remove

DriverHub is a program that claims to offer an easy way to update Windows drivers safely and for free. But it actually bundles promoted programs with its installation and is itself a potentially unwanted program that is detected as malicious by multiple antivirus applications.

DriverHub has a simple and minimalistic interface. Once installed, this program scans your PC and finds divers that it thinks should be updated. If you turn on the advanced option, you can choose to only update the drivers that you want to be updated. DriverHub also lists a list of links to various Windows inbuilt programs, such as Disk Manager, Task Manager, Control Panel, and others.

Potentially unwanted program

DriverHub is a Windows utility that, like a lot of Windows utilities and optimisers, does things that are already easy to do on Windows without any third-party software. For example, driver updating is done automatically on Windows, or you can do it manually with Device Manager. Besides that, do you really need to update your drivers, considering that the hardware is not changing?

Software, such as browsers or text editors, have new features developed for them constantly. Content creators and other software will take advantage of these features and, if you don’t update your programs, you might notice some features not working correctly. For example, some websites do not support old, outdated browsers, or lack security features to protect you against the newest exploits. Driver updates, though, deal with your hardware, which itself doesn’t change unless you replace a physical part on your computer. A keyboard remains the same for years and can work fine with old drivers. It’s true that problems and bugs with the old driver can be fixed in updates, but unless the bugs affected you, it is not going to do much for performance. Besides that, Windows does update drivers when it finds new ones.

DriverHub is not so bad when compared to other similar applications, for example, it lacks the scareware features that are usually present in hardware optimisers. At the moment, there is no reason to think that DriverHub is malicious in any way. But the function that it performs is unnecessary, and the use of bundling can easily be abused by malware developers, which are reasons to categorise DriverHub as a PUP — potentially unwanted program.

Distribution of DriverHub

DriverHub, developed by Rostpay, can be downloaded from the official website, on which it says “Save your time and money looking for drivers and fix your PC and Laptop errors.”, and brags about not containing Trojans and being free.

It is free, unlike a lot of other optimisers and driver update utilities (a lot of those are scams, actually — programs that “discover” a multitude of “problems” and “errors”, and then charge you to fix them). However, DriverHub is still a commercial product. It makes money by bundling promoted programs with its installer. This is a growing problem that exploits people’s carelessness and shyness to aggressively push sponsored applications. People who use bundling to promote their own software know that some people lack the confidence and the wariness to take advantage of the advanced installation options when they are available. It doesn’t help that. the promoted programs are labeled as “Recommended software”, potentially implying that it’s needed for DriverHub or your PC to work as well as possible.

The dangers of bundling

You might think that there is nothing really wrong with bundling. A little bit of bloatware isn’t the end of the world, and it’s just a few programs being promoted with no evil intent at all. And that is often true.

The problem with bundling is how stealthy some of the unwanted programs are. Yes, most of the time, you will clearly see the promoted program and the option to refuse it, like you do when installing DriverHub. But other times it can be well disguised and, if you don’t specifically check, you won’t even notice that you have a new program installed on your PC.

driverhub pup

Mostly it’s applications that collect information about you that act so stealthily — adware, spyware, browser hijackers. Adware is a program that, after it has tricked someone into installing it, constantly advertises to them, whether by injecting ads into websites, or by showing popup ads on the desktop. A browser hijacker can do the same, as well as track your browsing habits and history. Worse are spyware programs. For example, keyloggers can record keyboard presses, and certain browser extensions, once they see what a person is doing online, such as which bank they visit, pass this information to cybercriminals for use in targeted phishing attacks.

To be fair, I have only seen DriverHub promote innocent programs like the Opera browser and Yahoo extensions. However, the above examples illustrate why you should be very, very careful when installing free software that bundles additional programs. Read every window in the installation wizard, and check the Privacy Policy of each of the programs that you install. Check their affiliations and their reputation online. Scan the file with an antivirus program before you install the program. For example, if you check DriverHub on VirusTotal, you find that it is detected by dozens of antivirus applications as either malicious or suspicious.

How to remove DriverHub

If you want to, you can keep using DriverHub. Just make sure to be cautious when installing freeware hardware optimisers and Windows utilities, as those are easy to be abused or misused. Keep your antivirus updated, and use it to scan your files periodically, as well as before opening or running an unfamiliar file.

If you do wish to uninstall DriverHub, you can do it by using the Control Panel tool on your PC. But also, don’t forget the bundled applications that came with it. Look up any suspicious applications, or have an antivirus program look for them — many antivirus apps can recognise PUPs. Spyhunter are examples of antivirus programs that you can use for this.

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How to remove DriverHub PUP using Windows Control Panel

Many hijackers and adware like DriverHub PUP install some of their components as regular Windows programs as well as additional software. This part of malware can be uninstalled from the Control Panel. To access it, do the following.
  • Start→Control Panel (older Windows) or press Windows Key→Search and enter Control Panel and then press Enter (Windows 8, Windows 10). Open Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu.
  • Choose Uninstall Program (if you don't see it, click in the upper right next to "View by" and select Category). In Control Panel, select Uninstall a program.
  • Go through the list of programs and select entries related to DriverHub PUP . You can click on "Name" or "Installed On" to reorder your programs and make DriverHub PUP easier to find. Find the program that you need to uninstall.
  • Click the Uninstall button. If you're asked if you really want to remove the program, click Yes. Click the Uninstall button after selecting the program to uninstall. Then click Yes.
  • In many cases anti-malware programs are better at detecting related parasites, thus I recommend installing Spyhunter to identify other programs that might be a part of this infection. Spyhunter marking a program and its components as low-threat malware.

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