Funmoods is an annoying browser toolbar that has somewhat interesting marketing strategy. It is distributed through software bundles mostly, that is you install some sort of freeware or shareware tool (video grabber, etc) and get Funmoods too. The toolbar changes the default search engine and start page to Funmoods one. It uses google search, but it shows advertisements in different color scheme (less contrast) and so earn money. Then you can decide if you want or not this toolbar and uninstall it.

I decided to list Funmoods toolbar on as potentially unwanted application because of several reasons:

  • Firstly, the softwares we checked had opt-out disabled on default install. This ensures that many users do not know how they got Funmoods installed in the first place. Many of us do not check all the checkboxes, especially disabled (although pre-checked) ones. What is even worse, the default uninstaller does not work as it should. It does not restore default page or search engine upon uninstall. Thus while it uninstalls the toolbar (which is not the annoying part of this software), the annoying settings remain the same and people look for way to get rid of it. There are a huge number of searches and forum posts asking for help each month.
  • Secondly, Funmoods is already in many anti-malware program DBs: Spybot S&D, Spyhunter, Malwarebytes,ESET Smart security detect, block and remove this toolbar as potentially unwanted application. This is the fact readers and potential users should be aware off

Most of these things are covered on the original post, however the topic now is different. The companies reaction to this issue. I got an email couple days ago claiming that these things are slander and in fact there are no problems with Funmoods toolbar… The letter came from Adam Chakir, Head of Compliance on ironSource, the company behind this toolbar. Some things sound very interesting in the letter:

refer to our Funmoods product as a Virus/Malware and an unwanted application that hijacks search and blends paid and free search results.

actually, we refer to it as unwanted program mostly, and it blends much the paid and free search results compared to default google scheme.

Additionally to this being misleading, slandering and intimidating publications, your website which is called “VIRUSES2 – Detect and remove viruses, scams and other malware” also provides detailed instruction regarding the way the Funmoods product can be removed from users PCs. Please note that these publications damage our company and products’ reputation and hurt our users.

(Emphasis mine).

So, If someone helps users to remove application that does not uninstall normally, this damages product reputation? Don’t know how helping users to do the thing they want hurts them too. In fact, I understand well why incomplete uninstall is the desired outcome for Toolbars, modifying search provider: if PC users can’t find the way to remove the search engine and home page from browser easily, the PC might remain with the changed one and produce advertising clicks for the toolbar makers. But this is not desired outcome for common person.

I have responded with these points like above. Adam’s response was less than helpful, and, in fact, insulting.

He started to claim that my post on funmoods was based not on my research, but on internet publications only. That is simply not true, as I tested funmoods for quite a while on my virtual machine, both standalone installer (which is less problematic) and software bundles (which are problematic in my opinion).

Also, it was repeated that funmoods toolbar can only be installed through users wish. While software installed without explicit user consent is mostly malicious, making hard for user to not-install or uninstall software is a sign of unwanted software as well.

My last response to Adam Chakir to date was like this:

Correct me if I am wrong. You want me to inform my visitors that fact that you are included in some antivirus dbs is nothing they should know or care about. This is the basic right to inform the visitors and freedom of speech. And are they guilty themselves if they installed some software bundle and got no opt-out option on default install for funmoods.?
Also. My website brand does not limit me writing on viruses only, the same as funmoods has nothing to do with fun for many people including myself.
We claim that funmoods is pua based on our research e.g. blending of paid an organic search results, failure to reset search provider in uninstaller. Nothing more nothing less. If you have constructive criticism to the facts in article then send them plz.

So, I wish to hear your opinions. Would you remove the original post or keep it up?

Categories: Security

Giedrius Majauskas

I am a internet company owner and project manager living at Lithuania. I am interested in computer security, health and technology topics.


carolyn jackson · August 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

I have been trying to remove funmoods , it loaded itself on my PC,it slows my PC down,I hate it.I had babylon first and I think this is the same people.Got Babylon with Foxfire and got Funmoods with Google Crome.

Peter Ross · September 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

What is *WRONG* with you Giedrius Majauskas? I just loaded your god damn piece software, and I’ve been trying to get rid of it for several hours. I can’t believe you’re trying to defend yourself and your ‘business’ model when you know damn well you’re distributing malware that nobody wants or even knows they’re getting until it’s too late. You’re a low level internet terrorist as far I’m concerned. Are you going to email me detailed instructions on how to get rid of ALL traces of your “Funmoods” malware or am I going to have to hunt you down and punch you in the nose? Which is it, cuz I am really pissed.

Peter Ross · September 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

Ooops, I’m sorry, I think I may have confused Giedrius Majauskas with Adam Chakir or whoever it was that was identified as the person responsible for making and distributing “Funmoods” … PLEASE pass on my contempt for them, and tell them that I am still serious about expecting to receive detailed instructions on how to get rid of ‘Funmoods’. Thank you and I’m sorry for any collateral damage and confusing you with the enemy.

Peter Ross · November 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Dear Giedrius Majauskas: Please accept my apologies again for having confused you with the A-hole responsible for promoting and distributing “Funmoods”, and what a preposterous name for such a malicious piece of software, and thanks again for getting the word out about it … but if there’s one thing you’re not doing it’s posting enough links to sites for uninstalling the damn thing without having to install Spybot, Spyhunter, Malwarebytes or ESET to get rid of it UNLESS you know for a fact that IS the only way to get rid of the damn thing, frankly i forgot how I managed to uninstall it without Spybot or ESET but it was a real hassle, thanks again.

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