PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A

PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A is deemed as potentially unwanted program that performs malicious actions once installed on the computer. This detection by Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program is given to specific software that user may optionally install together with third-party application. However, due to lack of notification during the install process, PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A often gets into the PC without user's knowledge.

Threat behavior

Installation

In usual situation, PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A is bundled to freeware or shareware applications. In fact, there may be other unwanted programs that are packed to the main software that users preferred to obtain. Authors behind malicious programs are utilizing pay-per-install scheme to deploy their products over the Internet.

There are also instances that malware are being used to deploy PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A. In this case, the threat can be acquired when visiting malicious web pages, downloading compromised files, or using file-sharing apps. Links from spam emails and social media sites are also one medium consumed by attacker to spread PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A.

Payload

Once PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A is run on the computer, it targets mostly known browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. This threat performs changes on browser settings that may result to home page hijacking and browser redirect problems. PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A also drops extension, add-on, and plug-in to achieve other malicious tasks.

To start instantly when browser is opened, PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A installs itself as browser helper object. This also gives the malware to have control on the browser and install its own search engine and toolbar object.

Symptoms

Presence of PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A affects your installed browser program. Here are some obvious signs that the malware has invaded the computer.

  • Modified start page, home page or search engine
  • Constant redirect to unwanted web sites
  • Excessive display of pop-up advertisements
  • Browser and new tabs opens on its own

How can you remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A?

To totally remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A from the computer and get rid of relevant adware, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scan the system with suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

First step: Scan the computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the link below. Save the file on your hard drive.

2. Once the download completes, double-click on the file MB3-SETUP.EXE to run the program.

3. Select desired installation language when it prompts you.Then, click OK.

4. On the welcome screen, click Next to proceed.

MBAM-welcome

5. Next window is about License Agreement, you must accept this and click the Next button.

MBAM-license

6. Proceed with the succeeding prompts until you reach the window Ready to Install. Click on Install button.

7. Installation process will take less than a minute. Click on Finish button to run the program.

MBAM-finish

8. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware interface appears, please select Scan on sidebar menu. Then, choose Threat Scan as shown in the image below. Click on Start Scan button to begin the process. The program will check for any available update before proceeding. Do not skip this step. Virus scan may take a while, please wait for the process to finish.

MBAM-threatscan

9. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.

Second step: Run AdwCleaner to totally remove PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A

1. Download the tool called AdwCleaner from the location stated below.

2. Once you have completed the download, please close all running programs on the computer.

3. Locate the file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.

AdwCleaner

4. It searches for presence of harmful programs, plug-ins, add-ons, or any data that were found malicious and linked to PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A. You may have to delete each detected item.

5. Once scan is done, the tool may need to reboot your computer to finalize the cleaning process.

6. After reboot, open AdwCleaner once more. Click on Uninstall to remove this program from your computer.

Third step: Cleanup the Browser using Avast Browser Cleanup

1. Download this free tool and save it to your desktop.

2. You do not need to install the program. This portable scanner will run automatically once you double-click on the the executable file avast-browser-cleanup.exe. This is effective in deleting PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A entries from the browser.

3. When run, Avast Browser Cleanup performs a test on the browser. If unwanted entries were found, it will display a button 'Remove all add-ons listed below and cleanup browser.' You may remove all or delete one entry at a time.

Avast Browser Scanner

4. Avast Browser Cleanup will confirm before it permanently deletes the add-on. Please click Yes to proceed with the removal of PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A on the affected browser.

11 thoughts on “PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A

  1. Jim

    I really like malware, but this PUP.Optional.mindspark.A is a real pain. Though your product finds it, and I can delete it with your product. It doesn’t quarantine it to prevent it from coming back. So the very next time I use Chrome. And scan again. there all 310 pieces of pup are back again, and again. I would like it to prevent from re-installing. How does your product do that for me. I am just as unhappy with Norton, AVS.

  2. Diane MacKay

    I performed step one “Scan the computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware” step. It showed that there were detected items, as listed below.
    100 Qty – PUP.Optional.JustCloud.A
    5 Qty – PUP.Optional.MindSpark.A
    1 Qty – PUP.Optional.Squeaky.A

    Then went on to perform step two with Adw Cleaner and two items showed, as listed below.
    1 Qty – Computer Backup (Just Cloud) / Service Name: BackupStack
    1 Qty – qknfd / Service Name: qknfd
    I unchecked the Computer Backup (Just Cloud) and left the qknfd checked to be cleaned.

    Last step performed was the Avast Browser Cleanup and it showed nothing was there, however, the report showed that folders were deleted. Ex: : C:\Program Files (x86)\JustCloud. What happened? Why was this folder and others deleted?

    There were also files and registry keys deleted.
    I am extremely concerned that I did something wrong. What do I do now?

  3. James

    Diane, those folders belong to unwanted software that you may have accidentally installed alongside another program (usually from just clicking Next without reading when you install a program). No need for concern, the anti-virus programs you ran seem to have done their jobs. I would scan again with MalwareBytes just to be safe.

  4. Frank Ryan

    Have just run malwarebytes which detected 34 PUP.Optional.Mindspark.A and deleted all these files. Is it now necessary to download and run the above programs?

  5. Andrew Jack

    Thank you for posting this! My Malwarebytes detected this and I wondered what it did. Weirdly non of the symptoms happened. It also only detected two items called mindspark. Both were files. Anyways at least I’m safe!

  6. Sherry

    Would you please confirm – step 1 – YOU SHOULD DELETE, not just quarantine the infected files? Please confirm if you delete – does this mean you will have to reinstall any programs that may be affected?
    When you say to disable anti’virus programs before running Malwarebytes, does this include windows firewall?

  7. David Dylan

    Mindspark, has been linked to blue and white screens of death, Screen Lockups, HDD bricking, and many other types of damage

  8. Marcie

    I completed the First Step and ran the malware bytes anti malware ..it found the Pup.optional.mindspark as a threat and removed it. Do I need to also complete Step 2 and 3 as well or is the first step sufficient to remove this threat?

  9. Victor

    One of these came in through an email that said: Paul (last name deleted) just sent you a file. It left 1943 viruses on my computer (I am writing with another computer). We were able to remove a trojan with webroot and the 1943 viruses with the free version of Malware bytes. Still wondering if we should try one more software program. We also changed all passwords.

  10. Sean Harrington

    I ran a scan and it came back with 322 threats all of which were the PUP Optional MIndspark. Tried to quarantine and delete but computer locked up with the cursor spinning. This happened once before and I eventually had to restart the computer. When the computer rebooted I ran another scan but it didn’t find any PUP threats until now. Not sure what to do now.

  11. Mike

    Chrome has something gong on – I get 325 Mind spark results when I scan with malwarebytes , I quarantined and deleted them

    If I open Chrome again, they return

    Only happens with Chrome (not Mozilla, I.E.) – I have tried changing to different start pages – same result

    Done virus scans – nothing there

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