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OpenCandy was an Adware module classified as malware by many anti-virus vendors. They flag OpenCandy due to its undesirable side-effects.[1][2] It is designed to be installed on a personal computer during installation of other desired software. Produced by SweetLabs, it consists of a Microsoft Windows library incorporated in a Windows Installer. When a user installs an application that has bundled the OpenCandy library, an option appears to install software it recommends based on a scan of the user's system and geolocation. Both the option and offers it generates are selected by default if the user simply clicks "Next" through the installation.[3][4]

OpenCandy's various undesirable side-effects include changing the user's homepage, desktop background or search provider, and inserting unwanted toolbars, plug-ins and extension add-ons in the browser. It also collects and transmits various information about the user and their surfing habits to third parties without notification or consent.


The software was originally developed for the DivX installation, by CEO Darrius Thompson. When installing DivX, the user was prompted to optionally install the Yahoo! Toolbar. DivX received $15.7 million during the first nine months of 2008 from Yahoo and other software developers, after 250 million downloads.[4]

Chester Ng, the former DivX business development director, is chief business officer and Mark Chweh, former DivX engineering director, is chief technology officer.[4]

Windows components[edit]

Components of the program may have differing but similar names based on version.

Files dropped[edit]

Note that files dropped by this program usually have the 'hidden' and 'system' attributes set. In order to see or search for them, folder settings for "hide operating system files" will need to be unchecked, and "show hidden files and folders" will need to be checked.

  • OCComSDK.dll
  • OCSetupHlp.dll


Note: additional processes associated with any accepted offers may also run.

Registry keys[edit]

Registry keys have varying names, so that a search of the registry for "*opencandy*" will need to be done to find and delete them.

DNS and HTTP queries[edit]


Counter measures[edit]

  • Select "Custom installation (advanced)" and uncheck all option boxes.[5]
  • Run the software installer offline, or from command line with option /NOCANDY.[6]
  • Block OpenCandy IP addresses in the Windows hosts file with entries like:[7]
  • Run anti-malware such as Malwarebytes after the software installation to clean the system.[8]
  • Use an active anti-virus to detect and block adware/malware on-the-fly

Software known to have included OpenCandy[edit]


  1. ^ VirusTotal file checking Web page on the OpenCandy file ocsetuphlp.dll: 26 out of 56 virus scanners identified it as malware on 21 May 2016
  2. ^ ADW_OPENCANDY: Trend Micro page, 30 April 2016
  3. ^ Needleman, Rafe (11 November 2008), OpenCandy brings ad market to software installs. What?, CNET news, retrieved 2009-08-18 
  4. ^ a b c Marshall, Matt (10 November 2008), OpenCandy inserts recommendations when you install software, retrieved 2009-08-18 
  5. ^ "Safely install ImgBurn without OpenCandy malware". Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  6. ^ "To those who are unhappy about being bundled with OpenCandy - ImgBurn General". ImgBurn Support Forum. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Blocking Unwanted Connections with a Hosts File". Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Free Anti-Malware & Internet Security Software". Malwarebytes. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  9. ^ "Inquiry about detection of Auslogics Defrag Free Edition - ESET NOD32 Antivirus". 
  10. ^ "Complete Version history / Release notes / Changelog". 
  11. ^ [1] (click "More download options")
  12. ^ [2] Multiple Packages available
  13. ^ "DarkWave Studio v5.5.5 for Windows 7/Vista/XP". 
  14. ^ End User License Agreement, retrieved September 2014
  15. ^ User, Super. "FileMenu Tools". 
  16. ^ "Does Foxit Reader free have malware?". Foxit Corporation Forums. 
  17. ^ "Format Factory - Free media file format converter". 
  18. ^ Zenju. "FreeFileSync". 
  19. ^ "FrostWire: Downloader, BitTorrent Client and Media Player". 
  20. ^ " include technical information and download link of GOM Player, GOM Audio, GOM Video Converter and GOM Remote.". 
  21. ^ "Change log". ImgBurn. LIGHTNING UK!. 2013-06-16. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-30. Changed: No longer bundling/offering the toolbar in the setup program, OpenCandy now handles product offerings during installation. 
  22. ^ "IZArc News". 
  23. ^ "MP3 Support Analysis - herdProtect". 
  24. ^ a b c gizmo, richards (2014-02-08). "Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software". Gizmo's Freeware. Archived from the original on 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-30. OpenCandy (OC) is a relatively new advertising product that more and more software developers are bundling with their programs. It can now be found in the installers of dozens of popular programs including IZArc, mirC, PrimoPDF, Trillian Astra and more. 
  25. ^ SEMU-Design. "FJ Software Development". 
  26. ^ "Malware scan of novaroma.v0.9.9.2.setup.exe (Novaroma) 56f9cfa760427a24ee21473cb547d77674184250 - Reason Core Security Labs". 
  27. ^ [3] On the Help/Facts page
  28. ^ Discussions on pdfforge Forums
  29. ^ "PhotoScape". 
  30. ^ "PowerISO - Create, Burn, Mount, Edit, Compress, Encrypt, Split, Extract ISO file, ISO/BIN converter, Virtual Drive". 
  31. ^ "RIOT - Radical Image Optimization Tool Alternatives and Similar Software -". 
  32. ^ Schember, John (21 January 2012). "Sigil 0.5.0 Released". Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  33. ^ "Ummy Video Downloader v1.7". 
  34. ^ "Malware on Install". 
  35. ^ "Antivirus scan for c5a31520f167138d88df23475fc85881b19f48b076419cc3f6b3c92d71482809 at 2016-06-24 09:43:13 UTC - VirusTotal". 
  36. ^ "WinSCP - OpenCandy". Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  37. ^ "Detected by SpyHunter 4 HOSTS file monitor 11-23-2016".