Short bio

This detection is for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that intercept network traffic between the Internet and its victims’ applications, making it possible to redirect browsers to potentially malicious websites, insert advertisements into the victim’s browsing experience, and even collect/intercept personal information.

It refers to a specific DLL which performs the interception, which means it can show up alongside numerous PUP detections.


Malwarebytes protects users from PUP.Optional.Winsock by using real-time protection.

block PUP.Optional.Winsock

Malwarebytes blocks PUP.Optional.Winsock


Malwarebytes can detect and remove PUP.Optional.Winsock without further user interaction.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. Then click Finish.
  4. Once the program has fully updated, select Scan Now on the Dashboard. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  5. If another update of the definitions is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  6. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  7. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

Add an exclusion

Should users wish to keep this program and exclude it from being detected in future scans, they can add the program to the exclusions list. Here’s how to do it.

The Exclusions tab includes a list of items to be excluded from scans. The items may include files, folders, websites, or applications that connect to the Internet, as well as previously detected exploits.

To access the exclusions in Malwarebytes:

  • Click on the Settings tab in the left pane.
  • Click on the Exclusions tab.
  • Click the Add Exclusion button.
  • Select the exclusion type Exclude a File or Folder and use the Browse button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary folder(s) that belong to the software.

If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, add an exclusion of the type Exclude an application that Connects to the Internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

Associated threats

  • Optional.Winsock.Hijack
  • Optional.Winsock.HijackBoot
  • Optional.Winsock.HijackBoot.A
  • Optional.Winsock.WnskRST

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