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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Force Installs Mcafee Software

Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2022 Dec 04, 2022

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Downloaded and installed Adobe Acrobat Reader DC just a few minutes ago. There was absolutely NO option to download without the McAfee Secure Connect and Scanner software bundled - only the option for the Chrome Plugin. Installer started, and it force installed the McAfee software, without my consent.

 

Yes, I could uninstall both McAfee products that were force installed (and I did), however, this is beyond an agregious act by Adobe. How the f%^k do you think you have the right to install additional software without *explicit* consent?  And no, some deeply buried blurb in your T&C's for downloading Adobe Reader don't count.

SMH.

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Download and install , PDF and browsers , View PDF , Windows

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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Hi @AlexKi,

 

Hope you are doing well. Sorry for your experience with installing Acrobat Reader.

 

We checked the URL that is available for installation of Acrobat Reader and the below screenshot is what we see when trying to download Acrobat Reader:

SS_0-1670343004952.png

The check boxes are available to remove the auto-installation of McAfee Antivirus. 

 

If this is not what you see, I suggest you use the given link for downloading and installing Acrobat Reader:

Download Acrobat installer for Enterprise term or VIP license

 

Hope this helps.

 

-Souvik.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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https://get.adobe.com/reader/?promoid=TTGWL47M is the URL you are directed to from adobe.com when you click "PDF & E-Signatures" on the top menu bar, then "Acrobat Reader", and then click "Donwload PDF Reader".  This is the flow from the Adobe home page.

 

That page (https://get.adobe.com/reader/?promoid=TTGWL47M)  *DOES NOT* have options for downloading without the embedded McAfee bull$h*t.

 

Also, it's the same when you go to get.adobe.com/reader  - your screenshot is outdated and not current. Here is what it looks like right now:

 

adobe-reader.jpg

 

So, try again.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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I want to add as well that this same explanation is given in other threads on the same topic - "oh the check boxes are there, here's a screenshot", and it's the same outdated screenshot used again and again. 

 

The constant dodging by Adobe is not a good look, nor is defaulting to force-installing software that was not consented to.

 

FULL STOP.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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Hi @AlexKi,

 

Sorry for the experience. This also depends on the geo-location of how the pop-ups show. 

 

As suggested, you can use the link provided above to install Acrobat.

 

-Souvik

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2022 Dec 06, 2022

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You are missing the point.

 

People should not have to hunt for an "Enterprise" or "VIP" link to be able to download Adoboe Acrobeat Reader DC with the option to exclude the McAfee Crapware being shoveled at us. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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It's not just the geo-location. I got different results while on the same laptop on the same couch in the same home in the same browser with different types of browser sessions (one while logged into Google, another in a Guest session).

 

I've left my results in another comment; go look at it and tell us why one scenario gives the info+checkboxes and the other doesn't.

 

Somebody coded the different scenarios; a software developer has zero incentive to do this because they're just paid to code. Somebody up the chain made the decision to code these different scenarios for some reason, otherwise they're complete idiots that don't know how to do their job. The scenarios look completely intentional though, and a middle manager has no incentive to do this either. The decisions were made at the top, and I'd like to know how intentionally deceptive they were being while making that decision.

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2023 May 09, 2023

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S S. (?), I'm setting up a new laptop, did a Google search for `adobe reader`, and the first result (non-sponsored) links to https://get.adobe.com/reader/ which doesn't mention McAfee or Chrome installs at all:

 

D29811680u0p9_0-1683684309373.png

The stranger thing is that if I pull up the URL in Chrome Guest mode, the checkboxes are there:

D29811680u0p9_2-1683684601434.png

I don't know what determines the difference, but... it's dishonest behavior for Adobe to install software from another party without telling the user or giving them the option to opt out. Right now McAfee should be considered PuP by Microsoft just because of Adobe's behavior here.

 

Back to the original page; the download buttons download a file named readerdc64_en_I_cra_mdr_install.exe. 

 

D29811680u0p9_1-1683684546428.png

This is what installs McAfee. Stranger still, the exe file deletes itself after it's done... I'm not aware of any other install file I've ever had on my computer that deleted itself after installing except for a virus.  

 

Who knows what else McAfee has done to my system? I uninstalled two apps with its name (in Add Remove Programs in Windows 10), but apparently I need to also remove Registry keys... this is an invasion of our privacy, and completely non-consensual. What's been done to our systems? Adobe's a billion-dollar company. They don't need to resort to these scammy, scummy, lying behaviors.

 

The Guest mode file, if I leave the checkboxes checked, is different - named readerdc64_en_ka_cra_mdr_install.exe.

 

If I reload the original URL in Guest mode and uncheck the boxes, a 3rd file is named - 

readerdc64_en_xa_cra_mdr_install.exe. 

 

Even more strange, all of these files have the exact same file size - 1307KB.

 

I don't know what to believe from Adobe anymore. What about you as an employee? Are they lying to you? What are the users having done to their systems with these files? Maybe a real techie needs to investigate...

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Participant ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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It doesn't need a techie -- it needs an attorney. It's not a matter of what file is installed where and what that it does; it is a matter of forcing you to install an application without your permission. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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An attorney needs evidence, and a techie needs to investigate why the different scenarios happen in different types of browser sessions.

 

I don't exactly have the time or know-how to trace why the two/three different scenarios are happening. I tried looking into it in Chrome Dev Tools, but it's difficult in my situation right now.

 

A technical investigation is needed by an attorney or someone willing to sue Adobe for misadvertisement or non-consensual installation of two software products that are not specified before downloading is set in motion (by button click to new page load), with no opt-out checkboxes on a normal download page (as in, a typical scenario for most people hitting the page).

 

I'm hoping someone more technically educated (or equipped) or that has more time will trace it and expose what's happening somewhere, either here or on Reddit or on some infosec website like Krebs on Security (he'd love knowing how and why this is happening).

 

Right now I consider this deceptive installation to be at minimum PuP (or Potentially-unwanted Software) - at least based on my experience with Microsoft's Windows Defender warnings for typical PuPs - and at maximum spyware or malware considering it looks like McAfee automatically scans your files after installation (without user activation), and Adobe installs an extension to Chrome which I accidentally activated when the Enable box popped up while my pinky was headed for the Enter key (and that extension has full permissions to all data on all websites you have open, so who knows what it saw until I deactivated it and uninstalled it).

 

By the way, I reported the extension as malware because it behaved like previous malware that I've had on my computer (auto-installed and scanned data without my willful permission). I've completely installed anything Adobe and McAfee from my computer because of this scummy behavior (which should be beneath Adobe, since it's typically how financially-desperate or crooked software distributors behave). It really makes Adobe look pathetic, like Gollum grasping for his precious ring at the edge of a volcano. Companies this big should keep dignity present, not smear scum all over themselves and everyone else that touches them.

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Participant ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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And for what it's worth, here is some info. No, I have not read the whole thing yet.

https://www.classlawgroup.com/antitrust/unlawful-practices/tying-bundling/ 

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023

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Hey, if a lawyer can make money suing a billion-dollar company like Adobe for unlawful tying, they should be salivating at this.

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Contributor ,
Dec 25, 2022 Dec 25, 2022

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Installed Acrobat Reader on spouse's PC. THERE ARE NO CHECKBOXES. NO OPTION to exclude McAfee apps. It was excruciating to uninstall/delete all the McAfee files. I hope I did not miss any.

OUTRAGEOUS!!

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 25, 2022 Dec 25, 2022

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@Carol F Metzger, The options also depend on the location where you are based in. Specific locations permit additional bundles to install automatically, while others have to take permission first.

 

Hope this clarifies things.

 

-Souvik

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Contributor ,
Dec 25, 2022 Dec 25, 2022

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Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60649

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Participant ,
Apr 30, 2023 Apr 30, 2023

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So in locations where it's legal to sneak software, Adobe will do so. Understood. For later installs, I may try going through a host elsewhere. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 11, 2023 May 11, 2023

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This is why a country, state, county, city, etc needs regulation.

Greedy corporations will do what they can to extort and exploit people in any way they can get away with until there's too much disincentive for it.

When the "free market" doesn't fix a problem caused by this, the only thing in the way is some ground rules with threat of punishment.

Hopefully a legal case can be made against this behavior so Adobe can start behaving rationally with users with this app's download. Right now I won't be using Adobe/McAfee because of this foul behavior, but that's of course not going to stop the behavior.

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Participant ,
Apr 30, 2023 Apr 30, 2023

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Here we are in 2023, and Adobe has not shown interest: McAfee is still there, and there is no option to include it or not. Hasn't the issue of including unwanted software been run through the courtroom before?

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Participant ,
May 11, 2023 May 11, 2023

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If Adobe cannot handle the herculean effort of giving the user the choice of not installing McAfee (and also Rosetta) from its products, then at least they could handle identifying what may be deleted without harm.

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