McAfee Stinger is a second-opinion scanner that you can run alongside your resident security solution to check the system for malicious programs.
The main purpose of the program is to detect and remove infections on computer systems running a supported version of Windows.
McAfee did add a real-time behavior component Raptor to the application in recent time to improve the program's capabilities.
Downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of McAfee Stinger are provided on the official website but also on third-party sites.
One of those sites, Portable Apps, discovered recently that McAfee Stinger was installing a Windows service without informing the user about it when the program is run.
The site removed McAfee's tool as a consequence from its repository due to malware-like behavior stating that the service is "exceedingly difficult to remove" once installed since it lacks uninstallation options.
I ran McAfee Stinger after reading the news piece to find out more about that. True enough, the McAfee Validation Trust Protection Service was installed during first run of McAfee Stinger on a 64-bit version of Windows.
It appears though that you need to run the corresponding version of Mcafee Stinger. A test run of the 32-bit version of McAfee Stinger on a 64-bit machine did not seem to install the service.
Do the following to test if the validation service is installed on your system:
The purpose of the service is not clear and the description does not help either in shedding light on that (Provides validation trust protection services).
The service cannot be stopped and its status cannot be changed as it does not offer any means to do that (all actions are grayed out).
The path to the executable is listed as C:\Windows\system32\mfevtps.exe in the properties.
The service cannot be removed through normal which makes this even more troublesome for users who run the program on their system. If they remove the McAfee Stinger program, the service remains on the system and since it is set to autostart, it will start and run on every system start.
So how can you remove the service once it is installed?
You may be able to use System Restore for that. Note that a restore point is not created when you run McAfee Stinger. If a restore point was created earlier, you may use it to restore the an earlier snapshot to get rid of the service.
The best option that the Portable Apps crew found was to use McAfee's Removal Tool as it can be run on the system directly and will remove the McAfee Validation service along with other traces of McAfee software from the system.
This is obviously only an option if you don't have McAfee software installed that you rely on as it will get removed in the process.
Please note that you need to restart the system after the removal process finishes to complete it. Once done, the service is no longer installed on the system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.