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Plusnet Assist - suspicious software

happen
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 12-11-2011

Plusnet Assist - suspicious software

Hi, I installed Plusnet Assist and noticed that it installed 66 Internet Explorer add-ons all published by Alcatel-Lucent along with at least 2 Windows Services and a Firefox add-on. I do not like having too many add-ons in IE as they can cause speed and stability problems, privacy and security issues, etc, so I uninstalled Plusnet Assist. I think it is irresponsible for a company to include this many 3rd party components bundled into their software, can Plusnet list everything that each of them does?
I checked my firewall log for any unusual behaviour and see that Plusnet Assist has been contacting Google along with an IP address in Switzerland, 87.248.122.122, apparently owned by Yahoo although it is not listed as such on any IP WHOIS checks. My homepage is set to Google, but I have not visited any Yahoo pages.
The main concern for me is that after uninstalling Plusnet Assist at least one of the services, McciCMService remains installed and is still running. It does not offer a description like most Windows Services & the file description just says mcci+McciCMService. What is it doing and why did it not uninstall?
I had a problem with my connection yesterday & Plusnet Assist just told me to unplug, check lights, etc (after phoning Plusnet it looks like a line fault, fair do's to Plusnet for detecting it immediately when Virginmedia failed to for years). It failed to help setup my email & the information it provides is easily accessible on the Plusnet website. In other words, it did not do anything useful and is more probably an issue than a useful tool. I'm doing a System Restore to remove the remaining parts of it and recommend against installing it.
4 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Plusnet Assist - suspicious software?

As part of the checking of internet connectivity it checks using either Google or Yahoo
The service you are seeing comes from http://www.motive.com/alliances/motivesmart-verification-program.php and is part of the TR-069 interoperability system included on the Plusnet supplied routers. It is using that feature to check that the router settings are all correct
Quote
Home Device Manager
Intelligent, remote management of CPE.
For broadband service providers, simplifying CPE management in home networks has become mission-critical—especially for those looking to roll out advanced broadband  and converged services.
Motive’s Home Device ManagerTM HDM allows service providers to remotely manage CPE, such as residential gateways, IP set-top boxes, and VoIP terminal adapters that comprise a home networking environment. The product supports one-to-one and one-to-many device configuration, as well as device troubleshooting, firmware management, event management and reporting. In addition, a standardized CPE integration layer gives providers a choice of CPE supported either by the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
Did you uninstall from Control Panel or from the Start Menu. When I tried it before full release uninstalling from the Control Panel didn't work properly.
Did you reboot after uninstalling as that may be needed to stop the service
Re motive - has this directory gone C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Motive (this was on Windows 7 64 bit so your location may be a bit different
ckcomputing
Grafter
Posts: 157
Thanks: 9
Registered: 28-11-2009

Re: Plusnet Assist - suspicious software?

Just to confirm what Jim has said:
Internet Connection Troubleshooter – MCCICMSERVICE.EXE
Mccicmservice.exe will appear in your c:\Program Files\common files\motive\ folder.
The program was created by Motive Communications, Inc and it installed with your BT Broadband (Plusnet Assist) or other cable or DSL-based highspeed Internet service.
Motive can be used when troubleshooting problems with your Internet connection. If you rarely or never need to do so, this file can be  uninstalled via Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
Some users contend that the program is not worth the resources it uses up.
Professionals are predictable - it's the amateurs that are dangerous!
happen
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 12-11-2011

Re: Plusnet Assist - suspicious software

I strongly recommend reading the Alcatel-Lucent privacy policy to anyone reading this: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/wps/portal/privacy. This is the privacy policy given on their Motive website, but it is unclear whether it also applies to the Motive software because they do not mention McciCMService on the site. I do not trust this.
I uninstalled Plusnet Assist via Add/Remove Programs & looked there for a separate uninstaller for the remainder, but there wasn't one. I restarted the PC after uninstalling Plusnet Assist so the service wasn't just in use & waiting for a restart . After a system restore I noticed another folder C:\Users\*Username*\AppData\LocalLow\Motive, which was full of gif & bmp images. I don't know what was in there before the restore (of course, system restore would have removed any other remaining software components in there). The C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Motive folder disappeared with the system restore.
Call me sceptical, but it seems that software vendors are using increasingly devious methods to get their software behind our PCs' defences to spy on us.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,862
Thanks: 126
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Plusnet Assist - suspicious software

"Plusnet Assist" seems to be "BT Broadband Desktop Help" under another name.