What is PnkBstrA.exe? Is PnkBstrA.exe spyware or a virus?

How to fix PnkBstrA.exe related problems?
1. Run Security Task Manager to check your PnkBstrA process
2. Run Windows Repair Tool to repair PnkBstrA.exe related Windows Errors
3. Run MalwareBytes to remove persistent malware

Process name: PunkBuster™ Service Component

Product: PunkBuster™

Company: Even Balance (evenbalance.com)

File: PnkBstrA.exe


PnkBstrA is one component of the PunkBuster™ Client which is installed on a user's PC by an online multi-player game that incorporates PunkBuster™ technology by Even Balance, Inc. Founded in Austin, Texas, USA, by Tony Ray, the original developer, Even Balance announced its first beta of PunkBuster™ in September, 2000. It uses and attributes a modified version of the MD5 Algorithm authored by RSA Data Security. PunkBuster™ is sold directly to many software companies marketing multiplayer online games for incorporation into their products, for two main reasons: to avoid charging the end user for its protective functions, and because it operates on a client/server basis requiring the existence on the Internet of multiple PunkBuster™ Servers to track the identity and behavior of the many users of online multiplayer games and to record and enforce temporary or permanent bans on those found hacking or cheating. The PunkBuster™ Client that resides on the user's computer sends frequent highly-encrypted status reports to the PB Server. It is capable of real-time scanning of memory to search for known hacks and cheats and is also capable of responding to requests from a PB Administrator for a full picture of the desktop. On the server side, PunkBuster™ has options allowing players to become Admins, which may explain occasional complaints of rival players taking and posting unauthorized screenshots of others' entire desktops, violating privacy of information outside the game window.

The presence of PnkBstrA.exe on a computer may persist after uninstallation of any one of the games that includes this technology but an Uninstall entry for PunkBuster can usually be found using the Control Panel. Many of the best-known multiplayer games use it, such as Medal of Honor Airborne, Need for Speed Prostreet (or NfS Undercover), Enemy Territory - QUAKE, or version 4 (Modern) of Call of Duty.

The impact of hackers and cheaters on the Internet gaming industry is a major one. A simple example of it is where you "fatally" shoot another player's avatar and it is still capable of shooting yours. Like academic cheating it is widespread with many complex forms and has spawned an industry of hackers who develop and sell ways to gain unfair advantage in a game. If you want a detailed security rating about your PnkBstrA.exe (and all other running background processes) read the following user opinions, and download the free trial version of Security Task Manager. http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/process/pnkbstra.exe.html 

Note: Any malware can be named anything - so you should check where the files of the running processes are located on your disk. If a "non-Microsoft" .exe file is located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, then there is a high risk for a virus, spyware, trojan or worm infection! Check it out!


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Users Opinions

Average user rating of PnkBstrA.exe: based on 205 votes. Read also the 151 reviews.

  • 9587 users ask for this file. 95 users rated it as not dangerous. 23 users rated it as not so dangerous. 52 users rated it as neutral. 17 users rated it as little bit dangerous. 18 users rated it as dangerous. 19 users didn't rate it ("don't know").

All comments about PnkBstrA.exe:
i think it punkbuster for games, but it starts on windows? Patrick
it is a game anti cheat, but it is not needed if the game is not running and they can use it as spyware
punkbuster an antcheat program when playing online games
America's Army DorKyurga
I belive this is the Punkbuster application for online games, to prevent cheating. If you do not have one of those games installed, it could be Spyware.
loaded from Call of Duty2 online play, soon after began noticing suspcious behavior, ie: unusual net traffic, programs restarting on their own, etc. Andy
trying to detect my private hax theallknowing
Online Games Anti Cheating Software  See also: Link Sporty
Used by alot of different games as an antihacking system. Does not affect you in anyway badly Charlie
PunkBuster File NO VIRUS Adem
Helps prevent hackers playing games Andrew
Punkbuster used for online gaming john
Whenever you install a game which has punkbuster associated with it, you get this at start up, and I think PnkBstrB.exe while you are playing the game, for me it was BF2142.
Punkbuster!! for pc games JJ
Punk Buster - AntiCheat for many First Person Shooter Online Games (BF2142, CS:S, AA, etc..)  See also: Link AdamX
It's used by the punkbuster software.  See also: Link Nelson Fluckz
Its for Americas Army Game punkbuster program {-SMAKU-}_Jig$aw
It is a part of anti-cheating system used by various games. kixu
Wikipedia: The company is widely known from the anti-cheat program PunkBuster and is probably the only world-wide specialized company in providing those products at present.  See also: Link Tony
Delete its a trojan/keylogger
Part of PunkBuster Installed with Battlefield 2142 Haggas
I installed americas army and it came with that it is some kind of anti cheat program if you dont have that running you will not be allowed on certain servers i hope this helps wayne =IB= JEDI [MP]
This is the punkbuster anti-cheat software that runs in the background. It can be disabled if you're not going to be playing the punkbuster enabled games. You will need to restart the process to play online. Even Balance has a little program you can download to aid in stopping/restarting the processes. See their website for more info:  See also: Link JB
Necessary Firewall Punkbuster component for Video Game hacker/Cheater protectionfor many Video games.  See also: Link TimoMajere
Service used by PunkBuster protected Video games. ( Anti-Cheats)  See also: Link TimoMajere
its a part of the punkbuster system for the game Battlefield 2 C Beck
Thats Punkbuster, after update ( das ist punkbuster nach einer aktualisierung)  See also: Link Mandes
That it is a part of punbuster for Call of duety Bob the straig chees
PunkBuster Dienst  See also: Link suchenundfinden
Used for online gaming such as BattleField 2  See also: Link Tyler
Part of Punkbuster Anticheat program  See also: Link
A utility to prevent cheating/hacking in online multi-player games.  See also: Link Eric Johansen
forma parte de la ultima actualizacion del punkbuster (sistema anticheats incluido en juegos como battlefield2,call of duty 2,prey,etc...) sin el proceso funcionando punkbuster puede expulsarte de los servidores de juego Xaviss
it comes from playing online games, ie: bf2142, bf2 glyn321
Part of the Punk Buster gaming system, checks for cheats Dr Ken Salzman
Punkbuster is a a monitor that checks users friendliness in online gaming. i.e if keep killing your own team or generally being a dick then it will kick you. but beware that if you disable punkbuster some games will not work like Battlefield 2142 demo. for more info on how to stop dumb shits messing about when your trying to have a serious game click on the link  See also: Link TIXEVIL
Seems to be part of Punkbuster, an anti-cheating service for FPS games. Doesn't seem harmful but shouldn't be running on startup.
Punkbuster-Datei, lauscht an einem Port und dient der Erkennung von Cheatern in Spielen wie World in Conflict, Americas Army oder auch Call of Duty.Die Dateigröße unter Windows XP ist 63040 bytes. Kai Langer
Punk Buster is evil and is very hard to remove from a system once installed. Athena
new punkbuster version  See also: Link joseph
Used By Battlefield 2142
I think its BattelFeild 2142 Punk Buster Jason
It's the PunkBuster service used by e.g. ET Wolfenstein. It's a game extension. Willberg
Got it when I installed WarRock. I think it has to do with their anti-cheat system. From what I hear other MMOFPSs use this system as well.  See also: Link meshif
This file is part of Punk Buster, an anti-cheating module found in some games, such as Wolfenstein-Enemy Territory  See also: Link Wes
for internet gaming
PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe, both monitor for ingame hacks for popular online games. With out it you wont be able to play games that support it online.  See also: Link -=§Yakko§=-
It's a punkbuster program which looks for cheats during gameplay (games which use punkbuster). playeer
Anti Game Cheater File... The Captain
A no cheating tool for games like Battlefield. Is loaded with the game. Sascha
Used for ensure cheaters are kept away from online games allstars
Punk Buster is installed with some online games. Mine was installed with Call of Duty 4. PnkBstrA and B are services that can be seen in MSConfig. Disabling them will only affect the quantity of server that you'll be able to connect to. If you are a online COD player you should keep those enabled since most server will have punkbuster enabled Stephane
PunkBuster client for online First Person Shooter games. Wolfmight
seems to be a backdoor trojan of some sort BP
laut kaspersky 7.0.0..... alles ok pitbull
Called Punk Buster, Installed with Call of Duty 2. Looks for known cheats on your hard drive, and reports to connected server during online play. Jeremy
it slows down system performance particularly for gamers Sebi Sheldin
Whrere it is from. His real name is Punk Buster: It´s needed for games like Battlefield 2: I think it´s not dangerous Security
Required file for games that use PunkBuster anti cheat program  See also: Link Joe
Did search on my computer and file belongs to PunkBuster anti cheat program for online games. Purple44
Part of the "Punk Buster" anti-cheating system for online gaming their is a PnkBstrB.exe in the same directory which is also neither dangerous nor essential
In my case it was malware Simon
a upate for punkbuster, which is used by many games, punkbuster is a program to detect hackers from games, www.evenbalance.com
its a punkbuster file for games
it is a file that evenbalance, aka Punkbuster, has made so that hackers and cheaters dont play on servers for online games like Battlefield 2.  See also: Link Jon Healey
you need this file to play on punkbuster servers(battlefield2) Krisstuz
Used by Games to discover Cheats Cajos
Punk Buster LAN/TCIP echo program  See also: Link Neuvik
Wow64 allows 64bit kernel to run 32bit kernel apps.  See also: Link Casey
helps stop cheating jonno
verhindert das eingeben von cheats bei Call Of Duty
Teil der Punkbuster-Prozesse, welche für das Nutzen von Software, die über Punkbuster läuft benötigt wird. (Part of the Punkbuster-technology which is used by different games.)  See also: Link Malazag
Its a program that is used to look for hacks or cheats for online games - if you stop this you will get kciked from punk buster protected servers EXZODIER
it's deigned to prevent hackers in games like Battlefield 2  See also: Link Matt
Park of PunkBuster Anti-cheat. Installs a service.  See also: Link
this is system process for punk buster anti-cheat system installed by few online games. River
Punkbuster anti-cheat. anti-swear etc for games like BF2, BF2142, COD4 d
Punkbuster for many online FPS games such as Call of Duty 4, Counter-Strike Source, Half-Life2 Deathmatch, and many other STEAM games, completely harmless, however will cause games to crash if not updated from the website Mike
Part of Punkbuster
For me, it was installed when I installed America's Army. It is an anti-cheat thing that some games use. Maximus
Is Part of PunkBuster Anticheat-Software which is needed playing online (f.e.Battlefield). PnkBstra.exe's purpose seems to be the update of Punkbuster related files  See also: Link DasChillum
It's punkbuster...a lot less harmful than playing someone using an aimbot, thats for sure. Jason
Anti cheat system processus  See also: Link Mancinelli Benjami
Punkbuster anti-cheat gaming program Bob Carr
It is a program which is recommend to play WarRock - but you only need this to play but it runs all the time dei mudda
It has to do with PunkBuster program from Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory free game Andrey
This is part of Punkbuster (Anticheat software for online games)
its probably an anti cheat for gaming, punkbuster
its used by, VALVE, STEAM, CALL OF DUTY 4 KingDom
Anti-cheat software
trying to keep the l337 down
Part of Punkbuster Anticheat program Yufa
It's an anti-cheating program called Punkbuster, but can be used as spyware by the company. Just end the process if you're not playing a game. Sebasman2
Haven't installed any games and had this popping up one day, guess it was malware in my case too. Pedo
Its used for various games, my antivirus saw it as a virus first time i used it, but its nothing special. Can be a hell to remove and or dealing with it. Nic
anticheat online games gavi
Designed as anti-cheat, it uses malicious technology and remains in memory
this file is for battlefield game it allows bunkbuster to watch your game to see if you are using cheats SOBPizzabob
Anti-Cheating System for Online Games like Battlefield or Call of Duty Dennis
Used for playing online games. Ex: Quake Live. Apparently used to help prevent cheating. Humphihzly
I think it's used by Quake Live. stalepie
PunkBuster™ Anti-Cheat software technology and services combat online cheating in some of the most popular games being played over the Internet today  See also: Link comasic
for online games by Need For Speed gurbetelde
used for quake live Roger
Anti-cheat software. Tends to glitch up sometimes. but otherwise harmless
Im playing Americas Army, and I also got PunkBuster. Its Anty-Cheating system, allright. Theory
This is a file used in PunkBuster™ Anti-Cheat software for games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc. It is not dangerous in any way. For those who found it as malware, there might be a fake file out of it. But if you got it from www.evenbalance.com or from one of the games its intergrated with, your safe as can be. It can be easily removed through registry or the people on the development team could help you as well.  See also: Link Rob
i have two of PnkBstrA.exe running on my computer? one takes 1700kt and other 1600kt. Should i stop the other one or what would be the best solution in this case? jack
need for speed undercover/pb/pnkbstra.exe
Used in games to check wether you're cheating or not. If you kill this process, you'll not be able to play several games (e.g. Call of Duty 4, Wolfenstein ET)  See also: Link Freekyboy
It's supposed use is to monitor your game while you play to prevent cheating, why it runs from startup is very confusing, and oddly you have to remove it from the registry, which most users won't know how to do. I personally don't trust it at all. Angry
It is from Evenbalance, used for anti cheating in a varity of games, needed to run on servers that look for hackers and cheaters. Needed to stay in the game or get kicked for not running the file. Also associated with punkbuster B Dan C
It's the biggest problem since Anti-Cheat software. PBsucks.netor Fail
That's just the anti cheat software used in most EA Games... and CoD's too, almost every game but not EVERY... it's totally harmless BRabbit
Don't know what it actually is but i got it after i installed RB6 Vegas 2 so i would have to agree with everyone else on the anti hack RB6
was installed after after I installed Battlefield 2 by EA games its a anti-cheat program that moniters ea/other games scott
This program is designed to inhibit "cheating" while playing certain games. The problem is that this is program is poorly designed and this is where it causes problems. It should NEVER run when no games are being played; however, it runs all the time and conusmes valuable resources which slows older systems (prior 2008). So while it is not dangerous, it does often harm the performance of other applications. Doug
its is spyware to watch players it uses 50% cpu ik hate that sorry Joey
It is the PunkBuster engine, which identifies cheating in online and multiplayer games. Tobias Theebe
Run services.msc; Right-click PunkBuster and select Properties; From here you could know what game/program is automatically runs PnkBstrA.exe; In my case it is for Need for Speed ProStreet. ulrichxyco
this program stops illegal acces but when it's runing on servers usually block all connections to the server NRS
it is beyond annoying. it was instaled on my pc when i tried to play APB, and now i can not get rid of it. i do not have Apb anymore, i want this damn PnkBstrA GONE. however, there is ZERO way to get rid of it. i tried the "uninstal" button, and it did not work! Ticked Off.
Battlefield 3, so basically any game installed with online capabilities distributed from EA will install it. Not necessary, so you can end it. but no threat.  See also: Link Stardust342.Tk
Should be gone when you delete the software, BUT is isn't. Have to DL the uninstaller to remove the syswow64 files. SlapMyFace
As many other sayd, PnkBstrA.exe is nothing dangerous,because many games use it as an anti-cheat program,wherefore, there are hackers who create trojans with the same process name so it can be cloaked... i turn it off on every system start-up because i stopped playing First-Person-Shooters already :)
this punk buster keep kicking me out of the game when i play battlefield play4free!! Ryan
Try to check if you cheat while online gaming (call of duty and many more can't play online if not available)) Carl
Unless it's not in system32, it's not dangerous. However, if PnkBstrA.exe is bugging you in the Taskmanager, even if you're not playing online, just go stop the service (Run -- services.msc), find run PnKbstrA.exe and disable it. Val
Punkbuster is anticheat software that is also Spyware and there for Malware. The software reads your systems memory and has the ability to Send Screenshots of your computer while it is running and also Scan and list any file on your computer. It is "required" To play on Punkbuster protected servers, however it is spyware in the fact that it continues to run even when the game is not running, it hogs memory resources and it's EULA and Privacy Policies are Illegal. Rob
same here and as soon as i get in I get kicked out and on top of that I don't cheat on Battlefield p4f skulldystroyorz
Cheatschutz 127.0.0.1
Punkbuster anti-cheat engine Windmilling Junk
Anti-Cheats in online games Nox
"Forced down the throat" so to speak when installing various games; however instead of running as part of THAT game it runs at start-up and is known to cause problems with several other games in the process. Restrictive program that runs unnessarily. DontCare
All i know is my computer got hacked when i joined a foreign server in battlefield. This software did nothing for me. A man whos upset
when trying to run private server for a game that doesnt use this it blocks the ports or acts like a firewall, but def an anti-cheat junk crap will delete the game its being used by Preston Baes
That it scans your PC all the time, does not detect hacks and mainly is just a horrible piece of software  See also: Link TheTruth
Punkbuster - an anti-cheating device used by many play-for-free games. Stefan B.
Anti-cheat for Battlefield 3
It effects the way you can play online!e.g. Assassins creed brotherhood multiplayer! -----------
Unless it's not in system32, it's not dangerous. However, if PnkBstrA.exe is bugging you in the Taskmanager, even if you're not playing online, just go stop the service (Run -- services.msc), find run PnKbstrA.exe and disable it. Competent SEO
Anti-cheat engine Revealer
It was in my system 32 but did deleted it! J.J
installed alongside PC games as anti-cheat surveillance. maximus
It's in C:\windows\system32. ARMED AND DANGEROUS. however, it's from skidrow. NEVER TRUST KEYGENS OR PIRATE SOFTWARE, learned lesson. Anon
he used to crash my computer on startup
Once you uninstall your game that you've used it with, it just sits there and suspiciously does suspicious things... swerve
I think it's something for a game, but it was on C:\windows\system64 Artem
I was playing BFp4f and i complained about some cheater on the forum. through punkbuster The guy took a picture of my whole desktop (during gameplay 1 daybefore) and posted on the forum as to call me a free loader. Not just the game window... meaning he posted my log ... the funds bought to use on their servers... May be for the good of games but can also be complete and uttely malware !!!  See also: Link Furry fury
Apparently I need it for one of my games (didnt come with the download). I dont know where to download it at a safe place Anony Mouse
If you don't have any Online Games, then this is a spyware... GermanyGSG

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