Templates for Browser hijacker and adware

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Templates for Browser hijacker and adware
How did your computer system get infected?
The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –
1. Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is
distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer
system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front
door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to
keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
2. Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media
such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
3. Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the
distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which
contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as
anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the
attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s
computer system.
4. Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the
ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites
include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading
platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without
permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates
which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users
click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly
recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements
offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
Guide to remove the malicious program from your computer
Step A: Remove the malicious program from Control Panel
Note: Before we begin, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer
system. Generally, these programs come bundled with free applications that we download off
the internet. It is a good practice to locate and uninstall such programs while removing the
Browser Hijacker/ Extensions.
For Windows XP
1. Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left corner of your screen. A Start menu will
be displayed as shown below. From this menu select the option that reads “Control
Panel”.
2. In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.
3. This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on
the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.
4. Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will
populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
5. Select the programs related to ………………….. and click on the Uninstall button.
For Windows 7/Vista
Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start
menu, click on “Control Panel”.
1. The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a
Program” option from the “Programs” category.
2. The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will
populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
3. Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to ……………… and
then click on the “Uninstall” button.
For Windows 8/10
1. Right click on the “Windows logo” on the lower left side of the computer screen. From
the drop down menu, select and click on “Control Panel”.
2. The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a
program” option form the “Programs” category.
3. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
4. Select the programs related to ……………….. and click on the “Uninstall” button.
5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads "OK" to save changes.
Step B: Show Hidden Files and Folders
Windows 7
1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will
appear.
2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown
above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
3. On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads "Show
hidden files, folders, and drives" and uncheck the option that reads "Hide protected
operating system files".
4. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and
folders visible to you.
For Windows 8 and 10
1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the "Hidden items" checkbox.
3. Click on the options button.
4. Under folder options, click on the "View" tab.
5. Uncheck the "Hide protected operating system files" option.
6. Click the "OK" button to save your changes.
Step C: Remove the malicious browser extension
For Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (
located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
) i.e.Menu option which are
2. Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or
you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.
3. Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of
the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to
all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID
is the folder name created by the extension at the location
“C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.
4. Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite
to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is
“XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”
5. Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the
trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after
uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall
properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned
in step 3.
6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
7. Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User
Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e.
“XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”. Delete the folder if present.
8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.
Mozilla Firefox
Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (
Window and select the Add-ons option.
) at the top right corner of the Firefox
1. On the Add-onsmanger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.
2. Find the extensions related to ……………. and click on the remove button.
3. In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If
this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.
For Internet Explorer
1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon ( ) which is at the top right corner of the
Internet Explorer Window.
2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.
3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar
and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option
will allow you to see all the browser extensions.
4. Select the Extension related to …………… and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom
right of the computer screen.
For Apple's Safari
1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads
“Preferences”.
3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions
will be shown.
4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.
Step D: How to restore the settings changed by the Browser Hijacker
For Google Chrome
1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (
the Chrome Window.
) located on the top right corner of
2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Settings”. A new browser tab will open
up, displaying all the settings.
3. Now, we will make changes to the appearance section. Under the “Appearances” section, we
will enable the “Show Home Button” option. You can select New Tab page or can add Google or
any of your preferred browsers under the “Show Home Button” option.
4. After this, we will go to the “Search Engine “section.
5. Here, make Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the drop-down
menu under the option “Search engine used in the address bar”.
6. After this click on Manage Search Engines. Now you can remove Other Search Engines that
were added by the browser hijacker. Simply click the three vertical dots ( ) and select the
option “Remove from list”.
7. You can make Google or any other preferred browser as your Default Search Engine by clicking
the three vertical dots ( ) and clicking on the "Make default" option.
8. At the end, we will go to the section “On Startup”. You can select the “Open the New Tab page”
or can “Continue where you left off”. If you want to open a specific page or set of pages, select
the option “Open a specific page or set of pages” and remove any pages added by the browser
hijacker by clicking on the three vertical dots ( ) and selecting “Remove”.
9. Then, add Google or any of your desired URL in “Add a new page” option under the “Open a
specific page or set of pages”.
10. This is a very important step and we would like you to pay very close attention here. This step
has to be repeated with all the shortcuts to the browser that you can locate; like your desktop,
start menu and the shortcut pinned to your taskbar. Right click on the shortcut and a context
menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
11. A Google ChromeProperties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the
text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are
included."C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"
12. Click OK at the end to save the changes.
For Mozilla Firefox
1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines ( ) i.e. Open Menu located on the
top right corner of the Firefox Window.
2. From the drop down menu that is displayed, we have to right click on the ( ) Options to open
the window.
3. Now, we will click Search, under the given options that are displayed in the left corner of the
screen.
4. You can choose Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default search engine to use
in the address bar and search bar.
5. Then, you have to go to the ( ) General and under “startup” section to make sure that Firefox
is your default browser.
6. At the end, we have to add Google or your preferred URL in the box given under Home Page.
7. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop,
start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned. A context menu will appear. On this
menu select the last option that reads Properties.
8. A Firefox Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text
box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are
included."C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"
9. Click OK at the end to save the changes.
For Internet Explorer
1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (
Internet Explorer Window.
)which is at the top right corner of the
2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Manage add-ons” A new browser tab will
open up, displaying all the add-on types.
3. Now, we will click on the “Search Providers” option from the list of options displayed on the left
hand side of the screen. Then we will click “Find more search providers” option given at the
lower left corner of the Manage add-ons
4. This will open an Internet Explorer Gallery; from here you can add Google search or any of your
preferred add-ons as your default browser.
5. Next, you are required to go to the “Manage add-ons” window and click on the “Search
Providers” option under the Add-on Types.
6. Here, you can enable Google Search or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser
in the list of search providers.
7. At the end, we will click on the gear icon ( )which is at the top right corner of the screen and
select “Internet Options” from the drop-down menu.
8. A new window will open displaying the Internet options. In the “Internet Options” window, add
Google or any of your desired URL under the Create Home Page option and click OK.
9. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop,
start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned. A context menu will appear. On this
menu select the last option that reads Properties.
10. An Internet Explorer Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in
the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are
included."C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
11. Click OK at the end to save the changes.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected
1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such
infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the
automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating
System become an easy target for the attackers.
2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is
forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the
attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while
installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware
programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain
cautious.
4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take
regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet
security in your PC like 360 Total security, Bull Guard, Sophos and Vipre so that it remains safe.
6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker
in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

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