Trouble with Browsers Infected with Adware/Malware

  NeedHelpdotcom 10:20 12 Aug 2016
Locked

Yesterday something bad happened to my computer. I was browsing as per usual and silly as I was I briefly paused AdBlock and all hell broke loose. Things started downloading and the end result was browsers infected with lots of problems. For example: SafeSurfs as home page, Smart New Tab and different embedded links to ads. Generelly a bunch of things that made the browser unusable.

This got me troubled and I started searching for solutions. That lead me to Spyhunter, which I downloaded and let scan my computer. I stopped it when it was searching through my files as it was taking too long and it has already found loads of threats. Nice enough that the company was they did not inform me that to remove the threats I had to buy the product. So I could not let the program fix the problems. Although, I thought, it had already located the threats so I might as well get rid of them myself. So I clicked on the various keys that took me to the registy where I deleted them.

This had an OK effect and my browsers were not as unusable anymore. I even let Spyhunter scan again and the things I had deleted no longer showed. However there were still things infecting my browsers, for example SafeSurfs which I wasn't able to delete by going to it's place on my computer.

So I searched for anti-malware that was free which brought me to Spybot - Search & Destroy. This did nothing so I moved on. Evenually I found AdwCleaner which actually did something and got rid of most things and from what I could tell placed them in Quarantine. So SafeSurfs was gone and my browsers was somewhat doing what I wanted them to.

We skip ahead a little and mainly through failures with trying to locate the viruses and resetting my browsers, uninstalling and resintalling and so on. I have downloaded several more anti-malware programs such as AVG Anti-virus and Malwarebyted Anti-malware.

These are no longer finding any thing wrong, although I usually stop the scan a bit into when they're checking the files as I'm convinced that that is not where the problem lies.

Currently my browsers are for the most part functioning like they were before this mess. One problem is still there though.

Sometimes they open popups that are instantly closed or they go trough SmartNewTab to Frank Casino or to some ad through GiraffeTraffic. It has opened a bunch of different things like New Page Tab or something like that. That is really annoying and what I'd like a solution for.

I have tried to fix this by following guides, checking registry, running scans, resetting my browsers, looking through programs, going into safe mode. Anything I do and I can not find anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Can anyone help me?

  robin_x 11:16 12 Aug 2016

System Restore to before the problem. Press Windows key and R and type rstrui

Scan with Superantispyware Free

Run ADWCleaner again

Create a new Restore Point. Press Win and R and type systempropertiesprotection

Try resetting/uninstalling/reinstalling browsers again if necessary

  NeedHelpdotcom 13:34 12 Aug 2016

Thanks for your reply.

When the problem occurred I instantly thought of a system restore. The problem, however, is that I don't have any restore points from before the browser infections. So, sadly, I can't do that.

I ran SuperAntiSpyWare but the only things it detected were tracking cookies which, from what I read, are not harmful or does not create popups.

I am at a complete loss here, as no program detects anything yet still there are instances were things will pop up.

I doubt that there is much I can do now and hypothetically, if I can't do anything about this, how big of a deal is that? Do I run strong risks if I leave this untreated?

  robin_x 13:53 12 Aug 2016

Yes, it is completely unacceptable for unknown processes to be doing unwanted things.

Use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall one of your browsers, then re-install it from author's site.

Are you actually getting redirects or pop-up messages?

  NeedHelpdotcom 14:16 12 Aug 2016

Redirects. It doesn't happen all the time but when it happens it's like it is an invisible filter on the browser that blocks me from doing actions on the actual web page I'm on. For example, when you hover over a link the cursor would change to how it looks when you press something, but when this invisible filter is on, that doesn't happen. Instead I first have to press anywhere on the screen to get rid of the filter. That redirects me to an ad or unwanted site which I close and I can then use the browser like normal for some short time and then it happens again.

I'll try the uninstaller you mentioned but would you think that this is a problem within the browser or a problem within the computer's system?

  robin_x 14:27 12 Aug 2016

Check your DNS settings. Change to OpenDNS for a while.

click here

See this other removal guide (Hitman Pro is very good, but it's only free for 30 days)

click here

I'm about out of suggestions apart from a clean install

  NeedHelpdotcom 15:53 13 Aug 2016

I have Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, although I only really used Chrome. As it is right now I use Mozilla and it seems to be working fine. The only notable thing is that on two occasions a little bar poped up saying "Firefox blocked a popup from this website". Is that something to be concerned about?

I ran the Revo Uninstaller and deleted a program called Evernote, which, from what I've read could be hijacking your browser. But like I said, Mozilla has been running smooth as of now apart from those to blocked popups. I'll keep using it and after a while I guess I'll be able to conclude whether it's working fine or not.

  NeedHelpdotcom 15:59 13 Aug 2016

Ok, I take my last comment back. I literally just closed Mozilla, made a search, went back here and I have had two redirects now. Clearly it is still not working properly.

  john bunyan 16:58 13 Aug 2016

Run ADWcleaner again, and Malawarebytes. I find that Superantispyware is good a "Ad aware tracking cookies" but not so good as MBAM for PUP's. ADWCLEANER is good for toolbar hijacks.

  NeedHelpdotcom 14:56 14 Aug 2016

Ok, the last time I wrote something like this I clearly jinxed it but now it truly feels like my browser is working properly. I haven't had on instance of popups being blocked or redirects to ads. What I did is I deleted some leftover from Evernote, unistalled Chrome and Firefox, reset Explorer and redownloaded Chrome.

I have used it since last night, navigating thorugh different websites and videos like you would normally and, like I said, not one instance of something weird popping up or some redirect. Let's just hope it stays this way now.

  robin_x 16:00 14 Aug 2016

Make a fresh System Restore point, and regularly after.

Press Windows Key and R and type systempropertiesprotection

(configure C: with say 7% if it is switched Off)

=-=-=-=

Also, System Image Backups, using a dedicated program, are the bomb proof way of restoring a corrupted, broken or totally failed Windows system or hard drive

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Oppo Reno 2 Z review: Hands-on

TikTok and how to use it for illustration success

macOS Catalina Review: New MacOS update turns your Mac into an entertainment hub

Les meilleures coques pour iPhone 11, 11 Pro et 11 Pro Max (2019)