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What are Browser extensions? - A portal to hundreds of malware online What are Browser extensions? - A portal to hundreds of malware online
Browser hijacker,Extension | 06/13/2018

What are Browser extensions? - A portal to hundreds of malware online


Is browser extension a virus? How to remove browser extension from google chrome, Mozilla Firefox, safari and edge? Should you be scared of unwanted extension? Browser extension installs multiple malware to take over your system.

What is Extension?

Extension is a malicious browser extension promoted as a genuine application with an interface that seems to provide latest news from the local sites, at least that is what it says and similar was the impression we got after viewing its official website.

Now that sounds useful, isn’t it? Now let’s talk about the things which you have definitely missed, and yes, it is big. Browser extension is nothing but a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) or you can also call it a backdoor for other malware and threats. It authorizes the installation of malware without the user’s consent.

Followed by the invasion, browser extension will take over the web browser and make certain changes to it like it would set default search engine, new tab URL, and homepage to some malicious third-party website. This kind of Potentially Unwanted Programs are also categorized as Browser Hijacker. Also, these changes are permanent and resetting the browser will not get you back the original settings.

Every time you go online, you would end up being redirected to a third-party website, or you would see advertisement banners on your screen either it would be of some discount coupons or some bogus security alerts.                                                                                                                    

Should you be scared of adware?

Although an adware might not damage any files or Windows system, it will certainly annoy you with the regular notification and ad banner. As it is a malicious program and the longer it stays on a computer, the more it weakens the firewall of the computer making way for another malware.

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How does extension install on a system?

  1. Social Clickjacking: Creators of such infections use online media such as Social Network and tempting advertisements to provoke or let us say in fooling the users to click on the ads, i.e., Update your flash player or win an iPhone.
  2. Spam emails: These hijackers can get into your computer through malicious email attachments and download links present the body of the mail. This emails usually appear to be from a reputed organization, i.e., Banks and insurance companies.
  3. It can infect the computer through infected websites or malevolent websites.
  4. It can also trick you by fake security alert or system updates.
  5. Torrents & P2P File Sharing: Torrents and files shared on P2P networks have a high probability of being a carrier to such infections.
  6. It can also infect the computer through portable storage devices like USB stick, portable hard drive or through a disk.
  7. Bundling: The quickest and the most relaxed way of infecting a user’s PC with any malware is through freeware software’s, and in this case the user is equally responsible for authorizing the installation of such malicious program without reading the terms and conditions. Unfortunately, some freeware programs do not uncover that a malicious program will also be installed with it.

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Common symptoms of extension include

  1. Unstable behavior of the browser, i.e., frequent crashes.
  2. Default home page and the search engine of the browser is changed to some third-party website.
  3. Poor system performance, slow response time as the advertisement would pop out of nowhere on the screen even when the browser is disabled.
  4. Slow internet browsing speed or internet would stop unexpectedly.
  5. New icons are added or suspicious programs appear on the desktop screen out of nowhere.
  6. Certain system setting and browser settings are disabled or changed.
  7. New tabs open in browser to display ads or search results would always end up with displaying advertisement banners.

Steps to be followed while installing a freeware program to avoid the installation of browser extension, browser hijacker and adware

While installing a freeware software or a freeware game make sure you go through the license agreement section and read all the terms and conditions.

And If reading the complete terms and condition is too much then while installing the freeware application if the installation offers you “custom and automatic installation”, it is always recommended that you go with the custom process as this would disclose the other programs that might get installed along with it.

If you see any additional add-ons or toolbars checked, then remember to uncheck them this would avoid the installation of browser extension, browser hijacker or adware.

Steps-by-step instructions to remove third-party programs installed with Extension:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously. This will get you the Windows Task Manager. Here, make sure that you are looking into the application tab and now look for programs that you find suspicious. If present, then select them and click on End Task.
  2. Now you can close the Task Manager.
  3. Now, we need to open Control Panel from the start menu or by holding Windows key + R key at the same time. This would bring up the “RUN” box now in this box you need to type control and hit ok.
  4. Here, in the Control Panel click on Add/Remove program.
  5. This will show the list of all the installed programs.
  6. Look for the programs you find suspicious or don’t recognize and uninstall them.

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Tips to Prevent virus and malware from Infecting Your System:

  1. Enable your popup blocker: Pop-ups and ads on the websites are the most adoptable tactic used by cybercriminals or developers with the core intention to spread malicious programs.
    So, avoid clicking uncertain sites, software offers, pop-ups etc. and Install a powerful ad- blocker for ChromeMozilla, and IE
  2. Keep your Windows Updated: To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update.By doing this you can keep your device free from virus.According to the survey, outdated/older versions of Windows operating system are an easy target.
  3. Third-party installation: Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
  4. Regular Backup: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection.Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
  5. Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like McAfee or a good Malware Removal Tool like Download Free Virus RemovalTool

 

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