Monday, 13 August 2012

Phone Shaped Pop-ups In Lower Right Hand Corner and Random Redirects (Uninstall Guide)

Some of our readers have been having an awful time trying to remove malicious software that constantly redirects them to spam or even malicious websites while browsing the net and displays either a square or phone shaped pop-up in the bottom right hand corner of their web browsers. Sometimes a pop-up window resembles a video screen of ads, please see the images below.

Previously, we wrote about Trojans horses that had a very similar payload. These Trojans displayed "Recommended for You" pop-ups in the lower corner of the web browser. It actually doesn't matter which browser you use because this happens on all major web browsers, whether it would be Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Cyber criminals decided to remove "Recommended for You" notification from their ads probably because victims could easily Google this text and find out that their computers are infected with malicious software. Now, they usually display a smart phone shaped ads with links and also video screen ads.

Here’s what a typical phone shaped ad looks like:

And here’s another one titled "you are missing a plugin to play videos".

A slightly different approach but we believe it's still very effective. At the time of writing, this fake fake video update ad was redirecting users to two different websites but they both promoted the same free video player. Most likely, cyber crooks earned commissions from every successful install they made. While that's clearly not the most profitable traffic monetization model we’ve seen so far, it’s still an option and cyber crooks successfully use it.

We found at least three different Trojans horses that have exactly the same payloads: web browser redirect + annoying phone shaped pop-ups. Of course, there might be hundreds of them but we were looking at the most popular ones. All these Trojans displayed pop-ups in the bottom right hand corner of the web browsers and redirected users to spam websites. Now, one of those Trojans used very aggressive methods o hide its presence on the infected computer. It even made our antivirus software to disappear. That means we have encountered different families of Trojans.

What is more, very often these Trojans come bundled with rootkits which makes the removal procedure a lot more complicated than just simply removing a Trojan horse. Most antivirus programs handle Trojan horses very well but fail to remove rootkits. Thankfully, you can use free utilities to remove rootkits from infected computers, for example TDSSKiller, if your antivirus program can't remove them.

One more thing about this infection – it changes Windows Hosts file. Normally, it doesn't lock the Hosts file itself but we've seen a couple of Trojans that not only changes the file so that it would load spammy sites but also prevent further modifications. So, if you can remove malicious lines manually, please use this great Microsoft utility called "Fix it".

To remove phone shaped pop-ups in the bottom right hand corner of your web browser, please follow the removal instructions below. Should you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to contact us or just leave a comment below. Good luck and be safe online!

Removal instructions:

1. Download recommended anti-malware software (direct download) and run a full system scan to remove this malware from your computer.

3. To reset the Hosts file back to the default automatically, download and run Fix it and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

4. Remove files from Windows %Temp% folder.

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