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Counterflix Ads

Also Known As: Counterflix adware
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Counterflix?

Counterflix is a deceptive application identical to Gostify. Both offer functionality (DNS services) providing access to various websites restricted in the user's country. This application may seem legitimate, however, it is classed as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware.

There are three main reasons for these negative associations: stealth installation without users' consent, tracking of the Internet browsing activity, and display of intrusive online advertisements.

Counterflix adware

Following infiltration, Counterflix monitors Internet browsing activity by gathering various information that might be personally identifiable. Types of recorded data include Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, URLs visited, search queries entered into search engines, pages viewed, and so on.

Epikai Ltd. (developers of Counterflix) share this gathered data with cooperating third party companies who often misuse personal information to generate revenue. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In addition, Counterflix generates various various intrusive advertisements.

Examples include pop-up and banner ads. To achieve this, developers employ a 'virtual layer' - a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. None of these ads originate from users' visited websites and conceal underlying content, significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience.

Research also shows that they often lead to malicious websites containing infectious content. Thus, clicking them is risky and might cause further computer infections. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to remove Counterflix from your system.

Threat Summary:
Name Counterflix adware
Threat Type Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
Symptoms Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
Damage Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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There are dozens of adware-type applications with behavior almost identical to Counterflix. Examples include TopFlix, FirstFlix, and Mass Sea. Adware-type applications falsely claim to provide 'valuable features' - this is to give the impression of legitimate software.

In reality, most of these apps do not improve the browsing experience. Programs such as Counterflix simply generate revenue for the developers by displaying intrusive online advertisements and recording personally identifiable information. Some also cause unwanted browser redirects.

How did Counterflix install on my computer?

Research shows that, although Counterflix has an official download website, many users install this PUP inadvertently, since they do not express enough caution during the download/installation processes.

Aware of this, developers use a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular apps) and hide PUPs within the 'Custom/Advanced' settings of the download or installation processes. By skipping this section, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

PUPs are often distributed using the bundling method. Therefore, be attentive when downloading and installing software. Select the 'Custom/Advanced' settings, analyze each step, opt-out of all additionally-included programs and never accept any offers to download/install them.

Intrusive online ads generated by this adware:

counterflix ads sample 1 counterflix ads sample 2 counterflix ads sample 3 counterflix ads sample 4

Here's how ads generated by CounterFlix adware look like on an infected computer (usually marked as 'Powered by Counterfilx'):

counterflix ads gif

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Quick menu:

Counterflix adware removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Counterflix adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Counterflix", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Counterflix ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove Counterflix adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Counterflix did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Counterflix ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Counterflix ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the counterflix adware, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Counterflix  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Counterflix ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the counterflix adware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Counterflix ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Counterflix ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with counterflix adware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the counterflix adware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Counterflix adware QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Counterflix adware on your mobile device.
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