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Ads by Outfire Browser

Also Known As: Outfire Browser adware
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Outfire?

Outfire is a deceptive chromium-based web browser distributed by a trojan called "Mutabaha". Outfire claims to be Google Chrome - a legitimate Internet browser. Following infiltration, Outfire replaces original Google Chrome shortcuts with its own. Furthermore, Outfire imports all settings (bookmarks, etc.) from Google Chrome.

Since Outfire's interface is virtually identical to Google Chrome, many users do not notice these changes. Be aware, however, that Outfire continually delivers intrusive online advertisements and collects various information relating to web browsing activity. Furthermore, Outfire's homepage (ourstartpage.com) is not modifiable and its default search engine is custom.

For these reasons, Outfire is classed as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware.

Outfire adware

Outfire has a built-in add-on that continually generates various advertisements (for example, banner, pop-up, etc.) on each visited website. To achieve this, developers employ a 'virtual layer' (a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site).

Therefore, advertisements often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the web browsing experience. Intrusive online advertisements often redirect to malicious websites. It is probable that some of these sites will contain infectious content. Therefore, clicking these ads risks further computer infections.

As with most adware-type apps, Outfire also monitors users' web browsing activity by recording various data including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc. The data might be personally identifiable or contain sensitive details.

In addition, Outfire's developers share this information with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse personal details to generate revenue. Data tracking can cause serious privacy issues or even lead to identity theft. For these reasons, the Outfire browser should be removed immediately.

The Internet is full of rogue web browsers similar to Outfire. Examples include Dash, TappyTop, Mustang, WebVeil, and many others. These browsers claim to improve the web browsing experience by enhancing performance, protecting against malicious websites and providing other similar features.

These false claims often trick users into believing that browsers such as Outfire are legitimate, however, their real and only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers. Fake Internet browsers provide no significant value for regular users. These bogus apps cause unwanted browser redirects, gather private data, and deliver intrusive online advertisements.

How did Outfire install on my computer?

As mentioned, Outfire is distributed via Mutabaha - a trojan that bypasses Windows UAC (User Account Control) and stealthily executes a number of files and commands that download and install malware.

This distribution method is quite uncommon to adware-type programs, since most are distributed using the "bundling" method (stealth installation of third party programs with regular software/apps).

Developers know that users often rush and skip most/all steps and, thus, hide all additionally-included apps within the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings of these procedures. By skipping this section, users expose their systems to risk of infection.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious during the download/installation processes. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each step. Furthermore, all additionally-included programs should be cancelled and offers to download/install them, declined. Bundled programs are often rogue and, thus, should never be installed.

Screenshot of Outfire browser:

Rogue chromium-based browser Outfire

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Quick menu:

Outfire 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.

Outfire adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove Outfire adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Outfire 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 Outfire 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 Outfire ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the outfire browser 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 Outfire  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 Outfire ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the outfire browser 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 Outfire 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 Outfire ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with outfire browser 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 outfire browser 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.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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