Adwind Virus

Also Known As: Adwind trojan
Type: Adware
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Adwind removal instructions

What is Adwind?

Adwind is trojan-type malware that has many other names including (but not limiting to) Unrecom, AlienSpy, and Frutas. Criminals proliferate this malware in various ways such as spam emails and fake Adobe Flash Player updates. We can also assume that Adwind infiltrates systems with various adware-type programs (via the so-called "bundling" method) that feed users with intrusive advertisements and gather sensitive data.

Spam email spreading Adwind trojan:

Adwind scam

Adwind collects various data, including personal details. According to Kaspersky Lab's research, different versions of Adwind have been used against more than 440,000 private users and various commercial/non-commercial organizations (e.g., finance, shipping, software, education, and so on) between 2013 and 2016. This trojan virus is capable of recording a wide range of information including keystrokes, saved passwords, etc., and can even record audio/video using microphones and webcams (full list of Adwind's functions). The data is transferred to a remote Command and Control server. If a connection is unavailable or the server is not responding, the data is stored locally until the connection becomes available. As mentioned above, collected data includes many personal details that can be misused to generate revenue (e.g., criminals can use passwords to transfer money from victims' bank accounts). In addition, cyber criminals can obtain compromising material, which can be used to blackmail victims. Therefore, the presence of the Adwind trojan can lead to financial losses and privacy issues. Fortunately, most legitimate anti-virus suites are capable of detecting and removing this malware. Therefore, we strongly advise you to have this precautionary software installed on your computer. If you suspect that your system has been infected with Adwind, immediately perform a full system scan and eliminate all listed threats.

As mentioned above, Adwind can infiltrate the system together with potentially unwanted adware-type programs (PUPs). These programs deliver intrusive ads (coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on) using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, intrusive ads often redirect to malicious websites and even execute scripts that download/install malware. Therefore, clicking them can result in high-risk computer infections. PUPs are also known to gather various information. Although the list of collected data is typically much shorter as compared to information recorded by trojan viruses, it might still contain private details. Furthermore, PUP developers often sell collected data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps can also lead to serious privacy issues. We strongly recommend that you uninstall all adware-type applications immediately.

Although Adwind collects various information, not all trojans perform this function. Some simply open "backdoors" for other high-risk malware (typically, ransomware) to infiltrate the system. Nevertheless, trojans also have other dangerous functions. In fact, some viruses that infiltrate the system via trojans can cause even more damage than Adwind itself. For example, ransomware might encrypt stored data and proliferate itself to other computers/servers that are connected to the same network. These chain infections can result in loss of valuable data (for example, imagine all files and backups of an engineering company being encrypted). Adware-type apps, on the other hand, typically have no major differences. By offering "useful features", PUPs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install, however, rather than providing any real value for regular users, adware delivers intrusive ads and records various information. Most PUPs are designed only to help developers to generate passive revenue.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Criminals proliferate Adwind using spam emails, fake Adobe Flash Player updates, and the "bundling" method. Spam emails typically contain malicious attachments (e.g., JavaScript files, MS Office documents, etc.) that, once opened, execute scripts designed to download and install malware, whilst fake Flash Player updates are displayed by malicious websites. These sites essentially state that the installed Flash Player is outdated and encourages users to download an update. Rather than downloading the update, however, users end up downloading and installing malware (in this case, Adwind trojan). "Bundling" is stealth installation of rogue executables together with regular software. In many cases, this method is used to proliferate PUPs. Developers hide "bundled" programs within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Many users rush these procedures and skip steps. In some cases, "bundled" malware is concealed and, thus, no matter how carefully you analyze the entire process, you will not be able to notice it.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent these infections, be cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. We strongly advise you to immediately delete emails received from suspicious/unrecognizable addresses and certainly NOT to open files attached to such emails. It is also highly recommended that you keep installed applications up-to-date, however, since criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters, software should be renewed using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. In addition, carefully observe each window of the download/installation dialogs and opt-out of all additionally-included programs - if you are unable to do so, cancel the entire process. We also recommend that you download your software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are monetized using the "bundling" method and, thus, these tools should never be used. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution.

Rogue behavior of Adwind trojan:

  • Collecting general system and user information
  • Collecting keystrokes
  • Managing SMS (Android OS)
  • Recording audio from the microphone
  • Stealing keys for cryptocurrency wallets
  • Stealing saved passwords and grabbing data from web forms
  • Stealing VPN certificates
  • Taking pictures and recording videos from the webcam
  • Taking screenshots
  • Transferring files

Instant automatic removal of Adwind trojan: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Adwind trojan. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

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.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.

Mac 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.

Adwind adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

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

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the adwind trojan, 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 rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

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

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the adwind trojan, 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 rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with adwind trojan 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 logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove adwind trojan from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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