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 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?
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
- What is Adwind?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted programs:
Windows 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
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:
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.
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.
Download recommended remover for
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the adwind trojan, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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.
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, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:
Click the three horizontal dots 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".
Click the three horizontal dots icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.
In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.
Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.
- If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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.
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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