What is AnyDesk?
Similar to TeamViewer, AnyDesk, is a legitimate application that provides remote system control functionality. Recently, however, cyber criminals have started distributing a modified version of AnyDesk using the "bundling" method, and thus it typically infiltrates without users’ permission.
The modified version is also used to remotely access systems, but without users' consent. The malicious version essentially runs in the background and waits for regular users to leave the computer unattended for a certain period. Once the user is "away from the keyboard", cyber criminals remotely connect to the system and perform malicious actions.
In most cases, these people target users' Amazon accounts. They use saved logins/passwords to sign into the Amazon website and purchase various items and gift cards.
Amazon is not the only account at risk. Cyber criminals can do whatever they wish with access to the system (e.g., install other malware, steal logins/passwords, abuse social networks and other personal accounts, etc.)
Therefore, the presence of AnyDesk's modified version can lead to high-risk computer infections and serious privacy issues. The desktop shortcut of the malicious version is called "AnyDask" and its entry in the list of installed programs is "AnyDeskApp".
If you notice that AnyDesk has infiltrated systems without your consent, or you have downloaded it from a third party source, immediately eliminate it and scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite to remove all remnants. AnyDesk should be downloaded from its official website only.
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
At time of research, AnyDesk is bundled together with a number of other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), including Powzip, Smart Application Controller, One System Care, View, and mail.ru. Unlike AnyDesk, these potentially unwanted programs do not provide remote access to victims' computers.
They deliver intrusive advertisements (adware), cause unwanted redirects (browser hijackers), and record various sensitive data (virtually all types). Note that PUPs offer "useful functionality", and yet these programs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers.
Thus, claims to provide these functions are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy.
How did adware install on my computer?
As mentioned above, AnyDesk is distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps. In most cases, "bundled" applications are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" options (or other sections) of the download/installation processes.
Developers do not disclose this information properly. Furthermore, users are likely to rush when downloading/installing software and skip steps. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Poor knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software.
Select "Custom/Advanced" settings, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs, and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only via direct download links.
Third party downloaders/installers are monetized using the "bundling" method, and thus these tools should never be used. Be aware that cyber criminals also proliferate PUPs using intrusive advertisements that redirect to malicious websites and execute scripts that download/install PUPs.
Most of these ads will seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they redirect to adult dating, pornography, gambling, and other rogue sites. These ads are often delivered by adware.
Therefore, if you experience suspicious redirects, eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and running is also paramount.
If your computer is already infected with AnyDesk, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Deceptive installer distributing modified AnyDesk version (note that it is completely concealed and, therefore, opting-out is impossible):
Update May 28, 2021 - Malicious AnyDesk installers were observed being distributed through malvertising (malware advertising) campaigns. These fake installation setups were promoted through Google ads that, at the time of research, topped even the legitimate AnyDesk advertisements.
The chain was initiated when users searched "AnyDesk" via the Google search engine and clicked the topmost result. This led them to a malicious website disguised as the official site of the software in question.
The installers downloaded from the fraudulent webpage contained trojanized AnyDesk versions. More information on the malvertising campaigns and fake installation setups can be found in an article on CrowdStrike's blog.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is AnyDesk?
- STEP 1. Uninstall AnyDesk using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue plug-ins from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove adware-type extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove malicious extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Windows 10 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.
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.
macOS (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 "AnyDeskApp" and other potentially unwanted programs, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes AnyDesk redirects, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove adware 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 anydesk malware, 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 and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the anydesk malware, 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 anydesk malware 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 extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the anydesk malware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the 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 anydesk malware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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