Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is KeePass?
KeePass is a legitimate open-source password management application. This is a free app that can be downloaded from its official website, however, since KeePass is open source, cyber criminals have released a number of malicious versions.
The original source code has been modified so that KeePass can track sensitive information and deliver intrusive advertisements. Therefore, in some cases, KeePass is classed as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware.
As mentioned above, modified variants of KeePass deliver various intrusive advertisements, such as coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on. These are delivered using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, the ads often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience.
Furthermore, some might lead to malicious websites and run scripts designed to download/install malware or other PUPs. Therefore, even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Furthermore, malicious variants of KeePass record sensitive data, such as IP addresses, websites visited, search queries, and so on.
Note that KeePass was designed to manage passwords and, therefore, malicious versions can also collect this information. Furthermore, cyber criminals often misuse thus data to generate revenue.
Having malicious variants of KeePass installed can thus lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If this application has infiltrated your system without consent, immediately eliminate it. You are advised to download KeePass only from its official website, using a direct download link.
|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.
There are dozens of adware-type applications, all of which are virtually identical, including Ummi Video Downloader, Check And Switch, and Kimetrak - these are just some examples from many. Note that all offer 'useful functionality', however, adware-type applications are designed only to generate revenue for the developers.
Rather than delivering any real value for regular users, these programs deploy intrusive advertisements and gather sensitive information, thereby posing a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.
How did KeePass install on my computer?
Malicious variants of KeePass are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and the aforementioned intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party software with regular apps. Developers are not honest enough to disclose "bundled" PUP installations properly.
Therefore, they are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings of the download or installation processes. Furthermore, many users often skip download/installation steps and click advertisements without understanding the possible consequences.
This behavior can lead to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted programs, and 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 when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, most redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.) They are often delivered by adware-type apps, and thus, if you encounter them, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins.
Furthermore, select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely observe each step of the download/installation processes. Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links.
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior, and the key to safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with KeePass, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Deceptive free software installer distributing malicious version of KeePass:
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 KeePass?
- STEP 1. Uninstall KeePass application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove KeePass adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove KeePass ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by KeePass' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove KeePass extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
KeePass adware removal:
Windows 11 users:
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:
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 "KeePass", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes KeePass ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove KeePass adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, KeePass 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:
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 keepass 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.
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 keepass adware, 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with keepass adware 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 keepass adware, 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.
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