What is SketchBall?
SketchBall, also known as SnetchBall, is a piece of rogue software classified as adware. It operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, this application delivers various misleading, deceptive, and malicious ads.
Additionally, most adware-types have data tracking abilities, which are employed to spy on users' browsing habits and collect private data. Since most users download/install SketchBall, it is also deemed to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).
Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content, typically on any visited website. This software delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page, and other intrusive ads. These adverts seriously diminish the browsing experience.
Furthermore, upon being clicked, intrusive advertisements redirect to untrustworthy/malicious sites and some can download/install software (e.g., PUAs) without user consent. Potentially unwanted apps can have a variety of heinous functionalities, and these functions can be in different combinations.
For example, these applications can force-open dangerous websites and/or deliver intrusive advert campaigns. Most PUAs can track and gather data. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details.
The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To summarize, presence of unwanted software on devices - can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to eliminate all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by SketchBall|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (installer)||Avast (Win32:AdwareX-gen [Adw]), BitDefender (Application.DealAlpha.2.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.Vosteran.), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.A!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (application)||BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.843485), Fortinet (PossibleThreat), Malwarebytes (Malware.AI.4028135232), McAfee (Artemis!9EB1AE7D345F), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
Clear History, Trash the Cache, and Application are a couple examples of adware-type apps. They appear legitimate and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation with offers of various functionalities. However, despite how "useful" the features sound - they are usually nonoperational.
In fact, this is true of practically all PUAs. The sole purpose of unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant. PUAs are designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns, cause redirects, modify browsers (browser hijackers), and gather vulnerable information.
How did SketchBall install on my computer?
PUAs are spread via download/installation setups of other programs. This deceptive marketing technique of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g., by ignoring terms, using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) - users risk allowing bundled content into their devices.
Intrusive ads proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to stealthily download/install these applications. Some PUAs also have "official" promotional webpages from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is important to research software products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and trustworthy download channels must be used. Dubious download sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and many others).
Should users encounter ads and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected. If your computer is already infected with SketchBall, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
SketchBall adware's download/installation setup:
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 SketchBall?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SketchBall application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SketchBall ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by SketchBall' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove SketchBall extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove SketchBall adware from Internet Explorer.
SketchBall adware removal:
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 "SketchBall", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes SketchBall ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove SketchBall adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, SketchBall 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 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 ads by sketchball, 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 plugins 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 ads by sketchball 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 ads by sketchball, 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.
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 ads by sketchball, 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.
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 ads by sketchball from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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