What is ViewFD?
While inspecting sites offering "cracked" software for download, our researchers discovered the ViewFD malware. This program can force-open a wide variety of unreliable, rogue, scam, and malicious websites. ViewFD may also have other harmful abilities.
ViewFD malware overview
Malicious programs like ViewFD can cause a browser to force-open untrustworthy and dangerous webpages. The software can force users to visit sites that host questionable content, e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, etc. Malware of this kind often promotes online scams like phishing, fake virus warnings or outdated software alerts, dubious surveys, hoax lotteries, and so on.
ViewFD may also open websites that endorse adware, browser hijackers, fake anti-virus tools, and various PUAs. Malware-spreading webpages (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.) can be force-opened by this software as well.
To summarize, by visiting such sites - users may experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
Furthermore, it is common practice for malware developers to improve upon their programs continuously. Hence, it is possible that ViewFD has additional functionalities.
Apps of this type typically have data tracking functionalities. Targeted information can include: browsing data (e.g., browsing histories, search queries, browser cookies, auto-fills, etc.), usernames/passwords (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, cryptowallets, emails, social media, and other accounts), personally identifiable details, finance-related information (e.g., bank account details, credit card numbers, etc.). Cyber criminals can sell the collected information or abuse it.
If you suspect that your device is already infected with ViewFD (or other malware), we strongly advise removing it without delay.
|Threat Type||Malware, Unwanted redirects, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (installer)||Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), DrWeb (Trojan.Zadved.1704), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/TrojanDropper.Agent.), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Ekstak.amhai), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.C!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (app)||Avast (Win32:AdwareX-gen [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.49174155), ESET-NOD32 ( A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HLFM), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Ekstak.gen), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:Win32/Emotet!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||Viewfd (process name may vary)|
|Symptoms||Unprompted redirects to suspicious and potentially malicious sites.|
|Distribution Methods||'Cracked' software installers, infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering.|
|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.
Similar malware examples
As previously mentioned, malware can have different functionalities that can be in varied combinations. The most common abilities include: causing chain infections, extracting data from the system and installed apps, spying (e.g., keylogging, taking screenshots, recording audio/video, etc.), encrypting data and/or locking the device's screen (ransomware), deploying DDoS attacks, replacing clipboard data (clippers), abusing system resources to generate cryptocurrency (cryptominers), and so on.
However, regardless of how malicious software operates, its presence on a system endangers device integrity and user safety. Therefore, all threats must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
How did ViewFD install on my computer?
We acquired ViewFD from a "cracked" software download website. However, this program is likely proliferated using other sites or techniques.
Malware is spread primarily by using phishing and social engineering tactics. Malicious software is typically presented as or bundled (packed together) with ordinary content.
The most common distribution techniques include: drive-by (stealthy and deceptive) downloads, dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Pee-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), online scams, malicious attachments and links in spam emails/messages, illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend downloading only from official and verified channels. Additionally, software must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers, since illegal program activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters can contain malware.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links present in suspicious/irrelevant emails and messages must not be opened, as that can result in a system infection.
We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If your computer is already infected with ViewFD, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this malware.
Screenshot of ViewFD's installation setup:
Screenshot of ViewFD's process on Windows Task Manager ("Viewfd" process name):
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 ViewFD?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ViewFD application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove malicious ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove malicious ads from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove malicious extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ViewFD malware 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 "ViewFD", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove malicious extensions/plug-ins from Internet browsers:
At time of research, ViewFD did not install any browser plug-ins on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. However, it might be bundled with 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 viewfd virus, 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 viewfd virus 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 viewfd virus, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
My computer is infected with ViewFD malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?
No, such drastic measures are unnecessary for ViewFD's removal.
What are the biggest issues that ViewFD malware can cause?
What threats a malicious program poses depends on its abilities and the cyber criminals' aims. ViewFD operates by force-opening deceptive and malicious websites - visiting which can cause various serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). Furthermore, ViewFD may have other harmful functionalities that could cause additional issues.
What is the purpose of ViewFD malware?
Most malicious programs are designed to generate revenue. However, cyber criminals can also release malware for their own amusement or to disrupt processes (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), carry out personal vendettas, or launch politically/geopolitically motivated attacks.
How did ViewFD malware infiltrate my computer?
Malware is mainly distributed through drive-by downloads, spam emails and messages, online scams, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Furthermore, some malicious programs are capable of self-proliferating via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan systems, as well as detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. It has to be emphasized that since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems - running a full system scan is crucial.