What kind of browser extension is Tool?
While inspecting websites offering "cracked" software to download, our research team discovered the Tool browser extension. After analyzing this rogue browser extension, we learned that it operates as adware. Tool causes redirects (force-opens websites) and may run intrusive advertisement campaigns (depending on compatibility).
Tool adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. Its primary functionalities include displaying ads, causing redirects, and collecting private data.
The Tool extension could potentially have the ability to deliver adverts. Advertising-supported software might not run intrusive ad campaigns if certain conditions are unsuitable, e.g., browser/system or user geolocation are incompatible, particular sites are not visited, etc. However, it must be mentioned that even if adware does not display advertisements - its presence endangers device/user safety.
The Tool adware can open new browser tabs and cause redirects to untrustworthy, deceptive, hazardous, and even malware-proliferating websites. We have observed this extension force-opening the mymojito[.]xyz malicious site, which in turn redirects to various others.
Furthermore, since Tool can manage the browser (e.g., apps, extensions, etc.) - it fakes the extension list, thus hiding its presence. Additionally, this rogue extension uses the "Managed by your organization" Google Chrome feature to ensure persistence and complicate its removal.
Tool also spies on users' browsing activity. Advertising-supported software typically targets browsing and search engine histories, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, and so forth. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Tool on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Tool|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (malicious installer)||Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.49026290), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Trojan-Banker.Win32.Passteal.ph), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Floxif.AV!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (mymojito[.]xyz)||Avira (Malware), CRDF (Malicious), ESET (Malware), Sangfor (Malware), Seclookup (Malicious), Webroot (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (mymojito[.]xyz)||22.214.171.124|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings. Users are forced to visit dubious websites. Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution Methods||'Crack' software websites, 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.
We have analyzed thousands of adware samples; fake "Chrome" extension, img book, Safe-Eyes, Dark Screen, and Background Colors are just some of our latest finds. Advertising-supported software tends to look ordinary and innocuous. It also offers "useful" and "advantageous" features, which are usually nonoperational.
How did Tool install on my computer?
We downloaded a malicious installer containing the Tool extension from a site offering "cracked" software. Adware is commonly distributed through untrustworthy download sources, e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, "crack" sites, deceptive promotional pages, freeware websites, online scams, etc.
"Bundling" - packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions - is also used to proliferate advertising-supported software.
Intrusive advertisements spread it as well. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent. Additionally, fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in adware distribution.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official and verified channels. When downloading, it is important to read terms, inspect available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of bundled content (e.g., additional apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.).
We also advise exercising caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious material typically appears legitimate. For example, intrusive adverts look harmless yet redirect to dubious/harmful websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter advertisements and/or redirects of this type, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Tool, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Tool extension's description:
Appearance of Tool force-opening a browser tab and causing a redirection chain to mymojito[.]xyz (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Tool?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Tool application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Tool ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Tool' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Tool extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Tool 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 "Tool", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Tool ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Tool adware from 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 "Tool" and all other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by tool, 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 and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Tool" and all other recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by tool 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 tool, 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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What harm can adware cause?
Adware can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. It is also deemed to be a privacy threat since this software usually has data tracking functionalities. Adware-delivered advertisements and opened websites can be deceptive/dangerous and cause serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware is designed to display advertisements, cause redirects, and/or gather private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Most of the revenue comes from affiliate programs as commissions for promoting various websites, apps, products, services, etc.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Tool adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate installed adware-type applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal. In some instances, even after the advertising-supported software has been (manually) removed - various leftovers (files) remain in the system. These remnants may continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is crucial to remove adware thoroughly.