What is Darknes?
Darknes is a rogue browser extension that is promoted as a tool capable of enabling dark mode for simple design websites. Our researchers discovered this piece of software while inspecting questionable download webpages. After analyzing Darknes, we determined that it operates as adware.
Darknes adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to enable the placement of various advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces.
These adverts endorse online scams, unreliable/dangerous sites and software, and even malware. Additionally, some intrusive ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations - when clicked.
Note that any legitimate products encountered via these advertisements are highly unlikely to be promoted by their developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
It must be mentioned that adware may require certain conditions to run intrusive ad campaigns (display advertisements), e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to specific websites, etc. However, regardless of whether Darknes delivers adverts - its presence endangers device and user safety.
Furthermore, Darknes has data tracking abilities. Advertising-supported software usually targets the following information: browsing and search engine histories, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, financial/banking data, and so forth. The collected information can be monetized via sale to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like Darknes on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Darknes|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Supposed Functionality||Dark mode tool for simple design websites|
|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.
We have analyzed thousands of adware samples; Cash, Mega Colors, and Video Downloader are merely a few of our latest finds. Advertising-supported software tends to look legitimate and offer "useful" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they are nonoperational.
How did Darknes install on my computer?
We acquired Darknes from a dubious download page. In addition to such sites, adware is endorsed on scam websites. Most users enter these webpages via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, sites using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).
Intrusive advertisements proliferate advertising-supported software as well. Once clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Adware can also be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content into the device.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We advise always researching software before download/installation and/or purchase. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. Installation processes must be approached with caution, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, and using the "Advanced/Custom" settings to opt-out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious material typically appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements may look harmless, but they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you continuously experience such ads/redirects, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Darknes, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshots of the websites used to promote Darknes adware:
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 Darknes?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Darknes application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Darknes ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Darknes' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Darknes extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Darknes 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 "Darknes", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Darknes ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Darknes 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 "Darknes" 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 darknes, 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 "Darknes" and all other recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by darknes 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 darknes, 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 delivers ads that promote deceptive/malicious content, which can cause serious issues like system infections, financial losses, and so on. Furthermore, this software is considered to be a privacy threat, as it usually has data tracking abilities.
What does adware do?
Adware is designed to enable the placement of various advertisements on visited websites and/or different interfaces. Additionally, it may be capable of causing redirects and gathering private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily through affiliate programs by endorsing websites, apps, services, etc. The developers might earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Darknes adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating detected adware-type apps. It has to be mentioned manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In some instances, even after the adware is (manually) removed - various remnants (files) stay within the system. What is more, these components can continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, advertising-supported software must be eliminated thoroughly.