What is Chromnius?
Chromnius is a rogue browser based on the Chromium open-source project. Our research team discovered this piece of software while inspecting suspicious software-promoting websites.
After installing this application on our test machine, we determined that it operates as adware and has qualities that are typical for browser hijackers. Furthermore, it is highly likely that Chromnius collects private information. Due to the fact that most users download/install this untrustworthy browser unintentionally, it is also classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).
Chromnius browser overview
Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content (e.g., pop-ups, banners, and other advertisements) on visited websites and/or other interfaces.
These ads promote the following types of websites: questionable (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.), scam-running (e.g., phishing, fake tech support, bogus prize giveaways, etc.), software-promoting (e.g., adware, fake anti-virus, browser hijacker, PUA, etc.), and malware-proliferation ones (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).
We observed Chromnius exhibiting a function standard for browser hijackers - the promotion of fake search engines. This rogue browser caused redirects to zipsearch.xyz whenever a new browser tab/window was opened or search queries were typed into the URL bar.
Illegitimate search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to genuine ones. Zipsearch.xyz is not an exception to this; at the time of research, it redirected to the legitimate Yahoo search engine (search.yahoo.com).
What is more, Chromnius likely gathers sensitive information since data tracking functionalities are standard for PUAs (including adware and browser hijackers).
Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so on. The collected data can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Chromnius on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Ads by Chromnius
|Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
|Detection Names (installer)
|CrowdStrike Falcon (Win/grayware_confidence_60% (D)), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/DragonBossSolutions.A Potentiall), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Detection Names (app)
|Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.
|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.
Rogue browser examples
Software like Chromnius is typically presented as legitimate and harmless. It lures users into download/installation with promises of "handy" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they are utterly nonoperational.
How did Chromnius install on my computer?
We downloaded Chromnius from its "official" download webpage, and we found a deceptive site promoting this browser. Most users access websites of this kind via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
However, software of this kind can be distributed using other dubious/deceptive methods. "Bundling" is a marketing technique of pre-packing regular installers with unwanted/malicious additions. Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate software as well. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official and verified channels. When installing, it is essential to read terms, inspect possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all supplementary apps, extensions, etc. We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears legitimate.
Should you experience the previously described ads/redirects, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Chromnius, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Chromnius' detailed description:
Screenshot of Chromnius' "official" promotional website:
Screenshot of a deceptive website used to promote Chromnius adware:
Appearance of Chromnius redirecting to zipsearch.xyz that redirects to the Yahoo search engine (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 Chromnius?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Chromnius application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove unwanted ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove unwanted ads from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Chromnius 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 "Chromnius", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, Chromnius did not install its browser plug-ins on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it could be 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 extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by chromnius, 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 all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by chromnius 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 chromnius, 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 typically collects private data - hence, it is categorized as a privacy threat. Furthermore, adware-displayed adverts endorse deceptive and malicious material that can cause severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to display ads on various websites. Additionally, this software may be capable of force-opening websites and collecting private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily through affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, apps, products, services, etc. The developers might earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Is Chromnius legal?
Software like Chromnius is typically deemed legal due to their End User License Agreements (EULA) that inform users about any potential behavior.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Chromnius adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate threats. It is capable of removing various unwanted, adware-type, browser-hijacking, and other malicious apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective. In some instances, even after the unwanted program has been manually removed - various files remain hidden within the system. Furthermore, the remnants may continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, undesirable software must be removed thoroughly.