How to uninstall the Ouroboros rogue browser
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the Ouroboros browser?
Ouroboros is a rogue browser that our research team discovered while inspecting suspicious software-promoting websites.
This browser likely has advertising-supported software (adware) functionalities. Ouroboros also shares traits with browser hijackers in that it can cause redirects to fake search engines, specifically the ouroborosbrowser.com website. It is pertinent to mention that this browser likely spies on users' browsing activity as well.
Due to the dubious methods used to distribute Ouroboros, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).
Potentially unwanted application overview
When we inspected Ouroboros, we learned that it causes redirects to the ouroborosbrowser.com illegitimate search engine - whenever a new tab/window is opened, or a search query is typed into the URL bar.
Fake search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. During our analysis, the ouroborosbrowser.com site redirected to the Yahoo search engine (search.yahoo.com). It is noteworthy that where redirects caused by such software land may vary based on various factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
It is possible that Ouroboros also operates as adware, although we did not observe it during testing. Advertising-supported software displays ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces.
The advertisements endorse online scams, unreliable/harmful apps, and malware. Some intrusive ads can even perform downloads/installations without user consent - when clicked on. Note that any genuine content encountered via these adverts is most likely promoted by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs in order to acquire illegitimate commissions.
Furthermore, PUAs (including rogue browsers, adware, browser hijackers, etc.) typically collect private data - hence, this may apply to Ouroboros.
Applications of this kind usually target the following information: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, account log-in credentials, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so on. The gathered information can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals) or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of software like Ouroboros on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ouroboros rogue browser|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)|
|Supposed Functionality||Browser with simplistic design, improved speed, and increased security.|
|Detection Names (installer)||Combo Cleaner (Application.Agent.KLD), Cylance (Unsafe), Emsisoft (Application.Agent.KLD (B)), Sophos (Generic PUA NC (PUA)), Webroot (Pup.Malware.Gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (app)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (ouroborosbrowser.com)||CRDF (Malicious), Webroot (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (ouroborosbrowser.com)||22.214.171.124|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. A new application is performing computer scans and displays warning messages about 'found issues'. Asks for payment to eliminate the supposedly found errors.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Monetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, slow computer performance.|
|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
We have analyzed many rogue browsers; ClearBrowser, Cent Browser, ShieldBrowser, LiteBrowser, and WebFox are just some examples.
This software is usually presented as legitimate and advantageous. To elaborate, Ouroboros is advertised as a browser offering increased privacy, fast operation, and easy-to-use features. However, unwanted software seldom works as promised, and in most cases - the advertised functions are utterly nonoperational.
How did Ouroboros install on my computer?
We downloaded Ouroboros from its "official" promotional page. We also found a deceptive site endorsing this dubious browser. Users typically enter these webpages via redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
However, software of this kind is distributed using various suspect techniques. PUAs can be bundled with regular programs. Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) - increase the risk of allowing bundled/harmful content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate unwanted software as well. When clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Installation must be treated with care, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out from additional apps, extensions, features, tools, etc.
We also advise being cautious when browsing since illegitimate and malicious content usually appears ordinary and innocuous. For example, intrusive advertisements may look harmless yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., adult-dating, gambling, pornography, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Screenshot of the pop-up displayed during Ouroboros browser installation:
Screenshot of the Ouroboros browser's "official" promotional website:
Screenshot of a deceptive website used to promote the Ouroboros browser:
Appearance of ouroborosbrowser.com redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):
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:
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
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 "Ouroboros" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries 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.
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 is the purpose of an unwanted application?
Unwanted software is designed to generate revenue. It may achieve this by causing redirects, displaying advertisements, promoting in-app purchases, collecting and selling private data, etc.
Is Ouroboros unwanted application legal?
Typically, unwanted apps are considered legal, as their End User License Agreements (EULA) tend to inform users about any potential behavior.
Is having Ouroboros installed on my computer dangerous?
Ouroboros causes redirects, and it may display ads as well as gather private information. Generally, the threats associated with such software include system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Ouroboros unwanted application?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan devices and eliminate threats. It can remove unwanted and malicious applications. Note that manual removal (performed without the aid of security software) might be ineffective. In some cases, even after the program is removed - various components (files) stay hidden within the system. What is more, the remnants can continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate software thoroughly.
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