Rogue Chromium Browsers
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Chromium?
Chromium is an open-source web browser project. Although Chromium project itself is legitimate, it is often misused as a platform for malicious web browsers categorized as adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUP). Most infiltrate systems without users’ permission.
In addition, these apps continually track Internet browsing activity, generate intrusive advertisements, and cause unwanted browser redirects.
These browsers employ a 'virtual layer' to generate various intrusive online advertisements. Generally, ads generated by rogue Chromium-based browsers redirect to various e-commerce websites (for example, online stores), however, some lead to malicious sites that are likely to contain infectious content.
Clicking these ads is risky and may lead to high-risk adware or malware infections. Furthermore, deceptive Chromium-based browsers continually track Internet browsing activity and gather browsing-related data, which is later shared with cooperating third party companies.
Be aware that that some of the collected information may be personally identifiable and there is a high probability that private data will be misused. Thus, having an information-tracking app installed can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft.
|Name||Fake Chrome browser|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|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.
There are tens of dubious Chromium-based browsers such as Olcinium, eFast, Qword, BrowserAir, Chedot, MyBrowser, Fusion, BeagleBrowser, Tortuga, and Torch. Initially, these apps might appear legitimate and useful, since all claim to significantly improve Internet browsing speed, security, and provide other browsing-related features.
These false claims are merely attempts to trick users to install. Bogus apps are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than providing any significant value for users, they cause unwanted browser redirects, deliver intrusive online advertisements, and track Internet browsing activity, thereby putting users' privacy and system security at risk.
How did rogue Chromium browser install on my computer?
Most dubious Chromium-based browsers are distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' - stealth installation of additional programs with regular software/apps.
Research shows that many users do not expect potentially unwanted programs to be concealed within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings. They rush the download and installation processes, skip most/all steps, and often inadvertently install rogue applications.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Potentially unwanted programs are usually hidden within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings. Therefore, only by paying close attention and analyzing each step of the software download and installation processes, will you be able to protect your system from adware-type infections.
Bundled software is mostly rogue and, therefore, you should never accept any offers to install third party programs.
Deceptive free software installer distributing rogue Chromium browser (redirecting to search.yahoo.com):
Other deceptive installers used to promote rogue Chromium browsers:
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 are rogue Chromium based browsers?
- STEP 1. Uninstall adware using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove unwanted plugins from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove malicious add-ons from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove adware from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove unwanted extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Rogue Chromium based browsers 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 "Chromium" (or any other recently-installed suspicious applications), select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Chromium ads, 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, rogue Chromium based browsers did not install their browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, these browsers were 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 add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fake chrome browser, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fake chrome browser, 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with fake chrome browser 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 fake chrome browser, 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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