Browser hijackers are hardly the most amiable companions to have on your PC. In fact, they’re really quite the opposite and we have actually been receiving complaints regarding a particular browser hijacker called Bikaq RSS Reader. It’s among the latest browser hijackers to be released and a number of users feel bothered by its presence on their systems.
And given that you’re here, we’re guessing that you probably feel the same way. And we can’t blame – nobody would want to have to put up with some random program making itself at home in their system and changing their Chrome or Firefox homepage and default search engine. Furthermore, the constant redirects that these programs often cause can also be pretty annoying, and don’t even get us started on the endless stream of popups, banners, box messages, in-text links and various other advertising materials that have likely also become your constant companion during browsing sessions. If you would like to gain a better understanding of what it is you’re faced with and how you can easily remove it, keep reading. You’ll find a specialized removal guide at the end of this article.
How browser hijackers operate and what their goal is
To put it very simply, browser hijackers are marketing tools. They are used with the sole purpose of promoting websites, services and products and various sorts, only as opposed to other online ads or other ads in general, these ones come to you – they don’t wait for you to come see them. And in itself it’s a pretty clever concept, however, it is an aggressive one. And aggressive doesn’t always equal good. Browser hijackers like Bikaq RSS Reader “Virus” usually operate on the basis of remuneration schemes like the infamous Pay Per Click system. It ensure that the developers of programs like this one get paid based on the number of times that their ads get clicked. So, as you can extrapolate from here, things can get pretty ugly when driven by the desire to profit more.
And that is what leads us to arguably the most important aspect to a browser hijackers’ existence: the way they try to maximize the number of these paid clicks. More often than not, browser hijackers can look through your browsing history and record data that has to do with your recent online search queries, the kind of content you tend to like and/or share on social media, etc. Furthermore, they can showcase interest in the kind of websites your visit and bookmark as well. What do they get from this? Well, for the most part, this kind of data allows the hijacker or other similar program to determine the type of products and services that are likely to attract your attention. So, once armed with that information, the program in question can proceed to tailoring its ads to your preferences. As a result, it will start displaying only those ads that stands a chance at attracting your oh-so-valuable click.
Are there any dangers involved?
We thought you’d never ask. There are indeed certain risks to consider that inevitably follow programs like Bikaq RSS Reader around. For one, the practice described earlier is, like it or not, an invasion of your privacy. The possible ways, in which this data collecting can go wrong are numerous. But there are more serious consequences to consider. Now, programs like Bikaq RSS Reader are often mistaken for viruses and malicious programs, though the reality of the matter is that they are not capable of inflicting any harm to your system. However, they may potentially make your system vulnerable to genuine threats such as viruses, like Trojans and ransomware, for example.
These are among the internet’s most feared malware variants out there and getting one on your PC is not how you would want your day to go. Hackers often rely on malicious advertisements and fake system requests to help them distribute their malware. Once you click on an ad like that, which by the way looks no different than just about any other ad on the internet, you will automatically download the virus it was injected with. This is a very serious issue nowadays and the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to avoid interacting with online ads altogether. But you can further maximize your security by removing the software responsible for generating the majority of popups and banners on your screen.
Bikaq RSS Reader “Virus Removal
Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.
Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.
Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.
Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.
Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.
In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.
Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.
If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.
Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.
Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.
For Chrome users
Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.
For Firefox users
Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.
For IE users
When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.
Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.
If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main
If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.