If your computer has been infected by a browser hijacker, there’s little to no way that you will fail to spot it. This is because it is the hijacker’s intent to make itself known and it does so with the help of several unmistakable traits that will allow you to identify the exact program behind them.
First and foremost, once in your system, the hijacker will integrate with your Chrome, Firefox, Edge or other popular browser and start altering its settings. The primary alterations that you are bound to notice first are the change in the browser’s homepage, as well as its default search engine. The program in question is likely to replace your regular ones with new, unfamiliar ones. In addition, your browser will start initiating odd page redirects to various sponsored websites, ads, etc. These are all typical browser hijacker symptoms, but is that really all there is to it? We would like to inform our readers about everything there is to know about this specific software type on the example of one of its latest additions – Linenews.org “Virus”.
The point of programs like Linenews.org “Virus”
All the browser setting alterations, all the annoying popups, banners, box messages, in-text links and various other advertising materials – it all comes down to one point and that one point is profit. The numerous vendors and distributors of the endless number of products and services that are constantly promoted on your screen benefit from this promoting, because obviously their products/service gain more exposure. Logically, they may in turn gain more customers. But these vendors and distributors pay for the privilege of having their goods advertised to the browser hijacker developers. Thus, the people who create programs like Linenews.org “Virus” benefit from the whole thing, too. However, it’s important to note that they earn revenue from the clicks on the ads. Hence, the larger the number of clicks – the higher their income.
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand where all the aggressive advertising techniques come from. But there’s also one more thing that occurs as a direct result of this remuneration scheme. Software like Linenews.org “Virus” is often programmed to monitor your browsing patterns and extract certain information from them. Such are your recent search requests, your bookmarks and favorited pages, the content you demonstrate interest in, etc. Thanks to this data, the browser hijacker can determine which of its products and services are more likely to fall within your interests range. In accordance with these conclusions, Linenews.org “Virus” will change the ads it displays and rearrange things, so that you are exposed to more ads that match your preferences. That way the program increases the chances of you actually interacting with the respective ads.
Should I be afraid of Linenews.org “Virus”? Is it a virus?
No and no. Linenews.org “Virus” and other browser hijackers like it are not considered to be viruses or malicious. That’s already reason enough not to fear them, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be cautious. For example, the above practice of tracking your browsing activity is nothing short of shady and can rightfully be seen as a privacy invasion. On the other hand, you have probably been asking yourself where Linenews.org “Virus” came from to begin with. Would you believe us if we told you that you most probably installed it on your own? Well, most of the time that is exactly the case.
This happens due to yet another shady technique better known as program bundling. The developers of browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted programs are well aware of that fact that very few people will deliberately seek out their software and install it on their machines. For that very reason they tend to bundle them with other, more attractive programs. The thins is, though, that you won’t know about it unless you know where to look or have already completed the full installation process and then witness the symptoms of an infection. Therefore, it is highly important that you manually customize the installation process of any new program you download. Be sure to always opt for the more detailed advanced or custom settings, so as to see what added content the bundle may contain. This is an important measure not only with the purpose of preventing hijackers from entering your machine, but genuine malware like ransomware and Trojans, too.
But for now you might want to first deal with your current infection and remove Linenews.org “Virus” once and for all. Please proceed to the instructions in the removal guide below and let us know in the comments in case you happen to face any difficulties.
Linenews.org “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.