Browser hijackers are easily the most annoying type of software that you may ever come across. Unfortunately, however, users tend to come across it quite often and most users have had to deal with a browser hijacker at least once in their life. Today’s article is dedicated to one of the latest browser hijacker variants and that is better known by the name of Aswrd.exe Virus. Just like its other sibling programs, this one tends to “hijack” your Chrome, Firefox, Edge or other popular browser you may be using by changing its homepage and setting a new default search engine. Furthermore, after this your browser tends to start initiating involuntary page redirects to various sponsored sites right in the middle of your browsing and without even asking for your consent! That can really become very annoying, very fast. In addition, these programs also tend to install ad-generating components in your browser, which is also pretty irritating. If you would like to set your browser settings to their previous state and get rid of all the ads, you will have to remove the program behind all of this – Aswrd.exe Virus. And we have just the thing that will help you achieve that – a removal guide located just beneath this article.
What are browser hijackers really and are they dangerous?
We pretty much already summarized all the behavioral traits of a browser hijacker, but what does it all mean? Why the invasive browser setting changes, why all the endless popups, banner, box messages and other ads? Well, it’s really quite simple. Browser hijackers like Aswrd.exe Virus are programmed to serve the online marketing industry and in doing so they promote various products and services by means of displaying their ads directly on the screens of the affected users. And, on the other hand, this is also how the hijacker developers make revenue. They profit based on the number of ads that users click on, as per remuneration models such as the infamous Pay Per Click scheme.
It is exactly these remuneration systems that often lead to certain intrusive practices. Such is, for example, the possibility of such software to look into your browsing history and monitor your online activity. Of course, this excludes sensitive details like passwords or credit card numbers and such. But they can surely keep track of your social media activity, for example, as well as the kind fo websites you visit. In addition, even your bookmark and favorited pages may be taken into account. Another very important thing that hijackers tend to pay close attention to are you most recent online search queries. All of this information combined will allow it to gain a better perspective of what you may be interested in and what products or services will be more likely to attract your attention. This data is then applied to the ad flow and it will be modified so as to display more of the ads you are expected to interact with.
The above is partly what has helped classify adware as potentially unwanted programs or PUPs. But there are far worse potential consequences of having a program like Aswrd.exe Virus on your PC. For one, its presence may result in your system becoming more vulnerable to outside threats and viruses like Trojans and ransomware. That’s not to say that Aswrd.exe Virus is itself also a virus, not at all. But due to the Registry changes that programs like this often initiate, they may weaken the defense mechanisms of the entire system. In addition, the numerous popups and banners that keep flooding your screen can also become a real hazard. Hackers and cybercriminals often rely on online ads that they compromise and convert to what we call ‘malvertisements’ (malicious advertisements) for the distribution of their harmful programs, such as those pointed out above. With that in mind, it’s of course best to simply try and avoid clicking on various online ads. But when your screen is constantly filled with them, that may become a difficult task. Thus, the optimal thing to do for your PC’s safety and your own would be to remove Aswrd.exe Virus as soon as possible and see to it that you don’t get infected again. That way you will at least be minimizing the risk of being exposed to malware.
Aswrd.exe 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.