This article aims to discuss a program, which is classified as a browser hijacker. It is called TF.org “Virus” and may cause the following changes to any and all of the most popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, etc.:
- The default search engines/ homepages could disappear and new ones may bet set.
- A really big number of banners/ pop-ups/ box messages might be broadcast once the program has entered your PC. It is even possible that those ads may make the entire browsing process impossible or too slow because of their overwhelming number.
- Something like a redirection process could take place as soon as you try to open a website, which may irritate you even more.
Generally speaking, such programs are not exactly the most malicious ones and we are going to discuss that below. Proceed with the following paragraphs for more information on this topic.
Could a browser hijacker really take over your browsers?
Although no harmful processes may occur because of an infection with TF.org “Virus” (or any other hijacker), such programs could indeed ‘hijack’ all your browser apps. Neither Chrome, nor Firefox and Explorer will be safe in the presence of such a hijacker, as all of them may face some irritating changes as a result of the contamination. More precisely, whatever browser apps you are using, they will be the only components of your PC, which TF.org “Virus” might access. All the other apps, programs and data inside your system are in NO way accessible to such a hijacker. Actually, the aforementioned possible modifications are the only ones TF.org “Virus” may result in.
What else could TF.org “Virus” possibly do to you and your PC?
In fact, the only quite shady aspect of all the hijackers’ behavior once installed on your PC, is these programs’ capability of using your browser history records for the purpose of determining the exact type of ads and redirections you may be interested in. As a result, all the pop-ups and redirections you might start seeing soon after may be similar to your recent search requests. However, this type of extensive history records research and prying into the users’ browsing patterns may in fact come across as rather intrusive. Because of this, browser hijackers are sometimes regarded as potentially unwanted software.
Although hijackers possess the aforementioned annoying effects, all of them are more or less harmless. To be completely precise, our conclusion is that TF.org “Virus” is a program, which is oriented towards advertising. It indeed serves the online branch of the marketing industry in a way similar to the ones, in which the radio and the TV ads do. For sure, hijackers have NO malicious characteristics. For instance, the programs, which are REALLY malicious, like the ones categorized as Ransomware and Trojans, will have some awfully dangerous features, among which the most disturbing ones will be:
- Spying on you and your online activities;
- Copying and keeping data about your accounts and profiles;
- Encrypting valuable files and harassing you into paying ransom for them.
As you can see, none of the above could in any way be connected to the nature of the known hijackers.
Browser hijackers could be lurking inside:
In spite of the fact that browser hijackers are rather common and may be found everywhere: inside torrents, spam, shareware; there is that one source which DOES top the charts with its frequency of spreading programs like TF.org “Virus”. This source is a process better known as program bundling. This process produces bundles – numerous apps and programs mingled and distributed together. Programmers use such free mixtures of software to attract the users and make them more willing to ignore the implementation of a safe installation process. It is true that when you cannot wait to use something from such a bundle, you are more likely to perform the installation in an improper way. If you want to stay safe, simply choose the best installation feature. Such a perfect installation will only be achieved via the Advanced and the Custom wizard options. We do NOT advise you to use any of the others. Also, the ones you should make sure you always avoid are called: Default/ Automatic/ Recommended / Easy. For your own safety, stay away from them all.
When you decide to finally remove this irritating contamination:
Such an infection may be removed in case you have the right advice to follow. We have worked really hard to provide you with such a working solution. Check out the Removal Guide we have attached to this article. It is designed to work in cases like yours; but if you encounter difficulties – please, inform us in the comment section and we will personally try to help you.
TF.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.