This article will show you all the characteristics of a program called Apple-panda.com “Virus”, and if this kind of software has caused an infection – we will show you how to remove it. Briefly speaking, this program is a member of one very widely-spread software group called browser hijackers. Among their distinctive features are accessing your browser apps (like Explorer/ Chrome/ Firefox/ Opera), modifying their settings and making them:
- display a lot of sometimes irritating ads in the form of boxes, pop-ups and banners;
- set new and unfamiliar homepages and search engines in place of the previous ones;
- redirect you to different websites, which you have never wanted to load, while you are trying to browse the Internet.
Typically, programs like this are more or less innocuous. What else you should expect when it comes to hijackers and how to successfully deal with them are matters, thoroughly discussed in the next text.
How Browser Hijacker programs may act:
As we have explaned in the paragraph above, hijackers might only infect and change the settings of all your browsers. It doesn’t matter what kind of browser you are using, because you can expect redirecting, ad production and homepage/search engine substituting in the majority of the most popular browsing programs. This type of software is entirely promotion-oriented.But how might such a program come to your computer? The usual sources of browser hijackers are the following:
- Torrents and shareware: Hijackers could come from torrents and shareware. This means that there aren’t torrents that are 100% safe. Our advice is to simply avoid all of them.
- Contagious websites: This is another popular source, as any browser hijacker might infect your PC in case you accidentally click on a pop-up, which is produced by a contagious website.
- The process of ‘Program bundling’: This process involves the spreading of a great number of programs/ games/ apps together inside program bundles. Usually, such mixes of software are available for free and anyone could access them. What you ought to absolutely know about this way of distributing Apple-panda.com “Virus” is that:
– the simple act of downloading a wanted bundle will not infect your PC with a hijacker;
– on the other hand, installing the bundle in a quick and often – careless, way almost always means getting infected with promotion-oriented programs such as Adware and hijacker-based ones.
How to avoid the hijackers/ Adware from the inside of a bundle, in case we really want to try another program from it?
It is not so hard to develop some proper habits when it comes to installing different kinds of software. You just need to stay away from all the wizard steps promising you a quick and automatically-performed installation process. Normally, choosing such an ‘easy’ feature can deprive you of the chance to select the exact programs from a bundle, or the exact features of a program, which you indeed need on your system. The following installation features are to be always avoided: the Default/ the Recommended/ the Typical/ the Easy/ the Quick one. Instead of that, you should use the Customized (often called the Advanced) feature, which as its name implies, will let you customize the entire installation process. Thus, the last word will be yours when it comes to the wanted features and programs. You should act wisely, always go with these wizards options.
Why are they developed?
Maybe you are thinking about the reason why software like this has been developed in the first place. And the answer is that hijackers like this are exploited for advertising aims. This means that all their characteristics serve the marketing industry and the possible redirecting and ad production are ONLY the results of the desire of manufacturers to have their products popularized; and of the software developers to earn some additional profits.
Why are they considered harmless most of the time?
As a whole we can say that browser hijackers are normal unobjectionable advertising products, which are considered potentially unwanted due to the possible redirecting and ad generation that they might cause. Nonetheless, they are still considered more or less harmless, as compared to the actual viruses, like the ones which are based on Ransomware. Browser hijackers have nothing in common with malware like that and CAN’T cause so much trouble. For instance – if your system has been infected with Ransomware, all your data will face encryption and perhaps even destruction. In the case of contamination with Apple-panda.com “Virus”, only your browsers may face some slight, yet irritating modifications. We have already explained them above. Something more, Ransomware viruses will NEVER have to ask you for your permission to get installed – they do that in an automatic way, while the developers of hijackers are always looking for a way to trick you into approving the installation of Apple-panda.com “Virus”, for example.
How to remove Apple-panda.com “Virus”
You should follow the instructions in the Guide below. They ought to be what you need to perform the uninstallation process properly.
Apple-panda.com “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.