Browser hijacker - help!

  • Hello 🙂

    First of all I would like to say: Great job Vivaldi team! I am your fan since very beginning and gladly recommend you to all of my friends and acquaintances.

    After more than a year I have a problem which I cannot solve.

    Browser hijacker "Plus network" has infected my Vivaldi browser and I can't rid of it.

    What I tried so far:

    1. Control panel - installed programs - there is not installed anything referred to Plus network, or nothing unfamiliar with me.
    2. Vivaldi extensions and add-ins - nothing found.
    3. Antivirus scan, anti malware scan.... Antivirus installed - bit defender.
    4. Added extensions - adblock plus, adblock, ghostery...

    If you can help me, I would be very grateful.....

  • Can't vouch for it but looks pertinent

    At least instructions appear to be quite explicit

    What virus checker did you have before you were hit?

    Good luck

  • Hi,

    I looked up that "Plus network" that has found a new home on your computer. I also had a look at the first reply you received here on that matter.

    Now if you don't feel comfortable using "regedit" you might also try tools attempting to remove it in a more automated way. =>
    I would recommend though to install the anti-malware tool(s) of your choice, update it/them, boot into Windows safe mode (hit F8 when you power on your computer until you get to the screen where you can select it) and run those in tools in this mode.

    Were you able to identify where you got "Plus network" from? Have you installed software lately where the source might have been doubtful? By what I could find about this "Plus network" it seems as if it got on board rather by installing software than accessing a certain site.
    Anyhow, the extensions you mentioned won't really protect you from such sites. They can intercept some stuff BUT as soon as JavaScript is enabled a potential attack vector becomes really powerful. So if you are convinced that it will have happened by accessing some website maybe install a script controlling extension such as "uMatrix" (and while your at it replace Adblock Plus with uBlock Origin and remove Ghostery (who got some bad rep for user tracking similar to W.O.T.)).
    uMatrix is powerful, might take 5-10 mins of reading up on it, there are good tutorials available online, will require user interaction when accessing sites for the first time (then you can save the settings you made for that specific website for the future) but this way only the scripts necessary will be run.

    Slightly off-topic:
    I don't know if you run regular backups for your PC but say if I became aware of the fact that my computer was really infected with something undoubtedly malicious, I wouldn't trust any clean up tool to get it entirely fixed.
    Once a system was compromised it means it bypassed everything you had in place to protect your computer. How can you know that clean-up tools get it 100.0% right and don't miss something?! I wouldn't trust that computer any more and restore a backup where I have as much certainty as I can possible have to regain confidence in my computer.
    That being said "Plus network" mightn't fall into the category of the most severe "infection".

    Good luck & success.

  • PlusNetwork is but one of a number of quasi-legitimate ad-display (adware) programs that usually is loaded onto a system by being bundled (openly or covertly) along with a user-sought download of some other program from a freeware site. It is designed primarily to constantly force pop-up ads onto user systems, whose display increases the click-count revenue paid by that advertiser to PlusNetwork. The entire process is technically legal, but reprehensible and annoying to a user.

    Normally, ad programs such as PlusNetwork either install directly into the system as an installed program (thus appearing in the list of Control Panel program software, from which it can be removed) or embed themselves either into the system's default browser or into the browser which happened to be open at the time of installation. Most typically when embedding into a browser, such a program will exist as an installed extension, but it also has several alternate modes of browser 'infection'. System-level anti-malware tools are not normally needed to get rid of such adware unless the user has encountered some rogue manifestation of it that has been altered to behave as true malware. (In the latter 'rogue' case, the system has been compromised and full anti-malware scans with multiple tools, including looking for rootkits, are indicated.)

    To remove browser adware like PlusNetwork, the first two things to try (direct removal via the OS Control Panel or Vivaldi's list of extensions), you've already indicated were unable to find anything. The next things to try are:

    • Check to make sure Vivaldi's homepage entry has not been hijacked (Tools>Settings>Startup); if it has, change it back to whatever it originally was.
    • Check to make sure Vivladi's default search engine entry has not been hijacked (Tools>Settings>Search) or added-to by PlusNetwork; if it has, change it back to original and/or delete it from the engine list.
    • Check each of your browser desktop and Toolbar shortcuts (R-click the browser icon > Properties > Target box: ) and make sure a PlusNetwork URL hasn't been appended to the command shown there; if so, delete the URL from the command.
    • Finally, if all else fails, "reset" the browser via: look in Vivaldi's Help > About > Profile Path: for the location of your user profile path. Turn off Vivaldi and use your file explorer to navigate to the Default folder of your profile path. Rename that Default folder to something else (eg: Default-Orig). Restart Vivaldi. This should cause Vivaldi to dump all customizations and cause Vivaldi to create a fresh clean Default folder... that should clear out anything else PlusNetwork might have done to the browser. After this, you will either have to manually re-customize Vivaldi's settings (and extensions), or else move certain files from the Default-orig folder to the Default folder (always with Vivaldi turned off) to try to recover things like bookmarks, notes, etc.

  • Let's try the automated way of dealing with this first.. if that doesn't work we will remove some deep registry keys.

    Try completely uninstalling all parts of Chrome and then reinstall...

    Before proceeding.. make a backup of your Registry..
    Press the Windows key + R, type regedit.exe and press Enter
    Click on "My Computer" then click "File" and then "Export". Then "File" then "Exit".

    Use Task Manager to "Kill" all instances of Chrome.exe...

    Note: Make sure you have another browser on your computer (i.e. FireFox) that works.
    Try completely removing all parts of Chrome with removal tool (run it in Windows Safe Mode and do the scan several times to make sure) ... then reinstall Chrome Stable.

  • If a browser hijacker is hard to remove, it should be that this browser hijacker has made some changes to your system settings, not just the browser settings. Try to find out if there are some entries added to your Windows registry. If so, delete them.

  • @jackadision

    @jackadision said in Browser hijacker - help!:

    his kind of tool will allow you to prevent malware attack.

    Ha Ha...... this is wrong on so many levels

  • Moderator

    Try the free Malwarebytes

  • Hey, I was also facing something similar. It looks like a browser hijacker. I was having issues with something like online windef or something else. So here is what you can try to remove browser hijacker
    Go to Task Manager check the running process of "Plus Network" and click on end process.
    After this Go To Plugins Pane and deselect the "Plus network" plugin and uninstall it.
    Restart the Browser and your browser should be ok

  • Moderator

    Do be careful with software that claims to protect your PC.

    Some of it is worse than useless.

  • @Pesala said in Browser hijacker - help!:

    Do be careful with software that claims to protect your PC.

    [Some of it is worse than useless] ...

    Agreed! There are numerous websites that pop up in a web search for named adware/malware, and which exist only to foist junkware (or even new malware) upon desperate virus or adware victims. There are also folks who sign up and post in forums just to push particular kinds of junkware as an infection remedy.

    Reputation matters, so whatever antimalware tools are offered or 'pushed', cross-check their reputation within independent reviews and security forums - thoroughly - before downloading and installing!

  • if more help is needed let me know but those are safe reputable programs that should get the job done just scan and remove with each tool and you should be good to go

  • This post is deleted!

  • Vivaldi Ambassador

    Try RogueKiller, it's more efficient than Malwarebyes. Enough with the free version, although you can not customize the scan in this

  • @johnmarc said in Browser hijacker - help!:

    Well, you can get rid with browser hijacker issue. I have been gone through this very scary situation and successfully get rid with this issue as well. Here are some tips going through which you will definitely solve your problem.
    Click Here : h xx p:// www.kill***** .com

    However, visitors to that site should note the disclaimer on the website's page:
    "I am the owner of this website and I am in the process of affiliate marketing. I recommend products over here for which I earn a commission. ..."

    Always do a web search for independent reviews of any malware-removal tool before downloading it onto your system.

  • Moderator

    @blackbird Removed bad link to website (with no owner information), looked like spam.


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