Web browsers are a medium between your system and the internet. They are like a sandbox unit in your system designed to show you web pages. It means no site should be able to access your device, i.e. leave the sandbox.
Still, developers somehow find a loophole in the browser applications. They can access and infect your system via a web browser. Mostly by using a browser extension.
Browser infections can’t damage any files on their own. Hence, we consider them as a low-to-medium level threat.
But that’s not all.
Once they get access to your system, they can either steal your data or open a path for much dangerous malware to enter your system.
Let’s take a look at the different types of web browser viruses.
How to Get Rid of Web Browser Virus?
You might encounter a web browser virus many times while browsing. One way to protect yourself is by consciously proceeding further when visiting a new site. Chrome web browser is a favourite target of malware makers. If you happen to get infected anyway, then you can use Chrome virus removal guides to help you tackle the problem.
You can save yourself some trouble by installing a robust antimalware app. We tested a few and found MalwareFox to eliminate all online and offline threats efficiently.
What Are the Different Types of Web Browser Malware?
Malware applications, in general, comprise of many types. Most of them interact with the core system functions or tamper your files in some way. But browser viruses can’t interact with the system directly. They need to work by the rules of the web browser.
Therefore, we can distinguish browser infections by looking at their behaviour with the browser.
Search hijacking, or browser hijacking, occurs when someone sneaks files into your computer and alters your browser’s settings without your permission. These changes help the hijackers make money by forcing you to click on paid links, look at ads, or give up your private information.
If you are unable to change your homepage, remove a toolbar, or change your search settings, a hijacker may have infected your browser.
Some browser hijackers also contain spyware. Spyware records data from your system input devices like microphone, keyboard and camera. One such software is a keylogger. It gathers information, such as banking and e-mail authentication details. Some browser hijackers are capable of damaging the registry on Windows systems, often permanently.
Browser hijackers are often a part of software bundles. User does not install them on purpose. Instead, malicious software represents hijacker as an essential part of the bundle. You can save yourself from hijacker applications by carefully reading the installation guide of a particular program. You can always choose not to install any unrecognizable or unwanted bundle.
A Browser Redirect virus or computer infection redirects you to a random page than the one you intended to view. It is usual for a site to redirect a browser to another page. But, if your web browser is continually redirecting you to tech support scams, advertisements for Chrome extension, unusual programs, or porn sites, then consider it a malware attack.
You can check for messages such as “Connecting to”, “Waiting for”, “Transferring from”, or “Processing request” in the browser status bar to know about any redirection.
A redirect virus generates revenue for its developer using online monetization models. For example, if someone is getting paid every time a user clicks a link (PPC model), then the virus redirects you to that link without your concern. Sites using the PPC model have unique Ids for every contributor. They log your system entry in their site, and the cybercriminal earns the cut.
However, all redirects are not ill intentional. Redirection is a fundamental concept in online platforms. Webmasters use redirection to drive the audience to their page from a potentially deleted or renewed URL.
Spam Notifications, generally known as ‘Allow Notifications Scam” are used to convince people into permitting notorious applications into their system.
Whenever you visit a new site, two frequent pop-ups can be permission for allowing cookies and notifications. The primary purpose of a cookie is to identify users and possibly prepare customized web pages or to save site login information. Whereas, to update you about any new content, a site uses notifications.
Cybercriminals take advantage of this feature to download malwares into your system. Sites may ask you to click ‘Allow’ to continue watching a video or to continue browsing those sites.
By clicking allow, you permit the site to show pop-up notification on your screen. In some cases, it can either download an ‘exe’ file or a browser extension. If you find a site asking for your permission, check whether it’s a trustworthy site. However, if you click ‘Allow’, look at what the browser is doing. If it’s downloading a file that you never intended or installing an extension to your browser, in both cases consider it to be a rogue site and don’t browse if further. Also, revert the changes immediately to save yourself from trouble.
Any site can ask you for permission to allow for notifications. But, using it for ill purpose is where we draw the line. You can always permit your favourite site to notify you about new content.
Google Chrome is one of the frequently used browsers in the world. Some years back, Google released an open-source browser project, named Chromium.
Chromium has some basic Chrome features, and the source code is openly available. It means any developer can use the code to create a similar browser. Creators are also allowed to add any new feature to it as per their will.
Cybercriminals used this opportunity to propagate fake browsers in the market. These browsers look almost harmful and sometimes provide great features too. One such browser is known as Chromium Virus.
The Chromium virus is a rogue web browser created using the Chromium code. It is capable of overwriting the Chrome browser and replacing the original shortcuts with fake ones. It can change the default search engine in your browser and redirect you to sponsored fake results. It is also capable of controlling your apps and extensions.
You can know if you have installed a fake browser by checking for the following changes:
- Your system became slow and used more resources than usual.
- You see an increment in advertisements.
- Unable to open previously installed applications.
- You are getting irrelevant search results.
- Your new tab and the search engine is changed.
Pop-up is the small window you see on some site which guides you to follow the steps. It might include steps to fill out a form or to apply a discount code.
Cybercriminals use Pop-ups as a medium to make the user click on a malicious link. It may show you a persuasive message like “Virus detected on your system”, “your account is blocked”, and many more. If convinced by the message, users follow the instructions provided by the site.
The Pop-up cannot exist independent of a site unless you accidentally install malware on your device.
Pop-ups lead users to install adware or hijackers into the system. Therefore it becomes a gateway for cybercriminals and hackers to access your system. Many Pop-ups are just meant to get your details.
Some Pop-ups lead the user to a lucky draw. The site asks the user to spin a wheel. To claim the prize, the visitor needs to share the site, ultimately bringing more traffic, thus, higher ad revenue. Sometimes the site may ask you to fill out a form with your details. Your information is then sold to third-party buyers to generate revenue.
You can protect yourself from such -pop-ups by not visiting untrustworthy sites. Even if you land on one of these sites never reveal your data unless you initiated the task intentionally.
Web browser infections are not directly harmful to your system but can put you to privacy risk. Some precautions like not visiting insecure pages, downloading software programs from untrustworthy sites, and more like that can help you save a good fortune.
No one can keep themselves away from such threats. One way or another, they find a way to your system. But you can always take security measures to avoid such mishaps. Most of these scams use social engineering to trick users. Be aware if you find anything fishy going on.
Hope you find this article helpful, for any queries comment below.