Remove Websuche from Chrome, Firefox and IE

Primarily targeting German users, redirect malware takes over Google Chrome and other browsers on infected computers, so it must be removed.

Both the distribution of the threat in question and its operation patterns are quite similar to those exhibited by most browser hijackers that the security community has seen in the wild. The only reason why people may be visiting is because their PCs got hit by malign code tasked with twisting web surfing defaults. Therefore, instead of opting into this service, users are forced to use it. The page is titled “Websuche”, which is the German for “Web Search”. On the face of it, one may get the impression that it’s a well-structured portal incorporating Bing-powered data lookup and useful links grouped by sections, including Shopping, Email, News, and Miscellaneous (social networks, gas price comparison, insurance, etc.). However, all of these features are of little value given the intrusive strategy the author adopts.

Chrome homepage dominated by
Chrome homepage dominated by

The homepage and preferred search provider settings are the ones that the hijacker affects in the first place. It also meddles with Windows Task Scheduler by making a new job execute once in a while. This helps the infection persevere even in case the victim manually reconfigures the skewed browsing values. The functioning of hijacker is backed by an extension that appears in popular browsers that may be running on the system. The bad part is that the add-on does not ask for permission to install and perform fairly serious changes. The whole upshot of this activity is the Internet navigation tools on the computer keep resolving instead of the user-defined settings.

As mentioned above, the Websuche virus doesn’t present a dialog requesting the confirmation of its high privileges on a PC. How come this takeover gets through then? The entire user approval part is done earlier, during the installation process. The setup of this offending applet is tricky enough to have the user agree to random stuff without noticing it. By bundling with freeware builds of OpenOffice, Media Player Classic or VLC Player, it stealthily slithers its way into workstations. People are not likely to even take note of this hoax along the way, and they usually accept the terms without realizing how bad it all may turn out. It’s problematic to get rid of malware by means of manual troubleshooting alone. Using a mix of techniques applied in a certain order is what proved to help.

Automatic removal of the virus

When it comes to handling infections like this one, using a reputable cleaning tool is the place to start. Sticking to this workflow ensures that every component of the adware gets found and eradicated from the affected computer.

1. Download and install the cleaning tool and click the Start Computer Scan button Download removal tool

2. The wait is worth it. Once the scan completes, you will see a report listing all malicious or potentially unwanted objects detected on your PC. Go ahead and click the Fix Threats option in order to get email automatically uninstalled from your machine along with all of its modules. This being done, you should be good to go.

Uninstall through Control Panel

  • From your Windows menu, go to Control Panel. Select Add or Remove Programs (for Windows XP / Windows 8) or Uninstall a program (Windows Vista / Windows 7) Uninstall a program
  • Find on the list. If it’s nowhere to be found, look for multimedia related programs (e.g. Flash Enhancer) or other odd-looking apps you remember to have installed lately. Select the suspicious one and click Uninstall/Change Uninstall related software

Remove homepage from web browsers manually

The workflow covered below is intended to undo all changes that the virus made to Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Be advised there’s some collateral inconvenience you will encounter, namely the loss of all installed add-ons and personalized information (saved passwords, cached data, bookmarks and other content).

Remove in Chrome

1. Uninstall the extension
  • Click the Chrome menu icon and select More tools > Extensions Access Chrome Extensions interface
  • Find the add-on associated with and click the trash bin next to the bad entry Trash the add-on
2. Restore homepage defaults
  • Go back to Chrome menu and select Settings Go to Settings screen
  • Go to On startup sub-section and activate the Open a specific page or set of pages option. Also, click Set pages Set pages button
  • Locate the entry under Startup pages and hit X button next to it Remove from Startup pages
3. Restore correct search preferences
  • Proceed to Manage search engines and select the service you prefer to use Eliminate malicious search provider and select preferred one in Chrome
4. Restart Google Chrome

Remove in Firefox

1. Eliminate the respective add-on
  • In Firefox, go to Tools > Add-ons Go to Firefox Add-ons screen
  • Hit the Extensions tab and locate on the list. Click Remove to get rid of it
2. Fix the homepage settings
  • Go to Tools > Options Open up Firefox Options
  • Hit the General tab and click Restore to Default (see image below) Restore home page in Firefox
3. Set the preferred search provider
  • Click the magnifying glass icon in Firefox search box and select Change Search Settings Select the Change Search Settings option
  • Select the search engine to use by default and hit OK to save the changes Select default search engine in Firefox
4. Restart Mozilla Firefox

removal from Internet Explorer

  • Open IE. Go to Tools > Manage Add-ons Manage Add-ons entry in IE
  • Select Toolbars and Extensions in the navigation pane, locate the items related to, including the API, right-click each one select Remove in the context menu Remove  from IE Toolbars and Extensions list
  • Restart IE and check for symptoms of the infection. If the ads are not appearing anymore, then no further action is required. If the adware is still there, proceed to the steps below
  • Go to Tools > Internet Options Reset Internet Explorer 1
  • Hit the Advanced tab and click Reset Reset Internet Explorer 2
  • Make sure the Delete personal settings option on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog is ticked and click Reset Reset Internet Explorer 3
  • Restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect

Did the problem go away? Check and see

Computer threats like the virus can be stealthier than you can imagine, skillfully obfuscating their components inside a compromised computer to evade removal. Therefore, by running an additional security scan you will dot the i’s and cross the t’s in terms of the cleanup.

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