Browser Assistant is a new Trojan threat that can deliver other malware into the system without the users’ knowledge. Browser Assistant can introduce different advertisements and viruses to the computer, including worms, ransomware, and spyware.
Browser Assistant is a harmful piece of software intended to enter your PC disguised as a seemingly harmless app that wouldn’t raise your suspicion. Once in the system, Browser Assistant gains extensive permissions and begins executing various harmful tasks without the user’s knowledge.
If you have Browser Assistant on your machine, and you’re concerned about your system’s safety, this is the page you need to be on. Browser Assistant is known as a Trojan Horse virus and this is one of the most harmful and stealthy forms of malware out there. Allowing this Trojan to stay in your system longer than it already has been can lead to unpredictable consequences for the computer’s safety. It is, therefore, important that you know how to find the virus and remove it as soon as possible. For this purpose, here we have created a thorough removal guide with step-by-step instructions and a professional removal tool. The steps, however, will require all of your attention, so be sure to take this very seriously. If you don’t feel confident enough to deal with a Trojan Horse like Browser Assistant manually, you can always rely on the Browser Assistant removal tool, which will complete the task in minutes. But please, read the following few paragraphs before you proceed to either of the removal methods, so you know exactly what you are facing.
What is Browser Assistant?
Browser Assistant is a Trojan Horse virus in disguise that many users get tricked into downloading without having any idea about its true nature. Browser Assistant can gain control over different system settings and launch various malicious processes without getting detected by your antivirus.
There are numerous ways in which you can land a Trojan Horse infection. And what’s troubling is that most distribution methods rely on people’s lack of basic security habits. At the same time, if the web users think twice, apply their common sense, and are a bit careful, it is very easy to avoid a very large portion of the dreadful online infections. For example, one of the most common methods for spreading Trojans (as well as ransomware, and other viruses) is spam emails. Therefore, when you receive an email from an unknown sender with an attachment or a link in it, it is a good idea to avoid them. The reason is, it is highly likely that a threat like Browser Assistant may have been inserted there and you will let it in your system once you interact with the carrier. With this in mind, shady or illegal websites, and drive-by downloads should also be avoided. Such infections are also often spread via downloadable pirated content, and shareware.
Browser Assistant Virus
The Browser Assistant Virus is a piece of malware that gets installed in the system without permission and can damage important OS elements. The Browser Assistant virus is primarily used as a malicious advertising app but may also be capable of causing more serious problems.
To begin with, the hackers may be pursuing some valuable data, so the Trojan could be programmed to steal your information. The criminals behind it can gain access to very sensitive information through monitoring your keystrokes, or by directly accessing your hard drive’s storage. This may include information such as the numbers of your credit or debit card, different passwords, login credentials on different websites, including your online banking, etc. Spying is another very common use of Trojans. With their help, the crooks can hack into your webcam or your mic and monitor you, your home and your conversations without any visible symptoms!
Therefore, the correct and timely detection of the infection is extremely important. But this is just half of the task. Deleting the malware also has its specifics. In most cases, the manual removal may not be enough to locate and remove all the Trojan-associated files, which typically mimic some regular system files and processes. That’s why, if you are dealing with a Trojan for the first time, or you want to remove it effectively, and quickly, we suggest you scan your computer with reliable security software.
How to Remove Browser Assistant
To Remove Browser Assistant, we suggest you combine the use of a professional anti-malware tool with the completion of certain manual removal steps. The combination of these two methods to remove Browser Assistant would usually give you the best results.
If you manage to find and uninstall the program that has delivered the malware to your computer, this just might be enough to solve your problem with Browser Assistant. If this works out for you, there won’t be any need to move on to the more complex steps from this guide so it is a good place to start when trying to deal with the Browser Assistant Trojan.
To uninstall a program from your PC, you must go to the Control Panel (search for it in the Start Menu) and select the Uninstall a Program option. The window that opens on your screen will show you what different programs there are on the computer. If you know which of those programs has brought Browser Assistant to your PC and you see it in that list, select it and then click on Uninstall. Do the same if there is an item in that list named Browser Assistant with that item. Also, any suspicious programs (especially ones you don’t remember installing or ones that have been installed around the time of the Trojan Horse infection) need to be uninstalled as well.
After you click on the Uninstall option, an uninstallation wizard will probably show up on your screen so follow its prompts to complete the process. Be warned, however, that if you see the following dialog box (or anything similar) on your screen, you must select the No option or else another malware program may get installed on your PC without you realizing it.
Once you have uninstalled everything from the Control Panel that you think may be linked to the Browser Assistant Trojan, restart the machine and test it for a while to see if there are any signs of the Trojan. If it seems that the malware hasn’t be fully removed or if you were unable to uninstall its entry from the Control Panel, do proceed with the steps from below, where we explain in more detail how this Trojan can be removed.
A very important first step when troubleshooting nearly any software-related problem is to access Safe Mode on your computer. This will keep processes linked to the malware that may obstruct the removal process from running and you will be able to troubleshoot the Trojan-related issue without interference from the virus. You can find information on how to boot into Safe Mode for different Windows versions on this page.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
When your computer starts in Safe Mode, open the Task Manager (you can do that by using the Ctrl + Alt + Del or the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination) and look at the processes listed in the Processes tab. There, you must find the process for Browser Assistant but note that this doesn’t mean you will see a process with that name. The process you are looking for could have a totally different name in order to hamper any attempts to remove the Trojan Horse. Therefore, you must be on the lookout for process red flags that could indicate that a given process in the Task Manager is related to the malware. A possible red flag is if a certain process that doesn’t seem to be related to any program that is currently open is using significantly more system resources (RAM and CPU) compared to the other processes.
If you see anything like this, it is a good idea to first look up the name of the suspicious process to rule out the possibility of it being one related to your OS because, though rarely, some OS processes (such as ones related to Windows updates) could occasionally consume large amounts of RAM and/or CPU without there being a program that corresponds to them.
If it turns out that the process in question is indeed not related to the OS, then right-click on it and Open the File Location where you will likely see a bunch of files. Each of these files must be scanned for malware so drag-and-drop the files to the web malware scanner you will see below (it is free to use) and/ or use your own anti-malware or antivirus program to test the files for malware.
Once you are done with this, take another look at the processes in the Task Manager and see if there are any entries left there that look suspicious to you. If there are, open their file locations and scan the files present there using the anti-malware scanner that has been added below. If the scanner detects malicious code in any of the files you scan, kill their respective process and then delete the folder in which they are contained.
If there seems to be malicious code inside any of the files you tested, you must go to the suspicious process, right-click on it, and then select End Process Tree. After this, quickly go back to the directory where the files you tested are located and delete the whole folder.
Now you must type system configuration in the Start Menu and open the System Configuration app. In it, check out the Startup section where you will see different apps that start automatically when Windows loads. If you see Browser Assistant among these items, remove the tick from the checkbox in front of it and select Apply. Do the same for any other questionable startup items and/or ones that have an unknown manufacturer.
Once you are done with removing suspicious startup apps, click on Ok to complete this step.
Many forms of malware and unwanted software would make changes in the Hosts file in order to gain more permissions on the computer and to become more difficult to remove. Therefore, you should definitely check if your Hosts file has been hijacked by the Browser Assistant malware by copy-pasting this next line in the Start Menu and then opening the first result: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Once you see the Hosts file on your screen, look towards the bottom of the text and see if there are any odd-looking entries below “Localhost“. If the file has been manipulated by malware, you would normally see different strange IP addresses at the bottom of the file, right under Localhost. However, some regular programs also introduce changes to this file so that they could function as intended so not all IPs below Localhost mean that the file has been hacked. Therefore, it’s best if you send us in any suspicious IPs that you find there by copy-pasting them in the comments section.
Once we have a look at the IPs that you send us, we should be able to tell you if they need to be removed from the file. If in our reply to your comment we tell you that these IPs ought to be removed, you must delete them from the file and then click on File > Save to save the changes.
The last step from this removal guide is to check the Registry of the computer for any items related to Browser Assistant end delete them. However, since there are lots of important settings in the Registry, you must be very cautious when deleting something. Only delete items from the Registry once you are certain that those items indeed need to be removed and are not linked to some important system process. In case you are not sure about any given Registry item, always consult us first via the comments section before proceeding with the deletion.
Now, onto the cleaning of the Registry itself, type regedit in the Start Menu and open the first icon. You will need to provide your Admin permission for the Registry Editor to make changes to the system so click on Yes to open the Editor. Once you are inside it, press Ctrl + F from the keyboard and type Browser Assistant in the search box that appears on your screen. Hit Enter to search for items in the Registry with that name and if anything is found, select the item and delete it by pressing Del or by right-clicking on it and then selecting Delete. Keep repeating the search and deleting the items that get found until there is nothing left in the Registry with that name.
Lastly, navigate to each of the following directories in the Registry and see if there are folders in them that have names that stick out and seem suspicious. We cannot tell you exactly what to look for but if, for example, you see a folder the name of which is consisted of a long and seemingly random string of numbers and letters, then it is pretty safe to say that this folder is not supposed to be there. Still, it would be best if you first ask us about any entries in those directories that you think should be deleted so that we can confirm that you must indeed remove them from the Registry.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > *Folder with an odd name*
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run > *Folder with an odd name*
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main > *Folder with an odd name*
Once you are done with cleaning the Registry, restart the PC to escape Safe Mode and see if there any remaining symptoms of the malware. If there aren’t any, you have most likely successfully managed to eliminate the threat.
We hope that our efforts to write this guide and yours to complete have been enough to rid you of the malware program that you have been dealing with. If you have been faced with any obstacles while following the steps from the guide and/or if after completing it there are still sings of the malware’s presence, be sure to hit us up via the comments section below, telling us about your problem, and we will get back to you soon with a reply that would hopefully bring some clarity to your situation.