Browser Redirect

Cowner.net Virus


This page aims to help you remove the Cowner.net Virus. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

Cowner.net

Cowner.net is a type of page-redirecting app that installs in popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome. Cowner.net will change the search engine of the browser in order to show you more ads in the search results and will automatically redirect you to unknown sites.

Cowner.net

The Cowner.net Virus will display pop up windows and messages

A browser hijacker can greatly obstruct your online activities by flooding your screen with various ads, pop-ups, and box messages and by constantly page-redirecting your tabs to potentially unsafe sites. The good news is that dealing with this sort of software shouldn’t be that difficult, especially if you make use of the instructions available on this page. Before we get to them, however, we need to tell you a bit more about this type of adds, mainly focusing on the newly released Cowner.net hijacker.

A browser hijacker like Cowner.net can enter pretty much any browser – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and so on – and install in them a new search engine that replaces the default one and shows you more ads than actual results. The homepage of the browser is also likely to get changed by the hijacker so that every time you go on the Internet you would be generating a visit to some site that the hijacker is trying to promote.

The browser hijackers aren’t dangerous like Ransomware, Spyware, or other threats. The whole purpose of these unwanted applications is the online promotion of different sites, services, web stores, and so on. However, in order to be effective at their job, most hijackers resort to some rather aggressive advertising techniques. Take for example the ads they display – most of them would be placed over the parts of the web page that are likely to be of most interest to you. If you are reading an article or watching a video, the ad would probably obscure them, thus forcing you to click on it to get it out of the way. Of course, this will solve nothing in the long term as the ads will keep on coming to obstruct you. Also, in some cases, you could get directly redirected to a given site without clicking on anything or the redirect links would appear over the buttons on a page so instead of clicking on the given button, you would be interacting with a link that will land you on some other sites. These, and other similar sneaky tactics employed by apps like Cowner.net are one of the main reasons why the browser hijackers are seen as unwanted.

Another problem with this sort of software is that it won’t allow you to choose some of your browser’s settings once it has altered them. For instance, a hijacker will likely not allow you to change back your search engine or starting page address, or if it does, it will re-impose the ones it introduced to your browser in the first place as soon as you start the browsing program again. The only effective way to stop all that is to uninstall the hijacker and remove all of its components from your system. Luckily, since you aren’t dealing with a Trojan, a Ransomware, or some other actual threatening malware, doing so shouldn’t be too difficult, especially if you follow our guide.

SUMMARY:

Name Cowner.net
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Browser hijackers alter the homepage of the browser and trigger page-redirects to ad-heavy sites.
Distribution Method File bundles are usually used to carry a hijacker that is presented as a useful bonus app.
Detection Tool

Remove Cowner.net Virus

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet


After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Cowner.net from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Cowner.net from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Cowner.net from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


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