Tower Captcha Virus


Tower Captcha

Tower Captcha is a special piece of software which may alter the settings of most browsers (including ones like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.) and may force them to generate an excessive amount of sponsored advertisements. Tower Captcha usually doesn’t ask for permission from the users to mess with their main browser and typically installs new toolbars, search engine tools, and new new-tab and homepage URLs.

Tower Captcha 1024x688

In addition, apps like this (iStart Search Bar, Omnatuor) tend to redirect the web searches to third-party websites, promotional platforms and sales offers of various kinds. In most of the cases, the browser hijacker may display aggressive pop-ups, ads, banners and pay-per-click links, which may prompt you to click on some predefined links or landing pages that try to sell something.

TowerCaptcha.top

TowerCaptcha.top is a new addition to the browser hijacker category and, on this page, we will focus our attention on its features. If your browser has recently been hijacked by TowerCaptcha.top but you haven’t dealt with browser hijackers before, you may easily mistake it for some nasty virus infection or a stealthy malware from the rank of Trojans or ransomware. However, to your relief, this is not the case with TowerCaptcha.top.

Such software cannot cause any major damage to your computer and you shouldn’t panic about it. Still, you can never fully trust all of its sponsored domains, search engines, ads and toolbars because you never know when they may redirect you to some questionable web locations which may put the safety of your computer at risk.

That’s why, in the next lines, we will show you how to uninstall the potentially unwanted browser changes that Tower Captcha may have made and remove all the irritating ads from your screen so that they never bother you again. All you have to do is carefully follow the instructions in the removal guide below or use the suggested professional removal tool that is available within the instructions.

Another good reason to uninstall Tower Captcha from your computer is because by doing so you will save yourself from some quite irritating issues with your browser such as sluggishness, unresponsiveness and sudden crashes, which may oftentimes be caused by the excessive number of sponsored ads that may get displayed on your screen during your browsing sessions. Such issues are quite common and may become really annoying in the long run which is why it is best to act now and prevent future disturbances.

Besides, once you regain the control over your browser settings, you will greatly reduce the risk of bumping into potential virus transmitters or carriers of nasty stealthy threats such as ransomware and Trojans, which are known to get distributed via misleading online advertisements. For optimal results and fast elimination, we advise you to carefully repeat the steps in the guide below because, sometimes, the uninstallation of Tower Captcha may be a bit trickier and, if not removed correctly, it may hijack your browser again.

NameTower Captcha
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

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Remove Tower Captcha Virus

To remove Tower Captcha, you must go to each browser on your computer and delete from it anything that could be linked to the rogue app.

  1. Starting with the main browser, after you open it, go to its Extensions settings.
  2. See what extensions are shown to be in the browser and look for ones that haven’t been installed by you.
  3. Anything that you aren’t familiar with and that you think may be unwanted should be removed from the extensions list.
  4. Next, to fully remove Tower Captcha, clean the browser data and settings and then repeat these four steps for the other browsers on your PC.

If cleaning the browsers didn’t rid you of Tower Captcha, then it’s likely that the rogue app has infiltrated your system on a deeper level, and you’d need to perform additional actions in order to fully eliminate it. In such a case, we strongly recommend that you follow the additional steps posted below.

Detailed Tower Captcha Removal Guide

You will need to perform a system restart during some of the steps you are about to complete and so, in order to make this page easily-reachable after the restart and not waste any time trying to find it again, we advise you to either bookmark it or to open it on your smartphone (or another device).

Step 1

A lot of rogue software is able to enter the users’ computers through the help of the well-known file-bundling technique, so it may be worth it to check if there are any suspicious programs on your computer with which the hijacker may have been bundled.

For that, go to Control Panel (from your Start Menu) > Programs > Programs and Feature and, in the list that appears on your screen, look for recently installed items that you think could be responsible for infecting your browsers with Tower Captcha. Note that there are other ways a hijacker can enter your computer, so you may not find any rogue program in that list. Still, if you think there’s an item there that may not be reliable, it’s best to uninstall it.

In order to delete a given program from that list, simply click on it, then select the Uninstall/Change button from the top, and follow whatever uninstallation steps appear on your screen. Some uninstallers may offer you to keep custom settings for the program you are trying to remove – do not agree to any such offers – everything related to the program you think is unwanted should be removed from the PC.

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Step 2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Next, you need to check the Processes tab in the Task Manager for anything that could be related to Tower Captcha. To start the Task manager, you can either search for it in the Start Menu and open it from there, or simply use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard combination to evoke it. Either way, once you open it, go to Processes and then sort the entries there by order of the amount of processing power (CPU) or virtual memory (RAM) that they are using and then look at the items that are shown to be the most demanding in terms of how much of each resource they use (to stay operational, most hijacker processes use tons of RAM and processing power, which is why we told you to focus on the most resource-intensive entries).

Obviously, do not expect a process named Tower Captcha to be listed there. Instead, look for oddly-named entries that don’t seem connected to regular programs on your system. Also, look for processes that have nearly identical names with a slight difference between them (for instance Chrome.exe and Google Chrome.exe). This usually indicates that either of the two similar processes is a rogue process in disguise and needs to be stopped.

Still, if you think a certain process may be harmful or rogue, it’s best to first look up its name to confirm that it needs to be stopped before you actually stop it. Therefore, perform a quick search for the name of the suspected process and if you find out that other users or security experts also say that it is likely a rogue process, then you should take action.

The first thing to do is to right-click the process, access its File Location Folder, and scan each file stored there for malicious code. You can use your own antivirus/anti-malware tool or the powerful free online scanner available below (or both):

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    Task Manager1

    Needless to say, if malware is detected within any of the tested files, this means that the process they are related to is rogue and must be stopped, so go ahead and do that by right-clicking the process again and selecting the End Process option.

    The next thing you need to do is to delete everything in the file location folder, including any files that didn’t get flagged as threats when you scanned them. If a given file (or files) “refuses” to be deleted, leave it be for now. Just remember to come back to the location folder of the rogue process once you are finished with the rest of the guide and delete that folder with any files that may be left in it.

    Note: If what you’ve read online about the suspected process proves beyond all doubt that the process is rogue, you must quit it and eliminate its files and folder, even if scanning the files didn’t detect any malware.

    Task Manager2

    Step 3

    Even if you’ve stopped all rogue processes, Tower Captcha may still be able to start them again, so it’s best to put your computer in Safe Mode and then complete the next steps.

    Step 4

    For this step, you must first start the Run window by pressing the Winkey and the R key together.

    Then you must type ncpa.cpl in the search bar that shows up on the screen and then hit Enter.

    This will take you to a window where you will see one or more networks – right-click on the network icon that doesn’t have an X on it and then select Properties.

    In the Properties window, look through the list of items and select the one named Internet Protocol Version 4. Next, click on the next Properties button and, in the following window, select these two options in case they aren’t currently selected:

    • Obtain an IP address automatically
    • Obtain DNS server address automatically

    Once you do that, go to the Advanced settings and select the DNS tab. If any IPs are listed in the DNS server addresses list, delete them all and then click OK on everything.

    Dns1

    Next, type msconfig in Run, press the Enter key and open the Startup tab in the following window. There, you will see what programs, apps, and services are set to be automatically launched every time your computer starts. Any item in that list that may be linked to Tower Captcha, that has an Unknown manufacturer, or that you aren’t familiar with should be disabled. To disable an item, untick its checkbox, and once all suspicious items have their checkboxes unticked, click on OK.

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    For a third time go to the Run window, copy-paste the “notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts” line in it, and press Enter.

    You must check what’s at the bottom of the newly-opened text file (named Hosts) in order to figure out if a third-party program has modified it. If the file has been modified, there would be lines of text (typically some IP addresses) below “Localhost“. If you see anything like that there, copy that text and post it in the comments. Once we have a look at what you’ve sent us, we will determine if it is related to the hijacker and tell you whether that text needs to be removed from the Hosts file on your PC.

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    Step 5

    A word of caution!: To make sure nothing from Tower Captcha is left on your PC, you must also clean the Registry from any rogue items that may be in it. However, there are also many sensitive and important settings in the Registry and you must be careful not to delete them. For that reason, while completing this step, always make sure that the only items you are deleting are ones you are sure shouldn’t be there. In case you are in doubt about a certain item, rather than directly deleting it, we advise you to first consult us through the comments section below this guide.

    Start by opening the Start Menu, typing in it regedit, and then opening the icon named regedit.exe that should appear in the Start Menu. Windows will probably ask you for confirmation – click on Yes if this happens.

    When you see the Registry Editor on your monitor, press together the Ctrl and F keys to open the Registry search and then type in it Tower Captcha. Click the Find Next button to search for Tower Captcha items in the Registry and if there are any such items located there, the search will only show you the first result. Delete the item that gets found and repeat the search to see if there are others.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is regedit2-1.png

    Make sure that everything linked to Tower Captcha gets deleted from the Registry, and then use the left panel of the Registry Editor to navigate to the following directories:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main

    In them, search for entries with long and unusual names that seem like random sequences of letters and numbers (something like this “vn241309rjf893wrht298hf98erty2408hf3985h98h“) and if you find any, delete them.

    Step 6

    Finally, check your browsers once again by starting with the main one.

    First, right-click its icon and go to Properties. In the Properties window, open the Shortcut section and look at what’s written in the Target field – anything in it that’s after “.exe” must be deleted, so go ahead and do that and then click on OK.

    Next, launch the browser, open its menu (it’s usually in either top corner of the screen depending on what browser you are using) and select the Add-ons/Extensions option (in Chrome the Extensions option is in the More Tools sub-menu).

    Make sure that any extensions that you aren’t familiar with or that you think could be potentially unwanted get removed. To do that, first Disable then and then select the Uninstall/Remove button to remove them from the browser.

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    Now go to Settings/Options from the main browser menu.

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    On that page, you must find the Privacy and Security settings, and then click on a button labeled Clear Browsing Data /Clear Data (or Choose what to clear if you are using Edge).

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    Of all the boxes in the next window, leave only the Passwords one unchecked and then select Clear Data to perform the action.

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    Do not forget to perform this last step for all other browsers that are in the system.

    If you are still having problems with Tower Captcha

    If the problems with Tower Captcha don’t seem to have gone away even after you’ve completed the steps here, then it’s advisable to clean your computer with a trusted and reliable malware-removal program. Unfortunately, it is possible that a more serious threat may be lurking in the system and secretly helping Tower Captcha stay active. For instance, Trojan Horses and Rootkits are often used for the purpose of allowing other forms of malware to gain persistence in an infected system. However, if you use the advanced anti-malware tool you will find linked on this page, you will be able to clean everything unwanted that’s on your PC and also protect the system against any future hazards that may target it.

    What is Tower Captcha?

    Tower Captcha is an undesirable software known for hijacking the browsers of Windows computers and enforcing different unwanted changes to their settings. Once a hijacker like Tower Captcha becomes part of a given browser, it can change the homepage and the search engine and cause automatic page-redirects.
    The goal of this rogue piece of software is to make money for its creators by getting big numbers of users to interact with its Pay-Per-Click ads and causing redirects to sites that generate profits on a Pay-Per-View basis. This is the main reason behind the aggressive behavior of Tower Captcha and other similar browser hijackers. To be more effective, software components like it are programmed to make certain changes in the browser such as replacing the starting page and the search engine in order to promote a certain site and/or show modified search results that include more advertised links than usual.
    Typically, none of the activities of a browser hijacker like Tower Captcha would directly damage the computer it’s installed on. However, there are still dangers and risks associated with hijackers, which is why Tower Captcha shouldn’t be allowed to remain in your system.

    How dangerous is Tower Captcha?

    Tower Captcha is regarded as dangerous because the changes it enforces in the browser could create security vulnerabilities in the system. Another factor that could make Tower Captcha dangerous is that it gathers user data from the browser and could then share it with unknown third-parties.
    Tower Captcha is certainly nowhere near as dangerous as an advanced malware threat such as a Trojan Horse, a Spyware, or a Ransomware virus. However, due to the changes it makes in the browser and the unpredictable nature of its ads and redirects, it could potentially pave the way into your computer for such threats.
    Also, the fact that it collects personal data from your browser is another potential security issue. While the data is primarily used for advertising purposes – to make the ads shown to you by Tower Captcha seem more relevant to your interests – it’s highly likely that your data would also get shared with third-parties for additional profit. Who and what those third-parties are and what goals they may have, however, is unknown and this could be a problem, since your data may eventually end up in the hands of hackers and scammers.

    How to remove Tower Captcha?

    To remove Tower Captcha, you must first find out if a given program on your computer is responsible for getting this hijacker and delete it. Next, to fully remove Tower Captcha, get rid of any remaining hijacker processes, rogue data, and settings, and also clean your browsers.
    Here’s how the removal of this hijacker needs to be performed:
    1. Using the Uninstall a Program list that can be found in the Control Panel, try to find the program that infected you with Tower Captcha and uninstall that program.
    2. Next, make use of the Task Manager and with its help, find out if there are rogue processes that are still active in your system and stop them.
    3. After this, check the Hosts file, the DNS settings of your preferred network, the Registry of your system, and the Startup items, and if any changes have been made to them without your approval, revoke those changes.
    4. Last but not least, go to each of your browsers, clean them from any potentially unwanted extensions, clear their browsing data, and restore their regular settings.

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    About the author

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    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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