Virus Removal Guides Malware

The malware

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If you are getting redirected to this website or getting unwanted notifications from it while browsing for no apparent reason, it’s possible that a browser hijacker has nested itself inside your browser and is manipulating it. Other symptoms you may notice in such a scenario are changes in the starting page and/or the search engine of the browser, unauthorized installation of new browser add-ons, frequent display of obstructive ads even on sites that don’t typically show advertisements, and more. Even if the domain is owned by the Legitimate Let’s Encrypt certificate authority, which, in turn, belongs to the Internet Security Research Group parent organization, this doesn’t guarantee that the domain is safe. As said above, cybercriminals may have been able to hijack it in order to use it for their nefarious goals.

The malware

The malware is any rogue browser-hijacking app that uses the domain to reach more users. It’s also possible, however, that the malware is the legitimate domain that falsely gets flagged as a threat.

There’s currently not too much clarity as regards to whether the domain is safe. Let’s Encrypt has stated that it’s aware of the problem and that they are working towards resolving the reason their domain is getting flagged. Some security reports also confirm that the domain is clean, and isn’t a threat. Still, there are also a lot of instances when the domain got flagged as something malicious.

Regardless of whether the domain itself is safe or not, if your browser is getting redirected to it or if it has somehow become the homepage of the browser without your approval, this definitely indicates that you are dealing with some sort of malware, likely a browser hijacker. We already mentioned the other likely hijacker symptoms – unusual changes in the browser that you haven’t allowed, ads, redirects, etc. While such activity is rarely a serious threat to the computer, it mustn’t be overlooked and should be addressed and taken care of as soon as possible. If there’s indeed a hijacker in your browser, the longer it stays there, the higher the risk of your PC getting attacked by a more malicious program becomes.

What is is a browser hijacker that can infiltrate any of the popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, etc. will normally alter some of the browser’s settings and will start generating online ads. is a website domain that gets flagged as unsafe and malicious. The domain is owned by the legitimate Let’s Encrypt non-profit certificate authority, but it may have been hijacked by hackers, hence its detection as a threat.

To stop getting redirected to or receive unwanted notifications from it, you must clean both your system and all your browsers from any traces of the hijacker that has likely infected you. This could be a bit tricky at times, but it may also end up being easier than expected – depends on how many system settings the hijacker has modified. In some cases, simply cleaning the browser is enough. However, to be exhaustive, we’ve prepared a detailed guide that covers all the main aspects of your system that may have been tampered with by the hijacker. We advise you to complete every step and also, do not forget that our comments section is always open to you if you have any questions regarding the removal of the malware/browser hijacker. 

Type Adware/Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

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Remove malware

To remove the, you must make sure there is no data or software related to it left in the system:

  1. First, check the most recently installed programs on the computer – if any of them are sketchy or unfamiliar to you, uninstall them as they may be linked to the malware.
  2. Search for malicious processes in the Task Manager, stop what you find, and then enter Safe Mode.
  3. Clean system settings such as the Hosts file, scheduled tasks, startup items, DNS settings, and Registry.
  4. Clean your browsers from rogue extensions and unwanted settings changes.

Refer to the detailed instructions for each step that we have shown below for the best results.

Detailed removal instructions.

Step 1

Since it’s possible that has come bundled with another program into your computer, it may be worth checking the Programs and Features list for potentially unwanted programs. Type Programs and Features in the Start Menu, click the app when it appears, and look for questionable recently installed items in the list. If you find anything that should probably not be there, right-click it > uninstall, and follow the steps in the uninstallation manager. If there’s an option to keep any components from the program after the uninstallation, opt-out of it.

Step 2


Start the Task Manager either by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc or by searching for it in the Start Menu. Next, open Processes and if you see a process labeled, right-click it > Open File Location, right-click the process again > End Process, and then delete the newly-opened folder.

Also, look for other questionable processes – ones with strange names and excessive use of virtual memory (RAM) and processing power (CPU). Google the name of anything you suspect to hopefully find information about whether it’s a threat or not. Also, go to the file location of the process and put its files through the free scanner shown below. If malware gets detected in any of the files, end their process and then delete the folder where they are located.

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    Step 3

    Immediately after ending any rogue processes in the Task Manager, restart the PC and put it into Safe Mode – instructions on how to perform this are available in the linked article.

    Step 4

    For this step, there are five types of system settings that must be visited and cleaned from any changes made to them by To go to each type of system settings, type its name as it’s shown below in the Start Menu and hit the Enter key. After that, follow the instructions provided for each type of setting.

    Ncpa.cpl – When you open this, you will see one or several network icons – click the one that represents the network you normally tend to connect to. Go to Properties, double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4, check “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically”, open Advanced > DNS, delete everything in the DNS server addresses list, and save the changes.

    Msconfig – This is the System Configuration window – when you see it on your screen, select the Startup tab, look for anything you think is suspicious, uncheck it, then click OK.

    Task Scheduler – In the Task Scheduler app, click the Task Scheduler Library shown in the top-left, then look at the tasks and if there’s one that you think might be linked to, you should delete it by right-clicking it and selecting Delete.

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts – In this notepad file, look for strange IP addresses written towards the end of the text. If such IPs are present there, copy them, then send them to us in the comments down below, and wait for a reply from us. We will soon inform you if those IPs could be from and if they need to be removed.

    Regedit.exe – It’s likely that you will be asked for Admin approval before the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) opens, so select Yes if such a dialogue box appears. Next, press Ctrl + F when the Editor tool opens, type in the search box, and start the search. Delete the first item, search for the second one, delete that one too, and continue this way until no more items are left. Then visit the directories listed below by using the left panel of the Editor and search them for suspiciously-named items that look similar to this “0923uejd0039ei2k90u2tjd0923utjf094ruidk093”. If there are such items in those directories, tell us their exact names down in the comments, and we will tell you if you should erase them.

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main

    Step 5

    Now, to clean your browsers, you must start with the main one. Go to it, right-click it, open Properties > Shortcut, check what’s written in the Target box, and if there’s text after “.exe”, erase it and select OK.

    Next, launch the browser, go to its menu (should be an icon in either the top-left or top-right of the browser window), then open Extensions/Add-ons, and look for unknown and suspicious items shown there. Anything that you don’t recognize or trust, you must disable and then remove. On Chrome browsers, the user must click the More Tools button in the browser menu to reveal the Extensions option in the sub-menu that appears.

    Open the browser menu again, click the Settings (or Options) button, then type in the search bar of the Settings page notifications. Now, if you are in Firefox, simply click the Settings button next to the Notifications icon. If you are in a Chromium-based browser (Google Chrome, Opera, Edge), click Site Settings, scroll down a bit, find Notifications, and click it. Next, regardless of what browser you are using, look at the sites shown in the list and if is shown there, remove it from the list. Also, remove any other suspicious sites that you don’t want to be able to show notifications on your computer.

    Finally, in the Settings page, click Privacy and Security from the left, then find and select the Clear data/Clear Browsing data/Choose what to clear option, click it, select the Advanced tab (if there is such a tab), and tick everything in there except the Passwords box. After that, select the Clear data button and wait for the data deletion to complete.

    After you perform this step for your main browser, remember to do the same with the other ones.

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