How-to: Remove Text-Enhance adware

Image: Text Enhance adware

Text Enhance is one of those pesky ad-ware browser hijackers that takes over pages in your web browser and overlays ads based on keywords in the page text. Underlined keywords are hyper-linked to pop-up boxes containing coupons in ads clearly identified as Text Enhance. A relatively benign and easily removed example of ad-ware, it is nonetheless an invasion of your privacy.

Text Enhance is a bundled add-on for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome and is typically installed alongside other free programs. As well as injecting ad links into your web pages, it also infiltrates search forms on Ebay, Google, Facebook, Amazon or any website it can to display a box containing related keyword suggestions,ads and sponsored links in the right of your browser window. It can also collect search terms and other keywords from your search queries. Continue reading

How-to: Identify the Troj/Urausy Ransom-ware infection

Identify the Troj/Urausy Ransom-ware familyAcknowledging the risk of turning this into ‘Security Theatre Monthly’, the latest malware How-to concerns a particularly duplicitous item of malware; what we now call ‘ransom-ware’. This is a malicious trojan which purports to be from a law enforcement agency; variations include the FBI, Interpol and in this case, the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency.

All variants lock your Windows machine under the bogus claim that you have been traced pirating material on the Internet and all demand on-line payment of a ‘fine’ to ‘unlock’ your machine. DO NOT PAY ANYTHING. It is a SCAM.

No law enforcement agencies do this. There are no criminal charges, no court proceedings, so why would you pay a fine? Continue reading

How-To: Remove Rvzr-A.Akamaihd Pop-Up Virus

Rvzr-A.Akamaihd.Net Pop-Up ad-wareA colleague just got hit by another one of these insidious little blighters. We know how it got in – Internet Explorer 11 – but not the source. I suspect my colleague clicked on a close or cancel button in a pop-up which actually ran some malicious code. We know what and when it was installed – a program in this case masquerading as Rich Media Viewer, on May 16th. We got the full range of initial symptoms. We also got rid of it inside ten minutes, before it could do any further damage.

Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net is another unauthorised adware client; using a full range of false pages and pop-ups, it highlights web page text for adware popups, opens tabs onto Trojan pages when you open your browser, and initiates more popups when you open a new tab.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to exterminate, but do be aware there are new variants hiding under new names, so check for updated instructions on the web whenever you come across an instance of infection. Continue reading

How-to: Remove Text Enhance Adware

Text Enhance c**pware in browserText Enhance is one of those pesky, flash-based, adware, garbage packages, categorized by computer security experts as a browser hijacker, and by the rest of us as illegal, immoral c**pware. It attaches itself to internet browsers as an extension with cookies, without user consent.

Text Enhance is not a legitimate in-text advertising service; the website does not offer a download for the extension, nor is it listed in any browser’s extension database. It behaves like a virus. Text Enhance does not infect websites themselves, just your browser’s view of them.

Victims of Text Enhance find that webpages become filled with links for pop-up, spam advertisements; “in-text advertisements.” The owners of Text Enhance provide advertising services to cyber-criminals and unethical third parties, in addition to compromising and selling on personal information. It has been around since at least 2011, it is still infecting browsers in 2014, with Internet Explorer proving particularly vulnerable. I know, I had to exterminate the little swine from a machine earlier this year. Continue reading

How-to: Use a Web Browser in Private Mode

Mouse imageAnyone using a modern web browser (hang fire for a definition of ‘modern’) should be able to block some online tracking technologies such as flash cookies and web trackers that can covertly share your online activities and history.

However, the chances are you’ve not enabled it. Not because you don’t care about your online privacy, or because you don’t know about private browsing, but because you haven’t discovered how the settings work, particularly if you’ve upgraded lately or use more than one browser. Continue reading