A browser plugin (or a browser plug-in) is a computer program that expands web browser’s functionality by adding extra features to it. A browser plugin works together with a related web browser and, if it is not installed on the system, it becomes practically useless. The most of browser plugins can install additional toolbars, marketing, and search assistants. Also, the victim can notice new buttons, links or functions, such as a pop-up blocking, added to their browser. Some plugins are invisible to a user, as they run in the background and do not have any graphical interface. However, the most of them cannot be missed. Some of their functions can be malicious.

Browser plugins are divided into two categories: harmful parasites and fully legitimate applications. Malicious versions of browser plugins are very similar to spyware, adware and browser hijackers, and often have some of their functions. They can be installed without user's consent and then fail to provide an uninstall feature. Some versions of malicious browser plugins are integrated into legitimate toolbars and other additional tools, which often help them to trick PC users into ignoring their existence and leaving them in the system.

Legitimate browser plugins are not only harmless but also very useful. The perfect examples of legitimate browser plugins are such popular programs as Google Toolbar, MSN Search Toolbar, Macromedia Flash plugin or Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Differences between legitimate and malicious browser plugins

Legitimate browser plugins act as they should and can help people by adding specific features to an existing computer program (web browser). However, installing a malicious browser plugin can cause these unwanted and dangerous activities:

  • The appearance of additional web browser plugins and toolbars on the system. Typically, they are filled with particular, mostly dangerous, features.
  • Changes in the default search engine and the home page without asking any user's permission.
  • Installation of additional web browser buttons and completely altered bookmarks/favorites list.
  • The appearance of numerous links, banners and similar content in various Internet resources.
  • Web browser's redirects to a predefined website whenever the user enters his/hers desired address. Redirects can also be caused by showing commercial pop-up ads.
  • The loss of non-personally identifiable data. The malicious web browser plugin can track victim’s browsing habits, gather information about his/hers interests, mostly visited addresses, and other activities. Collected data is sent to a remote server.
  • Serious problems related to overall stability and performance of the web browser.

To sum up, the most examples of malicious web browser plugins complicate users' web surfing activity. They can redirect them to undesirable websites, display a large amount of annoying commercial advertisements, block the access to certain Internet resources and so on. Although such behavior is not harmful, the user may be unable to find required information. Besides, some versions of malicious browser plugins affect the system and software that is installed on it. They cause web browser instability issues, frequent errors, and overall performance problems. Some reputable applications and legitimate browser add-ons may be also affected by such activity. Malicious browser plugins can affect Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and other known web browsers.

Installing a malicious version of browser plugin on computer

Malicious versions of browser plugins do not spread like regular viruses. They do not rely on Trojan horses and similar malware when they seek to infiltrate the system. However, they can also appear on your computer out of nowhere. This can be implemented with the help of four major ways:

  • Some vendors of malicious browser plugins deceive users by presenting their products as very helpful and reliable tools, for example, a powerful web search service or a reliable pop-up blocker. Users download and install such plugins thinking that they seek to improve their browsing experience. However, practically all of them appear to be not only completely useless but also potentially dangerous.
  • There are lots of free programs that are bundled with malicious browser plugins. They are presented as useful additions to the software. Uninstalling the host application not always removes bundled threat.
  • Adware, browser hijackers, and similar PUPs can be used for promoting third-party browser plugins. They can be silently installed on the system and then used for malicious activity.
  • Some part of dangerous browser plugins can get into the system using Internet Explorer ActiveX controls or by exploiting certain web browser vulnerabilities. Their vendors rely on hazardous websites filled with malicious code or unsafe pop-ups. Whenever the user visits such a site or clicks on such pop-up ad, a malicious script is instantly installed on the system. The user cannot notice anything suspicious, as a threat does not display any setup wizards, dialogs or warnings.

The most popular examples of malicious browser plugins

There are lots of different browser plugins that are considered malicious. The following examples illustrate how harmful these threats can be.

Total Dating Guide is one of the trickiest browser plugins that claims to be capable of improving people's browsing sessions. It can easily appear on your computer without downloading it as it has been actively spreading in a bundle with freeware and shareware. Once this toolbar enters the system, it offers a web search service and "useful" navigation buttons to such pages as Weather, Entertainment or News. However, its ad-supported version can also modify your search results and display undesirable commercial advertisements.

Boggles.co is a third-party web browser plugin that is compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and other web browsers. The program claims to be a reliable search site, but all that it does is recording the most visited websites, logging victim's search sessions and collecting information about his/hers computer, and installed software. Gathered data is sent to a remote web server. Boggles.co can update itself via the Internet without user's permission asked. The threat runs on every Windows startup.

Istbar is a parasitic browser plugin that was designed to redirect people to unwanted and sometimes even dangerous websites. This web browser plugin has been actively used to promote Internet sites that are filled with adult-oriented content and similar dangerous content. In most of the cases, it spreads around as an optional component of third-party software, so it can be installed without noticing that. It does not have the uninstall feature.

Removing the malicious browser plugin from the system

Malicious versions of browser plugins are quite similar to malware and similar threats. They can infiltrate computer without user's approval, they can install related software, collect various information and cause unwanted activity on it. In most of the cases, the malicious browser plugin cannot be removed with the help of manual removal option.

To remove suspicious versions of browser plugins, we recommend using reputable anti-spyware tools. These programs scan the system in similar way as antivirus software does, and then report about malicious files. However, they have special parasite signature databases, that allow them to detect and eliminate the most of security and privacy risks. In addition, they include the real-time monitors that prevent the installation of additional viruses. The most reliable anti-spyware programs are SpyHunter, Malwarebytes Anti Malware

In some cases even a spyware remover can fail to get rid of a particular parasite because of its updated database. Such trick has been actively used by the most of malware developers. In this case, manual removal is recommended. 

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DATABASE OF Browser Plugins PARASITES

Total Browser Plugins parasites in our DB: 235


    1
  • 2345.com redirect December 5th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is 2345.com? 2345.com is a suspicious search engine that seems not reliable from the very first glimpse....

  • 4Arcade PBar July 17th, 2005 | No Comments
    It is a toolbar for Internet Explorer browser. It also changes some of the browser setings.

  • 4loot Toolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    4loot Toolbar is a questionable program that mostly infiltrates computers in a bundle with freeware and sharew...

  • 7searches.org January 5th, 2015 | No Comments
    What is 7searches.org? 7searches.org is one of those search engines that should be used with carefulness. In ...

  • A+ Gamer Toolbar December 12th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is A+ Gamer Toolbar? A+ Gamer Toolbar is a web browser extension that can corrupt various settings on ea...

  • Adware.404Search February 29th, 2008 | No Comments
    Adware.404Search is a malicious adware parasite by 404search.com. This parasite will monitor the user's online...

  • Alexa Toolbar June 10th, 2015 | 19 Comments
    What is Alexa toolbar? Alexa Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program, which is owned by Amazon and is compa...

  • AnimeUnzipped Toolbar May 16th, 2016 | 2 Comments
    Three reasons why you should not install AnimeUnzipped browser plug-in If you are a passionate fan of th...

  • Anywhere.me Toolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    Anywhere.me toolbar is not a virus. However, we have received several complaints from computer users, who repo...

  • AppMarket Customized Web Search December 4th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AppMarket Customized Web Search? AppMarket Customized Web Search that is closely related to AppMarket...

  • AppMarket Toolbar December 4th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AppMarket Toolbar? AppMarket Toolbar is a misleading browser add-on that can silently drop its extens...

  • Astromenda Search November 15th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Astromenda Search? Astromenda Search is a suspicious search engine, which has already been label...

  • Atajositios Search October 8th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Atajositios Search? Atajositios Search (also known as Atajositios) is a misleading search engine ...

  • AtHoc toolbar February 27th, 2015 | 1 Comments
    What is AtHoc Toolbar? AtHoc Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program, which can be installed either wi...

  • ATTYToolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    ATTYToolbar (you can also find it as Atty Toolbar) is not a virus or malware. However, many people on the Inte...

  • Atwola April 25th, 2016 | 3 Comments
    What is Atwola and what is the purpose of it? Atwola is a name of a tracking cookie. Technically, it would be...

  • AVG SafeGuard Toolbar December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVG SafeGuard Toolbar? AVG SafeGuard Toolbar is a misleading program that is supposed to protect user...

  • B1 Toolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    B1 Toolbar (also known as BrotherSoft Toolbar) is an adware application, which belongs to the same company as ...

  • Babal.net October 9th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Babal.net? Babal.net is a questionable search engine, which has been causing problems for people...

  • BeFrugal Toolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    BeFrugal Toolbar is a commercial freeware, which is spread using an unfair distribution method called 'bundlin...

  • Best-Found.com redirect December 1st, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Best-Found.com? Best-Found.com is a search site that may appear as your homepage and default search e...

  • Bit Search redirect December 11th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Bit Search? Bit Search is a search engine that has been getting increasingly popular on the Internet,...

  • Bit-Search.com redirect October 7th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Bit-Search.com? Bit-Search.com (also known as Bit Search) is a questionable search engine that m...

  • Bitable.com redirect October 14th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Bitable.com? Bitable.com is a questionable search engine that may appear on your web browser right af...

  • Blingee Plus Toolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    Blingee Plus Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), which may initiate various problems on your comp...

  • BlowSearch April 6th, 2004 | No Comments
    BlowSearch is an Internet Explorer search toolbar. The FREE BlowSearch.com Search Toolbar installs in secon...

  • Boggles.co redirect December 12th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Boggles.co? Boggles.co is a questionable search site that can replace your default search engine and ...

  • Browsers Protector May 17th, 2015 | No Comments
    What is Browsers Protector? Browsers Protector is a free software developed by PerformerSoft/Bit89 Inc. It's ...

  • Caiijing December 26th, 2006 | No Comments
    Caiijing is an Internet Explorer toolbar that mimics the legitimate Google Toolbar. The parasite serves commer...

  • CelebSauce Toolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    CelebSauce Toolbar is yet another application that may flood you with annoying advertisements, initiate unwant...

  • ClientMan April 6th, 2005 | 23 Comments
    Clientman Makes all targeted words in all web pages links with a yellow background, pointing to ClientMan's se...

  • ClientMan.bho1 March 6th, 2015 | No Comments
    What is ClientMan.bho1? ClientMan.bho1 is a variant of the ClientMan spyware. Once inside the system, th...

  • ClientMan.bho2 April 6th, 2004 | No Comments
    ClientMan.bho2 is a of the ClientMan spyware. From the developer: V -The user understands and acknowled...

  • Comcast.net April 24th, 2016 | No Comments
    What is Comcast.net? Comcast.net is a very versatile website, which offers signing up for different services....

  • Comet Cursor August 1st, 2005 | 1 Comments
    Comet Cursor is a cursor-changing utility that offers thousands of third-party Windows mouse cursors. It inclu...

  • Community Toolbar December 5th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Community Toolbar? Community Toolbar is a misleading browser add-on that can be added to all most pop...

  • Comodo Trust Toolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    Comodo Trust Toolbar is malicious browser plugin. Users usually have no choice on installing this toolbar beca...

  • Complitly October 20th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Complitly? Complitly is a potentially unwanted program that is spread in a form of toolbar. It m...

  • Connect Toolbar January 8th, 2015 | No Comments
    Connect Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program, which can show up on your computer one day. If this program...

  • ContinueToSave Toolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    ContinueToSave Toolbar is an adware, which promises to improve browsing experience for its victims. You should...

  • CoolChaser toolbar January 7th, 2015 | 1 Comments
    CoolChaser toolbar may seem to be a personalized application for Facebook and Myspace, which can easily be ins...

  • Cram Toolbar January 7th, 2015 | 1 Comments
    It is an Internet Explorer toolbar that provides a web search service and pop-up blocker and also shows links ...

  • Daily Bible Guide Toolbar May 25th, 2015 | No Comments
    What is Daily Bible Guide Toolbar? Daily Bible Guide Toolbar (can also be found as DBG) is yet another c...

  • DailyHomeGuide Toolbar November 13th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is DailyHomeGuide Toolbar? DailyHomeGuide Toolbar is another misleading browser plug-in that looks very ...

  • DailyToolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    DailyToolbar is a malicious Internet Explorer toolbar that creates links to pornographic web sites, displays u...

  • Damo Web Search October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Damo Web Search? Damo Web Search is classified as a browser hijacker that may affect all most popular...

  • Dcads Toolbar January 14th, 2008 | No Comments
    Dcads Toolbar is a fake toolbar that demonstrates spyware tendencies. It generates annoying pop-up advertiseme...

  • Diigo October 15th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Diigo? Diigo (Also known as Diigo Toolbar) is a browser add-on that is compatible with Google Chrome,...

  • Dogpile toolbar January 7th, 2015 | No Comments
    Dogpile toolbar is an IE plugin, which can also be included to the category of 'adware'. We must say that this...

  • Dot Net Asansol Commuity Toolbar December 9th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is Dot Net Asansol Community Toolbar? Dot Net Asansol Community Toolbar is a potentially unwanted progra...

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