Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove Akamaihd (Removal Guide) - updated Feb 2020

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Akamaihd is a legitimate content delivery network that is abused by adware – sites like default120617-a.akamaihd.net hijack users' web browsers without permission

Akamaihd search hijack
Akamaihd can hijack the search of any web browser

Akamaihd is a content hosting provider, and many high-profile companies such as Facebook or  Steam use this service to host a part of their content to reduce the load on servers. However, this is not a definition that regular users would expect, as domains like default120617-a.akamaihd.net, searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net, rvzr-a.akamaihd.net, and many others, hijack their Google Chrome (or another browser) and redirect them to ad-filled, scam, and similar unsafe sites. To make matters worse, both Windows and macOS/OS X users experience the browser hijacking activities by Akamaihd.

The truth is, however, that the developer of Akamaihd, Akamai Technologies, has nothing to do with this dubious browser behavior that users are experiencing, as the main culprit is adware.[1] The so-called ad-supported software is designed to secretly infiltrate machines of thousands of users and direct them to affiliated pages; unfortunately, they often utilize legitimate networks in order to insert pop-ups, banners, deals, in-text links, and other commercial content into users' web browsers without permission. Fortunately, there is a way to remove Akamaihd ads by eliminating the adware associated with it or replacing the preset homepage with a default one on Safari.

SUMMARY
Name Akamaihd
Type Adware/PUP
Initial purpose Akamaihd is a legitimate content hosting platform that is used by many high-profile companies, including Facebook, Steam, etc.
Infiltration Adware and other PUPs are usually distributed with the help of software bundling, dubious ads, unsafe websites, or fake Flash update installers
Symptoms Soon after infiltration, adware might create various entries within the system, change the web browser settings (users complained that their searches started being redirected to Yahoo.com, which were also filled with sponsored links), install unwanted extensions, redirect to predetermined domains, and display intrusive ads
Main dangers Browser hijackers are typically not considered as malicious, as they do not infect the machine themselves, but are typically installed by users themselves (even though they are often being deceived of doing so). Nevertheless, users' web searches might be completely altered, and they might be directed to sites that host other potentially unwanted programs or even malware
Associated PUPs GoPhoto.it, Advanced Mac Cleaner, Search Pulse, Safe Finder, WindowMix, and others
Elimination You should reset your web browsers as a first step when trying to get rid of Akamaihd hijack; if that does not help, you need to detect and uninstall a potentially unwanted application associated with it; finally, you should perform a full system scan with anti-malware software
 Recovery and optimization If you experiencing stability issues on Windows or suffer from a slow Mac, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner
Related
  • Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net
  • Fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net
  • Asrv-a.akamaihd.net
  • Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net
  • BrowserGuard-a.akamaihd.net
  • Default120617-a.akamaihd.net
  • Default21076355-a.akamaihd.net
  • lkysearchds1694-a.akamaihd.net

Adware that redirects users to Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net domains usually infiltrates machines with the help of software bundling. This marketing campaign is prevalent when it comes to PUP distribution because users often prefer using Recommended/Default settings, just to be done with the process faster. However, most do not realize that there are several rogue programs hidden under Advanced/Custom installation mode, and users skip this step most of the time.

Some users reported that they got infected with the A.akamaihd.net virus when they encountered a fake Flash Player update prompt. This is a very common infection technique used by online crooks, as they fill random pages with bogus alerts that claim that Adobe Flash Player is out of date, and needs to be updated to view the underlying content. However, as soon as users download the application, they find that Akamaihd has hijacked their web browsers.

Akamaihd removal should be performed ASAP if redirects to dubious sites occur regularly. If unfortunate enough, users could land in malware-laden site, where such cyber infections like ransomware[2] or a trojan can be acquired. Therefore, having your browser redirecting to unknown sites might result in system corruption, personal data leak, or malware infections.

Additionally, Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net adware gathers non-personally identifiable information, including, but not limited to:

  • IP address
  • Technical information
  • Websites visited
  • Links clicked
  • Bookmarks added, etc.

Tracking cookies, beacons, and similar technologies are used to harvest relevant information about users' browsing habits to support targeted advertisement. While it is a legitimate practice when done right, most adware programs simply flood the browser with junk and potentially dangerous content. Therefore, it is vital to remove Akamaihd ads by terminating adware associated with them.

Akamaihd virus
Akamaihd virus is a term used to describe browser hijacking activity that redirects users to predetermined sites filled with ads or scam content

In some cases, however, adware might be hard to detect and eliminate, as it often disguises as a useful program or lacks uninstallation file. However, most of the comprehensive security solutions are capable of detecting potentially unwanted programs efficiently.

Nevertheless, most of the browser hijackers can be eliminated manually – you can follow the instructions in our removal section. In most cases, a browser reset would stop the unwanted behavior, as the PUP might actually be a browser extension. Experts also recommend performing a scan with repair software Reimage Reimage Cleaner in order to prevent system instability and other issues after adware/malware infection is eliminated.

Akamaihd adware variants

As we already declared above, Akamai Technologies is a well-established and reputable file hosting service provider and is often used by high-profile companies. However, those pesky adware authors come up with multiple ways of manipulating a legitimate service for their own advantage. There are several other versions of the Akamaihd virus – all listed below.

Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net

This variant is a browser hijacker with adware components. After infiltration, the potentially unwanted program modifies Windows Registry and sets its address as a default one for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or any other browser. Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net hijacker is known to promote misleading software, such as bogus optimization tools and fake updates. Additionally, users might find additional applications installed on their machines without knowledge.

Fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net

Fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net is another adware application used by PUP developers. It usually gets installed together with bundled software or is introduced via deceptive advertisement online. Fbstatic-a.akamaihd.net adware redirects users to dubious domains and promotes popular software, such as Java, Flash Player, Media Player, etc. As soon as users agree to download these applications, they are redirected to sites that install more adware (such as DealCoasterYoutubeAdBlockerCouponDropDown).

This version of the virus is also responsible for excessive data tracking when it comes to users' browsing habits. Experts recommend uninstalling any suspicious applications before entering any sensitive data into the browser.

Asrv-a.akamaihd.net

Asrv-a.akamaihd.net is a marketing platform that is being misused by cyber crooks for their personal monetary gain. Just as its previous variants, it tries to trick users into installing other potentially unwanted applications on their systems and continually disturbs web browsing sessions of users with disruptive pop-ups, coupons, banners, deals, offers, and similar commercial content.

Never click on any content or links provided by Asrv-a.akamaihd.net. You might end up installing other adware, more PUPs, or even malware on your machine. Therefore, use extreme caution, and don't get tricked by scams.

Akamaihd
Akamaihd is a legitimate content hosting service which is often abused by adware authors

Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net

Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net often redirects users to scam sites that promote fake updates for such well-known apps like Java, Adobe, FLV Player, Flash Player, and many others. Do not believe these claims as all of them are fake, and none of the applications installed need an update. If you proceed, you will be introducing additional unwanted apps and further infect your computer.

If you noticed your Google Chrome or other browser behaving strangely, like redirecting you suspicious sites, displaying sponsored links in search results, lag, and similar issues, it is time to take care of Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net removal by either using reputable security software or getting rid of it manually.

Default290941114-a.akamaihd.net

Default290941114-a.akamaihd.net is yet another parasite that seeks to infect Mac users. However, users complained that after they started to look for adware on their computers to get rid of, they found nothing. Additionally, even scans with anti-malware software returned no results, keeping the unwanted Default290941114-a.akamaihd.net as a default search provider.

Default290941114-a.akamaihd.net sets itself as a search provider on Safari or Google Chrome web browsers, redirecting all the search results to suspicious sites. However, users reported that the culprit of the malicious activity was a malicious Profile established from (an already removed) adware application. In order to get rid of Default290941114-a.akamaihd.net hijack on macOS/Mac OS X, users need to go to System Preferences… > Profiles and get rid of an unrecognized profile by pressing the minus “-” icon at the bottom-left.

lkysearchds1694-a.akamaihd.net

lkysearchds1694-a.akamaihd.net is a website that users might be redirected to when they are using their search engines, although they might not notice the difference between the regular Google Chrome search engine and the malicious one unless they look at the URL bar.

Just as its predecessors, lkysearchds1694-a.akamaihd.net browser hijacker filters web traffic in order to show users sponsored search results, redirect to suspicious domains, expose users to constant advertisements (pop-ups, deals, offers, in-text links, etc.) and otherwise disturb their web browsing activities. If you noticed too many ads when browsing the web and using your search engine, you should check your computer for adware and stop the unwanted actions of lkysearchds1694-a.akamaihd.net.

BrowserGuard-a.akamaihd.net

BrowserGuard-a.akamaihd.net is yet another variation of the Akamaihd virus. Just as all the previous variants, this adware program enters machines mostly with the help software bundling, although users might install it accidentally by clicking on dubious adverts. As soon as the hijack occurs, the potentially unwanted program modifies browser settings to display commercial advertisements every time you browse the internet. Users also reported that pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, deals, offers, and similar unwanted ads could be displayed even if the browser is not being used at all.

We advise you remove BrowserGuard-a.akamaihd.net from your system immediately, as, just like any other adware infection, it can cause more damage over time.

Beware of bundled software – adware programs are usually hidden as optional installs

As we already mentioned, software bundling is the primary source for potentially unwanted program distribution. Unfortunately, not many users are aware of it, and PUP authors are quick to abuse that. In most cases, freeware developers add extra applications to the installation wizards. However, optional programs are not disclosed for those who pick Recommended or Default installation mode in most cases, although distributors might use other deceptive methods, such as pre-selected boxes, fine print text, misleading deals, or deliberately misplaced “Skip”/”Decline” buttons.

Therefore, users should always pay attention to installation instructions, never rush or skip steps. Advanced or Custom installation settings can disclose a full list of additional programs, which can be declined before then the process is finalized. Users need to remove check marks from the pre-marked boxes.

Another important thing to remember is that Flash update prompts are fake – especially if they are encountered on Google Chrome, as this browser uses a built-in functionality of the plug-in. Additionally, it is also important to note that regular users should not be using the Flash in the first place, as it is a very flawed and outdated component and soon won't even be supported by Adobe.[3]

Additionally, experts[4] advise using professional security software that could prevent most unwanted programs from entering the computer in the first place.

Get rid of Akamaihd adware either manually or automatically

When it comes to adware and potentially unwanted programs, it is not always apparent what to look for, as the uninstallation executable might be missing, or it might not be clear which program is associated with the PUP. However, there are several steps that people can take to remove Akamaihd virus from their machines permanently.

We suggest you try Akamaihd removal by following out instructions below this article. We have guides for both, Windows and macOS users. After the elimination, you will have to reset each of the installed browsers manually to stop redirects to Searchinterneat-a.akamaihd.net.

We also noticed a large number of macOS/Mac OS X users who complain about the changed homepage on their Safari browser only. If that is the case for you, please follow these steps in order to change the web browser to your preferred one and eliminate a.akamaihd.net one for good:

Check for unwanted extensions:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions;
  • Disable all of the extensions and see if you still suffer from browser hijacking issues;
  • If the unwanted behavior is gone, enable one extension at the time, and see which one is causing the issue;
  • Get rid of the malicious extensions by clicking the Uninstall button.

Set your preferred search engine:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences;
  • Select General tab;
  • In the Homepage field, enter your preferred address (such as Google.com); Akamaihd hijack termination
    To stop browser hijacking activities on Safari, you need to set your preferred search to Google or other trustworthy source
  • DO NOT press Return at this point, as all the changes will be undone;
  • Instead, click on one of the tabs at the top of the window, such as Passwords, or Privacy
  • If the confirmation prompt shows up, select Yes
  • Go back to General tab to ensure that the homepage was changed

If, after performing all these steps, you are still suffering from the Akamaihd hijack, you should perform a full system scan with reputable anti-malware software – security application should be able to detect and remove all the remnants of potentially unwanted programs or their settings on your computer automatically.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Akamaihd, follow these steps:

Get rid of Akamaihd from Windows systems

To eliminate Akamaihd adware from your Windows machine, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Akamaihd and related programs
    Here, look for Akamaihd or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Uninstall Akamaihd from Mac OS X system

To get rid of the PUP from macOS, check out these instructions:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Akamaihd or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Erase Akamaihd from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Akamaihd and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Akamaihd removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove Akamaihd from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Akamaihd should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate Akamaihd from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

After the elimination of the unwanted application is complete, refresh Mozilla Firefox to get rid of all the traces of the PUP:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Akamaihd and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Akamaihd removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Akamaihd from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Akamaihd and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Akamaihd removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Akamaihd from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Akamaihd or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Akamaihd removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References

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