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Remove Fireball virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Simple Removal Guide

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware

Fireball malware is a browser hijacker that can function as a backdoor

Fireball virus is a highly dangerous Chinese malware[1] (created by Rafotech) that has compromised over 250 million computers worldwide. The malicious software hijacks victims’ web browsers and replaces current homepage, new tab and default search engine values with URL that points to Rafotech search engine. Results brought by this questionable search tool seem to be provided by giant companies like Google or Yahoo, although actually they are filled with advertisements promoting possibly dangerous sites. Each of the fake Rafotech search tools contains tracking pixels that are used to record private users’ data. However, despite posing a threat to victim’s privacy, displaying intrusive pop-up ads and manipulating search results, the hijacker is capable of doing so much more. It turns out that Fireball malware[2] can be easily transformed into a weapon that could give the attackers opportunity to infect the compromised machines with additional viruses. It is a must to remove Fireball hijacker as soon as possible because frauds can easily leverage it to execute any type of code on the system. For its removal, we highly suggest using ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes software. Below, you can see part of search engines run by Rafotech:

Fireball malware

Research shows that the malicious Fireball adware mostly affected residents of India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States. The developer of the malware, known as Rafotech, denies creating browser hijackers, but praises being a successful digital marketing company that provides a possibility to access over 300 million users worldwide. However, the activity of this virus clearly discloses its relations with this company. On top of that, the cyber threat demonstrates a great sophistication level – it has anti-detection features, the structure of multiple layers and also ability to communicate with a Command & Control server. This doesn’t look like a typical browser hijacker to us – rather something way more powerful and malicious. In fact, the software reminds us of a critical backdoor[3]. It goes without saying that Fireball malware removal should become your top-priority task. If you are unsure whether your PC is infected with this malware or not, we suggest scanning the system with anti-malware software ASAP. Remember that only reputable and up-to-date programs will detect the virus.

Fireball virusFireball virus acts as a browser hijacker - this malicious virus replaces victim's browser settings to cause redirects to Rafotech search engines. However, this virus has backdoor features, allowing attackers remotely execute codes on compromised systems.

Distribution of Rafotech’s malware

Bundling is the main attack vector used by Fireball hijacker’s developer. At the moment, it is known that the hijacker is actively distributed with the help of DealWifi, Mustang Browser, Soso Desktop, FVP Imageviewer and much more. Users must be careful when installing free programs from the Internet, no matter if they appear to be legitimate at first sight. The problem is, the developer of the described malware balances on the edge of legitimacy and leverages the fact that adware/browser hijackers are theoretically legitimate programs. At the moment of Fireball’s installation, none of the malicious programs are installed alongside it. However, cyber security experts have expressed their beliefs that the malware is distributed with the help of additional methods such as spam. What is more, the company is suspected of buying installs from malicious actors.

To prevent Fireball malware attack, avoid installing software from suspicious web sources. On top of that, always choose Custom or Advanced settings when installing software. These options allows modifying components of downloaded software packs, meaning you can deselect unwanted additions and install only the software you were initially looking for.

Remove Fireball malware from your machine

Fireball virus has been bothering computer users for years, changing their browser settings and performing other intolerable activities. If you have been bothered by the aforementioned search engines at least once in your lifetime, you must scan the system to remove Fireball malware ASAP. Please do not try to root out the infection manually – it is a highly sophisticated threat that, as we mentioned, obfuscates itself on the system to avoid detection. The virus sneaks into the system using different names, and that is another reason why it could be impossible to detect it manually.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Fireball virus, follow these steps:

Remove Fireball using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove Fireball malware, please carefully follow the given guide. You have to make sure that the virus won't try to block your anti-malware software, so reboot it into neutral mode – Safe Mode with Networking. Once you do so, launch the security software to eliminate the virus along with all of its files.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Fireball

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download ReimageIntego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Fireball removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Fireball and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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