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Firefox virus. 6 versions identified. 2019 removal Guide provided

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as Firefox hijack, Firefox virus | Type: Browser Hijackers

Firefox virus is a threat that spams browsers with fake alerts and intrusive commercial content

Firefox virus
Firefox virus is the ad-supported program that makes people frustrated and annoyed by the commercial content that keeps them from accessing the wanted material.
Firefox virus is the browser hijacker that causes tons of redirects to unwanted sites, including redirected in-browser searches. The potentially unwanted program belongs to a large group of browser redirect viruses which target popular web browsers to display questionable ads and redirect to affiliate websites. This is the ad-supported site, so the main goal is to generate revenue for the publisher by redirecting the online traffic of the victim to needed sponsored sites. Usually, this cyber threat enters the system in the software bundle and immediately hijacks the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Thus, it operates as a browser hijacker.

Questions about Firefox redirect virus

All the redirects caused by Firefox virus show up out of nowhere and deliver content like gambling pages, services, promotional material pushing software, applications or even fake updates and cracks. Any material can appear useful and tools needed, but remember that getting anything from such pop-up ads or questionable sites can lead to more severe malware infiltrations.

Name Firefox virus
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Browser hijackers only take control over the affected web browser in order to display ads, force redirects to the affiliate website, and collect browsing-related information for advertising reasons.
Symptoms Freezing and crashing Mozilla Firefox due to the increased amount of ads and pop-ups, redirects to highly suspicious websites, data tracking activities.
Distribution methods Bundled with freeware or shareware, obfuscated browser extensions.
Elimination Get anti-malware tool and remove Firefox virus
PUP avoidance Keep tools like Reimage, and the program blocks unwanted content and even programs before they get to access your machine

There are many annoying features of such cyber infections that come on your browser without any permission and affect the whole performance of the device besides crashing the web browser itself. Firefox virus can, unfortunately, also add other applications, browser extensions, or additional PUPs to your computer without requiring any permission.

Additionally, excessive advertising is another bothering feature. Commercial pop-up ads, links, banner ads, and similar content cram your browser screen. Despite how attractive they may look, note that such ads may contain malicious links or misguide you to the corrupted domains[1].

Furthermore, later Firefox virus versions continue spying on your browsing peculiarities and collecting data about visited domains, surfing frequency, and further technical information. Usually, such information is shared with third-party commercial content creators. Such data may be acquired by hackers. Consequently, make a rush to remove Firefox virus.

Due to the popularity of such redirect virus, you might get misguided to a web page containing exploit kits[2]. It is futile to underestimate such malware as they often “cooperate” with more aggressive threats – ransomware. Likewise, improve your protection of the device. One of the practical tools happens to be Reimage or Malwarebytes

Firefox redirect
Firefox virus is the threat that initiates sudden redirects to the third-party websites and delivers the excessive amount of ads.

Firefox virus versions

Mozilla Firefox is the familiar web browser that gets used often all over the world, so it becomes more attractive for malicious actors too. The browser itself is not distributing any malware, but third-party advertisements, commercial content redirects include various unwanted installations, malicious content, and direct malware. Unfortunately, scammers learn new deceptive techniques each day. Pop-ups and banners that show up on the screen and messages that cause browser freezes have different tactics:

Technical support scams 

These pop-up messages or even lock screens that freeze up your browser to deliver warnings about issues and tells that people need to call a phone number or download the tool to allow the malware scan on the machine. Malicious actors use Mozilla or other brand names, logos, other legitimate information to scare users into updating their browser or system using the provided fixing methods. However, alleged representatives of Mozilla are not behind the phone that you are offered to call. Scammers behind the Firefox virus message try to access your device remotely or trick you into paying for their service. Once you allow access on your PC for these attackers or try to pay via online banking, your personal details, credentials, and logins can get recorded and stolen.

Critical Firefox Update scam

Critical Firefox Update is one of more severe Firefox scams because it delivers additional malware, in this case, a trojan. During this Firefox virus scam, fake alerts show up on the browser stating about errors that can be crucial for your system. However, these pop-ups are not reporting about the real damage. The aim of this scan is to trick people into installing allegedly needed software and updates. In reality, the file and application the victims end up installing is malware – Kovter trojan. Such scams can have different purposes and include various malware from cryptocurrency miners to ransomware.

Urgent Firefox Update scam

Urgent Firefox Update is another particular version of such browser scams that show fake alerts, warning and tricks people into installing rogue tools or even malware. Tactics resemble other tech support or scareware scams, but the main difference is that this version of Firefox virus claims to reports about the needed software update. However, creators aim to trick people into downloading suspicious executable or javascript files that should fix all the issues. The site is filled with additional layers of direct malware download launching buttons. People encounter even more issues with the machine and their browser after the alleged system updating.

Firefox requires a manual update scam

Firefox requires a manual update is another scam involving messages about a crucial update that tricks people into installing unwanted in-browser content or system tools and fake antivirus programs. This is a program that triggers additional redirects to questionable sites filled with malicious code, pop-ups with commercial material and other intrusive behavior. These scam campaigns also trigger direct downloads and launches of software installations, during which your device gets infected with questionable applications.  Firefox virus Technical support scams
Firefox virus is the malware that involves all the scams, phishing campaigns and other malicious activities happening on the particular Mozilla Firefox browser.

Firefox redirects

Browser hijackers are not the only potentially unwanted programs that frustrate people due to intrusive behavior and questionable content. Adware-type programs are the ones that cause many redirects or even push notifications coming to your browser or desktop directly. These programs show nothing besides tons of redirects to various pages filled with ads, commercial material, coupons, deals. All those offers and discounts trick people into clicking on the pop-up or banner and this way your screen cannot display anything else besides all the questionable advertising material. These redirects involve deceptive ads, fake giveaways, promotional content.

Wyciwyg redirect 

While Wyciwyg redirect might seem like a hint of malware, in fact, it may suggest a bug in your browser or browser extension. Some Firefox users reported noticing  “wyciwyg” link while surfing the Web. In some cases, their browsing session is not interrupted, but instead or along with “http:” indicator, they get the latter phrase added to their URLs. Alternatively, some users have experienced a more aggravating issue as the link redirects them to a blank page:

For the past couple of days Firefox always redirects to a blank page when I try to visit any page on www.kongregate.com. When I use IE tab on the blank page it comes up with the url “wyciwyg://#/www.kongregate.com” where # is a number that changes occasionally.[3]

There are two explanations for such a phenomenon. Firstly, the wyciwyg link is the result of the Adblock extension bug. Updating the extension to the latest edition or disabling and then enabling again might be helpful. Secondly, if besides the link, additional new tabs promoting gaming and gambling sites, then scan the browser or reset it to get rid of adware and other forms of browser infections. By performing automatic Firefox virus removal, you can eliminate all the content that affects your machine in multiple ways. 

Firefox redirect virus Wyciwyg redirect problem
Firefox virus causes various browser redirects that expose victims to malicious content.

Other redirect viruses

Firefox virus makes the system vulnerable to other similar infections, such as:

Depending on each browser and each particular infection, potentially unwanted programs can have different purposes and levels of danger. When the browser infection is focused on social engineering and scamming tactics, the infiltration can lead to issues regarding your personal files, privacy.

However, in most cases potentially unwanted applications might cause problems on the affected web browsers by delivering intrusive content, redirecting to unwanted and suspicious pages:

  • redirects to commercial, phishing, tech support scam and other highly suspicious websites;
  • promotions of potentially unwanted programs or browser extensions;
  • delivery of misleading ads that ask to install fake updates, PC optimization or security software;
  • display malware-laden ads;
  • silent installation of browser extensions, toolbars or add-ons.

Due to occasional cyber attacks on Mozilla Firefox, its developers try to keep up with the latest tendencies and issue patches for its vulnerabilities[4]. However, there is a long way to go as cybercriminals devise new hacking techniques by exploiting the flaws of the Firefox search engine[5].

Firefox redirect virus

Bundling is responsible for unwanted application promotion

Firefox hijack occurs after the installation of freeware and shareware. Usually, programs that are used for distributing such viruses are various download managers, PDF creators, video streaming software and similar applications. Monitor the installation guide to spot additional components on time.

Frequently, they are presented in a small print, so you have to select „Custom“ or „Advanced“ mode. Likewise, you will be able to remove the potentially fraudulent applications before they settle on the device. Note that Mozilla Firefox and its developers are not related to this problem.

In reality, it's the browser hijacker, which is hiding in your computer. Lastly, you should beware of a common practice among hijackers to develop infected domains which bear almost identical URL name addresses to popular web pages [6]. For example, watch out for an Amazon impersonator – Amazoon.com. What is more, check the official publisher of the program before installing it.

Eliminate Firefox virus and fix your browser

If you intend to root out the infection permanently, we recommend opting for automatic Firefox virus removal. Anti-spyware applications that are recommended to you right below can ensure that all elements of the hijacker that is bothering you are eliminated.

These programs can also come in handy when you need to remove more severe threats, such as malware threats or ransomware viruses. Of course, you can remove Firefox virus manually, but, for an extra guarantee, we recommend combining these two methods. Lastly, stay vigilant while downloading new applications. Other users' comments provide you valuable tips on what websites and apps to avoid programs capable of causing Firefox redirects and similar issues.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Firefox redirect virus, follow these steps:

Delete Firefox redirect from Windows systems

If you think that you are infected with Firefox redirect virus, you need to check all apps that you installed before this issue started bothering you. If you can find suspicious entries, make sure you uninstall them.

  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 Firefox redirect and related programs
    Here, look for Firefox redirect 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'
  5. Remove Firefox redirect from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Erase Firefox redirect from Mac OS X system

If Mozilla Firefox redirects have been bothering, you need to remove suspicious apps from your Mac. Make sure you eliminate all entries that were installed on the same day when Firefox redirects appeared on your computer.

  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 Firefox redirect 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'

Eliminate Firefox redirect from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If Firefox redirects have been appearing on this web browser, you are dealing with the browser hijacker. Make sure you remove add-ons that seem suspicious to you and reset the browser.

  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 Firefox redirect 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Firefox redirect removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Firefox redirect 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 Firefox redirect 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Firefox redirect removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Firefox redirect from Internet Explorer (IE)

Carefully go through IE add-ons not to miss the malicious ones. The additional method resets the browser and eliminates all components of the browser hijacker.

  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 Firefox redirect 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 Firefox redirect removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Get rid of Firefox redirect virus 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, Firefox redirect should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete Firefox redirect 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 Firefox redirect or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Firefox redirect, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Firefox redirect removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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  1. silkySilk says:
    December 14th, 2016 at 8:28 am

    You never can tell..

  2. macMooney says:
    December 14th, 2016 at 8:30 am

    At this rate, hackers will still have flaws in the browser.

  3. KristySQ says:
    December 14th, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I’m so pissed off at this virus!

Your opinion regarding Firefox redirect virus