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Goo.gl virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Malware

Goo.gl – a legitimate URL shortening service which might be exploited by criminals

Goo.gl virus image

Goo.gl is a popular link shortening service developed by Google. Ability to shorten the link and hide the real URL is really appreciated by cyber criminals who have been already noticed spreading malicious links via Skype, Facebook, and Twitter. Clicking on such link leads to infiltration of malware.

Summary
Name Goo.gl virus
Type Malware (Trojan horse)
Danger level High. It might bring malware, ransomware, trojans or potentially unwanted programs on the computer, steal personal information.
Symptoms Spread malicious links on behalf of the victim by using her/his social media accounts.
Distribution method Malicious links on Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and other platforms.
Removal Use Reimage to eliminate this malware from your computer

The so-called Goo.gl virus is a trojan horse which is typically spread via malicious links via popular social networks. Malware spreads with the help of compromised accounts. Therefore, a potential victim receives a dangerous link sent from her or his contact.

Criminals use social engineering techniques to trick users into clicking a malicious Goo.gl link which typically redirects to a malware-laden website that triggers a download of the trojan horse which might be responsible for performing these activities on the affected device:

  • install ransomware;
  • install adware or other potentially unwanted programs;
  • connect your PC into botnet;
  • turn your computer into a spamming machine;
  • use your computer for spreading malware;
  • mine Bitcoins, Monero or other cryptocurrencies;
  • steal personal information, including passwords, credit card information, etc.;
  • perform other criminal activities.

To perform these activities malware might use lots of computer resources. Hence, the first sign of the infection is sluggish computer’s performance. Additionally, you might lose access to your files, receive lots of ads while browsing the web, etc. If you can recognize these symptoms after clicking a malicious link, you might need to remove Goo.gl virus.

Goo.gl virus removal should be performed with a reputable and powerful anti-malware software to make sure that all malicious components are wiped out entirely. For this task, we highly recommend using Reimage.

Skype Goo.gl virus spread links that download malicious files

Criminals took advantage of Goo.gl service in a couple of versions of Skype virus. The virus spread links via Skype messages on behalf of the user. Typically, these messages include a weird text or emoji followed with a shortened link, for instance:

  • haha you wouldn’t believe it http://goo[.]gl/lLGdM?foto=user
  • http://e.4shared[.]com/linkerror.jsp?ed=63617573653d333034666e756c6c5f6f725f64656c

Additionally, Goo.gl Skype virus might also inform about the discovered picture or video of you.[1] Though it’s a clever social engineering technique that triggers curiosity and user’s willingness to click the link and see what photo may have been taken of her or him.

However, the malicious links usually lead to a suspicious file-sharing website which might automatically download .zip folder that contains malicious software. However, some reports tell that these links installed unknown .exe files as well.

These files are designed to launch malware installation and execution procedure on the affected system. If you clicked on a suspicious link or your contacts reported receiving questionable links sent from your account, you should check your computer immediately with a reputable anti-malware software and remove Goo.gl Skype virus from the device. Additionally, changing your Skype password is needed too.

Facebook Goo.gl virus can spread via rogue applications and private messages

Malicious Goo.gl links have been spreading on the world’s largest social network at least since 2011. This version of the Facebook virus might spread via rogue applications and private messages. Typically the shortened link is followed by intriguing message or comment.

The message received via Messenger might ask you to watch a video or picture of you. However, clicking the link redirects to a malicious website that asks to install a JavaScript or Flash updated necessary for playing the video. However, in this way, users lets malware on their devices which can compromise their security.

Meanwhile, compromised apps might pretend to be news site apps that deliver shocking news about murdered people or click-bite headlines about celebrities.[2] A several years ago, the Goo.gl Facebook virus was spreading fake apps that allowed seeing profile viewers or “stalkers.” However, you should stay away from the applications that give extended features of Facebook that are not originally created by the company.

Malicious Goo.gl links spread on Twitter too

In 2010, the first reports about Twitter Goo.gl virus appeared.[3] Back then malware spread on a mobile version of the Twitter via malicious shortened links:

  • http://goo[.]gl/od0az
  • http://goo[.]gl/R7f68 but there’s a good

However, other obfuscated links were spotted during the time as well. For instance, one of the versions of the Twitter virus was spreading fake antivirus work. The obfuscated link redirected to a rough antivirus program download site.

When malware was dropped on the system, the malicious link was continued spreading on the social network. Goo.gl Twitter virus not only can perform various activities on the affected machine but compromises Twitter account.

Therefore, the malicious link spreads like a chain reaction and can be stopped only after Goo.gl virus removal and Twitter password reset.

Tips to avoid the virus

We have already explained that malware spread with the help of shortened links. It might seem that it’s hard to identify safe and insecure Goo.gl link. However, you can always check it with online scanners if you are confused. Though, in most cases, you can suspect that the link is dangerous if:

  • you received a link from the contact you have never spoken before, or you are not close;
  • the message includes only emoji and the link;
  • the message tells about the video or picture of you;
  • the message has other shocking elements.

Security specialists from semvirus.pt[4] also suggest asking the sender to confirm that she or he sent the link. Usually, users are not aware that their accounts are compromised. Hence, you will not only protect yourself from a malware attack but also will help a person to learn about the cyber infection.

Delete Goo.gl virus from your computer and protect your social networks accounts

To remove Goo.gl virus from the device, you have to scan the system with a reputable anti-malware software, such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. It’s unknown what malware was installed on your PC once you clicked on the malicious link. Therefore, full system scan with antivirus is a must to wipe out all cyber threats.

After automatic Goo.gl removal, you have to change Facebook, Skype, Twitter and other account passwords. It helps to protect your sensitive information if malware stole some of the credentials.

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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 Malwarebytes.
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 Goo.gl virus, follow these steps:

Remove Goo.gl using Safe Mode with Networking

If malware prevents from accessing or running security software needed for virus removal, reboot the PC to Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 Goo.gl

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

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

Remove Goo.gl using System Restore

System Restore can also help to enable automatic virus removal:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    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 Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    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 Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Goo.gl. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Goo.gl removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Goo.gl and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References

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