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Rocket Tab. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

RocketTab powered by advertise – the latest version of the potentially unwanted program 

The picture of the Rocket Tab

Questions about Rocket Tab

RocketTab powered by Advertise is yet another variant of RocketTab virus which was first introduced in 2015 as a legitimate browser add-on. Nevertheless, security experts consider this extension to be a potentially unwanted program[1] as it usually enters users' machines without their permission. The success of the first campaign motivated its developers to create new versions, so RocketTab Powered by xt-2 version was soon released. Recently, that new form, of virus returned to the headlines. 

Name Rocket Tab
Type Adware
Main issues caused An excessive amount of pop-up ads, in-text links, banner ads and similar content on user's favorite websites
Most popular types of ads
  • RocketTab powered by Advertise;
  • RocketTab powered by DNS Unlocker;
  • RocketTab powered by Counterflix;
  • Rocket Tab powered by xt-2.
Main dangers These ads are misleading; there is a chance to be redirected to a malicious website which is used to spread malware or swindle people's personal information
Additional problems System slow downs; changes in default search engine and homepage
Fixing the problem To get rid of Rocket Tab, use Reimage

This virus is closely related to the infamous DNS Unlocker virus and the following threats that have already been mentioned by 2spyware experts:

  • BrowserSafeGuard;
  • Counterflix;
  • YTD Toolbar by Spigot;
  • Ad Show;
  • AdProtect.

Cyber security experts found out that all these PUPs are frequently distributed in one pack, so there is no doubt that it should be treated with carefulness. Using a computer compromised by the adware can become a nightmare. Such programs promise to enhance users' browsing experience, but, in reality, they diminish it.

As soon as this virus hijacks the system, web browser may start to function in a suspicious way. Users complain about the generous amount of ads that appear on their screens at random times. Typically, these ads are marked with the following label: “RocketTab powered by DNSUnlocker” or “Rockettab powered by Advertise.” Besides, as it becomes obvious after reading the following comment on the Internet, these previously mentioned ads can also push down the search results listed by the search provider:

I'm on a Chromebook using Chrome OS, haven't made any risky downloads nor extensions. Starting 2 weeks ago however, every time I search something on Google, the results are pushed down behind a wall of random websites with the top saying “RocketTab Powered By Advertise.

In-depth analysis of this browser hijacker-type program revealed that it is capable of multiplying the amount of ads when the user browses through online shops or sites that sell various services. Besides, some users complain that these pesky parasites even manage to increase the number of ads served through legitimate sites like Spotify[2].

In general, the aim of Rocket Tab virus is to flood web browser's screen with third-party ads, so that you would click on them (with or without intention to do it), and visit sponsors' websites. Each unique visit generates pay-per-click revenue for authors of these objectionable ad-supported programs.

Although, technically, this particular application does not belong to malware category, you should do everything in your power to protect your PC against it. After attempting to download the virus to our test computer, we were redirected to hxxp://dx0f2a229w0d1.cloudfront.net/release/rt-installer-c.exe, and at this point we were stopped by Google Safe Browsing,[3] which notified us that site contains harmful programs.

In our opinion, such notification is a good reason to remove RocketTab from the computer in case it has compromised it already. To get rid of this program for good, you should download Reimage, update it and then run a full system scan.

Virus keeps multiplying since 2015. New versions added each year

The adware is a relatively old ad-supported program that was discovered in 2015. Nevertheless, it keeps appearing with new alerts from different advertising agencies. Below you can find main variants of this PUP:

RocketTab powered by DNS Unlocker is another version of this PUP. An adware program called DNS Unlocker initiates them. This program promises to allow users to access online content (such as Netflix, BBC, Hulu, iPlayer and similar) without geo restrictions. However, users are then spammed with pop-ups, banners, deals, offers, coupons, in-text links and similar. The publishers of the software generate revenue for every click made, even if it is accidental (pay-per-click scheme).

RocketTab powered by Advertise version is distributed via software bundles or malicious websites. In some of the cases, it may be disguised under suspicious pop-up ads that open as a new tab URL. The most important thing that you have to remember is that Rockettab powered by advertise is as dangerous as other versions and you should immediately remove it from the system.

RocketTab powered by Counterflix is the newest variant of adware. An adware program modifies your DNS settings and spams your browser with “RocketTab powered by Counterflix” advertisements. You may also encounter similar versions too, for example, “Ads by Counterflix,” “Powered by Counterflix,” and similar. They may appear anywhere on your screen and in various forms, including video, audio, pop-ups, flash files, etc. In order to remove RocketTab powered by Counterflix, you have to eliminate the related adware.

RocketTab powered by Call Builder box has mostly been seen above users' search results. Typically, it shows up out of nowhere and redirects its victim to a sponsored site after being clicked. The biggest issue related to this type of ads is that you cannot be able of locating the virus on your computer. In this case, only a full system scan with updated anti-spyware can help.

RocketTab Powered by xt-2 virus claims to be capable of improving users' search sessions. However, all what this browser add-on seeks to do is to earn the money from advertising. Just like its predecessor, this PUP causes unwanted ads on victim's computer. Next, it tries to change its settings and make its victim to use a related search engine. Do NOT agree with such offer! All you have to do is remove this version.

Find.rockettab.com is one of related search engines that have been actively spread with the help of this browser add-on. However, you can also download this browser hijacker together with free downloads, such as PDF creators, download managers or software converters. You should not use this search engine because it provides fake search results.

Search.rockettab.com has been spreading together with this suspicious browser add-on or its second version. What you need to remember is that, if it happens to hijack your system, you can find it on every web browser that you have on your computer. Do NOT ignore such unauthorised changes because you can run to additional problems caused by fake links in your search results.

RocketTab adware

Additional problems caused by this PUP

When on board, the main and the most visible issue caused by this virus is different pop-up ads. However, you can also find out that the virus added new home page and the default search engine to each of your web browsers. Our research shows that it seeks to convince victims to use the following search engines:

Keep in mind that results, which are provided by this search engine, might be filled with sponsored links pointing you to possibly dangerous sites. In most of the cases, websites that promote themselves in this way seek to increase their page rank or sales, but there is no guarantee that they won't trick you into installing suspicious software on your computer.

The clearest sign showing that this PUP is hiding in your computer is continuous redirects that will interrupt you during each of your search sessions. However, some part of people who have been affected by this hijacker have also warned us about browser slowdowns and unwanted pop-up ads that have also been interrupting them.

If you want to avoid them, you should carry out RocketTab removal without wasting your time. However, we want to notify you in advance and tell you that an unsuccessful attempt to remove this vague ad-supported program can lead to bad consequences. According to victims who already had a chance to encounter this program, it is hard to remove it because the software does not leave any of its components in Control Panel nor adds extensions to user's browsers.

Users also complain that resetting the browser works only a temporary fix to the problem. It means that the software might be using more advanced techniques when attacking computer users, and it might target Windows Registry. Making several modifications to the Registry can make your web browsers obey commands of a browser hijacker program, for example, initiate redirects and launch ads in new tabs or windows.

If you want to take things under control, you should remove the culprit from the system immediately, but please, resist the temptation to do it manually. Modifying Windows Registry keys wrongly can badly influence the computer's performance.

RocketTab powered by DNS Unlocker

Free programs – the most frequent distributor of Rocket Tab

You might be convinced to download components of this ad-supported software on your computer directly from the developer's website, because it presents it as a tool that ostensibly can enhance your search experience. However, in most of the cases this suspicious hijacker is distributed in a bundle with freeware[4] and shareware[5] and is reportedly spread along with DNS Unlocker adware.

Of course, you can avoid its infiltration, you just need to know some things. First of all, you should pay more attention to the installation process of the freeware (choosing a Custom or Advanced installation process helps). In addition, you should find the checkmark that agrees to install this add-on on the system. If you missed it, you can expect discovering this search engine instead of your start page and default search engine.

Besides, in order to make money from advertising, this potentially unwanted program may track your online activities. Keep your computer protected; use a reliable security tool, avoid downloading unfamiliar programs and eliminate such intruders if they manage to end up on your computer system. In order to remove it from there, follow the instructions we provided bellow.

Rocket Tab

Rocket tab removal from the system can be related to several problems. Avoid them

Here are some signs that show your PC is infected with this potentially unwanted program (or even a few of them):

  • Your browser acts sluggish;
  • Your browser's homepage was changed;
  • You see annoying advertisements;
  • Search engines display search results or ads marked as “RocketTab powered by Call Builder,” “RocketTab ads” or similarly.

To get rid of the virus from there, follow the instructions placed down below. However, we must inform you about several things before you start the removal procedure. This PUP is one of the most aggressive spyware variants, and it adds certain Registry values to Windows OS. These should be removed with extra caution. In general, it is safer to clean your system using anti-malware tools than try to delete hazardous entries manually.

However, if you are willing to take care of manual RocketTab removal, look for these names: BrowserSafeGuard, RocketTab, RocketTab Powered by xt-2, DNS Unlocker, Counterflix, YTD Toolbar by Spigot, Ad Show, AdProtect

You can remove Rocket Tab automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete 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 infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Rocket Tab. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Rocket Tab snapshot
Uninstall suspicious programs

To remove Rocket Tab, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Rocket Tab from Windows systems

To eliminate Rocket Tab virus from Windows OS, use instructions provided below. Remove all suspicious programs from your PC, including these names:

  • BrowserSafeGuard with RocketTab;
  • RocketTab Powered by xt-2;
  • DNS Unlocker;
  • YTD Toolbar by Spigot.

Uninstalling RocketTab

Do not forget to reset your web browsers and remove similarly titled add-ons or extensions from them! If you cannot solve the problem using these instructions, you need to find and delete files stored in these folders: C:\Program Files (x86)\Search Extensions (delete certmanager.exe, client.exe, config.data, makecert.exe and TrustedRoot.cer, as well as Resources directory); In C:\windows\systems32\tasks folder, delete files associated with the described virus (the filenames should contain the word “rock.”)

  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 Rocket Tab and related programs
    Here, look for Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Rocket Tab from Mac OS X system

To fix Mac OS X, remove apps that have such or similar names:

  • BrowserSafeGuard with RocketTab;
  • DNS Unlocker;
  • YTD Toolbar by Spigot;
  • RocketTab Powered by xt-2.

Clean your browsers from related extensions and revert modified homepage, new tab page and search engine settings then.

  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 Rocket Tab 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Rocket Tab 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, Rocket Tab should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Rocket Tab from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To remove RocketTab from Firefox, you should get rid of these extensions: YTD Toolbar by Spigot, DNS Unlocker, BrowserSafeGuard and, of course, the extension named identically as the hijacker described in this post. 

  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 Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Rocket Tab from Google Chrome

Delete RocketTab, YTD Toolbar by Spigot, BrowserSafeGuard and DNS Unlocker extensions from Chrome to stop the activity of this browser hijacker.

  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 Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab 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 Rocket Tab, 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 Rocket Tab 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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