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Viber virus forms. From A to Z

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Malware

Viber virus term describes malicious software that might be misusing the app for illegal purposes

The image of Viber mobile app and browser extension
Viber is a legitimate messaging app created by Rakuten Inc.

“Viber virus” is a message which might suggest that your computer is infected with malware. Recently, Windows Defender and several third-party antivirus tools have flagged the well-known instant messaging app as a virus again. The tool is easily accessible online and functions on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS systems. According to the official website, the application now helps to communicate over 800 million users[1]. Though the software is devised by a Japanese[2] company Rakuten Inc[3], it quickly expanded its network in other countries by obtaining acquisitions and joint ventures.

Name “Viber virus”
Types Scam, hidden botnet, Android malware
Operating systems Malware can appear on any type of OS such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac OS
Developer of the official app Rakuten Inc.
Distribution techniques The original app can be found on Google Play only
Prevention tips Always check the developer before downloading an application
Manual removal Check for instructions at the end of this text
Automatical elimination Reimage Reimage Cleaner , Malwarebytes

Similarly to other communications applications, Viber offers free messages and video calls among fellow app users. You can also call to other countries for a low rate. This utility might seem highly functional and useful, however, recent reports about Viber being labeled as malware on Android devices and on standalone computers alert users.[4] What is more, it seems that the tool has been compromised before as well. Should you remove Viber? Find answers here.

Serving 800 million netizens

If you have been a loyal user of this messaging application, similar reports might simply seem fake. The company has been steadily expanding its network. In 2010, Rakuten bought Linkshare, New York-based utility.

The following year, it launched its utilities designed for Indonesia and Brazil. In 2012, it increased its investments in Pinterest. Viber is also reported to be the official communication platform of FC Barcelona. Additionally, the app is compatible with Android, iOs, Mac and Window operating systems. Thus, what did go wrong?

Previous reports about “Viber virus”

On May 2017, Windows users, who have been using Viber on their PCs, might have got astonished by Windows Defender security alerts. The application was labeled as “Viber malware” and a potential security threat. Some of the third party anti-virus utilities recognized the app as a threat as well.

Interestingly, the app has been already labeled as malware before. Last year users have reported such behavior as well.[5] However, at that time, it turned out to be a false positive. Users have declared app data on their Android phones which solved the issue. Windows users offered reinstallation often software to fix the problem.

Viber malware
Viber malware - an infectious source which comes injected into a text message falsely provided by Viber support

At the moment, the recent reports about Viber virus are still under investigation. It would be a great astonishment if the reports turned out to be true. On the other hand, the cases when well-known utilities get compromised are not rare. The cases of Skype and WhatsApp application perfectly illustrate such tendency.

Additionally, the privacy policy of the program contains statements which might trigger concerns for more cautious users. According to it, Viber collects the following types of information:

  • Registration and Account Information
  • Social Media Information
  • Activity Information
  • Information from Other Sources
  • Additional Information

As common for instant messaging application, it acquires a vivid sort of personal data if you connect through Facebook, play Viber games, etc. However, the biggest issue is the privacy issue:

We only share your personal information with third-parties outside of Viber, for the purposes listed above, in the following circumstances(…)

Thus, it purely depends on you whether you are fine with such use of personal details. Otherwise, you might want to perform Viber removal. One of the options to eliminate it is to use Reimage Reimage Cleaner or Malwarebytes services.

Also, you can remove Viber from your operating system and web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari by using our step-by-step guide that is provided at the end of the article. Note that if you want to get rid of the application permanently, you need to uninstall its extension from browser apps.

“Viber malware” types from A to Z

Viber prize scam

Asprox botnet spread via Viber email scam

There have been reports about a dangerous botnet malware distributing via false Viber notification.[6] The crooks provide victims with a message of a falsely missed phone call from Viber support. The scam announces that the user has a missed call and injects a suspicious hyperlink into the text. If it is clicked, the victim is taken to a malicious web server. 

Talking about Asprox botnet itself, this type of malware was created to deliver huge amounts of spam messages. However, it is also known that the botnet can steal credit card and banking information, push ads for pay-per-click revenue, and search for particular flaws in web pages. The hackers always ensure that the victim is running the IE browser and verify the IP before launching an attempt.

The Unexpected Lottery Prize scam

This type of scam targets Viber and WhatsApp users by claiming false things in text messages. Victims of this scam are tricked that they have won a particular prize, for example, the newest iPhone and asks the user to enter a digital code of four numbers. If he/she opts for entering the numbers, hackers might start urging for a particular weekly price that needs to be paid in order to receive the fake prize.

Beaver Gang Counter app steals photos/videos from Viber

Symantec researchers discovered that the Beaver Gang Counter app has been distributed malware and using it to steal photos and videos from the well-known Viber application.[7] The infectious application can be found on the Google Play Store and aims to search Viber accounts for particular files and transfer them via remote servers. Such cyber threat has been detected by the name of Android.Vibleaker.

Viber virus
Viber virus is a term used to describe Android malware which aims to steal photos and videos from Viber accounts

Android virus steals information from popular messaging apps, including Viber

Security experts found out that some type of Android malware has been stealing sensitive data from popular messaging applications, including Viber.[8] Researchers claim that this type of virus compromises the “/system/etc/install-recovery.sh” file to execute every time when the victim opens Viber. An interesting thing about this malware is that it includes a particular module that helps to avoid detection and sneak into the device unknowingly.

Safety tip

Viber support has provided some guidance for their users who might have been dealing with various scamming/hacking attacks.[9] The company displays some instructions on how to avoid possible infections and scams. The staff claims notifications from Viber come only from their official website and are not urged to be forwarded to other users:

Viber will never:
Send you an email with instructions to forward it to others.
Send you an email with a link to a website that is not www.viber.com. Do not click on any link that claims to be from Viber or affiliated to Viber but does not use this domain.

Tips to escape app “impostors”

Due to its increasing popularity, there is a low possibility that you might encounter this app in the form of an optional add-on. Likewise, “Viber hijack” does not exist either. The application is available on its official website. In addition, you can also find Viber as a browser-add-on offered in Chrome web store.

Even though the distribution network does not raise concerns, do not exclude the possibility that crooks might exploit the software for their malicious purposes. If you are about to install Viber, download it from its official website. Once User Account Control notification pops up inquiring you about enabling the app, check whether Rakuten Inc is indicated as an official publisher. Do not download the app which presents “unknown” publisher.

Viber uninstallation options

If you have decided to remove Viber from the operating system, you will need to uninstall its main software as well as the browser extension. Below the article, you will find the guidelines instructing how to eliminate its browser extension.

In order to complete Viber removal, you will need to get rid of its cookies and third-party tracking web elements. Full browser reset is a faster solution. Anti-spyware applications come in handy in this situation as well.

If you have the software on Android, you will get rid of it by disabling it and uninstalling updates.

  1. Tap on Settings.
  2. Enter App Manager.
  3. Navigate to Apps and find Viber.
  4. You will find several options: Force Stop and Uninstall.
  5. Click on Uninstall.

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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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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Viber virus, follow these steps:

Delete Viber from Windows systems

  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 Viber and related programs
    Here, look for Viber 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'

Erase Viber from Mac OS X system

  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 Viber 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'

Remove Viber from Internet Explorer (IE)

Erase all unwanted add-ons, plug-ins, or extensions from your Internet Explorer web browser application:

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

Uninstall Viber 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, Viber should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate Viber from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 Viber 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 Viber removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Viber from Google Chrome

After you uninstall Viber software, make sure you get rid of its extension as well.

  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 Viber 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 Viber removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Viber 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 Viber 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 Viber removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References

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