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Remove Youtube virus (Removal Guide) - Mar 2019 update

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Malware

YouTube virus is the term used to describe different malware that has been targeting users by misusing company's name

Questions about Youtube virus

Virus on Youtube
Virus on Youtube can appear in different forms that have been spreading adware, browser hijackers and other cyber infections.
YouTube virus is the type of malware that includes various versions of cyber infections that can be associated with this social media and video-creating website. A platform is a popular network that most of the PC users have already heard of and are actively using on the daily basis.[1] However, because of this popularity, YouTube is constantly fighting against malicious actors who have been actively misusing well-known names like Pinterest or Facebook to create malicious campaigns used to infect unaware users with malware. Beware that, because of virus on YouTube, you can get infected with an adware, browser hijacker or even ransomware. You should be aware that there are too many imposters online to believe every YouTube advertisement or pop-up. If you happen to notice that such ads keep appearing, check the system for Youtube virus immediately.

Name YouTube virus
Category Malware
Possible types Scams, adware, PUPs, fake tools
Known since 2015
similar viruses
Distribution Software bundles, deceptive websites, spam email
Elimination Use a trustworthy anti-malware program and clear the system fully to remove YouTube virus 

YouTube virus is the definition of various malware forms misusing the name of the video broadcasting service in one or another way. There are numerous cyber threats that you can get infected after clicking on a malicious link presented in the ad, fake email message, etc. However, the main thing here is to note that the official YouTube site is NOT related to these viruses in any way.

Usually, users are attacked via identical to the original but fraudulent YouTube site.[2] However, besides this way of attack, there are other ways to get infected, including fake email messages, fake links, and other means of distribution that can end up with such malware:

  • Adware
  • Screen lockers (fake ransomware)
  • Fake Flash Player updates (disguising in fake YouTube domains)
  • Browser redirect viruses

Note that the official website contains HTTPS indicator and it does not ask you to update Flash Player or install any additional codecs. If you are convinced that you are in a wrong version of the official domain, remove YouTube virus. Reimage Reimage Cleaner or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner might be helpful in this situation. Before we discuss elimination methods, let us review dominant YouTube malware cases.

YouTube virus – related campaigns that use YouTube as bait for victims

Adware spreading via fake YouTube sites

Perhaps the most efficient samples illustrating this virus type are all those pop-up and redirect viruses that cause commercial content continuously delivered to your screen. With the popularity of social media, these fake YouTube site messages occur on Facebook or Messenger.

In either case, a fraudulent video link is distributed among the Facebook community. In order to persuade gullible users to open the link, the message contains “[receiver’s name] video” comment. Recent cases of the scam include the profile picture of a receiver.

Furthermore, after clicking on the link which indicates a random site or even supposedly YouTube URL, users are directed to a fake YouTube site. In order to play the video, users are expected to enable a specific extension or download a codec[3]. Some malware cases ask victims to install dubious applications. Such action would further download adware into the operating system.

There are tons of different adware infections misusing the name of YouTube to trick users into infecting their machines with such viruses as these examples:

Youtube ransomware

As ridiculous it may sound, in fact, there were cases of the so-called YouTube ransomware. For instance, in June 2017, a screen locker pretending to be YouTube crypto-malware was spotted. It alarmed users that they have violated the YouTube law.

In order to regain access to the website and the device as well, they were supposed to enter the code. Fortunately, experts have found the passcode – law725. Fortunately, the threat turned out to be a mere prank rather than a menacing virus. Due to the popularity of the official domain, the probability of real ransomware should not be excluded. 

Youtube malware
YouTube virus is the malware that has been targeting the virtual community with the help of new forms since 2015.

Fake Flash Player pop-ups

This is by far the most common form of YouTube virus. There have been multiple instances when users encounter a pop-up message urging to update Flash Player in order to play a video on the site.

Unfortunately, due to a persuasive appearance of such alert, credulous users install the fake alert only to discover the presence of frustrating adware, data-stealing trojan or even real crypto-malware. Bear in mind that your operating system notifies you about the outdated Flash Player once you log in to the computer.

YouTube impostors and scams

As every popular website has its evil twin so does YouTube. Malware developers have created dozens of fake websites which are based on a single trick – mistyping of the word “youtube.” Since it is common among users to misspell the name of a domain, they often accidentally get redirected to a phishing site. Various scams use the name of YouTube to get more views and victims, for example, YouTube Reward Center.

It may also offer to install a dubious extension like Youtube Download Manager. Otherwise, such domains may be a perfect haven for hidden crypto-coin miners[4]. They are not visible to ordinary users. While they watch videos on a fake website, the malware mines bitcoins or other crypto-currency. In short, due to them, you might notice that the website drains an enormous amount of CPU resources.

In that case, you will need to perform Youtube virus removal as soon as possible. In order to avoid the encounter with crypto-coin miners, install anti-miner plug-in, for instance, AdBlock or No Coin or any other, but choose wisely as there are also fraudulent imitations of such extensions as well.

Youtube virus

Fake Youtube ads were used to spread crypto-mining malware

In the middle of January 2018, security experts discovered a new version of YouTube virus. This time, hackers were using YouTube ads to run crypto-mining code on a victim's computer. As soon as the ad was clicked, the code was enabled and started using a computer's CPU and electricity power to mine cryptocurrency. According to the latest reports, it is a totally new form of abuse.

Ninety percent of malicious Youtube ads were using Coinhive miner that helped cybercriminals use other users’ computing power to illegally mine Monero and generate profit. Coinhive was created to let website owners operate a legal scheme to generate this currency. However, cybercriminals took only several months to learn how to abuse Google’s DoubleClick platform and Coinhive to utilize them for their personal gain.

Google – the owner of Youtube – responded to cyber attacks on their servers immediately. According to the announcement from the Internet giant, ads were blocked in less than two hours, and the malicious actors were quickly removed from its platforms.[5]

Malware distribution depends on infection type

Depending on what type of virus you encounter, malware elimination, and prevention measures differ. In order to avoid adware or malicious redirects, make sure not to install any software updates from random pages. Also, choosing Advanced or Custom options during the installation can give you the opportunity to remove unwanted applications from the download list.

Regarding social media message virus, do not click on video links or download an image file which is supposedly sent by your friend. Inquire the sender again to verify the content of such message. Note that a genuine video link often generates a video image with the screenshot of the video content.

If you mistyped URL name and found yourself in an odd website, exit it right away and scan the browse. You should also update your browser as exploit kits, which target certain browser vulnerabilities, may also cram you with fake software-promoting pop-ups or even lead to more severe malware attacks. 

Youtube virus elimination methods include automatic system clean

Whether you are dealing with YouTube redirect virus or got to a counterfeited web page, scan the browser and the PC with an anti-malware utility. Update it before scanning so all new threats can be indicated.

Automatic YouTube virus removal is also recommended when you are dealing with a screen locker or any other more severe cyber threat that is not only affecting your browser with pop-ups. This solution also improves the performance of your device since it helps to clean the computer fully.

Later on, reboot the system into Safe Mode, if necessary and repeat the scan procedure. Lastly, it is recommended to reset browser settings. Such action will remove YouTube virus scripts, cookies, and other web components. Note that Youtube malware targets every computer user, regardless whether you are a British, Portuguese or Chinese.[6]

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
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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 Youtube virus, follow these steps:

Erase Youtube from Windows systems

To remove Youtube virus from Windows, make sure you scan the system with updated anti-spyware to find all components that belong to this malware. However, you can also uninstall these components with the following guide.

  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 Youtube and related programs
    Here, look for Youtube 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 Youtube 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.

Eliminate Youtube from Mac OS X system

Mac OS users are not immune to Youtube malware as well. To get rid of it, make sure you carefully scan your computer with anti-spyware or use the guide to uninstall related programs that are malicious.

  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 Youtube 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'

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

Delete Youtube 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, Youtube should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of Youtube 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 Youtube 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 Youtube removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Youtube from Google Chrome

You may also need to remove YouTube virus from the browser manually.

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

Erase Youtube 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 Youtube 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 Youtube, 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 Youtube 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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