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What is aMuleC “virus” and how to remove it

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Peruse this report on the aMuleC adware that proliferates through application bundling and spawns a slew of intrusive ads on visited web pages.

The aMuleC adware reflects the nuts and bolts of unauthorized ad serving. Also referred to as aMule C, this malicious browser extension can get around user authorization while making changes to the regular preset of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Essentially, it adds a virtual layer to a victim’s web surfing environment in order to inject sponsored data into sites being accessed from a contaminated computer. This potentially unwanted program is shareware that tends to accompany other apps as they are being installed.

The bundling-based distribution principle allows the offending code to sneak into PCs behind the scenes. An example of such a workflow is as follows: looking for a free multimedia player, video game or system optimizer, a user stumbles upon a dubious website that provides the required software, but the setup wizard actually promotes extra entities alongside the main product. By opting into the default installation mode, an unsuspecting user automatically agrees to also install the malign drive-by.

aMuleC app installer
aMuleC app installer

As soon as the aMuleC payload finds itself inside a machine, it adds a new plugin or extension to all web browsing clients detected on the system. The problem is that the victim is not presented with any authorization requests during this process. This makes the adware fundamentally different from normal browser extensions. Then, aMuleC abuses the wrongfully obtained high privileges to twist the way the infected web browser operates. It can interfere with DNS settings and Internet navigation preferences, including the homepage, new tab page and the default search engine. Furthermore, the adware gets unrestricted access to the user’s web surfing patterns, which may expose their lifestyle, habits and even such sensitive information as authentication details, including passwords for e-commerce and banking sites.

Ads by aMuleC displayed on a web page
Ads by aMuleC displayed on a web page

The most conspicuous impact of the aMuleC virus attack is the abundance of annoying advertisements being incorporated into pretty much every website. These ads tends to be deals, coupons, freebies, and price comparison charts. To top it off, the adware will be generating in-text links that expand as offer previews when the mouse cursor hovers over them. Yet another adverse effect revolves around interstitial ads that will be constantly popping up in the background. The victim may also experience browser hijack issues, where their web traffic gets redirected to various landing pages. Some of these unsafe sites may state that Java or Adobe Flash Player is out of date and recommend the user to install the latest version. The actual software distributed this way may be dangerous. File-encrypting ransomware infections and banking Trojans are known to spread through this sort of social engineering.

Unfortunately, the aMuleC virus is persistent enough to thwart easy removal. Infected users have reported error messages when trying to trash the associated browser extension. This is the scenario where some of the best adware removal practices step in.

Automated removal of aMuleC virus

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download aMuleC virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Use Control Panel to get rid of aMuleC adware

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows and select Uninstall a program
Access program uninstall screen on Windows
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find aMuleC, aMule C or some other unfamiliar entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.
Uninstall unwanted program

Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by aMuleC.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Advanced down at the bottom
Advanced settings in Chrome
• Move on to the Reset and clean up sub-section and select the option that says Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original default
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message
Reset Chrome settings
• Restart Chrome.

Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click on the Open menu icon in the top right-hand part of the browser window, then select the Help option and proceed to Troubleshooting Information
Access Troubleshooting Information page in Firefox
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
Refresh Firefox button
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
Complete refreshing Firefox
• Restart the browser.

Reset Internet Explorer

• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools (Alt+X)
Open up Internet options in Internet Explorer
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
Locate and click the Reset button in IE
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
IE reset confirmation
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.

Reset Safari

• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences
Go to Safari Preferences
• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
Remove All Website Data button
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
Confirm website data removal
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
Removing data for selected sites in Safari
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download aMuleC adware removal tool

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