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Remove CaptchaTopSource popup virus from Chrome/Firefox/IE/Safari

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Proper online experience doesn’t get along with annoying redirects to captchatopsource.com, moreover, this is a sign of malware tampering with the browser.
  1. What is CaptchaTopSource?
  2. Automated removal of CaptchaTopSource popup virus
  3. Captchatopsource.com redirect removal for Android
  4. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults


What is CaptchaTopSource?

CaptchaTopSource is a fraudulent service designed to dupe users into enabling web push notifications they shouldn’t turn on. This scheme underlies a form of mainstream exploitation targeting mobile devices and computers alike. Once such a permission is unwittingly granted, malware operators can set malvertising campaigns in motion through obtrusive popup ads displayed both within and beyond the affected web browser. The potentially unwanted program (PUP) behind this foul play follows in the footsteps of numerous lookalikes, including the Fres-News and RedNews7 popup nasties we have previously analyzed.

(Title: Fake human verification alert at captchatopsource.com)

One of the disconcerting facts about the hoax implemented via captchatopsource.com site is that it is multiplatform. In other words, it can impact smartphones and PCs to a similar extent. At its initial stage, the attack may rely on two scenarios. One of them kicks in when a to-be victim accidentally clicks a link on a malicious web page or in a phishing email masqueraded as something intriguing. In this case, the user hits a landing page at captchatopsource.com/robot4/index.html or captchatopsource.com/robot37/index.html, with the URL being followed by a long array of ad campaign identifiers and other random-looking characters. The other possible situation involves an adware application that’s already present in the system. The pest triggers rerouting instances off and on even if the user doesn’t click anything dubious.

 

Threat details:
Name CaptchaTopSource popup / redirect virus
Threat Category Popup ads, adware, browser hijacker
Domains involved captchatopsource.com/robot4/index.html, captchatopsource.com/robot37/index.html
Symptoms Browser redirects, fraudulent permission requests, unwanted popup ads, browser slowdown
Distribution techniques
Severity Medium
Damage Internet activity tracking, search redirects, unauthorized changes of browsing preferences, malicious ads
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Regardless of the original attack logic, the upshot is invariable: the victim will be repeatedly visiting captchatopsource.com. The page looks like a commonplace human verification service that says, “Click ‘Allow’ to confirm that you are not a robot!” There is an extra popup dialog reading, “captchatopsource.com wants to show notifications” and containing ‘Allow’ and ‘Block’ buttons. If the former one is clicked, the dodgy ad network will get the privilege to display web push notifications on the computer’s desktop or on the home screen of the mobile device. If the user chooses to block notifications, the relief will be temporary as the redirects will most likely re-occur.

At the end of the day, the user is stuck with a non-stop browser forwarding nuisance that keeps pushing CaptchaTopSource until the adware’s privileges are escalated. In most cases, taking care of the infection is a matter of identifying the unwanted application and removing all of its file traces from the plagued device. The following steps will show you how.


Automated removal of CaptchaTopSource popup 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 Captchatopsource.com redirect 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 the CaptchaTopSource virus

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows. Depending on the OS build, select Uninstall a program (Windows 10, 7 and Vista) or Add or Remove Programs (Windows 8)
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 an unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal doneUninstall unwanted program


Captchatopsource.com redirect removal for Android

Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the CaptchaTopSource malware issue on an Android device, which might also be a target in this malvertising campaign. Keep in mind, though, that uninstall attempts in regular mode may be futile due to the mechanics of this persistent infection. Therefore, you need to perform the procedure in safe mode. Go ahead and do the following:

• Press and hold the Power button. Then, tap and hold the Power off option on the screen. Doing so will boot your device into safe mode
Android power off
• Android will ask you to confirm that you’d like to enter safe mode. Tap OK on the dialog
Safe mode reboot confirmation
• You will now see the Safe mode inscription at the bottom left of your screen. Go to Settings and choose Apps
Go to Settings - Apps
• Scroll down the list of applications, focusing on the ones that were installed recently. Find CaptchaTopSource or another sketchy entry with a different name that could as well be the culprit.
Spot the unwanted app
• Select the misbehaving app and tap Uninstall
Uninstall the PUA
• Confirm removal on the relevant dialog box and reboot your device. By default, Android will get you back into regular mode. You should now be good to go – the captchatopsource.com virus won’t be triggering any redirects or irritating popups anymore.


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 the captchatopsource.com popup virus.

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 Manage Website Data button
Hit the Manage Website Data button
• Click the Remove All button to purge all website data. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc. If you aren’t okay with this, proceed to the next step
Remove all website data in Safari
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, select the unwanted site in the ‘Manage Website Data’ list and click Remove. Then, click Done
Erase website data in Safari
• Click the Develop menu in the Finder bar and select Empty Caches
Safari: Empty Caches
• Finally, expand the History menu from the Finder bar and click Clear History
Safari: Clear History
• Make sure all history is selected on the dialog that will appear and click Clear History to get rid of cookies and other potentially unwanted data
Click the Clear History
• Restart Safari.

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 CaptchaTopSource popup virus removal tool

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