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Remove hogathe.com virus from Android/Chrome/Firefox/IE/Safari

4 min read
Being infected with the hogathe.com malware entails annoying browser redirects and popups that dupe the victim to succumb to fraudulent permission requests.
  1. What is the hogathe.com redirect / popup virus?
  2. Automated removal of hogathe.com virus
  3. Hogathe.com virus removal for Android
  4. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

What is the hogathe.com redirect / popup virus?

In the cotemporary cybercrime climate, outright destructive software doesn’t prevail over the rest. Instead, there is an indisputable quantitative domination of mild-impact threats whose activity is isolated to disrupting the victims’ web surfing routine. It’s all about adware and browser hijackers. Technically, these culprits don’t do much harm while focusing on tweaks of one’s Internet navigation settings, but the nuisance effect is sizeable. Users often associate many of these infections with the URLs of the unwanted web pages being promoted, as is the case with the hogathe.com virus. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a person willingly visits the above-mentioned site, because it renders nothing but junk content and tries to play a peculiar trick complying with the worst practices of clickjacking and online privacy violation. At the time of writing, the hogathe.com redirect issue is mainly affecting German users of Android devices, although PCs are also being targeted both in Germany and other locations.

The fishy look and feel of hogathe.com virus attack
The fishy look and feel of hogathe.com virus attack

The uncomforting acquaintance of those infected with the hogathe.com virus starts with strange behavior of the preferred web browser. The main ostensible symptom is the recurrent forwarding of Internet traffic to the rogue page in question. These events may occur within the current browser window or in a separate one – the latter is reminiscent of full-page interstitial ads. The rerouting instances may take place in a spontaneous fashion, for instance, when the user is simply scrolling up or down on a random website. Another common trigger has to do with custom settings, such as the homepage, default search engine or new tab preferences. The associated malware modifies these values, replacing them with hogathe.com. As a result, every time the victim opens the browser of choice, performs web search or simply adds a new tab to an online session, the rogue site will be resolved instead of the destination defined by the user. Such a meddling will result in constant hits to the wrong resource.

When the redirect happens, the actual string in the address bar is going to be prepended with a number, so the URL will look like 66.hogathe.com. The concatenated tail is a set of what seems to be gibberish characters, but they are meaningful in the context of the malvertising campaign under scrutiny and contain sub-IDs assigned to the specific “affiliates”. Now, let’s finally get to the information presented on the dodgy site. It’s ridiculously simplistic, pretending to render some sort of a video. The trick is, the media content won’t play unless the user does something the criminals want. It all boils down to allowing notifications. If the victim clicks the apropos button on the popup in the upper part of the screen, the outcome will span more than the garden-variety privilege being requested. The underlying malicious plugin will get much more access to the browsing data than it may appear. Internet history, bookmarks, usernames and passwords – these are merely a few types of information that will end up in the felons’ filthy hands.

Again, the core component of the hogathe.com virus attack is a fake browser helper object, such as a plugin or add-on. It mainly slithers into computers by means of a stratagem that involves bundling. In other words, a user unknowingly lets the pest inside the system while installing something different and, in most cases, benign. Deceptive setup wizards may deliberately conceal the fact of an extra app being promoted in the same package, which is how people get on the hook. The next thing you know, the default browser begins acting up according to the scheme described above. If this is the case and hogathe.com redirects are happening off and on, the following cleanup techniques will help get rid of the wrongdoing code.

Automated removal of hogathe.com 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 hogathe.com 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 uninstall Hogathe malware

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 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 an unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal doneUninstall unwanted program

Hogathe.com virus removal for Android

Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the hogathe.com 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 Hogathe or a 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 hogathe.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 hogathe.com 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 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 hogathe.com redirect virus removal tool

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