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Remove iKitties.com popup virus from Chrome/Firefox/IE/Safari

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Find out how to stop iKitties.com from popping up in a web browser and explore the ties between that page and malicious code causing browser redirects.
  1. What is the iKitties.com popup / redirect virus?
  2. Automated removal of iKitties.com virus
  3. iKitties.com popups and redirects removal for Android
  4. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults


What is the iKitties.com popup / redirect virus?

Cats are awesome, no doubt, and so are websites that cover different ways to care about those fluffy little creatures. Upon initial inspection, iKitties.com appears to be one of such resources for cat lovers to visit. However, there is a caveat about it that could make the original impression go down the drain. Numerous users have been reporting that page being opened in a new tab or in a separate browser window out of the blue. It’s noteworthy that this activity isn’t accompanied by an informed decision or action on one’s end. This is reminiscent of a classic browser hijack scenario where an application or script that gained a foothold in a device keeps resolving an unwanted site without the user’s consent. As innocuous as iKitties.com may seem to be, the fact that it is being marketed in such an aggressive fashion is a red flag and a clue suggesting that it’s part of cybercriminals’ wicked plan.

iKitties.com landing page promoted by adware

It turns out that all these instances of defiant tampering with people’s web surfing routine have one thing in common. The victims discover a dubious extension that settled down in their Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari browser. In many cases, it’s an add-on called YouTube for TV, although the culprit’s name can vary across the board. There is a common denominator, though: it’s the name of the extension publisher. A few vendors that are known to engage in this foul play are Usefulwebtech, Helpfulwebtech, and Erich’s App Factory. Based on preliminary analysis, all of them denote the same persona behind the creation of these controversial browser enhancements. Whilst some users knowingly install these apps in an attempt to give their web navigation and online multimedia experience a boost, sometimes the third-party browser components are added beyond clear authorization.

Threat details:
Name iKitties.com popup / redirect virus
Threat Category Popup ads, adware, browser hijacker
Landing Pages dudepages.com, spinbomb.com
Symptoms Browser redirects, fraudulent permission requests, unwanted popup ads, browser slowdown
Distribution techniques Malicious app bundles, search engine poisoning, compromised websites
Severity Medium
Damage Internet activity tracking, search redirects, unauthorized changes of browsing preferences, malicious ads
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There is a sketchy technique underlying the furtive infiltration of these add-ons into computers. Generally referred to as bundling, it allows unscrupulous app makers and adware authors to peddle their products alongside other software. Bundling isn’t outright malicious per se but it’s very often repurposed to become the primary instrument for distributing potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). The installer only mentions some benign freeware or a useful program update while intentionally concealing the extras that will hop into the host system automatically unless the user goes the route of custom installation and deselects the unwanted objects. Unfortunately, users hardly ever opt out of the more convenient “express” setup mode, only to find themselves hit by nasty code in the long run.

Once the fishy extension is integrated in the victim’s preferred web browser, it actually delivers the features highlighted in the product description. And yet, it additionally adjusts the browser to do its side job that comes down to the reorganization of the Internet traffic that the user won’t appreciate, to say the least. Specifically, the PUA submits suspicious GET requests and surreptitiously invokes scripts that cause the browser to open iKitties.com in a new tab or in the form of full-page interstitial ads over and over. On a side note, the dodgy extensions from the same lineage may also open a few other sites in the same intrusive way. These include dudepages.com and spinbomb.com. All in all, the crooks in charge of this campaign have orchestrated a traffic monetization scheme that excludes the user approval from the equation. If you are one of those who fell victim to this hoax, follow the steps below to stop the browser redirects in their tracks.


Automated removal of iKitties.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 iKitties.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 get rid of the iKitties PUA

• 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


iKitties.com popups and redirects removal for Android

Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the iKitties 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 iKitties 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 iKitties 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 iKitties.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 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 iKitties.com virus removal tool

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