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Remove Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup virus from Chrome/Firefox/Edge/Safari

4 min read
Remove Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup virus
A new malvertising scam is in full swing, displaying rogue human verification popups on Captcha-sourcecenter.com to promote online junk and malicious services.
  1. What is Captcha-sourcecenter.com?
  2. Automated removal of Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup virus
  3. Captcha-sourcecenter.com redirect removal for Android
  4. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

What is Captcha-sourcecenter.com?

engineering. The benefit of applying this tactic, as viewed by Internet riff-raff, is that it’s easier to manipulate users than create effective exploits that infect devices in an interaction-less way. This is the case with Captcha-sourcecenter.com, a website that displays misleading popups camouflaged as your garden-variety dialogs for confirming that a visitor is not a robot. What sets this scheme apart from real human verification is that the popup is actually geared toward enabling web push notifications in the system. If granted, this permission allows criminals to push untrustworthy services and malware.

Captcha-sourcecenter.com disguises web push notifications permission as a human verification alert
Captcha-sourcecenter.com disguises web push notifications permission as a human verification alert

Following in the footsteps of CaptchaTopSource hoax, this one cashes in on a cross-platform potentially unwanted program (PUP) that affects browsers on Windows, Android, and macOS. In most cases, the pest silently installs an extension that puts dodgy web surfing settings into effect without asking for and requiring the user’s approval. As a result, the victim’s default browser is recurrently redirected to captcha-sourcecenter.com/robot4/index.html URL. It is prepended with a letter from “a” to “i” and concatenated with a string that serves as a unique campaign identifier. The ID is an element of the affiliate logic that attributes each rerouting instance to a specific threat actor.

Threat details:
Name Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup / redirect virus
Threat Category Popup ads, adware, browser hijacker
Domains involved a.captcha-sourcecenter.com, b.captcha-sourcecenter.com, c.captcha-sourcecenter.com, d.captcha-sourcecenter.com, e.captcha-sourcecenter.com, f.captcha-sourcecenter.com, g.captcha-sourcecenter.com, h.captcha-sourcecenter.com, i.captcha-sourcecenter.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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Once visited, Captcha-sourcecenter.com instructs the user to click “Allow” as proof that they are human rather than a bot. That’s a commonplace thing on the web nowadays, except that in this scenario, it is used to bait unsuspecting people. What the button actually does is it turns on web push notifications mentioned above. This is the perfect launchpad for serving ads, including dubious ones that lead gambling sites, prize and lottery frauds, tech support hoaxes, as well as installers promoting PUPs such as browser hijackers and scareware. The worst part is that these adverts can pop up on the desktop or home screen even when the web browser is closed.

Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup in Safari
Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup in Safari

Refraining from clicking the links listed in Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup ads is important, but it doesn’t solve the problem. It’s equally futile to keep closing these items, because new ones will be coming up non-stop. The effective cleaning technique is to spot and remove the application that’s causing these redirects and popups, in the first place. But, this could be easier said than done, as the malware is furtive by design and hides its traces throughout the contaminated system. The good news is that the well-trodden uninstall procedure below can address the predicament on different devices. To avoid other spin-offs of this malware family down the road, exercise caution with free app installers that may conceal the baddie inside multi-element bundles.

Automated removal of Captcha-sourcecenter.com 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 Captcha-sourcecenter.com 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 Captcha-sourcecenter.com 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

Captcha-sourcecenter.com redirect removal for Android

Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the Captcha-sourcecenter.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 Captcha-SourceCenter 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 Captcha-sourcecenter.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 Captcha-sourcecenter.com popup virus.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Click Advanced in the sidebar, scroll down to Reset and clean up, and select this option
Click Reset and clean up in the sidebar
• Click Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original defaults
• 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 Captcha-sourcecenter.com virus removal tool

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