Statistics from November this year revealed that 2,531 of the top 3 million websites are running the Coinhive miner, which amounts to 1 in 1,000 websites. To no one’s surprise, BitTorrent websites have been the main perpetrators. But they are not the only ones, as many other, often unexpected, websites are using users’ computer resources to mine for cryptocurrencies. Since the so-called browser miner virus is an emerging threat leveraging PC’s resources for crypto mining, users definitely need to know how to protect themselves from it. This article aims to help remove a browser miner virus from a computer.
|Name||Browser miner virus|
|Short Description||A browser miner virus may exploit the CPU, GPU and other PC resources for the purpose of mining for various cryptocurrencies.|
|Symptoms||Increased CPU and GPU usage and overheating.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files, Hacked Websites|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Browser miner virus.|
Browser Miner Virus – Distribution Techniques
This type of threat is not entirely new to the threat landscape but it’s the first time researchers witness browser miner attacks at such a scale. Even though the exact distribution method of this threat is not yet known, researchers consider that the massively deployed methods for malware distribution are valid here as well. What does this mean?
A browser miner virus could be spread in the wild with the help of automatically generated email messages. This is an easy way to send the virus to as many victims as possible. The virus maybe attached to the email, or it could be present in the form of a script. The good news here is that email services are typically prepared to detect the signatures of the virus, and the messages may not reach the inbox if they were timely labeled as spam.
Nonetheless, this is not the only distribution form. The browser miner virus may be distributed through hyperlinks that are inserted in the email message itself. To lure the potential victim into clicking on it, the link may be disguised as something familiar to the user. Such redirects may send the user directly to hacked websites leveraged for cryptocurrency mining.
Other methods used for the distribution of browser miner viruses include the use of malicious websites and download (p2p) networks. Such websites are often used to spread malware across users worldwide, and the browser miner virus is not an exclusion of this well-known practice. The virus may even be hiding in infected documents, like spreadsheets, rich text documents, and databases. These could be altered to trigger the virus when the built-in scripts are activated. What usually happens in this case is that the user opens a notification prompting them to run macros, or scripts. Such an action will definitely lead to an infection with a browser miner virus.
Interestingly, browser hijackers may also be deployed in the distribution of miners – in the form of add-ons that are available for most browsers available to users, the most popular ones (Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, Edge, etc.) inclusive. If the user is tricked into installing such a malicious add-on (browser extension), he may end up being redirected to a hacked site leveraged for mining. However, according to the configuration of the hijacker, it can also perform other suspicious activities, like obtaining user login credentials, history, and similar.
Browser Miner Virus – Purpose, Capabilities, Deployment
It’s only logical to ask why this type of virus was created in the first place. The sole purpose of such a miner is to exploit the PC resources of unsuspecting users. These resources could be either or both the CPU and GPU of the system, depending on the cryptocurrency that the virus is mining for.
Browser Miner Virus – Behavior and Consequences
Most browser miner virus types share an average behavioral pattern which leads to several outcomes for the user. One of these outcomes is the cross-browser contamination. What does this mean? Simply said, cross-browser contamination means that each subsequent browser window will escalate the pressure on the hardware resources and will divide them to several miner processes simultaneously. This leads to a problem known as resources allocation. This issue affects the whole operating system, be it Windows, Mac OS X, or Gnu/Linux. Unfortunately, there are miners available for each of these operating systems. As a result, the processor, memory and graphics card of a machine can be affected.
Moreover, there are two types of the browser miner virus, outlined as stand-alone miners and malware modules. As the name suggests, the second type is far more dangerous, compared to the stand-alone miners which are basically basic types. If the miner is deployed through malware module, it means that it has been implemented in ransomware, like an addition to the original components. This means that the system will be affected by both the ransomware and the miner. In order to avoid such bad infections, users need to think of their protection in advance.
This is known as drive-by cryptomining, or cryptojacking. In a recent infection case researchers stumbled upon a technique that enabled hackers to keep mining for Monero even after the browser window was closed. The research was focused on the Chrome browser but other browsers may have been affected as well, with different outcomes for each browser.
What happens after a user visits a website, which is silently loading the mining code is that the CPU activity is increasing but it is not maxing out. After the user leaves the particular site via closing the Chrome window, his machine’s CPU activity remains higher than usual. This is a sign that the cryptomining process is not resumed with the closing of the browser.
Browser Miner Virus – Removal
There are different ways to deal with a browser miner virus depending on its type and capabilities. The more sophisticated the miner is, as in the recent cases of drive-by cryptomining, the more challenging it would be to deal with it.
If the miner is a basic one, the user may install a specific extension according to his browser that would stop the mining in the web browser. There is also the option to manually block domains that are associated with cryptocurrency mining.
However, if the system is affected by malware or ransomware that was equipped with a browser miner virus, then it is advisable to use a proper anti-malware solution to deal with all of the infections.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Browser miner virus from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Browser miner virus from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Browser miner virus from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Browser miner virus from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Browser miner virus from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Browser miner virus from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Browser miner virus from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Browser miner virus from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Browser miner virus
Step 2: Uninstall Browser miner virus and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Browser miner virus on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Browser miner virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Browser miner virus from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Browser miner virus and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Browser miner virus via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Browser miner virus files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Browser miner virus, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Browser miner virus from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Browser miner virus from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Browser miner virus from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Browser miner virus from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Browser miner virus will be removed.
Eliminate Browser miner virus from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.