THREAT REMOVAL

How to Detect and Remove Phishing (Fake) Web Pages

This article aims to provide insight on phishing web pages that aim for your information and display how to remove such fake sites from your computer plus protect it in the future.

There have so far been millions if not billions of phishing websites out there looking exactly like the original ones and many inexperienced users tend to fall for their trap and give away their personal information and financial details which are sent to the hackers’ servers via tracking technology. Antivirus companies have integrated phishing protection against such threats, but since the hosts spreading phishing spit out multiple URLs with an extreme rate, not all the phishing pages are blocked. This is why we have created this educational material which aims to make you an expert in phishing protection because more users become victims due to their behavior and we can’t blame security software all the time.

How Do Phishing Web Links Spread

Cyber-criminals have invested all of their imagination and potential into creating phishing web pages that will pass the trick. And they use cunning tactics to spread them as well. The tactics are many and the web pages are almost identical.

Method 1 – Via Referrer Spam

One of the most widespread methods of spreading phishing web pages is naturally via manipulating Google to conduct massive spam campaigns via spambots. Such spambots are usually either Web Crawlers also known as spiders and Ghost Referrers. Crawlers aim to crawl different web pages and spam only on those that lack certain security features and are more harmless than Ghosts which are a persistent spam and cannot be blocked easily. Here is an example of a spammed URL via referral spam bots that leads to a phishing AliExpress webpage:

Method 2 – Via PUPs (Ad-supported Programs)

Such software is extremely high in variety of programs that may exist. They may range from browser extensions, toolbars, programs installed on the computer, fake web browsers and many others.

Usually, such potentially unwanted programs are created for multiple different benefits of the interests of their makers:

  • To generate hoax traffic by displaying ads and causing browser redirects to third-party websites who may have paid for such service.
  • To display advertisements of affiliate links that generate revenue by being clicked on.
  • To infect your computer with malware by advertising malicious web links.
  • To display phishing web pages that aim for your information.

The displaying of such phishing pages may occur via a browser redirect or via a fake page posted on a toolbar as a favorite bookmark. This includes fake phishing pages such as Facebook login pages, PayPal, Amazon, Apple, LinkedIn and multiple other services.

Such unwanted software can be replicated via multiple different methods, primarily via bundling. Bundling is a service that aims to push third-party programs by embedding their installation along other free software downloaded online. One example can be seen on the image below, advertising an app as a “useful extra”. Such bundled programs can be seen on suspicious software download sites or torrent sites.

And Mac users are also endangered by such unwanted applications or malware coming from malicious apps. Such may display phishing web pages, like the fake iCloud login below:

Method 3 – Via Malware

The most effective and the smartest method of all of the phishing attacks is conducted via multiple types of malware being spread out In the wild. One of those viruses which is extremely dangerous is banking malware or banking Trojans. Such may phish for your financial information after infecting your computer. One of the latest viruses in this segment, known as the BlackMoon banking trojan uses a very cunning technique. The virus has a pre-configured list of hashes of websites that the user may visit. As soon as the victim visits the original website, for example a purchase page from online retailer, the Trojan detects it and then displays an error message:

As soon as the victim clicks on the “OK” button, BlackMoon redirects to an identically looking phishing web page with the financial credentials. Some malware which is better developed may generate such web pages on the spot by copying the “page source” code:

Other malware which may cause the spreading of such phishing web pages are botnet viruses and although not as effective, may be worms which spread automatically from a computer to another computer. Such worms may also display phishing web pages in a similar manner or even install Trojans, like the BlackMoon.

Method 4 – Via E-mails

Probably the most widespread method out there, phishing e-mails often tend to trick many inexperienced victims and also experienced corporate users into entering their credentials for a banking institution or online payment service. You won’t even believe how many have fallen to the trap of socially engineered e-mails purely because the scheme is created in a very clever way.

For example, one scheme may be to spread phishing e-mails to users who use only payment service, like PayPal. Such schemes were reported to be spread since the year 2014 and are evolving. One of those e-mails can have a subject such as:

  • Your account has been logged in from another device.
  • Verify that you have made the PayPal transfer.
  • Suspicious activity on your account.
  • Purchasing receipt from Apple Store Australia.

The body of the e-mail appear to be exactly the same as a legitimate e-mail sent by PayPal, for example. And even experienced users would not be able to tell the difference. And since those phishing pages are generally not malicious and associated with malware, they are not blocked by antivirus programs or web browser companies. So you might be visiting such as website, thinking “Oh, well, I have antivirus protection”, but the site may be completely different from the original.

How to Detect Phishing (Fake) Web Links

Usually, the detection of such web links should happen manually. If you have doubts that a web page is phishing or just want to check such page, the first action that should be performed by you, is check the URL for phishing. There are multiple ways to do it, the most simple of which is to compare the original URL with the URL of the phishing page. You should preferably do this on another device that is safe or via another web browser. If the web link you see differs from the original, then you most likely have a phishing page:

Also, another sign of copying a phishing page is that the web pages that are phishing are often not HTTPs (s for secured). This can be detected by the green padlock icon that usually appears In the address bar, like the image above displays.

Another method to check phishing e-mails is via using different online services. One in particular is Scamadviser.com which also has a build in browser extension. On the site you may paste the URL to see if it a malicious URL or if it has been detected for being a phishing or scam web page:

In addition to this, you can also check your web browsers for suspicious browser extensions added to them an check your PC if it has a suspicious ad-supported program embedded within it, by following the steps below:

Check for and remove from Your Browser and Your Registry Editor

Remove from Your Browser.

Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari Fix registry entries created by on your PC.
Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

uninstall-fig4

Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

uninstall-fig5

Select and click “Remove

uninstall-fig6

After is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall . Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the will be removed.

    Some malicious scripts may modify the registry entries of your computer to change different settings. This is why manual clean up of your Windows Registry Database is strongly recommended. Since the tutorial on how to do this is a bit lenghty, we recommend following our instructive article about fixing registry entries.

    How to Get Rid of Phishing Websites Permanently

    After checking for suspicious browser extensions and you find suspicious such, recommendations are to clean your web browsers cache to completely clean them up from any unwanted software. This is achievable by following the instructions for web browsers in this video:

    The instructions are to remove a specific potentially unwanted program, but they will also help you clean your web browsers and get rid of any suspicious software residing on your computer.

    In addition to this, to further remove phishing websites from your computer, recommendations are to scan it for any suspicious software and malware that keeps causing them to appear. According to experts this is the best method to detect if any harmful objects causing the URLs to appear on your PC may be residing on your system. The best method to do this is to download and install an advanced anti-malware software, after which boot your PC in safe mode with networking and scan it for malware:

    Remove with Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data

    Remove with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove .2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove . Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by in the future.
    Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

    It is highly recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter.

    Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
    Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

    pets-by-myway-ads-virus

    Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

    Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

    IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

    How to Perform the Removal in Safe Mode

    Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

    1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. Fix registry entries created by on your PC.

    For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

    1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
    2. Select one of the two options provided below:

    For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

    donload_now_140

    For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

    donload_now_140

    3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

    4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

    donload_now_140

    While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

    Step 1: Open the Start Menu

    donload_now_140

    Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
    Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.

    donload_now_140

    Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.

    donload_now_140

    Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.

    donload_now_140

    Step 6: Click on Restart.
    donload_now_140

    Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

    Some malicious scripts may modify the registry entries of your computer to change different settings. This is why manual clean up of your Windows Registry Database is strongly recommended. Since the tutorial on how to do this is a bit lenghty, we recommend following our instructive article about fixing registry entries.

    How to Protect Myself in The Future

    Protection against phishing attacks is basically protection against suspicious web links, malware and harmful software. This is why it comes down primarily to what combination of protection tactics you apply. This is why, for maximum protection, we strongly suggest you to follow the below-mentioned advises. If implemented in combination, the security of your data and your credentials will significantly improve and may save you a lot of headaches:

    Advice 1: Make sure to read our general protection tips and try to make them your habit and educated others to do so as well.
    Advice 2: Install an advanced anti-malware program that has an often updated real-time shield definitions and malware and phishing protection.

    Download

    Malware Removal Tool


    Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter

    Advice 3: Make sure to change all of your passwords from a secure device. If you do not have such, you can boot a live Ubuntu or other OS. The new passwords should be strong and connected one to another, so that you can remember them easily, for example P@55w0rd1, P@66w0rd2 and so on. You can also use colors and other words to remember them easily.

    Advice 4: Backup your files using one of the methods in this article.

    Advice 5: : Make sure to use a security-oriented web browser while surfing the world wide web.

    Avatar

    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

    More Posts - Website

    Follow Me:
    Twitter


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    How to Remove from Windows.


    Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove

    OFFER

    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

    1. Hold Windows key() + R


    2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


    3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
    Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


    4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


    5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


    Step 2: Uninstall 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. To do that:


    1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


    2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


    3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


    Step 3: Clean any registries, created by on your computer.

    The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

    1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


    2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


    3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
    Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

    IMPORTANT!
    Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
    This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

    Step 4: Scan for with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


    It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


    2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

    SpyHunter5-update-2018


    3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

    SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


    4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

    SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

    If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    Get rid of from Mac OS X.


    Step 1: Uninstall and remove related files and objects

    OFFER
    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


    1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


    2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


    3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to :

    Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


    4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


    5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to . If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


    6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to . Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


    7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

    • 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 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:

    Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

    1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

    2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

    3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as . If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

    You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

    → ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchDaemons

    Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


    Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

    When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove 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.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Erase 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.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Uninstall 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.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove 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".

    stf-safari preferences


    Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

    stf-safari-extensions


    Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


    Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

    stf-safari uninstall

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the will be removed.


    How to Reset Safari
    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

    Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Eliminate 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.


    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

    Share on Facebook Share
    Loading...
    Share on Twitter Tweet
    Loading...
    Share on Google Plus Share
    Loading...
    Share on Linkedin Share
    Loading...
    Share on Digg Share
    Share on Reddit Share
    Loading...
    Share on Stumbleupon Share
    Loading...