|Short Description||The application may generate advertisements in the browser – banners, pop-ups, in-text ads.|
|Symptoms||Advertisements with text similar to ‘Ads by DNS Unblocker’.|
|Distribution Method||Bundling, shareware download pages.|
|Detection tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected By DNS Unblocker|
Similar to DNS Unlocker, DNS Unblocker is yet another adware pretending to provide a useful service to the user. However, reports have recently increased about DNS Unblocker displaying advertised content in an annoying manner. In case you see intrusive pop-ups with an indicating text, similar to ‘By DNS Unblocker’, ‘Ads by DNS Unblocker’ and similar, there is a good chance that you may have installed this unwanted program (PUP) on your machine. Cyber-defence experts regard such applications as indirectly dangerous to the computer due to their cooperation with suspicious third-parties.
DNS Unblocker-How Did I Get It?
There are several methods of distribution that this particular program may use to spread massively on user PCs, and they are all very effective. One of them is by clicking on a pop-up, leading to a download page that immediately downloads it. Another is by experiencing a browser redirect. This can happen if you have a browser hijacker that causes such redirects. One of the most successful methods of spreading of PUPs, however, is the bundling strategy. It involves the insertion of apps, such as DNS Unblocker in the setup programs of third-party downloaded freeware. This could be your favorite media player, file converter, youtube downloader and other applications downloaded not from their sites, but from general software third-party websites. The strategy is done for marketing purposes, and it may or may not include a step with opt-in boxes or agreement buttons, including something similar to ‘Include DNS Unblocker as a free extra…’.
In some cases, the app may be mentioned in the EULA agreement that the bigger percentage of users tend not to read. A good way to counter this is if you use EULA reading apps that will look for any specific keywords in the EULA and alert you, like EULAlyzer for example.
DNS Unblocker – What Does It Do?
This suspicious program may situate itself either as an extension in your Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer browsers or as a program on your PC. Once installed it may begin to deploy different tracking technologies on your computer:
- Browsing cookies.
- Flash Cookies (Local Shared Objects)
These and other types of cookies aim to be a part of what is called ‘behavioral advertising.’ The developers of DNS Unlocker may use such strategy to determine which websites you visit, where you click, what you search and other information. This is done to display advertisements based on your interests and, therefore, make you click on them.
What is risky in this situation are the sources of the advertisements – they may be dangerous third-party sites of unknown origin. Such sites may represent high risk for the user in several ways:
- Infect the computer with malware (Ransomware Trojans, Trojan.Monitor, Trojan.Downloader, Trojan.Remote, worms, viruses, malicious scripts and others).
- Make the user download a riskware fake antivirus that is actually a virus that blocks out the files. The purpose of this is scaring the user by displaying him ‘Virus Detected!’ types of messages and either providing customer support numbers to ‘experts’ or prompting him to upgrade to the full version by paying.
- Display fake tech support messages with phone numbers that are one element of a sophisticated social engineering (soc eng) attack to make the user give away his information one way or another. Some users even report being subscribed to a fake SMS service that drained their money from their phone by automatically sending out messages.
- Trick the user into filling out fake registration forms, thus giving away his personal information. This is done via false promises of product trials or price claims of fraudulent origin.
- Rope the user into giving away his financial information and drain his credit card, using fake shopping websites with non-existent products.
These are the main reasons why experts consider such PUPs unsafe in general. Antivirus programs consider them a low-level type of threat since they are essentially non-malware. But there are advanced anti-malware programs that are programmed to deal with such kinds of threats on your computer.
How To Remove DNS Unblocker?
One of the best ways to get rid of is by going offline and manually uninstalling it. To do this first:
- Disconnect your equipment from the web.
- Follow the step-by-step removal guide below.
Also, bear in mind that you may have other PUPs which are installed unknowingly. DNS Unblocker may leave leftover files in some relevant directories, like %temp% or %appdata%. It may also leave modified settings of your PC in the form of registry keys and values in the Microsoft Registry Editor. These are believed to be highly unwanted and may even prevent you from removing apps like DNS Unblocker in some situations. This is why it is highly recommended to download a regularly updating anti-malware, featuring an active shield. This way it will not only detect all files, associated with DNS Unblocker, but it will also prevent any further PUPs or malware to penetrate your machine.
1. Remove/Uninstall DNS Unblocker in Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 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 get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall DNS Unblocker.
[/su_spoiler] 2. Remove DNS Unblocker from your browser
Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu
Select DNS Unblocker and click “Remove”
After DNS Unblocker is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
Select DNS Unblocker 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’.
After DNS Unblocker has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.
From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
In the new window select ‘Extensions’
Click once on DNS Unblocker
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall DNS Unblocker. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the DNS Unblocker will be removed.
3. Use an advanced anti-malware program to scan your computer for any left-over objects such as registry entries and other files after uninstall.
To clean your computer you should download an updated anti-malware program on a safe PC and then install it on the affected computer in offline mode. After that you should boot into safe mode and scan your computer to remove all DNS Unblocker associated objects.