THREAT REMOVAL

PBot (PythonBot) Pop-up Adware – How to Remove It from Windows

This article aims to help you by explaining what is the PythonBot adware program and how to remove it from your computer plus stop it from mining cryptocurrencies and displaying ads.

A very dangerous evolving type of adware has been detected by security researchers. The program, called PythonBot (PBot) has been reported to display different types of advertising content and run JavaScript codes that display ads and redirect to web pages which install more adware on user computers. In addition to this, the PBot adware is unlike any other form of adware since this program is from one of the new ad-supported software which is evolving constantly in newer versions. If you see advertisements that are related to PBot, we strongly urge that you read this article to learn more about it and how to remove it from your computer.

Threat Summary

Name PythonBot (PBot)
Type Evolving Adware/Miner
Short Description May heavily modify the computers on which it is installed and may display different advertisements of all types plus get users to download and install multiple different types of toolbars and other forms of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs).
Symptoms Your web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.
Distribution Method Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss PythonBot (PBot).

PBot Adware – How Does It Install Itself

During April 2018, researchers at Kaspersky labs have detected over 50 thousand attempts to install this adware on computers running Kespersky products. The adware has increased and this number is now significantly more than In spring 2018. This distribution of PythonBot is mainly concentrated in Russia and the adware is spread via what researchers refer to as “partner sites”. These types of sites have scripts embedded in the website code which aim to redirect users to web links that are third-party via a web browser redirect. This activity occurs in the following chain of activities:

  • The user visits a corrupted site.
  • When the user simply clicks with his mouse anywhere on the site, a new pop-up is displayed and it redirects to a web link, which is the download page of PythonBot adware.
  • The download page automatically triggers and runs the adware after which the victim is already affected by a downloaded HTA type of file (Update.hta).

PBot Adware – More Information and Activity

PBot has come out in various different versions, which exist out there. And the latest update of the malware may include the usage of various different types of modules to change different settings on both the web browser of victimized computers and also make changes to Windows itself.

For starters, the newer variants of PythonBot, the Update.hta file, downloads and executes an original NSIS installer. This installer drops the following files on the victim’s computer:

  • ml.py
  • lauchall.py
  • brplugin.py
  • app.py

The file brplugin.py aims to interact with the web browser processes of the affected computers,for example chrome.exe or firefox.exe, etc. The app.py is a python file which is responsible for the malware to self-update by connecting it to the control and update server to perform a silent updating operation without the user even noticing it.

The ml.py file is the one file that is responsible for interacting with Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe). The .py file adds tasks in Windows Task Scheduler which aim to execute it in a specific time every day. Another tasks is also related with running a winreg library which is used to write the script to the auto-loader.

All of these result in a browser toolbar or browser extension being added to the affected computer’s web browser which is re-added and runs diferrent types of tracking technologies on the computers affected by it. These tracking technologies also include the usage of:

  • Cookies.
  • LSOs (Locally Shared Objects).
  • Tags.
  • Pixels.
  • Geo-locators.

These technologies are used by the PBot adware with the main purpose to collect different information from users, such as:

  • Online search history.
  • Online clicks.
  • Typed information.
  • Ads the user has clicked on.
  • Bookmarked websites and browsing history.

The PythonBot adware then uses this information with the main purpose of getting users to download and install various different types of advertisement-supported programs or to cause browser redirects to websites with the same topics the users are interested in. This strategy is also known as behavioral advertising and it is used with the main purpose to lure users into pay-per-click schemes or websites that mine for cryptocurrencies, all with the end goal being profit for the developers of the PBot adware. The advertisements which may be displayed by this program as a result of that are many:

  • Pop-ups.
  • Browser redirections.
  • Online banners.
  • Highlighted text ads.

What makes PBot indirectly dangerous to your computer however is that the adware may lead you to dangerous websites, which may install other adware programs, scam you out of your information and even infect your computer with malware.

Remove PythonBot (PBot) Adware from Windows and Your Browsers

In order to remove this ad-supported software from your computer system, we advise that you follow the instructions underneath this article. They have been made in order to help you delete the files and objects associated with PBot either manually or automatically from your computer system. If manual removal does not help, security experts often advise using anti-malware software in order to scan for and completely secure your computer from PBot adware and other ad-supported programs that may be downloaded on your computer as a result of having this unwanted software.

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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.

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

How to Remove PythonBot (PBot) from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PythonBot (PBot)

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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot):

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 PythonBot (PBot). 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 PythonBot (PBot). 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot). 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 PythonBot (PBot) files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PythonBot (PBot), 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for PythonBot (PBot):


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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


Remove PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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 PythonBot (PBot) 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.


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