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

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

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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

NamePythonBot (PBot)
TypeEvolving Adware/Miner
Short DescriptionMay 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).
SymptomsYour web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by PythonBot (PBot)


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin 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.

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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